by Neal Sideman

I have chosen to focus on my healing, and to say only a few words about my long period of suffering. Chances are, you already know – firsthand or secondhand – more than you'd care  to know about the suffering! My own suffering had its unique form, but essentially, it was no different from what you probably already know.

After my first two panic attacks, I awakened each morning to an instantly racing heart, hyperventilation, and cresting waves of fear and apprehension. My range of activity for each day was dictated by my agoraphobia, and my range gradually got narrower and narrower.

Every aspect of my life was deeply affected. Once, a friend asked me to explain what things I couldn't do. I answered that it would take much less time if I simply listed those things I could do.

At my low point, I was buffeted from morning to night by waves of panic anxiety, and I was barely able to venture one block from my apartment.

To summarize a story that could fill many pages, I spent years doing everything I could to heal from this condition. After many disappointments, my tenacity finally paid off. I found my answer.

The answer I found was the deeply transformational process of learning mastery over my panic and anxiety.

For me, there were two keys to learning this mastery and curing this condition: education and practice.

Read the rest of Neal's story on his website. 

"A friend asked me to explain what things I couldn't do. I answered that it would take much less time if I simply listed those things I could do."


Beatriz Martinez

June 4, 2020

In reply to by natalie grant

Hi Natalie,

Go to you tube at your local library when things open up or on your phone and look up yoga for beginners. Exercise and understand that it is in your mind. You will be ok.


October 10, 2020

In reply to by natalie grant

Some health centers or community centers have sliding scale fees for therapist based on income

You can overcome agoraphobia if you apply yourself and use a well designed strategy of progressive exposure challenges preceded by and followed by detailed training with your anxiety. I recommend Mindfulness Therapy for this. Most people can expect to see big improvements after the first month when they take this mindfulness-based training approach to their agoraphobia.

Actually as a life-long PD warrior, I'm often read that PD or panic attacks themselves hold absolutely no danger. I'd say that for most people, this is likely true since they're always described this way.

For me the situation is much different. Without detail, I will only state that chronic panic attacks initially cost me at least six jobs -- six jobs, my God. The reason for the dismissals? My employers suspected I was either drinking on the job or drugging on the job.

I have never considered doing such a thing -- I'm a hard-working girl who only sought to do my best for my employers. This aspect of panic attacks -- to me -- makes the severity of the individual's experience all-important in recommending treatment. Job loss is traumatizing. Losing jobs over something that I couldn't anticipate, understand or discuss with my employers has been more frightening than the condition itself.

Thanks for hearing me.


Hello all,

I first started getting panic attacks when i was 16 after i "Greened Out" smoking weed. I woke up the next morning feeling odd, I haven't felt the same since.
I put up with them for about a year, everyday on the bus in the morning I would get minor panic attacks. I gave up and just accepted that was my life from then on.
I then developed Derealization/Depersonalization out of the blue, as bad as it was, it kind of sheltered me from reality and i stopped getting panic attacks. This along with cutting out caffeine helped me THE FIRST TIME.

Here we are now in 2018, I haven't had a panic attack in over 8 years. Untill a big week off with the boys (I've stayed away from drugs since my first scare)
A long week of neglect for my body, sleepless nights, drinking alcohol non stop and smoking cigarettes like a bloody chimney. The first day back at work, BOOM! it hit me, I was shocked because i knew exactly what was happening, I forgot how bad panic attacks actually were, I thought i had overcome panic attacks and here we are, back to square 1.

This made me rethink my lifestyle so I have quit smoking, caffeine and general unhealthy eating, I am currently 3 months into quitting smoking.
I have had 3 cigarettes in the past 3 months and each of them triggered a panic attack. About 2 months ago I started getting pretty bad Insomnia, I find myself constantly waking up throughout the night and cannot get back to sleep. There is a link between Anxiety and Insomnia, throw a little nicotine and caffeine withdrawls in there and 2 months later I still can't get a decent nights sleep.
I have tried a few herbal remedies and sleeping aids with no success, I believe that the Insomnia is caused by my high Anxiety.

6 months ago I was a confident happy, grab life by the balls type of guy, now the thought of going somewhere unfamiliar scares the crap out of me.

Does anybody else suffer from Insomnia? Please let me know if anyone has any remedies worth trying.

Best wishes for everybody experiencing mental health issues

Had the same problem. Been taking homeopathic medicine called Sleep Naturally . It contains Glycine,Theanine and Magnesium. These all help with anxiety ,and has a calming effect on the brain and helps reach deep sleep faster. This medication helps with sleep without the "morning hangover" effect associated with prescription medications. Also therapy and meditation help too ! So I strongly recommend that too . Also writing down the things that are bothering you ,write down everything!

Yes, I get insomnia sometimes too usually days or a week after I have had a panic attack... xanax definitely helps to sleep but I'm afraid of getting addicted to it so some nights I'll just take melatonin which helps a little.. I also started taking tranquilene which is an all natural supplement for anxiety and I think it is helping... hope you can get some sleep soon I hate insomnia!

forty my understanding is its in the center of your brain there for why cant the doctor put in a chip in they do it in everything else therfore cutting off the signalds of panic i have tried meds.this and that times running out i do have about a 40mi.radias can.t have a relation ship nothing 68 come june got this at eighteen

Dont know if this will get read or posted. I too am an older adult. I had hope when I was young that it would get better as I get older.
55 plus years of panic attacks robs a man of everything. It's an invisible prison Others only see a slacker or mental weakness. I believe it causes depression. I have been on all the meds and read the books. I think if panic disorder comes later in life its treatable but if it comes early it destroys the building of a life.
I don't believe the answer is in a book or giving money to those who profit from pain. Long after I am gone they will finally make the mind gut bactetia connection.
If I had one wish it would be people who don't suffer could understand it's not a weakness of will or laziness.
I hope to pass away soon, can't come soon enough. It will be a blessing. I've been a good man my whole life but all I leave behind are people who think I'm mentally weak, a loser etc.

*hugs* This made me cry because I feel your pain. You're not weak and you're not a loser. I've been having them for 23 years years now. Started when I was 17 years old. It definitely robbed me of my youth. I couldn't do/be what I wanted to. So I most definitely understand everything you're going through.

Hi Angelo

I recommend please try Tranquilene you sound like what I've been suffering from for years during certain seasons....I am on my 5th day and on my first day I actually was able to smile again and from that day till today I felt no anxiety depression worry strong feelings. It will take that edge off. It has been the only true supplement that works for me...look it up..its great herbs in it that help all with anxiety depression and passion flower and many other ones.

I recovered from over fifteen years of panic disorder and agoraphobia by attending free meetings held by Recovery International. They have online meetings as well as meetings in many towns throughout the U.S.A and severa countries. Please visit their website at

Since I was a child/teen I’ve struggled with anger, depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and severe anxiety. Usually stressed induced. My father is an alcoholic which I didn’t know how that impacts life of children until I first sought some therapy while in college. I’ve sought medical help, and prayed for relief off and on since 1986. I’ve tried most mental health medications off and on.The side effects of each and every medication were/are horrible. Little, if any relief. My life has been more rough than happy. Poor self esteem, destructive; reckless, poor decisions, etc.

In Dec. of 2013 I tried again to get dedicated medical help because I was literally sick, shingles. I was 6 months into a new job and it was going down hill. I thought I should try for more structured medical help. I committed to regular care with a psychiatrist, psychologist, plus my internal medicine doctor -for severe anxiety, panic attacks, borderline personality disorder, agoraphobia, depression. More prescribed drugs and little relief. I just turned 58. Hormones are now in play. And I am worse than ever. I feel hopelessly lost, isolated, and have given up trying. I have no friends. And no job as of 7/5/2018. I rarely get dressed. And rarely leave my apartment. Negative thoughts swirl in my head nonstop. I hate this. I’m lost. Exhausted. My unemployment benefits will end the first week of January 2019. Then what happens...

My mother has never liked me. Very critical. She now has some signs of dementia, and she had a stroke on 5/31/2018. She has always shamed me for lack of motivation, and my mental illness. I can’t confide in her. My personal and professional relationships have dropped off to near zero.

I have a BA. I’m considered pretty. My jobs have been above average in pay. Mid-level management. Good employers. All stressful. STRESSFUL. I have been fired from 98% of my jobs. I average a year at each; I do well for a couple months then self destruct due to stress, and then grandly fired. The most recent firing on 7/5/2018 they stated I was aggressive. The job before that I made poor decisions, and was aggressive. I just can’t take stress. Proven fact.

-Apologies for the rambling.

Just talking to someone can help. As you said, you can't find someone to confide in. Me neither. Or at least, I don't want to dump on friends and family as that can turn people away. Wish there were local anxiety support groups.

Mart...I started having panic attacks 35 yrs ago. I was lucky enough to find a support group way back then. The awareness of the severity was not known back then, yet there was a support group. I cannot believe there isn't any place where you can talk to others with the same or similar problems. My thought are with you.

Brother, panic and anxiety disorders are very small mental disorders which can be controlled by self hypnotism and self counselling.
If u are interested in will guide you definitely on humanitarian have to take medicines with psychiatrist in beginning and once you regain some balance practise the meditation and yoga which I may suggest you. Sir, this life is full of beauty and pleasure. Only we have to extract it from the clutches of grief. I was also suffering from very bad panic anxiety sincemy childhood , but leant to control through meditation yoga and Offchurch counselling. Best of luck.

I almost mirrored your situation, I hope you are doing much better now. NO ONE understands what that feels like till they have been in your shoes. God Bless

Hello I'm just trying to seek help I barley leave the house if need be to go to work and food shopping I work close to home and pay 6 dollars a day to catch a cab right around the corner today I had another panic attack I've been dealing with this since I was 15 I am now 20 I dropped outta school this is and has ruined my life I can't go out and enjoy my life like I should I feel trapped in 1 city 1 place and feel like I need a income therapist but I'm told old,that's what I was told to the resources in my city please help me I just want my life back

its all in your head, i go through having panic/anxiety attacks everyday, when u r having panic attacks just think about the good times u had and to tell urself u been through panic attacks before and yet u r still here breathing and perfectly fine, just remember panic attacks are uncomfortable but they are not dangerous,

I've been this way for 5 years now. I'm not "normal," getting worse so not want to be here anymore ! Help

I know how crippling anxiety and agoraphobia can be. My story is a long one so I won’t go into all of that. Because I’m sure it’s very similar to everyone else. I am not cured by any means. However I am beginning to to feel better for short periods of time. I bought a book off of amazon called Dare. It also comes with a free app you can download and all kinds of additional support that costs money. This really has helped me. Five months ago I couldn’t leave my house. Now I can drive a mile away and pop into a store. This is huge for me and I will continue to take baby steps because baby steps are better than no steps. Just know that you aren’t alone. Please try taking a baby step today. Even if it’s standing outside your front door and breathing some fresh air. Because that’s a win!!

Try this tape or cd "Up from Depression'' by Barrie Konicov. You can
buy online and delivered from Ebay, Amazon or a online store.


Hi my name is Herb I'm 30 years old from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania I've been dealing with panic attacks for 12 years now stemming from an incident where I had gotten bronchial pneumonia when I was 19 in collapse at the scene of a fire and my panic disorder has kept me from seeing the birth of my four children and it has financially crippled me almost and I have done countless hours of therapy mobile therapist and everything has more or less failed and I'm trying to figure out a way that I can finally beat this crippling disorder

Wow, I thought that i was the only one
I thought if i explain to someone they would think I'm crazy. My 15 year journey has included..
Countless doctor visits
Constantly worried about dying 24/7.
Constantly listening to my heart beat.
The more i listen the more i panic.
Never getting an accurate bp reading because i cant calm down.
Sleepless nights
Its easy for someone to say think about something positive, but its like a road block that makes it impossible.
I believe the root cause of the fear is thinking it would kill you.
If you were 100% sure that it wasnt gonna take you out, you wouldn't panic.

that’s exactly it. if i knew i was fine, the panic attack would stop, but when my heart is pounding at 160 beats per min and my blood pressure numbers are double (plus i have a history of heart palpitations even before the anxiety came into my life) i’m convinced i’m going to have a heart attack. a doctor actually told me once we needed to get my heart rate under control so i don’t have a heart attack. why would you ever say that to someone with anxiety? lately i’ve been going to sleep fine but having dreams i’m having a heart attack or panic attack and waking up and the panic attack just resumes in real life. that’s exactly why i’m up now


February 15, 2020

In reply to by Tara

i worried about my health for years, being certain that i will have a heart attack any day now. never happened. many years later (in 30s now), im in good health, and anxiety is mostly nonexistent. PD not fully gone, but ill get a minor panic attack a few times a year which I manage to deal with no matter where i am. and if you think my PD wasnt as bad as yours, i was agoraphobic for years. i couldnt even take showers because the claustrophobia triggered panic attacks.

Been suffering with panic an anxiety for about 10 years off and on the past couple of months have been really bad always scared sad fearful and afraid something bad is going to happen racing heart, lightheaded,feels like I'm about to lose my mind don't want to leave the house for any reason because it seems like my safe place can not control thoughts I always worry about stuff that's not even going on. Does anyone else feel like this any advise on how to cope with it feels like I'm all alone in this I wish someone would share how it makes them feel just needed to vent thanks

Please look into the coalition between gut health and anxiety. L rhamonous and l rueteri may help. Gluten soy sugar and caffeine are not good for this condition. Look at your zinc to copper ratios more zinc is better. I am helping my daughter with this condition and we have made a ton of progress. Ps don't eat 2 hour before bed. I wish you luck.

Online therapy is a great option for agoraphobia. I find Online Mindfulness Therapy, available via Skype-based sessions, to be particularly effective at teaching you how to manage and neutralize anxiety and panic attacks through Mindfulness-based Exposure Therapy.

When i was about 14 years old, that’s when i actually got deep in the web and started “exploring”, everytime something was wrong or i’d get sick, i’d look it up and it’s almost like the first few results are meant to scare you! for almost two years i’d have these panic episodes, i don’t know what triggered them, but they mostly happened in the car. i’d get a super shallow breathing that would happen an dmy chest would kind of tightened and it would go away not even two minutes later, but it’d happen 2-3 times on short trips and on long trips it would never happen. i ran myself into depression, i did self harm, i starved myself, i did drugs, nothing worked until i met my beautiful girlfriend about 6 months ago. it all went away almost like that. 3 months ago, i bit by a coral snake, i honestly thought i was going to die, the hospital sent me home the next morning without treating me with antivenin. they said i didn’t need it, but of course i would over think. when i got home i was super light headed constantly, i was really tired and i had a fever, i was constantly going online and looking up the symptoms of the venom. it said “flu like symptoms” as one of them and my heart literally started beating out my chest and everything went black and when i woke back up, i was sweating super hard and was having heart palpitations and i went to the er. the er told me i was dehydrated and prescribed my hyrdroxzine. it worked for like 2 days. when i smoke cannibas, i have attack’s like that now too. i need help overcoming this, i dont want to do it alone like the first time. that was a living hell and i pushed so many people away.

Help please. Think I am going crazy. Been seeing Psychologist about 4 times now. Not helping. Hard time leaving house. Feel like I am dropping papers that are important where ever I go. Not really a panic attach so to speak just feeling panicked all of the time. Looking through my trash and taking pictures of it. Taking pictures of my stove and door locks. Not sure that this is even agoraphobia or what I could call it. Possibly some sort of OCD. Not sure how to stop my repetitive tendensies and forgetful feelings. Am constantly in a fight or flight mode.

Hi guys,

I have been suffering from all 3 listed here to the point it crippled me with fear.. the only way I am finally beating this fear is to continue to tell myself that whatever it is that I am fearing at the time.. will be ok. And I know this almost sounds impossible when in a panic attack.. but I repeated this process.. I get symptoms, I start to get anxiety, I get more symptoms than I panic..

When the symptoms first appear.. tell yourself it’s ok to feel this.. sometimes you will feel your heart.. sometimes you will feel things your not comfortable with.. but keep repeating to yourself.. it’s ok to have symptoms.. it’s ok to feel this way..

Also stop drinking alcohol and coffee and start training.. take it slow.. but ease into it and get a routine.. when you first wake up.. think about what you want to achieve for the day.. I’m not saying mine is fully gone..

But this has helped.. ALOT.. good luck people, life is meant to be a struggle in different ways..

Many people find online therapy to be a good option for recovery from agoraphobia. It is recommended to use Skype so you can see each other. That will greatly improve the quality of communication. Mindfulness-based therapy is also extremely effective for anxiety as is CBT.

The above make me feel so sick I’m busy areas meetings, theatres shops I’ve had therapy but not anymore and been on past medications I keep thinking about it even when I’m not initially feeling sick then it brings on the panic attacks heartburn etc please help me

I can understand most of what you are going through. I just watched my family leave to go watch my youngest play in a hockey game. Same old story no matter what. And it keeps getting worse as I get older.

I had to quit my job as a mailman, for 17 years, because of this.

That's why I'm starting up
Hoping to find people like me.

Hi there, so glad I found this site. I don't know if I'll explain this right, but just wondering if anyone was having issues with not only panic attacks & agoraphobia (I'm dealing with both) but ongoing OCD thoughts as well? Lately, I've been under a ton of stress and having panic attacks all throughout the day. At times they'll go away, but does seem to get worse during the evening hours.
My question: has anyone experienced not only reoccurring thoughts, but thoughts to the point of feeling like they're going "crazy" if they can't remember something in particular? For instance, I had been having certain meolodies of songs playing in my head & if I can't think of who recorded the tune, I would start to feel this panicky feeling. Then I would scout the internet to try & get as much info as I can find. And when I still can't figure out who sang the particular song, or where I first heard it; here comes the panic attack. I mean it's so ridiculous, and seems to be happening for no reason. All I know is this is a rotten thing to go through. I've lost my appetite. I'm o my sleeping 2 hours at a time. I do have commercial insurance that kicks in tomorrow. Thinking about seeking in patient treatment. Lord please help me. I don't want to commit suicide.
Oh well. Thanks for reading. Oh & anyone can contact me at anytime if they just need a friend. I'll respond to all. God bless.

I am so sorry to anyone who has to suffer from debilitating anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia. I suffered for years. My panic was similar to the author of this article. I was in full panic mode from the moment I woke up until I finally fell asleep. I couldn't eat and had constant gastrointestinal problems. I couldn't leave the house, and I just wanted to give up and die. I was already taking an antidepressant and didn't want to take more medication so I decided to treat my panic naturally. I first started to exercise. It was terrifying! For the first week, I had to call my husband constantly to get through my walk without freaking out. With persistence, the panic I felt on my daily walks slowly diminished and they became a respite for my suffering. I also started to practice mindful meditation, and implemented a healthy diet. I also used an online program that my sister in law had purchased, which was very helpful. I had to push myself and it was hard. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. My progress was slow, but I was determined to get my life back or die trying. Eventually I started running everyday and made a goal to participate in a 5k. When I look at the pictures from my first race, I can see the fear in my face. My shoulders are tensed up too and I was incredibly thin from being physically ill for so long. It took about three years to recover. I still have anxiety but not as much now and I occasionally have panic attacks but they are rare and I can cope with them much better. Now I travel around the world (often alone), and know that I have the strength to do anything. You can all do it too. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it!

To say I was "cursed" from the get go would be an understatement. Paranoia, panic disorder, bi-polar, and anxiety cane at me from all directions. My Grandmother suffered from schizophrenia, my other grandmother similar but never "diagnosed". Parents, siblings, cousins,....all anxiety and panic disorders to some degree. Mine manifested at the age of 11 as Tourett Syndrome. Put on Haldol at the age of 11. Told my parents when I was 12 that if I didn't get some help I was gonna kill myself. Therapy didn't help cuz I always knew they only read about this shit in a book, had never experienced what I was going through. Started to self medicate with drugs and alcohol to keep the demons away. Then the panic attacks started in my 20's, and only intensified as I got older. Mine were almost always of the "I'm dying" or "I'm going insane" variety. They finally got so bad I got down on my knees one night and again prayed to a higher power that if I don't get help, I'm gonna have to kill myself. I couldn't continue living this way! I proclaimed that I want the truth, at all costs of what the hell is going on. After a gruelsome battle, it's over. The gratitude I feel is overwhelming I sometimes cry with tears of joy. Finally!!!!! Now I just want to help people going through this same psychological Hell. Only advice I truly have, if your in that Hell, keep going til you get out. Takes a lot of courage and support, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is almost always darkest before the dawn. Panic attacks are actually your body trying to rid itself off all the negative energy or nervous energy that is boiling up in you. I know it's hard as hell to do it at first, but Surrender to them. What sees the fear isn't afraid. The worst thing you can do is to resist them. By changing your thoughts about them, you change your perception, which changes your reality. After the panic has passed, notice how much lighter you feel as that negative energy leaves your body. I would literally have seizures sometimes so much was being released. I truly hope this helps someone. I could discuss this topic all day long as it was my life for so long!! Much love........

Thank you Chad. Reading through your write up encouraged me although I have made up my mind not to quit my Job or give in to anxiety/ panic attack. Mine started as a result of Covid-19. Just fear of being infected, dying and leaving my sweet, awesome 14months son to the care of another person.

Before now too, I use to be a very negative person and always worrying. I see this as my body trying to get rid of all my negative thoughts and I am working on thinking right.

I wouldn’t stop anything I am doing, I have accepted it as “normal” and waiting for it to disappear as it appeared.

If you are going through this please step out out of your home. Try as much as possible to do that which you can no longer do. Staying indoors will only immerse you into more worries as it reminds you about your financial brokenness, loneliness, name them ...... Face your fear. Mine just started but I am 100% ready to “enjoy” it while it last. I had PD few minutes a go but I am at work and decided to read at my break time. Hugs to whoever needs it. Write me if you need someone to talk to. I will write back when It’s finally gone.

Hi guys, it’s kinda comforting to read so many people are dealing with the same thing as me... panic attacks and agoraphobia. I’ve had it on and off for about 20 years now. At the present moment, I feel my nerves are shot and feelings of terror have come back. My heart is pounding, I feel unsafe and a sense of dread, feeling of derealisation.
I downloaded the book ‘Dare’ by Barry McDonagh after seeing so many people on Instagram talking about it. I read the first chapter and I feel like he’s speaking directly to me. I then downloaded the App. I’ve only listened to a few things, but it’s giving me hope of recovery, and a sense of calm.
Wishing you all healing and peace...

I have had a very stressful year and a half. Had major small panic attacks, anxiety, hardly any sleep and phases of eating eveything to phases of eating nothing for days.
I ended up in ER with palpations, pain in my left side chest ans shoulder.
Bp was high, heart rate was high.
Docs did ecg and heart enzyme blood test...all those normal.
Next day i wasn't any better, again went rk docs, high BP and high heart rate. Did another ecg and a heart acho. Another enzyme blood test and basic thyroid...all normal. Didn't do stress test as it seems i am out of breath easily.
Its been daya feeling like this.
I am only worried it still is my heart or my brain. Extreme paranoia of course but this doesn't feel like my usual panic attacks.
What can i do?

nothing is wrong with your heart. stop worrying about it. youre wasting your time focusing on something that in the future you will realize, like me, that it was a waste. i cant tell you how many times i went to bed thinking ill die in my sleep from a heat attack. youre not thinking rationally. as for your brain, you might be deficient in B vitamins. make sure you eat well balanced, nutritious, non restrictive diet. i think panic disorder is associated with the brains signal for suffocation. i suspect the overwhelming majority of people suffering from PD have weak heart/lung function. i certainly did, and whats worse, i had the habit of sucking my stomach in, making breathing more difficult. if your body isnt efficient at transporting oxygen, any amount of stress constricts your throat and that breathing difficulty/irregularity triggers panic attacks. whats worse, panic attacks further make breathing more difficult. to lower stress and increase heart/lung function, i suggest doing cardio 5 times a week 30 to 45 minutes. it will take many months to years to rebuild your body. you will see results and eventually you will start feeling differently. you will start feeling like you CAN do the things you normally couldnt. it wont be easy, you will feel uncomfortable doing them, but you will be able to eventually. also, dont look for a "cure". there is no quick solution. you will need to put in effort.

Anxiety is a really frustrating condition. When you ignore it, it takes place in your daily routine. I had anxiety issues and my mind like what's happening in my life. It endured with me every day because I had a lot of pressure on my head. I was working at a cafe, and the income is not enough for me. I pay room rent and my college fees. So that time is a very struggling time for me. With time my anxiety level got increases. My cafe owner recommended me Etilaam MD 0.5 (Etizolam). But first, I got to the doctor, and then he also prescribed me the same. Thus, I take its dosage as the doctor suggested and its works. So I also preferred you Etilaam MD 0.5 (Etizolam) from tramadol shop.