Ever Have A Panic Attack?!

post panic re-enactment My son was 10 minutes late to the car today after school. And the level of panic I felt was, well, definitely excessive and probably not normal.
But I am sure so many of you have it too..right?!
Please say yes! 

When I have an actual panic attack- which thankfully isn’t THAT often, It’s like a wave of dread mixed with more dread.  It feels like dying and unbearable living all at once. The hopeless thoughts of imminent bad something are so very real that the crash from this not even kinda good feeling high can render me drained, depleted and with limited function.
My mouth gets so dry- forget about my ability to swallow.
Most days thankfully the anxiety just lives in me- stalking me from inside my belly- Yes, it is always ready to jump out of me, but by the grace of gd typically I can contain it.
When it does make its way to the surface, usually my anxiety manifests as uncontrollable ugly cry tears,  which is super convenient right before a meeting, a tv hit, a radio interview, family dinner or party.
My anxiety peaks when I worry about the well being of people I love.
It also peaks when I don’t hear back from someone I’ve emailed about a job.
Or it peaks when I have put myself in some sort of vulnerable situation (daily?!) and I feel over looked, undervalued, not good enough, like a loser.
I go right to that everything is going to crumble place. FAST.
Confrontation also gets me. I am a terrible fighter.
When I am PMS it gets even worse.
Any moment of any day that I assess/realize/grasp/recognize/come to terms with the fact that I am in control of so little, the anxiety flares so big.
I could be getting ready to go to work and something or someone (could be me!) makes me leave later than planned (I like to leave at least 90 minutes before I have to be in NYC) I start to worry that I won’t have enough time to be ready for my show-
I worry that I will inconvenience the lovely hair and makeup people at work because I  texted someone I’d be there at 6 and now I won’t arrive until 7. So I text again. And then if I make up for lost time on the roads, well, I’ll pull over and text that I may be early now which is actually the time I said I’d arrive originally.
I’m such a freak.
When I start to look ahead at the future: my kids, my husband, me…
Sometimes I can hardly breathe.
I am worried about where my kids will go to college- several years from now-  And who they’ll marry, will they marry, will they be happy. I just want them happy.Ok really I just want them breathing way longer than I am.
I am turning 44 tomorrow.
This year somehow feels worse than the others.
The aging process is really awful.
The aging process while climbing the “being successful on tv where your face really matters” ladder – EVEN WORSE.
Yes, I am grateful. I am grateful to the point that I want to throw up because my heart gets so full of all the love I have for too many. And the fear that someone will die, leave, disappear, forget me…
Clearly, I don’t take anti anxiety medication- too anxious I’ll become addicted. That’s why I just CARRY the xanax in my bag. I have it if I REALLY need it.
I’ve taken xanax maybe 20 times total in the course of 5.5 years.
How do you manage your anxiety?



  1. Erin says

    You are not alone. I too have a small Xanax stash ( I am concerned about addiction). It is a good thing to have limited amounts because I have to decide how panicked I am..if it is “Xanax worthy”. My favorite is when I panic that I will have a panic attack. Slow breathing exercises has really helped. Hang in there friend.

  2. April Sweeney says

    Yes I think we all have them even if we aren’t mom’s. I went to my son’s school to pick him up because his teacher kept him late to finish a project. I get there, text him…no response. I sit outside 10 min….gave up and went inside. They called the classrooms…no teachers were there anymore. So I go look for myself…my son is nowhere to be found. I start driving home thinking he took the bus…panicking like an insane woman. I am calling and calling his cell phone. Finally he answers and is like hey mom. I said were are you..he says; just got off the bus walking home now. I was like omg glad your ok. He laughed and said why…I said well your teacher called today and told me she was keeping you after to make up some work. He says; no she said not to worry about it!!! Thanks teacher for letting me know!!!! He is 13…and knows I have certain anxieties and panic attacks..

  3. Patti says

    Ugh. I am sitting in my car now waiting for my 12 year old daughter whom I lost it on because I had so much anxiety about all of the things we had to do today. Unfortunately I AM a confrontational person so it comes out as anger rather than tears. The tears come later when I realize I’ve said horrible things to those I love. I will be 43 on Saturday and realize I need a purse full of Xanax too Jenny!

  4. stacey joseph says

    Oh Jenny…we must have been twins in another life you and I…(even though I have you by 3 years…how ever that works out in the metaphysical universe) I lost my mother 8 years ago and my father 4 years ago…I find that since I have had my children those moments that the “Panic Boat” fills up with water and the ‘Anxiety Waves” rise to over take me are coming more often…My theory on the whole thing is that until I know (Blessings abound if I live to see it) that my children will be just fine and find their way in life–I wont be able to rest…. all of the things you mentioned…plus getting on an occasional plane brings the blood pressure up….going to the doctor makes me nuts! screaming fights make me have to lay down and practice my yoga breath…since my parents are gone a I am the next generation on the list…sounds so morbid but TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE TO MAKE SURE THE KIDS ARE ADJUSTED SAFE SECURE …. I hang onto the xanex…My Dr. jokes everyone is the same…they horde it…save it up…for JUST IN CASE….the only thing I can tell you is that as long as your mind is busy and not idle (when you have time to blow crap out of proportion) you are safe…its so hard. You are not alone…YOGA, KNIT and LOOK TO DIVERT in those crazy moments…and keep writing…XO

  5. Robbyn Wilkins says

    Hey Jenny! I watch you every night on Dr. Drew and have to say – Love you! I too suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion and like you find they can be absolutely debilitating and exhausting. I often will make my husband drive me to pick my kids up from their dad’s just because that trip tends to trigger my anxiety (not surprising). Like you, I do not take any medications for my anxiety, but carry lorazepam in my purse (in case I need it!) I am so thankful that public personalities such as yourself are willing to come forward and share their challenges so the rest of us can feel less like there is such a stigma attached!! Thank you for being so willing to share your story and happy birthday tomorrow! You look fabulous!!

  6. Priscilla says

    I know the feeling of panic attacks all too well. Their almost like yours sometimes my heart feels like it’s going to come out of my chest it’s beating so fast. The more I try to reason about it, the worse it is. Not always but sometimes taking deep breathes can help, I think they have once with me. I feel for you it’s the worst feeling not sure weather to scream, cry, or just lay down and die.

  7. Amber says

    I’m so sorry you are dealing with this :(. I watch you all the time on HLN and you seem like such a lovely,caring person. I have anxiety because I have a seizure disorder. I had panic attacks here and there throughout the years it too has been the most debilitating in the last year or so. But I still make myself leave the house and do things because it will only get worse with time. I have to live. On a positive note, I have found some things that work for me. Although I haven’t experienced a seizure in years,I still think about passing out some place and hitting my head in public. If I happen to have an anxiety attack I tell myself I took my medicine and everything is okay. I know this probably won’t apply to you but being prepared and taking extra steps to make myself calm down(no matter how wacky they may be) has helped A LOT. If I know I just took my medicine before leaving that morning,there is no reason to freak out. Other than taking extra steps to prevent a freak out I try distraction when I’m out. I manage my anxiety on public transportation or a public place by trying to distract myself. That’s either trying to think about something else or reading a book during a ride on the train. Also, my ipod has helped me recently. Overall carrying extra medication( if I forget to take it) ,a book and/or my ipod has helped TONS. If you’re looking for advice I’d say find out what makes you uncomfortable and do something that will prevent this feeling overall. And if it does happen,try a distraction. The whole “this is just a panic attack,I’m okay thing” hardly works for me. Preparation,prevention and distraction tools has helped me in the past few months. I hope this gives you ideas on what you can do for you! Best of luck.

  8. says

    Sounds like me! My advice to you is to talk to your doctor about medication. Many are not addictive. (in fact, Xanax is more addictive then, say, an SSRI). Ask about them. It could help take the edge off and make life easier. Good luck!!

  9. Derek says

    Hello Jenny. You have a lot going on there. We all struggle with a little bit of anxiety whether we admit or not. Whether small or big, things can turn in an instant without notice. Ultimately, any instance is dependent on how we choose to manage our anxiety. Being a Soldier for the past 17 years, I know all too much about how things can change. I’ve learned to deal with these as they come with my own coping mechanisms. When I’m in a situation that seems to be going awry, I take deep breathes which will ultimately slows your heart from racing and starts to ease your mind. Once I’m settled a bit, I’ll analyze the situation and then engage in finding solutions.
    Don’t worry yourself about things so far out. The next day is not promised to any one. We have to live one day at a time. I believe with good coping mechanisms and scenario based therapy, you can overcome your level of anxiety. Don’t put so much on your mind at one time. And try not to over analyze. These things ultimately distort our vision and reality which is normally right in front of us. Take care of yourself. I’ll be praying for you and your family. Mahalo.

  10. Mari DiVincenzo says

    Everything you describe is me. Just reading it started to make me anxious. I have suffered from panic attacks for approximately 10 years. I have to be medicated because the overwhelming “many things” anxiety-wise that I am experiencing all at the same time paralyze me.

  11. says

    Yes mam, I have had panic attacks, they are so scary. I don’t have them as bad as I used to, I used to think I was going to die, I went to therapy for them, and learn how to control them, The therapist said he had never heard of a panic attack killing anybody, well he couldn’t convince me about 15 years ago, but I have learned to take relaxation therapy with breathing and tapes and one thing that really hope me was going back to a safe place when I was small and that really help. Hope you stay free from them as well as me

  12. jennifer says

    Yes! I have them too, just like you describe. Not too often but maybe every other month….and I’ll be honest. I wish I had xanax or something to help me. But I went to a doctor and told them my history, it’s required, and I disclosed that I am sober for 4 years, but I used to drink very heavily. So doc will not prescribe xanax. I suffer through these panic attacks and it’s really painful. Breathing doesn’t help, not when you are hyper-ventilating because you’re crying so hard, calming down? If I could calm myself, I wouldn’t be suffering from a panic attack. Good luck to you and thanks for bringing this up.

  13. says

    I don’t handle my anxiety well. I just went to my thearpist today, and told her how anxious I was. My heart rate was up to even prove it! She gave me clonazpam and I came home, took 1 and fell asleep for 2 hours only to wake up and dread about a million more thoughts racing thru my head. Never ending cycle of anxiety, dreadful, scary thoughts. Just waiting to go to bed so I can turn it off for a little while until I wake up in the middle of the night with more anxiety.

  14. Leslye says

    I try to stop the obsessive thoughts and slow my breathing. I get out and move walk, swim, exercise. If I can’t do that I try to find a way to be by myself and just calm myself down away from stimuli, even if it is just a few moments.

  15. carmen salcido says

    OMG you are talking about me in all that you say.I too worry about everything.Although I am older than you all the symptoms are the same.God Bless you…you are not alone!!!!

  16. Robyn says


    You are not alone, I have had panic attacks much like the one you described having had today. I worry about my girls, they live across the state, I worry about my Dad who’s in an adult group home with Dementia, I worry about both of my brothers. Then I worry about my job and all the responsibility I have. I worry about doing a good job, about keeping my staff and clients happy. And of course I worry about my weight, what I eat, exercising, maintaining my mental health and sometimes all of that worrying just gets so much and boom eventually it explodes and I have a monster panic attack. I take Xanax rarely (I don’t want to become reliant on it) so I usually try deep breathing exercises and I call my best friend…….who calms me like no one else. Sometimes life just gets too much, but what I’ve learned in my 20 plus years of therapy, you have to lean on those closest to you, let them help you. Believe me it does help.

    As for the panic attacks, just know you are not alone Jenny. There are many like me who have and still go through what you do, and we all have to stick together. I’m turning 42 this year, and even though I don’t like the idea of growing older, I look at each birthday as a milestone……I’m still here, I’m alive and life can be beautiful.

  17. debbie says

    I have been having them very often now. So scary and debilitating. I had tests done to make sure it wasn’t anything else. I am going to a psychiatrist next week. I can’t live like this!!

  18. Lynne Etherington says

    Happy Birthday, Jenny! You look great for 44 – or any age actually. I enjoy watching you on Doctor Drew. You are the voice of reason compared to some of his more controversial guests.

  19. says

    I understand how you feel. You are not alone. Anxiety affects so many of us- especially living in NYC with this traffic. I want to help you. I am a Licensed Psychiatric Registered Nurse and I also am a anxiety-stress-addict recoverer. A few things have helped me. 1. Prayer. I understand some people are uncomfortable speaking about spirituality, however, God has saved my life. Whenever I am feeling anxious, I just pray, and I cast all of my worry on my Higher Power; and ask Him to hold me in the palm of His hands. And he does. 2. Breathe. If I am driving or at work, and feeling anxious, I practice deep breathing. I inhale and exhale for a count of 10-12. This works! 3. I set my clock early and whatever I start I finish. Meaning, I leave my home clean, I go to sleep with my outfit and lunch prepared for tomorrow. 4. I do my best. If you do your best, that is all you can do. You relax and accept life on its terms. In the end, I have come to the belief that God is in control. And what happens is for the best for those who believe. So live, learn, and do your best. Let God and breathe. Anti-anxiety medications are highly addictive and only do a little part. It is 95% you. I encourage you to look into taking multi-vitamins, Vitamin D, B-100 and B-12 are so important to take. My doctor says without B-100 we lose our minds. Valerian root is a nautical calming agent. So is lavender. Take your time and do your best. This is all we can do. And I hope this helps. Message me anytime on Facebook. I can help you more. Praying for you.

  20. Jeanette says

    It sounds like you are describing extreme anxiety — but panic attacks are different. I use to get panic attacks and was prescribed klonopin to make them stop. Panic attacks come unprovoked, taking your breath away and making you feel like your living outside your body (surreal — like your watching yourself in a movie). I felt like I was dying too, but was claustrophobic at the same time being afraid of being outside so I would just freeze standing in the doorway between the two. A lot of people confuse the two and anxiety certainly can lead to Panic attacks as they did with me as well. Just try to relax, because everything does work out in the end and you can only control things “so much”. I no longer have to take any medication as for some reason they’d subsided after some time.

  21. Erin says

    I’ve suffered for years. Ended up in the ER thinking I’m having a heart attack. So over time I’ve started to pray and pray my favorite verse in the bible.
    Psalm 27-1
    1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
    The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
    This and my faith in The Lord has cured my anxiety. This scripture means so much I’ve had it tattooed on my arm.

  22. Erin says

    Another thing that helped was just havin a Xanax or a half of one in my purse. My dr said it’s a security blanket. Over time with my praying the Xanax usually got washed or crushed up in my purse. I’m not pushing anything on you. Just letting you know what has worked. I’d stop take a deep breath, remember The Lord is in control. And pray my verse. Telling you I used to have it awful panic attacks. I don’t wish them on anyone. Good lucks. I’ll send prayers your way!!!! Keep the faith!!!

  23. says

    I absolutely adore you and your honesty. Seriously. I sometimes think we could be twins. We are the same age. Se struggles! I don’t manage my anxiety well. And I make up so many what ifs in mind, I could write a book about them. And I don’t use and anxiety meds, just food. Good stuff, right!
    Working on not doing that, but dang!! Thanks for all your honest thoughts that you so willingly share to make me feel normal!!

  24. Patricia Bahr says

    Jenny, I have had the same terrible anxiety when my daughter was late coming out of school or a movie. I have never had real panic attacks (thank goodness) but I do know the fear that starts in your stomach and stalks your thoughts. The fear that paralyzes you. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. God bless you.

  25. Nicole Romano says

    I’m SO SORRY because I have been suffering from both panic and anxiety attacks since I was 16. My father took me to the emergency rooms over and over and over again. No one EVER said it was anxiety. They said it was “in my head” and gave me sugar pills and made me think these pills would help. It was a living HELL. I would just be minding my own business and all of a sudden that horrible feeling came over me and I couldn’t breathe…I really thought I was going to die. I lost SO MANY YEARS of my teenage life in fear. I even had my tonsils taken out AGAIN when I was 17 because everyone thought that was the reason I was feeling like that and I couldn’t breathe. I had X-Rays, MRI’s, they checked my heart……EVERYTHING! And stll, no one ever said it was anxiety. I even stopped drinking soda because I thought the carbonation was making me not breathe for some reason and stopped drinking milk because I thought it would give me flem and that would make me not breathe,There was even a point I was scared to leave my house. I was scared that if I walked outside I wouldn’t be able to breathe. One day I just walked out of my house and said screw it. It was hard at first but I made it though it. I do have to be honest, when I started drinking, I realized it took the anxiety away. So that’s when I started drinking more and eventually they didn’t come on as much. And soon they stopped untll I was pregnant with my daughter and they came back bad.They went away after i had her. I was 20. One day i was at work and someone gave me a Xanax because I had some coffee and had “that feeling” again. I took it and I felt…….normal…….that’s when I knew, FINALLY KNEW that’s what I was suffering from….an anxiety and panic disorder. I was 28 at that point. It’s really sad that’s how I figured out what was happening for the last 12 years of my life. I can go on ALL NIGHT with horror stories so finally, the answer to your question is yes and I take Xanax because I cannot “talk myself out of it” anymore.. it’s too overwhelming. I am 40 now and it still happens and it’s hell. I don’t even have to tell you what it’s like and only people that suffer from this will completely understand……thank you for posting this because this isn’t just “in our head”

  26. MB says

    Pray! Start praying now for their spouses to be your son or daughters in law, pray to God and let go when they leave for school it’ll be okay!

  27. Holly prozzillo says

    I am so relieved to read this. I’m so sorry you have to go though this, I live it every single day. I also carry my bottle of pills with me too. I sleep when I can’t stop worrying or thinking or when I think I’m dying. The weather makes my anxiety alot worse. I worry about the end of the world, I drive my kids to friends houses two blocks away because I’d worry that they got hit by a car. My Co workers pretty much laugh at me I’m a mess :( thank you for this story cause I feel like I’m not the only one.

  28. Nancy says

    I know exactly how you feel. I have had anxiety since I’ve been a child but huge meltdown 7 yrs ago. I have been diagnosed with Generalized & Social anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia and depression. The panic attacks can be debilitating, pure exhaustion with the mental and physical effects it takes. what I can’t stand is the constant anxiety some days where it just won’t go away no matter what I do. I have gone days where it just doesn’t let up 24/7. It may lessen in intensity at times but constantly there….and yes, I do take medications for this …. several to find the right cocktail for me to cope. It took me 5 yrs to find the right ones of trying this and trying that and still not completely normal…whatever that is anymore. I used to be on Xanax and only when needed but now on Ativan which I find better (for me). Anxiety feels like being on a roller coaster or in a haunted house where you can’t escape. The fears are excruciating…..and sometimes about nothing that will ever come. People try to understand but they don’t fully get it unless they’ve experienced it themselves and I would not wish this on anyone.

  29. Karla Austin says

    Sweetie, you really need some Vistaril (sic), as you really have tons going on in your brain. I manage my anxiety with medication, therapy, and Prayer. My son, also was late to the car today and I felt like I was going to choke. I kept saying it is ok..this too shall pass. I live near Oregon, where Kyron Horman was abducted, so I always think about that first. The other thing that makes me have panic attacks is the grocery store. Sometimes I must leave. My doctor said it is because I feel exposed…..hummmmm. Take care, much love to your family from mine! xoxoxooxo

  30. Barbara A. Bailey says

    After a few trips to the hospital the nuse realized I was having panic attacks and talked me into syic ward where I learned what so going on with me.
    It took me a few years before I learned to control them. Like you feel it’s always just under the surface. Doing ok. Not everymember of my family understands the condition.

  31. Angelica says

    Hi Jenny,
    You are not alone! I’m Mom to Milli born at 23 weeks 4.5 years ago. I worried about her dying every day for 6 months! I mean I still worry, just not 24/7 like then. Also I had a Baby boy via Csection in June & that was HELL. He was born not breathing, he got stuck , my Uterus clamped down on his head. It took like a minute to get him to breathe!! That was hell, I think I have post Partum depression & PTSD! I lost my Dad on Valentine’s day to a drunk driver! Sometimes I lay in bed asking how much more can I live through! I worry a lot about losing my loved ones. Even though I know we’re all gonna die,I don’t want to think about it!! I suffer from panic attacks, anxiety too. It can be crippling sometimes. Most of the time I can push through & enjoy life! But like now in February with Valentine’s Day (My Dad’s Anniv.) coming up It’s a hard month for me!! I feel your pain on so many levels. I LOVE that you are so honest, it makes me feel like I’m not alone. Also makes me feel like less of a freak. I know about your Mom Anniversary (I am Sorry for your loss) I send you Love & healing. God bless you & protect the Koppelman-Hutt family:)
    A grateful fan,
    Angelica Benitez

    • Erica says

      PTSD!??? Are you kidding? That is extremely offensive. Please look up acute anxiety disorder and leave PTSD to people who have been traumatized. Thank you.

      • Sassysam says

        Erica, Just wow… I can’t believe you just said that. R U PTSD God? Her life experiences & how she processes her trials & tribulations are unique to her. Judger’s & haters please keep uneducated opinions to yourself please! Thank you!

        • bonnie says

          I agree with you Sassysam! Many different experiences lead to PTSD – young and old, unfortunately! Take care and Be WELL Angelica & Jenny!

  32. Mary says

    Hi Jenny,
    I suffered with panic attacks for 2yrs. or so. Kept going to Drs. and they thought it was all in my head and or wanted drugs..pretty funny for someone who never took a pill.

    I finally found the most wonderful Dr. God ever made. First visit he listened while I was crying and telling him I was going crazy. He got up from his chair and came over to me and put his hand on my shoulder and said..no your not crazy you are suffering from a thing called panic disorder. To make a long story short, he did a full medical and put me on xanax, also sent me to a psychiatrist who agreed that was the best course for me. I was having attacks up to 6 or more times a day. This also turned into agoraphobia that lasted approx. a year or so.

    I take 1mg 4 times a day and I have never has a full blown attack since. I still suffer from anxiety. I will never come off xanax as I could never go through panic attacks ever again. I have never abused the drug. I could go on forever with all symptoms of it, but I’ve already written a book. I enjoy you on Dr. Drew. You can tell Dr. Drew to go easy on us that the drug has helped so much. There was so much talk about it and still is and it makes my anxiety worse….lol.

    Thanks Jenny,


  33. Grace says

    I am so sorry to hear that you suffer from these ‘awful’ attacks…I suffered many, many, MANY years, couldn’t drive anywhere, and holding down a job was almost impossible. All the feelings you described are true to the core. Fortunately, my doctor gave me Paxil, which I call my miracle drug, and one week after taking it, I was driving further than I had in 15 years. I recently drove cross country from VA to NV alone as well. I prayed and prayed when I thought I would have these attacks forever. Tried counselling and nothing seemed to help with the exception of my miracle drug. Of course, I keep Xanax in my purse as well ‘just in case’ because occasionally I will get an attack but I have learned how to handle it. I wish you success in your fight against this evil being because it is devastating. Maybe try Paxil? You will be in my thoughts!

  34. Bobbi Jean McDonald says

    I take my anxiety one day, one hour, one minute at a time. My mantra is “some days are better than others and I’ll feel better eventually.” I do not take xanax nearly as often as my doctor thinks I should. My go to is sipping tea, meditation, and prayer. When I feel bad, I sit on the floor and cuddle my dog. (She comes over when she senses I am feeling rocky.)

    I am proud of you for pulling over to text. I will keep you in my prayers.

  35. Pipey says

    Omigosh, your life sounds so much like mines. I have SUPER bad anxiety attacks. I just started taking Prozac to control my anxiety. I had anxiety about the prozac not working fast enough, so I went from 20 mgs a day to 30 mgs a day, without the assistance of my doctor. My anxiety caused me to up my dosage. Well, once I did that, I developed major insomnia. I went back down to 20 mg., and now I am back to sleeping a bit better. I TOTALLY commend you for openly being so vulnerable. Wow!!! I have so much anxiety about people knowing about my anxiety and panic attacks. I feel that I will be judged, so I keep it to myself and fear that I will have a panic attack in front of people. When at work, I have to communicate with a lot of people. I constantly think that I am upsetting them or getting on their nerves, so I will call them back and ask if I upset them in any way. I do things like that because I just can’t seem to let things go.
    If someone calls me that I am not expecting to call me, I have major anxiety about that. I hurry up and call them back though, because I don’t want the thought of calling them back, lingering over my brain. I could go on and on, but I will stop here. Thank you for you being you.
    I will be 41 soon and newly divorced. The divorce from my husband of 9 years really made my anxiety worse. Anyway, have a Happy Birthday. :-)

  36. Trini says

    I’m the same way Jenny. I carry my Xanax in my handbag for times when the anixety is overbearing and can’t control it. Thanks for sharing your story. Most people don’t know what anxiety is until they experience it unfortunately.

  37. Cindy Kamm says

    I read your story and I am very interested in reading the responses when they roll in. It’s possible that I suffer from the same thing but not sure. The comments will likely help me see. I’ll check back.

  38. Courtney Williams (intern CC) says

    Hi Jenny! Remember me? Well, no matter. I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was a kid and have been on and off anti-anxiety medication since I was a teen (though I’ve been off of them for a while now). I was almost too anxious to write this comment! Three major things have helped me: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy specifically targeted at Generalized Anxiety Disorder, mindfulness meditation, and, most recently, beta-blockers. Beta-blockers aid with the physical side-effects of anxiety, like a racing heart. I go most days without taking them at all, but on a really bad day, I can take up to three pills throughout it. The effects wear off after about an hour, and aren’t really noticeable unless you try to do something that is physically demanding, like exercise, immediately after. For anxiety suffers, it is worth talking to a doctor about as a non-addictive alternative to heavier medication like Xanax. Hope this helps!

  39. MJ says

    I learned to manage my anxiety by practicing the “Serenity Prayer” : God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change….Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference. I don’t believe in masking my anxiety with Pharmaceuticals or illicit drugs. I try to talk to a few people who understand the process of walking through lives issues…. We are here to experience life…to learn to overcome man made anxiety as well as other hurdles life throws us.

  40. Debbie says

    I suffered from anxiety attacks starting at the age of 16. They soon turned into panic attacks. I thought it was just my lack of self confidence that brought them on & that I would outgrow it. When I turned 40 I realized that not only did I not outgrow it but things were getting worse. I didn’t want to leave the house, etc. I started reading up on the subject, & realized I needed to see a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with low-grade depression. I was put on Zoloft & for the 1st time in my life I felt like a normal person. I’m now 59 & I’ll have to take Zoloft the rest of my life, but that’s OK. I got the magic pill I was praying for. I can actually eat in restaurants now! Love you on Dr Drew!

  41. Jenn says

    I am a mom of three boys, 2, 4, and 6, and finally allowed myself to talk to my doctor about the downward spiral I felt that I was one. I never once thought about anxiety (because I so have it all together all the time, right? ha.), I just thought that I was a mean and nasty person. I have been to therapy just to talk about it, which has helped immensely as well as trying a few different medications. Zoloft first, then Wellbutrin, and now Efexer. There are lots of things that will help in anxiety that are not addictive. I am on the lowest dose of Efexer, and that along with therapy once every 3 weeks, has changed me. For the better. So thankful I was proactive in figuring out what the hell my problem was!

  42. Jayni says

    Hi Jenny,
    I know just how you feel I have had them for more than 20 years
    It happens to sensitive people and I sure you know it is only adrenaline that for the most part helps protect you when in harms way…but with panic attacks it comes with no warning…
    I do not think Zanex is the answer because then you may end up with two problems not just one…I wish I knew the answer if you ever find it let me know …that would be so awesome.

  43. Lea Ann says

    I am sorry to hear about your anxiety and panic issues. I have had anxiety and panic attacks for the last 20 yrs. when I turned 30 is when it all started for me. I tried to hide it from everyone because I felt weak.Several years ago I became so exhausted from trying to hide my illness I finally told my doctor and I now take medication for my illness and do some therapy. I am no longer ashamed to take meds to help me, life is short and I want to have some peace and enjoy life! I wish the best for you!

  44. Amie from SEA says

    I wish I could call you! It is literally like you’ve stepped inside my head. I think it was something always within my personality, I was always a type A, but when my Mom got sick it just really opened by eyes to my own vulnerability and how random life is in the end. I’m sending good thoughts Jen…

  45. Carolyn Vanderhoff says

    I have never read a more pathetic, neurotic pile of garbage in my life. It seems like the operative word here is always about WEIGHT, WAIT…..any way you spell that word, you become a crazy mess…

  46. Marcee ... ILLINOIS says

    Looks like everyone has covered just about everything. Luckily, I do not have panic attacks. Maybe at times I get nervous, a little antsy, but nothing where medication is necessary. Not really sure what all those pills do. Especially to someone’s brain cells. My overall (big) health issue is arthritis. Very painful. With that said, I bid you peace Jen. Also, a very happy natal day. Instead of cake, eat salad.

  47. Laura says

    I have suffered with major panic attacks since I was 11 or 12.
    Xanax is the best drug ever made that helped me.
    I no longer have insurance or a doctor but if I did.
    I would ask for help. Today, I suffer in silence.

  48. says

    Hi Jenny,
    Wow, you are brave for sharing such emotions so openly. (Consider this a virtual hug from a stranger). Please take a moment and realize you are only ever in this moment. Deepak Chopra says it more eloquently and I urge you to listen and meditate to one of his audio’s daily. Not long ago I was fooling myself into believing I was coping with life’s challenges when one day my body suddenly and quite literally shut down. Fear of which I had never know before. Today I am better because of the love from my husband, a great doctor, medicine, and expressing emotions as they happen. Not anticipating anything, but dealing with life in the present. Best of luck, and I hope you find that peaceful place inside yourself.

  49. Valerie Robichaud says

    Jenny :
    Honey, when I have a full blown panic attack, there is no warning, no feeling of doom. They can be triggered by anything as simple as seeing an old friend and trying to get of my vehicle but I cannot make it past the standing up….I fall back into my vehicle…I am paralyzed and a pain ( that feels like I am having a heart attck ) grips me…..I reach for my ativan because in that split second….that is all that will stop the pain in my chest……!!! Other times, my mouth get dry, my legs turn to rubber, my breathing is laboured, and I cannot speak or function if I do not get out of the situation. I am now feeling like a ” shut in ” because it is easier to cope in the comfort of my own home than to fight with it in public. .

  50. Mindy says

    I never had anxiety until I had a stroke. Ever since, when anxiety hits my whole life changes. My speech is affected. My body movements are jerky. I have a hard time keeping my concentration. Needless to say, my neurologist has me on medication, which helps.

  51. Beverly says

    Well I get ANXIETY just reading your self indulgent blog. You’re a self absorbed JERK wasting away her life worrying about things that will never happen, gaining a few ounces, missing a workout, will my husband cheat on me,,,,,You’re literaly the silliest woman I’ve ever encountered. STOP WHINING!!!

  52. Colleen (Leenie) says

    Dear Jenny

    I experienced my first full-blown, acknowledged anxiety/panic attack almost exactly 3 years ago and I am STILL in the process of trying to recover from the attack and it’s fallout.

    I was misdiagnosed by doctors, overmedicated to the point that I was barely lucid most days for almost a year and during all that time, what is left of my immediate family (siblings, ect, as that both my parents had been deal for close to 10 years) basically abandoned me and when I found out that their idea of getting me “HELP” was to not talk to my husband and find out what was really going on but decided to listen to my one sister with whom I have had a strained relationship since I was in my late teens, (my sisters are 21 & 11 years older than me and it is the one closer to may age that I have issues with) who decided that I was mentally unfit, unstable & suicidal (which I was none of the above) and that I needed to be institutionalized. When I found this out I was devastated and furious, so I “unfriended” all my family members on FB so that I could rant to the Universe about their stupidity and what seemed to me, their betrayal. They had only made minimal efforts to contact myself or my husband for months prior to me finding out about their “Intervention” plans and NEVER ONCE OFFERED MY HUSBAND HELP WITH OUR YOUNG SON NOR ANY SUPPORT FOR THE STRESS HE WAS GOING THROUGH AS WELL. So, now, here it is almost 3 years later and they are still blaming me for having a panic attack & acting like children and holding a grudge because I unfriended them on FB, where they barely spoke to me anyway.

    My eldest sister is the one person I have had any real contact with, and that has only been like 3 phone calls in the last 9 months, the last being on Thanksgiving. And the worst betrayal is that of my nephew who blew up at me and blamed me for everything after I felt strong enough to contact him. He and I were very, very close and I would have thought he would have been more understanding due to the fact that he, himself had suffered from and may still suffer from panic attacks. He used to get them regularly, starting in elementary school.

    So, any advice as to how to deal with friends and family members who blame you for your condition?

  53. Jill Carlin Schrager says

    Jenny, every time my mom listens to you, she calls me to tell me what you said bc she is trying to prove to me that my anxiety is “normal”. She goes as far as to say our family ties have the same blood flowing through us. I too wake up with a feeling of dread, some days minor, others major. First and foremost, I worry about my kids. Are they making the right choices? Can I do anything to change it if they are not? Are they taking care of themselves? Is their girlfriend asking too much of them? Should I tell them that? Will that make them angry at me?
    Then I worry about me. Am I going to be ok in this divorce? Should I reappraise this building? How mad will this make the ex if I do? Is his anger worth the amount of money I may get? Then my health! Took a blood test last week. Called the doctor five times for results. Know in my heart that if results were fine, nurse would have told me. Positive I have something very wrong with me. Lie to the nurse and say I am going away and need results before I go. She could care less. Spent entire weekend obsessing over what I “know” is wrong with me.
    Then my parents! Oy vey, my parents! They are getting older. David Brenner just died. I used to listen to him. He was 78. My parents are close to that. Every person who dies is compared in years to my parents age. When I see them, I look at them. Is my mom walking slower? Is my dad not hearing me as well? What would I ever do without them?
    It goes on and on. And guess what, since my separation, I am on Xanax. And my mind chatter continues and continues. So meds are not always the answer. But if and when you do find the answer, please let me know. Now I have to go apologize bc I didn’t answer my son’s text while I was writing this!! Ugh!!!

  54. A.S. says

    How long has this been going on?

    If your friends with their fancy persuasion don’t admit that it’s part of a scheme then forget it. But I can’t help but have my suspicions about this whole thing.

  55. Millie Hatchett says

    Panic Attacks used to happen to me almost daily – I was on the highest level of Effexor and still having panic attacks. My therapist gave me the best advice to take back ‘control’ over a panic attack. She said “Mentally, try to make it worse.” Huh??? “It’s like when you drive in snow and your car goes into a skid. You have to turn into the skid to take back control”. I started doing that and my panic attacks have virtually gone away. I am no longer on Effexor and my attacks last less than a minute.

  56. says


    I am sorry you have to deal with that. You know it can be hard for some people to understand if they haven’t physically been through it. I know when life throws us challenges one of biggest struggle is trying to figure out how to get through it or move on in some type of way.

    I can relate when you talked about people not getting back to you about a job. I started my blog http://lusciouslivingtoday.com/
    and I haven’t had support from any of my family members among other people. I am a firm believer that actions speak much louder than words. People can say one thing just to please you, but then actually never do what they say.

    I have learned I can not control what other people will say or do, but I have learned to not put my trust in those that are not of honor with what he or she will say.

    My advice for you Jenny is if you can somehow know that at the end of the day you are blessed with those who will help you in your times of need and things wont always be perfect, but you will get through this life having love and support from others.

    Please stay strong.

    (please check out my blog and let me know what you think and share with others)

    I shared some personal stories about my weight loss and Domestic Violence, and my NDE (near death experience) accident.


    God Bless


  57. Tammy says

    Hi Jenny. First of all I would like to tell you that you are such an inspiration. I love how open and honest you are about your anxiety. I hope it encourages more people to talk and learn about it because knowledge is the only way to stop ignorance.
    I have a severe anxiety disorder (diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and social) which began at the age of 11, however there were signs of it as young as 3. I didn’t get appropriate professional help until I was 18 years old. I am now 27 and still struggling with it. Like you, I get severe dryness in my mouth, pounding heart, dizziness so severe I’m sure I’ll pass out and shortness of breath (hyperventilation).
    I was also worried about becoming addicted to medication, but when the anxiety got so bad that I couldn’t even leave my house I knew I needed help. My doctor put me on Lexapro and Inderal (a blood pressure med to help my racing heart. I’m Australian, so they might have different names there). It was the best thing I ever did. I also have Valium but, like you with the Xanax, only take it when I really need it because it’s highly addictive. I think I’ve taken it 5 or 6 times in 7 years. I also get therapy at a specialised anxiety clinic. The therapy has helped me so much, especially with controlling my thoughts about the sensations. I still have panic attacks occasionally and I have different levels of higher than normal anxiety everyday, but I am so much more functional now and my avoidance has decreased greatly. I really hope you’re getting therapy because it really does help. I think the hardest thing has been the judgement I have received from people I never thought would be so cruel. It really is heartbreaking! But I guess with every negative there are always positives and I have to admit I have the most amazing support system, especially my Mum and I’m hoping to study Psychology and use my experience to help others suffering. Oh and DON’T call yourself a freak! I have done that to myself on many occasions also, but you are NOT! You are amazing and probably have a deeper understanding than most people.

  58. says

    I had a panic attack just recently and it was horrible. My heart was beating so fast I though I was having a heart attack, turns out that my anxiety took over again. I have always been a worry freak ever since I can remember, I am used to suppressing any negative emotion I feel and it seemed to work before but as I’m getting older they seemed to be overwhelming thus the panic/anxiety attack. I have already find ways on how to manage my anxiety and so far I seem to be doing well hopefully I wouldn’t have another one again.

    – Abby

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