Jacquelyn, 34

Panic Attacks / Co-Dependency / Anger

I was having severe panic attacks. I never knew when they might hit me. Sometimes it was when I was driving and the fear was relentless. I often thought I was dying, having a heart attack, sometimes I could not breathe.


I took tranquilizers that my doctor gave me after a number of false alarm visits to his office. But I didn’t like the dependency on them.


When the panic attacks became unbearable, I sought help with Dr. Barge.


To my surprise, I discovered that I was really angry at my husband, I couldn’t face it or express it because I was deathly afraid of abandonment. My mother had died unexpectedly when I was 10 years old. I had younger siblings and a depressed father to take care of. I guess I became the “Mom”.


I became accustomed to taking care of others and suppressing my feelings for fear of losing someone I loved. Becoming stronger and more aware in therapy with Dr. Barge, my anger began to come up and out and my panic attacks stopped.


I had good reason to be angry; my husband drank until he passed out every night. Our sex life was not happening and I felt unloved. When I finally broke free and confronted him, he did not abandon me as I feared. He actually went into treatment for his alcoholism.


I have become strong, free and confident. I know now that I am loveable and I do not have to take care of others at my own expense. I know my anger, appropriately channeled is normal and okay.


My husband is sober and my marriage is happier than I ever could have imagined. We are real and authentic with each other, and very, very close. And yes, we now have sex!


P.S. I haven’t had a panic attack in over 3 years.


NOTE: Patient stories are real life stories. The identities are disguised and sometimes, a composite to protect patients. No identity should be assumed with any of these stories.