In honor of Rare Disease Day, Chloe has opted to speak up about her rare syndrome known as Adult Panic Anxiety Syndrome.
“I’ve always been an anxious person; even when I was a kid. But once I was 19 or so, it hit a peak point to where it was uncontrollable by any normal sets of medications. At that time I was a full time caretaker for my fiancé, who was terminal with lung cancer. I blamed my state of mind on stress.
After months of pushing myself away from the idea, I was made to go see a psychologist. That was where they explained that I had Adult Panic Anxiety Syndrome.
It was a great relief to understand what was going on after such a long time, but was a great cause of further anxiety as well (my anxiety causes anxiety… Great!)
During the process I have to say that few things were more humiliating to me than sitting in a room with a stranger (psychologist) and explain that a few times a day I feel like the world around me isn’t real. That maybe I’m in a book or a movie because the world just doesn’t seem solid enough. And that those delusions make my heart thump out of my chest, my skin feel like it’s on fire, and that I spend half of my day googling my symptoms to make sure I’m not going to die…because in my head, that is a very real possibility. I feel like I’m going crazy when my attacks hit. And more scary to me is the idea that others believe I’m crazy as well.
Since my real diagnosis in 2009, I continue to take a variety of medications and mood stabilizers daily and continue to see a therapist weekly. I still have my attacks a few times a week, but they are significantly more easy for me to push through.”