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Panic attacks, anxiety and paranoia

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

Panic attacks, anxiety and paranoia


Panic attacks, anxiety and paranoia

My 18 year old daughter has just finished her HSC and is starting Uni next month.  Over the last 5-6 years if not longer she has been struggling with anxiety, PTSD and depression  and is very prone to panic attacks, particularly in social situations.


The last couple of years have also seen suicidal thoughts and plans, and a couple of occasions of self harm.  She’s had counselling/CBT which seemed to help in the short term but has since relapsed, even though she is currently on anti depressant medication.


We have always been close and have good communication, (plus I do have some skills and knowledge about her condition to draw from) which has led me to being in the role almost as first responder whenever anything falls apart for her.  Her dad feels it is attention seeking behaviour rather than a mental health issue.


Problem for me is that the level of focus I need to maintain when dealing with her in a crisis exhausts me physically and mentally - feels like I’ve been hit by a truck.  I don’t know if my ready access is ‘enabling’ but my gut feel is that it’s needed. I’m single and self employed, my work and sleep are both suffering for this and I’m at the end of my rope almost.... We are meeting a new psychologist next week for her, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of support or respite for parents and carers where I live. 


Any suggestions or similar experiences to share?

Super frequent scribe

Re: Panic attacks, anxiety and paranoia

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Hi @Ladyhawk17 and welcome to the forums. I can see from your post that you have been a loving and dedicated support system for your daughter. What I can see you might be in need of is some self-care tips to help manage your own well-being. You might like to take a look at this information on self-care for parents as a starting place.


I'm also going to invite some of our parents to offer any tips they may have: @taokat @motherbear @Zoesplace @Chalke5

Star contributor

Re: Panic attacks, anxiety and paranoia

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Hey there @Ladyhawk17 I am so sorry to hear about the pain your daughter has been experiencing and in turn the pain you experience as you support her. The good news is there's support available to you, including the support of these forums. No doubt soon a few parents will jump in and share their insight.


In terms of the suicidal ideation/intent as a result of her PTSD and anxiety, I am not surprised to hear CBT had a short term impact on your Daughter. This form of therapy is generally a briefer & more measurable approach, can be good for anxiety - but if she has chronic thoughts relating to trauma it sometimes can be limiting as well (unless blended into other modalities).

There are forms of therapy that can be more beneficial for ongoing suicidal ideation, particularly the humanistic therapies such as existential, person centered therapy and so on. These could be good things to bring up with the new Psych you are meeting Smiley Happy


In terms of your self care do you have a support person you can turn to and debrief with over coffee? Or your own counsellor? There's also the service Parents Line whom are specialised in the area, as well as Suicide Callback Service who could be a really good option if you discover she is self harming again or thinking of suicide. You can phone them at any hour of the day to talk out some strategies for your own self-care as well as hers. Both of these services are staffed by Qualified Counsellors.


How is everything going at the moment? Do you have any time for self-care tonight for yourself -  bath, meditation, walk etc?