My mind is an incredible mechanism. It allows me to perform all of the functions I need to go about my daily affairs. It is also my enemy. My mind is creating terrifying thoughts, feelings and emotions over which I have no control. At first I feel as if my feet are not touching the ground. I’m levitating and can’t seem to land; soaring, floating, feeling out of body. I feel as if I may shatter into a million pieces and blow off the planet like fine dust. When I can focus again, I realize that I am huddled on the bathroom floor hunched against the wall, my head in my hands. I quiver with fear and want to rid myself of these horribly frightening sensations. These feelings suddenly change. My skin is now my enemy. It feels so incredibly tight and itchy, almost hot. No amount of scratching will make it go away. I wish for an imaginary zipper that will provide me with the ultimate freedom from my skin. Sadly, there is no zipper. I sit frozen in time on the bathroom floor waiting, praying for the feelings to subside. They do but I know they will return to haunt me once again. It’s just a matter of time.

Even after being in recovery since June of 2002, reading this excerpt from my journal brings tears to my eyes. I felt like this many times before I was blessed to meet the people who I refer to as my “team” who started me on my amazing path of recovery.

My life challenges and journey to recovery helped me realize it was more than just being panic and anxiety free. I wanted to recreate myself as a non-panicked, non-anxious person and be able to assist others in finding the right people or “team” to guide them towards their own path of recovery. I believe that by exploring the many options available, more people can achieve mental wellness.

I feel that I have accomplished my goal of being panic-free and enjoy living without the constant worries that can accompany Panic Disorder. I am a completely different and happier person than I was before my recovery. I like the person I am today and want to offer hope to those living with panic or anxiety disorder believe that recovery and mental wellness is achievable.

Author's Bio: 

As a survivor of Panic Disorder, Karen now speaks openly about living with and recovering from 30 years of Panic Disorder. She has been referred to as “The Poster Girl for Mental Wellness.” Karen has been a guest on Dr. Meg Haworth’s radio show “Life Lessons from Your Soul” and Dr. Phyllis Chase’s radio show “Shrink Rap.” She is currently producing and directing her documentary “Putting a Face to Panic, Surviving Anxiety Disorder.” The promo can be viewed by visiting her website and clicking on the Documentary tab. She will soon be hosting her own show on Achieve Radio.

If you would like more information about the services Karen offers or to inquire about speaking engagements, please contact Karen directly at