""I cry, I panic, I can't breathe and I can't do anything"

Therapist A is a counsellor with a psychodynamic approach with experience of working with adults and young people.
After a very sad and difficult few years, you have a hope of happiness with a man you love, it is hard for you to understand why you should be afflicted with terrifying panic attacks and not be able to get on and enjoy your new life. However, from your letter, I think you know somewhere that these terrifying attacks are related to the anxiety and loss that you have experienced.

Over five years you have been through more than your fair share of pain and loss and it may be that, as much of it was to do with the family to whom you are close, it was difficult for you to acknowledge or express much of what was going on inside you. You lost your babies, your marriage, three friends, your brotherís baby, and both grandparents. You had the shock of your fatherís heart attack and all that meant to your mother and father. It would be difficult not to lose your trust in life.

Sometimes when we act strong, pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, we bury our feelings. We donít want to be miserable or make others miserable, we just want to be brave and get on with life.

You have come to France and, in doing so you have experienced a fresh set of losses, which, in the excitement of being with your partner in France, got overlooked until you had time to realise. Maybe these new losses have triggered your buried feelings. You have left behind supportive and loving parents, a good job, your own home, maybe friends, and your dog. You left behind a containing daily life, which perhaps kept your mind off the anxiety that the painful losses had left you with. Now you have too much time on your own, no one to speak to, no dog to take care of, and with no job, perhaps no structure to your day.

You are trying to find ways of helping yourself and your partner is being very supportive but you do need to get some professional help. I can understand that medication and going into a hospital could feel difficult and not how you want to be helped but you might need some medical help to start with to bring your symptoms under control. Would there be a chance of going back to England for a little while and seeing your doctor there?

I wonder if you have had any counselling or psychotherapy at any point during the last few years. I think it would be very helpful for you to find a therapist to talk to who would help you with the very frightening feelings that you are experiencing. You donít say where you live in France. Maybe there would be a chance of finding someone on this website you could speak to, preferably face-to-face. Ultimately you do need to lay the traumas of the past to rest.
Therapist B is a Relate-trained counsellor with experience of working with relationship issues and is an experienced couples counsellor

Therapist B is currently unavailable

Therapist C is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with experience of working with relationship and many other issues.
It sounds like you experienced a number of important losses a few years ago, not least the birth of your stillborn twins. You say that after the two years, which were hell due to the great number of losses you suffered, you picked yourself up and got on with things. I would surmise that you did not grieve for all the losses that you experienced when you got involved with your job and other activities.

You mentioned that during the first few days in France you were busy and you were OK, again indicating that being busy kept kept certain feelings at bay. Leaving everything behind was also a loss and may be evoking all the previous losses. Now that you are in France and you do not have the distractions that you had in your home country, it may be that all the losses that were not addressed at the time are catching up with you and are overwhelming you.

It can be very frightening to be engulfed by feelings that do not seem to make sense, and this may be one of the factors contributing to your panic attacks. You also mention that your parents, and now your partner, are the only ones whom you can trust, and I wonder what has happened that prevents you from trusting other people apart from your parents.

I would suggest that seeing a counsellor, or a psychotherapist, could help you address and go through all the grieving and mourning and that you may not have done.