I will be 50 in a few months, and I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been an anxious person all my life. I have had the occasional panic attack over the years, but this past year I’ve had them two or three times a week. I went to the GP who prescribed an antidepressant, which is helping with the anxiety and panic attacks day to day. But if I have to travel or spend a night away from home, the panic attacks are worse than ever. Just the thought of a night away from home means I break out in a sweat, feel shaky and vomit. I know it sounds melodramatic but if I do go away for a night I feel like I am dying. This is true even if I stay with my son, daughter or sister in their homes, which are almost as comfortable and familiar to me as my own home. Jill, Wandsworth
It is easy to think that, as someone who has had anxiety all their life, your home is your safe place. But it sounds as though as well as having an understandable wish to stay where you feel safe you have a phobia of travel, (known as hodophobia). This is not just homesickness or discomfort or anxiety at being away from home, but a paralysing fear of it, which can cause physical symptoms like the ones you describe and/or breathlessness, dizziness, weakness, palpitations, or crying.
I am glad you went to your GP and that the medication is helping you with the generalised anxiety. However, I think it would be worth considering some talking therapy for the travel phobia. This might sound impossible to you at the moment, but conquering an irrational fear can be achieved by gradually and repeatedly learning to manage the anxiety around it. This would be done with visualisation techniques, panic-management skills, and a set of strategies that you can learn in therapy. I really do think that, with time and practice, you could learn to stay with your children and family with no panic attacks and much less anxiety to carry with you.