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What to do, what to do...
Cjack1990 posted:
Here's my story, I've had anxiety for quite sometime now, and I was agoraphobic and literally did not leave my house for a year (for a 16 year old, that is strange.) Got on sertraline (off brand of zoloft) and yaddi yaddi yadda, things got better for me.
Well, I'm 21 now, and this past week or two i've been anxious about everything. 3 days in a row going to work I had panic attacks, and yesterday I had one, today I had quite a few. I've had time like these where I have a bad couple days, but it's been lasting a couple weeks! It's getting really frustrating, and I really don't want to go back to being agoraphic, I just want to be a normal 21 year old that's not getting chained down by my anxiety. I looked through the tips to see if any of them would help, and i've tried those and it's not helping me at all at this point lol.

I guess I just need to hear some words of encouragement. I feel like I can't talk to my boyfriend about it because he just tells me i'm being over dramatic and I need to calm down. Of course if I could, I wouldn't be having panic attacks.

This is my first post on here and i'm unsure if I'm supposed to be asking a question, but oh well. I'm always accepting advice
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Welcome to the board. As you indicated that you did have serious anxiety in the past which led to your being housebound for a year and taking medication which, now, doesn't seem to be helping, you have a history that must be explored.

Since you indicate that you are now working and 21, I am wondering if there have been things happening at work or in your personal life that may have caused you increased stress or concern. Remember, anxiety may come from genetic factors or things in the environment and we need to consider the environment here, I believe. Of course, not all medications continue to work, but that doesn't mean that you need to either switch your medication or be on the medication. Some professionals believe that medications can be used for up to one year and then, if needed, a bit longer. But at certain points in time the medication may lose its effectiveness because of changes that will occur in your body.

The 1st thing I think you need to do is to take a look at what might be happening in your life, take a look and see if some lifestyle changes should be considered too. When I say lifestyle, I'm referring to how much sleep you get, your diet, how stressful your job is, the quality of your relationships, whether or not you get any exercise during the week, etc. All of these things together make for a healthier life and can contribute to either you're feeling good or anxious. Any one of them, sleep and work stress in particular, can cause this anxiety to bubble up as you are describing it. So, consider if lifestyle changes might be in order.

We also have some things in our Tips column that may be of use to you. Specifically, I am referring to the video tutorial we have on relaxation breathing and the simple exercises that can be done in your home or even in your office.

You might also ask your boyfriend to take a look at the National Institute of Mental Health ( where they do have booklets online that describe panic attacks. This will give him a much better understanding that this is not drama but real.

I hope things do improve for you and that you feel much better very soon.
gonnafindaway responded:
I hope you are ok cjack1990 . i am sorry you have been going through so much . i am in my mid 30's and also have some agoraphobia wich stink becuase i too work and have small children in school. maybe you should see a psychologist and take behavoiral therapy. i am doing this and its helping. its just a session with a doctor and they talk with you to try and find the triggers to your anxiety andd panic and change the way you think in those situations. everyone is different and like i said its helping a little but a little is better than none at all. good luck
Cjack1990 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
thank you so much! I did actually watch some of your breathing techniques, which at first I was really hesitant because I've been told to do the whole breath deep with nose and out with mouth after five seconds. But once you said "Think of a body part and say it in your head" really really helped alot. I also told myself today to "stop it" with the anxiety. I also did about ten minutes of yoga along with the breathing, and today I felt so much better, I wasn't stressed out or anything.
And it is genetic in my family (my mom's side). My brother has it too but not as bad as me. I have a huge fear of being sick, so when I work about a half hour away from my home it tends to stress me out.
But again thank you so much for the link as well, i'll have to send it to him.
Cjack1990 replied to gonnafindaway's response:
I actually did see a counsler for 5 years, but since money has been so tight lately I had to stop going to her. It did help me a lot just to talk to someone that I knew couldn't judge me because she has heard way worse stories haha. And just recently after years and years I have finally figured out what does trigger my anxiety and it turns out im emetophic! Now I just need to figure out how to get over that one and hopefully it will reduce my anxiety.
Patricia Farrell, PhD replied to Cjack1990's response:
I'm glad you did find the breathing exercise helpful. It is something that you can do all the time and the self-talk too. Nice to know that you can be in control of this, I'm sure.

I think it might be helpful for your brother too especially if you tell him how effective it has been for you.

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