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    Sick and tired of this feeling
    An_251075 posted:
    This is a story so be prepared...

    I'm crying in front of my laptop hearing my mom's voice and seeing the look on her face and I think that I couldn't agree more with the sickening look in her eyes. I'm 20 years old and I have been getting panic attacks since 12 years of age (I think). I have no idea whatsoever in how it started and where, but believe me when I say that this is getting on my last nerve.

    I was supposed to go to a brunch with the family but backed out when I started shaking and felt myself not feeling right. By this I mean that my feet feel light and it feels like I am about to die. Dizziness and sometimes nausea joins in. The thing I hate the most is I was so in control of this but I'm not anymore.

    When my mom says sunset that we should take a drive, I get a panic attack. When I have to go out at night I get one. I don't even have my license yet because of this. I envy people who can get in their cars late at night and drive around like it's nobodies business. I wanna be like that, but I can't and I hate it.

    I can't even look at myself in the mirror without thinking that I am a freak or a problem to society. There are times (like now) when I feel like I can just kill myself and stop living. Because sitting at home isn't "living" either.

    The feeling usually happens when I don't want to go somewhere or when someone drives. Late at night, sitting at home for hours and then going out, in the shower, when I go to the bathroom, basically everywhere. I'm so afraid that people will tell me that what I have is incurable and that death is the only solution, because this is what I tell myself. No one is sympathetic about this. Not even me. I feel like a broken person, a person not supposed to be alive.

    I sound crazy I know... I feel crazy, but I am perfectly normal. My dad told me that it's in his family. And it is. Everyone I know basically gets it, but they are on meds, and from what I have known, not all meds work. So I am looking for a difficult way, but a "healthy" way out. I can't sit at home and see my life passing me by. I want to be normal, be healthy and if it means that I need to give up junk food and start eating healthier and exercising, count me in.

    Please I am begging!!!! Please just someone help me...
    Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
    I can understand. You must feel like you're a prisoner of your anxiety and that it has sucked the joy out of your life big time.

    Anxiety is like that. Once it gets a good hold on you and it begins to control you, it just takes more and more of your life away, but it can be fought and you can win. Since your father indicated that it runs in his family, you know that it is genetic, but genes aren't the only thing that brings on this type of anxiety. There is a great deal to be said for the environment and how it either or manipulates you or you control it.

    If you would prefer not to use medication, it might be wise to find a cognitive psychologist who deals primarily with anxiety disorders. This individual could provide you with some ways to learn how to help yourself. I have a Therapy page on my website ( where you will find some information on selecting a psychologist.

    In addition to eating a healthy, balanced diet, you need sufficient sleep (sleep has been found to be more important than anybody ever knew), regular exercise (not to exhaustion and you don't need to lift weights) and activities that provide you with some joy. This can be in the form of a hobby or sport or anything else that you enjoy.

    One thing that you do want to begin to do, slowly at first, is to add things to your life which bring you in contact with people and situations so that you can begin to develop a comfort level. This takes time, but, as the saying goes, "The journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step." Begin your journey now and understand that no matter how small the step, it is still a beginning. Give yourself credit for every step you take.

    I hope you find this helpful and that you begin to make these changes in your life that are going to give you a much better quality of life in the future.

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