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Teenager Uncomfortable with the Future
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JackAttack13 posted:
I'm a 17 year old guy who's graduating from high school in a month of two, and I'm not as excited as most of my peers. Actually, I've been having a really tough time with it-- I've been dealing with panic attacks and anxiety spells really badly lately. I feel like I'm going insane, which as you all know is discomforting. I haven't felt like myself and i feel super ungrounded, kind of disconnected and dizzy, dreamlike, in a scary and bad way. I'm usually a confident guy. Every time i think about how i'm getting older and will die someday, that i have to start making money and finding my own happiness and stuff, or other existential questions, i start to panic, get sweaty, dizzy, paranoid, lose my appetite, you name it. Im usually a lot more grounded at night and when im with my parents, etc. As most of you are adults who have made transitions, is this normal? Did anyone else go through something similar abd have words of advice or encouragement? Thank you so much
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Reid Wilson, PhD responded:
Hey, JackAttack13- Thanks for sharing. That sounds terribly uncomfortable: to suddenly start having all those sensations of panic.I can tell you that what you are going through is quite common. Think of it this way... There is a part of you (there is a part of all of us) who feels insecure about a major transition. It's the feeling that we can get any time we face a big new, intimidating project. And, to quote my friend Lynn, this part of us thinks, "[blah, blah, blah>... and I can't handle it!" Assume that's what is happening to you now: you are finishing up high school, which you felt like you could manage, and you are facing your next developmental stage, and a part of you 1) isn't certain what will come next and 2) whatever it will be, doubts you can handle it. Now you need to transform that confident guy inside you into a courageous guy. Find a way to begin to say to yourself, "Of course I'm scared. Who wouldn't be! But I have lots of resources inside me, and I have lots of folks I can turn to for help if I need some. Whatever happens next, I'm going to handle it. And in the meantime, I'm going to handle these really uncomfortable sensations."


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Reid Wilson, PhD is an international expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, with books translated into nine languages. He is author of Don...More

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