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sudden panic, daily life full of anxiety.
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An_241352 posted:
I am not sure what to do. A few years ago, I got into a bad situation- drank too much at a club, decided to leave- friends stayed to party. I thought I could easily walk back, but it was a bit far. I don't know how, but I found myself in someone's car, driving out into the middle of no-where, a warehouse district. When I demanded that he turn around and take me back, he pulled over and said he wanted to "talk." I elbowed him in the teeth, unlocked the doors, and ran off into the night. I still have no idea how far or how long I ran. It was a poorly-lit warehouse district, and I ran through the bushes, parallel to the path, in the hopes that he wouldn't follow me or if he did, he wouldn't spot me. I was just about to try and find a security guard in one of the warehouses, when I spotted an off-duty cabbie. He got me back home- far enough away that it was about $60.
Now, I am still having panic attacks. I don't drink in public unless I KNOW I am with people I can trust to get me home, and even then I don't drink much. But sometimes, on the street, i will get a panic attack if someone is walking behind me, even in daylight. Or, I will feel like I am having a heart attack, walking at night, just getting a sudden feeling. I am under a lot of stress, and I KNOW it has affected my daily life- I couldn't bring myself to say yes to a guy who asked me out, and it is hard to meet people. I don't know what to do. I can't talk about it with people at work- They would not be supportive and I can't risk my job.
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mizzmia responded:
I am so sorry this has happened to you. I am also sorry you feel you have nobody to talk to about this. I, too, felt the same way. I suffer with panic disorder, which I have been living with since I was a child. I only sought help after many years and I could not sit in my college class.

Have you thought about therapy? You do not have to disclose to any co-workers, but getting it out really is a big, big help. I was also the victim of abuse as a child. I never told anyone until just recently, and I am 47 years old! When I finally said it out loud, it was a relief. And this was a therapist who I was not too happy with. I wasted 2 years with this mental health facility. It's also important that you are comfortable and able to make a connection with whoever you decide to talk to. Please keep in mind that we may be able to rationalize in our minds and think we are ok. Our bodies never forget, and some things in our brain, we cannot control. I hope that makes a little bit of sense.

Best of luck to you.
 
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Reid Wilson, PhD responded:
Hey, An_241352,
Mizzmia had good advice. You were traumatized by that event, and it continues to haunt you. That may fall into the category of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I suggest that you seek out help from a mental health professional who specializes in PTSD. There is quite specific training for working with people who have experienced such a trauma. If you need help in finding someone, go to this national organization that will help you locate a specialist: click here
 
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amatu30 replied to Reid Wilson, PhD's response:
Thanks to both of you for responding. That week was one of the hardest in my life, and it was compounded by the fact that I was mugged the very next week. In broad daylight, no less. Thankfully, I always keep my bag slung diagonally across my shoulders, and hold the handle as well. the guy got nothing but an ear full of the most vile insults I didn't even know I knew. I am glad that I was able to fight back and lost nothing of material value, but it made me even more uneasy being out in public.


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