anxiety disorder, panic attacks and possible depression at 21? im getting desperate

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Hello

i am female, 21 and have suffered with anxiety for around five years to some extent. Although recently I have had five really bad panick attacks which knock me for around a week , it makes me have no appetite, I throw up and I shake and feel incredibly nauseous and desperate for help. Since I've been having my attacks, I have developed incredibly low moods which I feel Ill with I feel that low. I constantly feel desperate for help and feel incredibly alone due to how low and alone this feels. Whenever I get back to feeling somewhat normal again I get panicky again for no reason and have to escape from where I am. I have been so tearful lately I can easily cry for hours and any emotive makes me well up such as adverts. I have just finished a degree and believe it may be a response to the stress I went through, i was meant to do a pgce this september but have had to cancel it due to this. My abdomenem sometimes hurts so bad with anxiety that it makes me cry too. I tried going gluten free to see if that worked but it didn't. It may be worth mentioning that I'm dyspraxic so my life hasn't exactly being easy as I don't feel normal I'm also very conscious of my looks and how I come across to others and feel generally crap in comparison especially in regards to brains. I just want to feel normal  and be happy like others seem to be I want to be able to deal with life again like I did before march. I'm using beta blockers ATM  when I feel panicky or anxious and was given citolpram which i havent taken as im wary of its effects. I have been refered to see a pychologist. This is such a bad time ATM I just want to feel okay again can anybody helps me or at least tell me someone else feels the same way or that they got cured? I hate how reliant this is making me on other people, when i have a panic i have to have someone there 24/7. I have soem really good days where i see a friend and im on a high but then i come crashing down again. I dont harm myself or anything along those lines although I sometimes get the urge to just break my arm or something so that it takes my mind of the emotional pain and gives me pysichal pain instead sad i also dream of being told i have a illness like tyroid issues or diabetes which is causing this, anyting but anxiety.

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  • Posted

    Fiona u not alone trust me!! And im sure ull be just fine.im feeling awfullllll all this week.and dont know what to do...even this second i am about call an ambulance couse i dont feel like its panick it feels like something wrong in me..but two doctors just smiled and said i need to relax its only panick attacks,only? All week cant breathe my heart hurts i feel light headed feels like im been choked constantly..hate it...but i think we have to try be strong!!! So lets try togetherwink
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    • Posted

      thanks for replying alex, its late and i wasnt sure anyone would. this 'condition' really does feel like something elsedoesnt it? i have gone through everything in my head...diabetes? tyroid ..ive looked up 'what illness causes anxiety' in the hope that i could have an illness...sound strange but id do anything...id have anything...other than this. i hope you can relax now alex smile try to get some sleep
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  • Posted

    Yeah im the samesad i cant sleep now im scared...im always feeling bad at night sad i want my life back im always energetic,fun,like to talk,love beeing around people,but now im scared of all of that couse my head full of negative stuff about my health!!! That makes me angry at myself...i try to find answers in me but i cant...not yet at least...
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  • Posted

    And please dont thank me for replaying its plesure!!!

     

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    • Posted

      I sometimes get like that with sleep..but mostly if i have to sleep in other places. i think the adrenal gland goes a bit mad and releases too much hormones so we think or atleast our bodys think we are in danger. can i ask how old you are and whether your a boy or girl? at first i thought your name said alexa smile
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  • Posted

    Hi Fiona,

    I've posted this a few times on the forums but with regards to your anxiety, I'd urge you to try this:

    The best thing to do first is become aware of your physiology, or the very real physical symptoms you're experiencing. They are there. It isn't necessarily a symptom of anything else but if you fear it is, you should consult your GP. If you have physical checks and they eliminate the problem (ECG for heart, etc) then you should put it down to anxiety.

    Anxiety comes because your brain is creating a 'fear' in your mind, and as with anything that creates fear, you become anxious.

    The anxiety, usually, starts in your chest, so you begin to breathe faster and your chest becomes tense (as a muscle would if it is being exercised). Your lungs need more oxygen and no greater way of getting oxygen around your body is by blood. Blood gets to your lungs faster when your heart pumps it quicker, so your heart rate increases.

    The lungs are working hard now. They are communicating with your brain asking for more help. Your brain helps by asking your heart for support. So the heart is working harder than it normally would to the point where it needs help from your brain again.

    Your brain can't cope with both having a go at it asking for support - you get symptoms such as perspiration, pains in your chest, tingling in your arms, toes and fingers. So your brain panics and makes mistakes.

    Your brain then tells you to react accordingly – panic.

    The panic says, “focus on your heart; why is it faster? Why are my arms tingling? Why does my chest hurt?”. Your brain says, through duress and under pressure, “I'm having a heart attack; I'm going to die!”

    You're not. Just stop and think before your lungs tell your brain that they need oxygen, fast. Focus on your breathing.

    How to deal with anxiety is subjective and it depends on how disciplined you are in being able to set yourself space and time to be able to perform breathing exercises rather than rely on medication being there for you to help you. 3 things I've found are the most helpful - 1. Guided Meditation, 2. Mindfulness and Awareness, 3. The '7 to 11 Breathing Technique'

    Guided meditation, first of all, is quite structured and disciplined in the sense you have somebody there guiding you through the process of meditation (obviously) and you don't want to disturb others doing it at the same time - but similarly expect others to respect you whilst you do it.

    Mindful and awareness can often come hand in hand with guided meditation. Through mindfulness and awareness, you become aware of where you are and most importantly what your body is physically experiencing. In focusing on these feelings (chest pain, shortness of breath, pins and needles) by breathing them in, in a controlled manner, by breathing them out you are effectively telling your brain and body to breathe these pains out too, and they will eventually go away.

    The 7 to 11 breathing technique is when you breathe into your lungs through your mouth, nose or both, until your lung capacity is completely full - it may even hurt; you may use parts of your lungs you've never used before - and hold your breath for 7 seconds. Following this, you purse your lips as though you were blowing out a candle and gradually exhale until your lungs are empty. You hold this for 11 seconds and don't take another breath.

    Keep doing this for as long as you want. The longer, the better. During the exercise you might experience forms of euphoria; your fingers may tingle, your head may feel slightly dizzy - this is good; this is tension unburdening itself off you; don't worry about it. Instead, focus on it and treat it as a good feeling.

    With all of this, it will not be an immediate cure. Mindfulness and awareness courses, and meditation classes take time to book and when you go to them, both take patience to master. The 7 to 11 breathing technique you can perform whenever you want.

    My advice would be to understand for the first two you won't get anywhere this week but if you take steps now to look into them and how practical it is to do them, by the end of the week you may be on the right track.

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  • Posted

    Hi.  I agree with boing333 that mindful meditation is great for stopping your thoughts going off on the spiral of 'OMG I'm having a panic attack, what's happening, I'm feeling really bad etc, oh no now I'm feeling even worse'.  And it helps to stop you thinking about when or if you're going to have another panic.  However, I think in the long term it's good to get some counselling or therapy to find out what has triggered the panic in the first place.  It sounds like something has happened to make you feel bad.  The stress from your course may have triggered something. I think therapy is great and can be really interesting.  Make sure you find someone who you connect with and then you can discover all the really wierd (and normal) things about yourself without anyone judging you.  You'll have lots of 'Oh I hadn't thought about it that way' moments and some 'So that's why I don't like doing that' moments.  And suddenly it all starts to make sense.
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