Anxiety has completely ruined my life and now I don't know. I'm so fed. What should I do?

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I’m 21, female and so fed up of living. I don’t even know what’s wrong with me. I know for sure I have a social anxiety disorder(GP referred me to a mental health councillor but the waiting list in my country is extremely long, I’m talking months to years, even then you get appointments only once every two to three months), but I can’t afford to go to a private one. I’ve completely ruined my life with maladaptive daydreaming. I spent my entire secondary/high school years totally convinced that I could achieve my over the top goals of writing, song writing, inventing and so on, but that didn’t work out so far (I still have hope but I’m full of self-doubt) Everything just seems so hopeless.

I went to college for a while but dropped out after about four months because my anxiety made me chicken out of turning up for work experience, I started to ditch college and eventually lost my grant. (I had no interest in the subject anyway) Now I have a clearer idea of what I want, but I’m no longer eligible for a financial aid because I dropped out of the last college. My plan is to go to a community college and study some kind of secretarial or administration course, but that’s not really what I want, that’s just a back up plan. I really want to go to art school. I just feel so trapped and suffocated in my life. I’ve been unemployed and on social welfare for the past year and I feel so ashamed of myself, it feels like I’m begging. In my country the money isn’t put into your bank account, you have to go to the post office to collect the money in person. It’s so degrading. No matter how many job applications I send out I never get a reply. Right now I’m doing some government funded course at a community centre with other unemployed young people.

I have no friends either and have never had any kind of social life. I think I may be bipolar but I’m not sure. I think my anxiety is what makes me depressed, whenever I get overwhelmed I think to myself “I wish I could just die” and I self harm too when I’m angry or stressed. I don’t cut, but I pinch, scratch and punch myself. My anxiety is never really gone when I’m confronted by something like shopping or making phone calls, but some days I feel so happy and hyper for no reason. Like I could do anything and the world is my oyster, then moments or hours later I’m crying and full of self-doubt.

There’s so much that I want to achieve, but can’t get a head start because of my lack of money. But even if I do achieve my goals, they probably won’t make me happy because I don’t think I actually care that much about anything. Also, I have commitment issues and the thought of studying one degree for four years or having the same job forever freaks me out and makes me feel suffocated.

I know it’s long, but thanks for reading. Any advice or input is appreciated.

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  • Posted


    I do not know where you are, we are in the UK so we handle mental health problems in an NHS environment.

    Generally I would suggest you first talk to your GP and discuss your Anxiety.

    I would also suggest you need medications and a possible course of CBT, with that they would give you coping skills and help you move on. You could try Breathing Techniques and also a Relaxation Technique called Mindfulness, you will find explanations for above in Related Information on this page.

    You are in early twenties and by this time in life you should be seeing a way forward in the Employement field. Personally I do not feel you are picking up on any goals other than Art, I would feel now you should be looking for a job where you can make some money to keep yourself and hopefully you will then feel you can follow any dreams you may have

    Generally you may find some diversion Techniques may help you control your Anxiety. When you feel low try and divert your thoughts to a hobby or activity you enjoy, stop always talking about you concerns and consider a broader pathway that will help you move on. It is really important you try and stop negative thoughts, I know this is very hard you have the Problem of Your Anxiety.

    Sorry it all sounds rough, if you cannot get or afford treatment you will need to help yourself as the only face you can see in the mirror looking back at you is your own.

    You  need to be positive in your actions even when you are feeling ill

    We are here to help


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    • Posted

      All I said basically is go for your dreams, although you may now need money to do that, When I was doing my further education I had to work selling electrical goods one year and carpets and furniture in year two. Study is expensive and I was studying Electronics and Marine Radio. That was my dream

      Good luck with your future, I ended down manholes for six months when I left college



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  • Posted

    I have replied Emma but it is waiting to be moderated. I think it is because i put the name of a book on.
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  • Posted

    Hi Emma,

    I am so sorry that you are going through such a tough struggle. I don't have any words of wisdom to help...but my heart goes out to you. I can't imagine having to wait that long to see a counselor.

    The only thing I can tell you is to take just one day at a time. When I get overwhelmed, I just tell myself...I only have this day. I pretend that there are no other days...and that I just have to do this day.

    I can't live "for the day" every day. I do have to take some days to plan for my future.

    I also think that it is very normal not to know what you want to do in life at your age. Being in your twenties is tough enough. It is a very hard decade to live. Going from a child and suddenly being a grown up and supposed to have all the answers. But many adults don't know what they want to do. I sure did not! I went back to college in my late 30's because I discovered something I wanted to do. And I loved it! 11 years later, I wanted to move on.

    I am now wondering what I will do next. I take it one day at a time. I took an easy no-brain job for now for money. And I will wait to see what I want to really do and really love in my next chapter of life.

    You don't have to know what you will do as a forever job. You may change your mind like me. I just wish you had friends and a support system to help you figure out steps to a bigger picture.

    My twenties was tough...and it got easier as I adjusted. So don't think that how you are feeling now is the way you will always feel. You are so very young...and you just have to give life a bit more of a patient with yourself...and find a challenge that isn't too much...or not enough.

    Today is the only day!! Anyone can do something for just a day!


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  • Posted

    Don't put down secretarial work. If you can become skilled and earn a living doing it I think this is your solution. You can be a Secretary at a art or music enterprise. Or you can become a waitress. These are rough times and any job is admirable. What's wrong with just wanting to serve.

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