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Hi! My name is Whitney. I came across this community while I was trying to Google Search my way into some answers, and I hope you don’t mind my intrusion here. Everyone seems supportive and knowledgeable, and I could really use some reassurance right now.
I am 26 years old. I experienced my first panic attack when I was in 5th grade and they progressively became more frequent and intense. I spent my teenage years shut off and depressed because the attacks were so debilitating. I couldn’t get out of bed without being overcome with anxiety, thinking I was going to die, and having an attack. At the time, panic attacks weren’t as widely discussed or known about, so I never found anyone to help me. I eventually taught myself mental diversion and that slowly began to help m through my attacks. They eventually became less frequent and I finally got a taste of normalcy. I went to college, graduated, and have been at my first full-time job for 2 years this summer. I would still suffer from occasional attacks, but they would happen then pass on and the next day I would be myself again. I would say I probably had less than 6 attacks a year.
Until now. Last month, I started having attacks again for no real reason. I thought they would stop, but they haven’t. I’m more afraid than I have been in years. I wake up feeling anxious and the feelings of unreality are overwhelming. I am terrified I’m dying. I feel disconnected, numb, and scared when I’m driving. I’m scared to even go to work. It feels like I can’t breathe and my throat is swelling up, and I am constantly on edge like I need to get away. I’m tired and exhausted. I don’t know what brought them back or why they won’t stop. I know I’m so scared of them now that I’m probably making more of them happen, but I can’t get my mind to shut off from this fear.
I’m flying to Indiana in 2 months to see my best friend, something I do twice a year, and I’m already scared that I’m going to have an attack on the plane where I can’t escape or be helped, or we won’t be able to do anything together because I’m going to be freaking out with an attack. It’s never been an issue or even a blip on my radar before now.
I fought so hard to become “me” again and I feel like now, for some reason, I’ve lost the battle I thought was long won. I’m clueless as to what I should do. I’ve been to the doctor twice and nothing was found to be wrong with me outside of an elevated pulse last week and an upper respiratory infection back in February.
Any advice or reassurance would be so appreciated right now. Thank you for listening.
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