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I'm new to this, but wanted to share my story/experience/knowledge with you all and help in any way I can.
I know from my experience with anxiety that success stories are somewhat hard to come by. The reason for this, I believe is twofold. Firstly, once people 'recover' from this ilness, they carry on with their lives as normal, often without much of a thought as to how they were before. Also, I believe that for people who have a sucess story to tell, the thought of going on forums such as this to share their experience can be quite a daunting one. Oftentimes, people want to leave that chapter of their life behind, and not be reminded of it. I know this because I have been guilty of both of these reasons. This is worth bareing in mind; my point being that a lack of success stories isn't because they are rare, but because of the reasons detailed above.
It's hard to say specifically when I 'recovered' from experiencing chronic anxiety. If I were to give a rough idea, I would say that I have been 'anxiety free' for around 2 years. Previous to that, I had experienced chronic, debilitating anxiety for roughly a 2 year period. I, like everyone else, considered myself the worst case - beyond help. I experienced all manner of symptoms; you name it, I experienced it. I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and GAD. I saw a therapist, attended group sessions with other sufferers, but to no avail. I frequented forums such as this one and read post after post, all the while feeling more anxious and more dispondent (probably due the lack of success stories.)
I will mention now that I am in no position to advise on medication issues. As bad as I thought I was, I refused to go down the route of medication. This is not to say that medication is a bad approach, but it was one that I chose not to take, and thus feel insufficiently experienced to advise on this specific topic.
I will keep this first post brief. I would like to think I have been where you have been, and came out the other side. Recovery is not a linear path whatsoever, one of the reasons why I cannot name a specific point on my journey where I was rid of anxiety and its symptoms.
My 'recovery' was down to multiple factors. Predominantly, educating myself tirelessly on every nuance of this illness. I have a degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry, so understanding how things worked at a biological level really helped me. I combined this knowledge with a new (read: fairly basic) understanding of Psychology, plus several self-rationalized 'a-ha!' moments to gradually alter my mindset over time.
I am not a special case. There is not a rare combination of factors that meant I could achieve recovery and you cannot. I am here to attempt to answer questions you may have (not medication related, apologies) and hopefully help you along your own journey. I work a 9-5 job, and have several hobbies, so I will attempt to respond to anyone between these times, but I may not be able to answer all questions.
If you do not want to ask a question, then please take this post as a tiny bit of inspiration to push you along your journey to recovery. You CAN and WILL be rid of your anxiety disorder, that I can promise you.
To your success,
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