Hello, I need help that my family won’t provide or allow. My family are very conservative and don’t approve of the medical world and are heavily reliant on religion to cure mental issues. I have tried and it simply does not work — I have faith in god but it is becoming unbearable and people think I’m so weird. I am suffering from serious panic attacks — trouble breathing, heart race, sweating, disorientation. I find facts help me find reality so I need to assure myself of these when I go into an episode: Why is my pt-job impacting on me as a teenager? Do I need to be worried it will cause something more serious in the future? BC I have aspirations that require a level head. Are all teens suffering from neg impacts of work? Or do some suffer from pos? Why? Will it get better on its own or do I need strategies??? I am a very factual person and find these are the only things that help. I attend my pt-job 2x p/w and it is within retail. Thanks so much — I’m desperate.
If I understand correctly, you are having panic attacks related to your part-time job. You are also worried that these attacks will impact your future.
It is often recommended that, because of the potential medical concerns associated with panic attacks, you should consult a physician to rule out physical health problems. You mentioned that your parents are reliant upon religion to cure mental illnesses but are you able to see a physician? If so, you should.
If you are able to see a physician, then perhaps he or she could prescribe a medication to help reduce your symptoms. Your parents may consider it a medical treatment rather than a mental health treatment.
Regarding your panic attacks, you described the highly useful strategy of focusing on facts. Ideally, your anxiety should be treated by a mental health professional but because of your circumstances, you should continue to focus on facts.
At its basic level, anxiety stems from not believing in reality. Always focus on the facts of any given situation. If you can force yourself to recognize the truth, your anxiety level should remain low. Your level of anxiety and fear should match the danger of a situation. The good news is that you’ve already begun training yourself to focus on reality.
When you begin to feel anxiety about going to work, force yourself to focus on the facts and your anxiety level should decrease. Try to sit through the anxiety rather than trying to escape it. Your anxiety may temporary increase but it will eventually dissipate.
There are also books you can read about reducing anxiety levels. Check your local library or book read reviews on Amazon. I’d recommend any of the books about anxiety, by Dr. David Burns.
Soon you will be 18 which means that you legally will be an adult. You will then be free to make your own decisions about mental health treatment. Perhaps then you will be free to consult a mental health professional who can assist you in treating your anxiety. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle