When I was around 14 years old, I was diagnosed with GAD, which, if it wasn’t managed (with medicine), would cause severe depression. I’ve gone through the rest life feeling insecure, edgy, and sometimes suicidal. I have uncontrollable thoughts and feelings (of which sometimes make me want to run and/or scream.) I’ve been really down lately, but was really excited to be hired for a well paying job. I went to work for two days before I had an extremely bad panic attack. I don’t know where it came from, I was fine, but my mind seemed to go haywire (almost seem to blackout). My friend had to calm me down, and I tried to finish up the rest of work that day. I kept getting confused, couldn’t tell what I’ve done, what was finished, or even what was real. I went home early, and haven’t been the same. I can’t function anymore, everything scares me, I’m paranoid beyond belief, and keep waking up at night with panic attacks. Please help…
A: I agree that you need help but more than what an advice column can give you. It is time for some professional help from a mental health specialist. You mentioned that you were on medication in the past but it is unclear to me if you are still on medication or in therapy. If not, I would strongly suggest that you get some help soon before you jeopardize your job.
Anxiety disorders are very common and can be very debilitating, but are very treatable. One of the best treatments is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), but I also teach my clients about the fight or flight phenomenon, deep breathing techniques and relaxation techniques.I usually suggest they get a self-help workbook on anxiety and stress management so they can work on things at home as well. Many clients also benefit from exercise, learning to meditate and from taking classes like yoga or tai chi. From what you describe, it sounds like if you get the anxiety under control, you can also avoid feeling depressed.
I know the symptoms you are having can be quite scary and overwhelming. However, taking charge of your situation and getting some professional help will ensure a brighter and more peaceful future for yourself. If you aren’t sure where to find help, call your insurance company and get a list of approved mental health providers. You can also look up therapists online or contact your local community mental health center. I sincerely hope you feel better soon.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts