Anxiety and Depression Support
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Will I always be this stressed?

Hello, I’m a 17 year old male. I’ve been dealing with panic attacks and stress for 2 years. I’ve tried a lot of things and nothing seems to help. I’m asking this community because I believe you have a lot of knowledge and experience in this area.

The panic attacks started when I got sick with Pneumonia, Bronchial infections, and fever all roughly the same time. It took me a few months to fully recover, and I am fine now. But since then I’ve dealt with overwhelming panic attacks and stress levels. Usually there’s fear that I will get sick and also a lot of depression. I start to feel like I can’t breathe, and I will hyperventilate. Sometimes these panic attacks will last for hours on end. I’ve asked some people what to do to help, and usually they tell me to be more positive. I’ve tried to do this, but I seem to be a negatively-inclined person, because it never fixes anything long-term. Recently I feel like the panic has gotten a lot worse. 4 or 5 months ago my parents divorced, right as I was starting my first semester of college (yes, I graduated high school early). With this in mind, it’s easy to see that I am naturally more stressed, but I can hardly bear it. I’m almost addicted to monitoring my breathing to make sure I’m okay, and I’ve started getting slightly suicidal. I don’t really know what to do. I’m a Christian, but it seems like the last thing I want to do when I’m having a panic attack is read the Bible. I want to freak out. And after two years of trying to stop panicking and failing, I’m starting to lose determination and feel like I will deal with this for the rest of my life. So I have 2 questions: Will I always be this stressed? And does anyone know things I can do (and stick with) that will help me calm down?

Sorry about the long post. I hope someone here will be able to give me advice :)

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Hey JPhilip,

First, you are definitely NOT doomed to feeling this way for the rest of your life (tho it feels like it right now). So, for that... take a good deep breath! :-)

Second, you have had a lot of stresses all at once.... if I read your post correctly...

- Parents Divorced

- Just started College

- Were SUPER suck for a while

- Not knowing what this is all about

Totally natural. These are all stressful things by themselves... when you add them up, they would tax a person with the strongest of characters. You are NORMAL!

Third, if you are feeling suicidal, then you need to be sure that you have people around you, and you are not alone. If you are really feeling it, call a suicide help line! Just talking to someone can help a lot to calm you down. Don't be embarrassed, just call. It's anonymous and you can talk to a human right now!

Fourth, there are MANY ways you can get help to overcome and eliminate this kind of anxiety... Though it's end of semester, you still should try, talk to someone in health services at your school, and tell them you need to talk to a counselor. Explain the situation, and if you want, print out the post you just put here and bring it in (if you are uncomfortable describing it f2f).

Spending some time with a counselor can help you to learn strategies which will help you cope, and you may even be a candidate for some types of medication (which you might use for a relatively short time) to help smooth things out. But all of this would be best determined by the doctor and counselor you see.

If you are already home for holidays, don't wait till you get back to school. If you need to go to an Urgent Care, do it and talk to someone there to get some advice.

Bottom line here is that what you are feeling, while it's distressing, is absolutely manageable, and you 100% can get help and relief. Getting help to do this is the key. You need some other people who can help you... don't try to do it alone.

Also, don't be ashamed... many many people here are struggling in one way or another, and by sharing here, you have made a first brave reach out for some help!

Feel free to post here (or PM) if you want to ask any questions, and also to let us know how you are doing as you get some help.

This is a good community, and there are lots of people here happy to help!

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Thanks Two_Of_Me. Your answer really helps. I think I am going to start seeing a counsellor soon, and I have access to people that can help me. And I haven't ever been fully suicidal, I guess you could say. It's more of a "I'd rather die then live another day feeling like this." But I still do have a safe living environment and a few stable friendships, so I have hopes that some of the stress will level out soon. Thanks for the advice and encouragement. Honestly, this group is the first I've found that seems to understand what I'm actually dealing with. :)

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Hey JPhilip, glad to hear from you, and that you feel like you have some support around you! Dealing with any of this alone is just plain hard. Seeing a counselor for a while can help a lot... just to have someone that you can unload and explain this to who can empathise and respond to you.

I totally get the not wanting to feel some way for the rest of my life... been there! You are in good company!

Another thing to consider is that if some of those stable friendships you have are pretty solid, consider at least telling 1 or 2 of these friends what's going on (if you have not). You don't have to ask them for help, but if they know you are working on this, they will understand better when things get temporarily challenging.

Of course you can always reach out here as well, whether it be in this thread or in PM if you want, and the people here are going to definitely be happy to help. If things get rough, just let us know, and we'll all help however we can.

Be well, and please do check in again as you make next steps. I can say at least for myself, I would love to know you have found some help and to know that you are finding ways to work on it... even as you try a few things before something sticks... Also, as you work on this and are discovering strategies, sharing that with the community here could also be a way of helping many others. :-)

Warm Regards!

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Thanks! I'll probably post new questions/updates here or in a new thread. I saw that you followed me, so you should get them there :) Thanks for your help.

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You are Welcome.

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hi i have felt the same hopelessness as you but it wont be this way forever, do you have any healthy coping mechanisms for when your panicking? breathing exercises work for me and also writing down everything im feeling from the thoughts in my head to the physical symptoms. Try some meditation as well with calming music, i wish you the best of luck in getting better.

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Thanks tiredbbygirl. I'm glad to know that other people here deal with some of the same stuff as me. I've tried several coping mechanisms, but it seems like I can't stick to one permanently. Things that I sometimes do include talking to myself, doing stretches, and taking a break from anything stressful I'm doing. Sometimes this helps, and other times it doesn't. I've tried listening to music, but it keeps me from hearing anything else around me, which sometimes makes me feel unsafe. I'll try writing my thoughts down. Maybe that will help some. Thanks for your advice :)

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youre very welcome! feel free to message me whenever you need someone to talk to, im here to help if i can:)

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