I have suffered with anxiety for four years, ever since I developed a fear of being sick. However, this was circumstantial anxiety; it went away when I was at home.
Two years ago, I was getting a lot better. I was becoming more engaged in things and not worrying really how I felt. However, when my sixteenth birthday started to approach, I found myself extremely anxious over it. For some reason, the age seemed intimidating. It was the time when It really hit me that I wasnt a kid anymore and really had to put myself out there, regardless of my fears.
Well. On my birthday, I was not feeling so great. I was working out a lot, drinking unhealthy amounts of caffeine, while not having a good diet. And on that day, I was so freaking anxious.
I went out to get a coffee with my sister, trying to push past my fear. And that was when my first panic attack hit.
I had no idea what it was. It came from out of the blue as I was walking out of Starbucks. I felt really sick and suddenly, I thought I would be. This huge fear crashed over me and I instinctively clutched my sister's arm until she was yelling in pain. But I couldn't even HEAR her. It seemed really far away and suddenly, thirty seconds later, the feeling was gone. It left me shaking and the sick feeling had vanished. Literally, there was nothing sick-feeling left.
I went home. I calmed myself down. I still had no idea what this was and....started fearing it happening again. I didn't cut out caffeine because I didn't have the knowledge of anxiety I do now. I didn't even know anxiety was a huge part of my life; I used to think you had to have panic attacks for it to be constituted as anxiety.
Anyway, a week later, I experienced the worst panic attack of them all. I'd just come back from church and I was crying in the car because during church, I kept having those "surges" sudden moments of intense fear. I can't remember if it was that day, but again, I had caffeine and when I got back home later that day, I remember it very clearly:
I walked into the living room and lied down. Yes, I lie on the floor sometimes, haha. Anyway, this dizziness suddenly swept over me and I got that surge. But this wasn't a thirty second surge, Nope. This kept going. It hit in waves and I had my mom sitting next to me holding my hand. She said she could do nothing for me (my mom is awesome, so she was talking me through this) except take me to the hospital. I'd never been to a hospital. Because I'd never had anything wrong with me. So that scared me and that didn't help the panic attack. It wasn't until it subsided and my hands were shaking, that my mom said, "oh. I think you just had a panic attack."
Two weeks went by. The following day I was super thick headed and I had no idea what was going on. After those two to three weeks, (I cut caffeine cold-turkey. Again, dumb idea), I finally went to the doc and had everything checked.
After that, I began reading up on DP and started to accept how I felt. Those surges were the only thing scaring me and I can honestly say this was an awful period in my life. I stopped going out, too scared Id pass out of "lose it."
On vacations, I'd lose the sentient of a panic attack, because that would imply there was a beginning and an end, but for me, it just kept going. In a couple months, I'd experienced things from head pressures to glitching vision. I talked to a coach (someone who had had anxiety disorder and overcame it) I talked to my pastor (who also used to have anxiety disorder and overcame it), I would spend hours online researching. I became a walking encylclopedia of anxiety and health problems alike. Up and up this ladder I went; if I wasn't crazy, I had an inner ear problem, if it wasn't that, it was a stomach ulcer, if it wasn't that, it was a heart problem.
Finally, I started to accept this as anxiety. I lasted, oh, maybe a week. That's it. A bloody week. Because then it hit me, out of blue, that everything I feared had one commonality;
They all had something to do with sickness of feeling out of control.
Well, upon this revelation, I suddenly felt like I lost all control and I spiraled down again. This was when I started panicking in stores and such. This was when I got into the awful mindset of "I have no control over anything, not even my body."
Quite easy to guess this made me feel pretty depressed. However, I got a job, or a back up job that requires nine hours of work. My gosh. I went from agoraphobia to that. In total, I worked 26 hours and felt proud over that.
I even went to a dance and lasted the entire time.
But now I'm back to my health concerns; and I notice I feel worse if I don't panic. No one in my family has any history of health problems, though my mom has anxiety and my dad used to suffer from panic attacks for a year.
Has anxiety done something detrimental to my health? I'm now seventeen years old and am just scared in general of living. I can't afford doctor visits each time something comes up, as I've experienced over sixty different Anxiety symptoms so that would come out to a lovely-sized bill. Is this really anxiety?