I'm new here, and I'd like to tell you a little about myself and why I am here today.
I decided to join this forum in order to get some support while I continue to recover from anxiety disorder. I had my first panic attack at age 16, but now I can look back and see that my anxiety began long before that time. That was when it all came to a head and I was forced to realize that this was a medical condition. Unfortunately, convincing my family of that was not so easy, and it took a while for them to accept that it was not a plea for attention or a case of me being "melodramatic."
I was medicated almost immediately after my first panic attack because I could no longer function in any public situation, including in the classroom or with close friends. In the absence of my mother, I became incapable of doing anything but balling up and shaking, scared to death of dying, and even worse, dying alone. Around my 21st birthday (now nearly two years ago), I got off of medication, and have since then been teaching myself how to live with my current levels of anxiety. (Leaving meds behind was a personal thing...I don't think there is anything wrong with medication, and it can be very helpful, but I believe that I was on the wrong medication and was no longer comfortable with it. With my doctor's help, I was able to discontinue it.)
Right now, I manage to get by, despite some huge life changes that I would not previously have been able to deal with. I graduated from college and am now living on my own and working, far from my home and my parents, in a city with which I am familiar, but which does not feel like home. I am happy in my situation, but I still battle with anxiety, and am hoping to find some support for the issues I still have. These include tension (muscular and psychological), a feeling of life being surreal, and certain times at which I experience the physical symptoms of a panic attack without my mind being in "panic" mode- I go from feeling calm and relaxed to feeling that gush of adrenaline in the chest, for seemingly no reason at all. I'm hoping, over some time here, to find some people to talk with who have experienced similar things and have some good techniques for dealing with them. Thanks so much to this forum for existing, it feels so good to know that you can talk to people who understand from experience! Anxiety can be alienating.
All my best to everyone here.