Man, do i wish they had this forum when I was going to college (1965 - ha, ha)! That's exactly the time I started experiencing all the same feelings you're talking about
here yet I didn't have any support system and just thought I was losing my mind and would end up in a mental hospital the rest of my life. I personally feel that the combination of life's experiences, the stresses of college AND the additional curse of hormones is what spurs on anxiety at this time in our lives - so many of us feel the same crazy feelings, have the same "numbness", shakiness, general fear, etc., etc. that it should give some comfort to know we're not alone. Since I've been able to come onto this site and vent whenever I'm going through a particularly bad stretch of anxiety, it has kept me from having to go back into therapy - THIS is my therapy. I guess for me at least the realization that sooooo many others suffer from the same thing helps me to know that I'm NOT crazy, that I've got this disorder just because of the "luck of the draw" and I need to always deal with it when it starts to take over my life. I too was TERRIFIED of taking any drugs, and only when I was at my worst did I finally start taking Xanax which truly helped with my particular anxiety. That was during my early 20's and last year, after 10 years of hardly any anxiety, it starte up again. This time it was particuarly bad but the doc wanted me to go on anti-depressants rather than Xanax. It took me almost two weeks to get up the courage to take the first pill but it turned out that, for me at least, I had very few side effects (Celexa) and it did help me cope with things much better. I think it helped somewhat with the anxiety but it was good to finally not cry at the drop of a hat. After about
l0 months of taking it I felt so good that I weaned myself off and really didn't have any withdrawal type symptoms at all. Lately the anxiety is creeping back in so I might go bback on the Celexa or something else but surprisingly - I once again feel that FEAR of taking it - how silly is that when I've already been there and it's been fine - just a lifelong medication fear I guess. But I'll get over it and take the meds if need be. So I hope you can do the same - it probably will do you a world of good.