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I try to stay calm as my heart starts to race and my legs begin to shake. I feel nauseous and I might throw up. It's happening. Right here, right now, at work. A panic attack. My first one happened in my mid-20s. Thought I was dying. It runs in my family. My father has anxiety and panic disorder.
Panic disorder is associated with anxiety that continues after the panic attack has resolved. Patients with panic disorder worry about having another attack or that they might lose control. Sometimes they fear they're suffering from a serious medical condition that hasn't been diagnosed. As a result, they change their behavior to avoid situations that might provoke another attack.
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About a month ago, I went to see a psychiatrist. Earlier in the spring, I had visited my family doctor about another annoying little problem: my teeth seem to be very fragile and are breaking. I grind them at night, and even though I wear a night-guard, this doesn't seem to be protecting them from injury. Turns out, I have a mild anxiety disorder.
I was 14 and shocked by all the criticisms suddenly blind-siding me. They ranged from making me believe I was an (almost) slut to something as vague as, "Shake my hand and commit to 'trying harder.'" To this day I wonder how much harder I could try. I already had a 4.0 GPA.
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It's 2015 and in Canada we, as a society, still haven't come to the realization that people with mental illness can still have urgent and immediate psychiatric and psychological needs without it being deemed life-threatening. There are no decent services available to people who need immediate non-hospital psychiatric care. If you're in a mental health crisis and want immediate care you either need to call the police or present yourself to the emergency room.
I sat in a therapist's office two weeks ago. "I think I'm having a nervous breakdown," I told her. Summer ended. My relationship fell apart. Then, it just disappeared. Then, I wondered if I'd made it all up. I felt like my friends didn't like me anymore. There's been a lot said about the quarter-life crisis. Is that why a lot of my friends and I needed help?
Warning: the contents of this article might be offensive to some. In that, it might make you conjure up images of snot, mucous, throw-up, broken arms and the like. Consider yourself trigger warned. La...
If someone would have told me years ago that I would suffer from panic attacks I would have thought them to be crazy. The first time I had a panic attack was in 2004. It hit me like a punch in the face. I was cleaning up the house when all of a sudden I started having difficulty breathing.
When I was 25 years old, I went mute. Not for a few seconds, not for a few days, or weeks, but months. Talking, for me, evoked acute panic attacks. When I found my way to Figueroa Street in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, I panicked over how I was to teach a group of juvenile delinquents without any training let alone without a voice. I was to work with one student. He was 17 years old. He was over six feet tall and his name was Anthony. I learned that this 17-year-old Anthony was awaiting trial. He was allegedly involved in a gang shooting where one individual died. I feel like I owe much of my life to Anthony.
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