Hey. So I'm not too sure how to start this, but I guess I'll just dive right in.
I've grown up with complex PTSD, depression, and severe anxiety. I also have a history of self harm... this doesn't relate, but it seems kind of important to be able to understand how self-destructive I can become. As a teenager, I was medicated, but I'm now 23 years old and haven't had health insurance since I turned 19.
My depression has improved to a very liveable level, while only really experiencing an intense bout (other than, you know, the overall minor depression of everyday life that is slightly ignorable) every month or so. My anxiety has always been quite severe, and I spend most of my day-to-day life inside my apartment. I work from home, and leaving the house sends me into a complete anxiety spiral, but still it's manageable. I've only ever had one panic attack and I was about 12 years old, other than that, no prior history.
In December of 2017, I was on a threeway call with my mother and my uncle discussing the state of my grandmother. I had been part of these conversations before, so it wasn't crazy for me, but this particular phone call was a pretty big bummer. Anyway, mid-phone call, I suddenly couldn't breathe and began to cry. I hung up without saying goodbye, and felt like I was leaving my body. I thought I was going to die, right then and there, alone in my apartment. I called my mom a million times, but she didn't answer. Felt like I was going to explode. I eventually started to calm down, she called back, and it seemed to go away.
Similarly, these types of feelings started happening about once every two weeks or so, and it started to get into my head that I really was suffering from something that was killing me. Every time I would convince myself that something IS actually physically wrong with me and I'm about to die. Of course I know (sort of) that this isn't true, considering if I become distracted or smoke a bowl or talk to someone or go for a walk, the feeling will eventually pass and I'll almost forget about it.
Anyway, I had a very bad week about two weeks ago. For about four days straight, I felt like I was living in a constant state of panic. I felt every second of every day and I could barely function. It never fully escalated, I just was in constant paralyzing panic of it actually escalating.
After these few days, it sort of just went away. I caught a cold, so I was very focused on getting better. Also, I began a morning meditation, have been listening to soothing sounds throughout the day, light candles, keep the lights low, all in an effort to avoid the panic coming back and keeping calm. Wonderfully enough, I was lucky enough to have it begin to work. Truthfully, for those seven days, I felt the best I've felt in years.
On the eighth day, I began a 13 hour road trip (driving) to a friends for a vacation. The minute I got into the car, the feeling came back. I was fighting tunnel vision, horribly shortness of breath, and again, feeling like I was going to die right then and there. It continued on and off for the entire vacation. Never fully escalating, not nearly severe, and could fully function the whole time. Never lasting more than 30 minutes at a time, but were continual... probably about 10 bouts of this over the 5 days. Regardless of this, I had a GREAT time, so it wasn't close to all consuming. It only happened when we were just sitting somewhere, like watching a movie or waiting for food at dinner.
I just returned home yesterday, and all I want is the feeling I was working on before I had left. I'm so exhausted. At this point, I know 100% that I am constantly convincing myself I'm about to have an attack. I'm honestly talking myself into them and I have no idea how to handle this. I'm the one making them happen at this point. I woke up this morning and after about 1 hour of feeling fine, I thought to myself: "interesting that you don't feel panicky right now". Since then, I've been completely obsessed with whether it's happening or not. It's been hours and I've just been sitting, thinking about whether I'm going to lose it or not.
Again, I have no health insurance and can't afford health care on my own (which I believe is increasing my anxiety about the fact that I'm dying of an unknown illness), and am so scared that I will always feel like this. I am so scared. I know it hasn't been long and it isn't especially severe, but I'm going insane. I don't even really know what I'm asking, I just don't want to feel so alone right now.