My name is Erik, i am 16 years old and had my first panic attack about a year ago. It happened as if out of no where and since then it has been a constant battle with anxiety. I feel as if im going to die, i cant sleep properly at night, i think im going crazy and im always worrying about my heart and my general health and its really getting to me. I constantly worry about every little thing and i cant enjoy my old hobbies like i used to because im worried my heart will stop or something bad will happen to me. If there is anyone who can relate to me from personal experiences or even suggest ways to help with my anxiety please feel free to let me know, it feels as if i wont go back to the old me and it really upsets and scares me
I started having panic attacks probably around your age. I would worry that my heart would stop. Sometimes if I was in a crowded room I would start panicking that I was about to throw up! Back then (the 80s) it wasn't really talked about as much, and there weren't Internet forums, so I pretty much just dealt with it on my own, albeit unsuccessfully, for a long time.
When I was older I read a book that explained panic attacks and how they're only in your head, and actually, if you were having a heart attack or if something is really wrong, you wouldn't be nervous; you would probably be passed out! So then I decided that my panic attacks were a "trick" my mind was playing on me, and that there was nothing really wrong with me. The next few times I had them, I stopped whatever I was doing, and kept reminding myself that it was a trick; my body was confused and reacting to a trigger but there really was no reason to panic. After a few of those they went away and never came back.
I highly recommend Emotional Freedom Techniques (Google it; there's a great book for free online and you don't need to pay anyone to teach you) and also starting some form of meditation practice - not just for your anxiety, but for your overall health and well-being. These are practices you can start at 16 and take with you for the rest of your life, that will help you to not only be happier, but have loving relationships and equanimity throughout your life. These two things will affect your quality of life more than just about anything else!
I hope that you can find a natural way of dealing with it; it always worries me when people start taking powerful drugs to mask them, instead of using natural, healthy techniques that stop them in their tracks. Good luck!
I can relate to you almost perfectly. I am 17 and when I was 16 I could not get out of this terrible cycle of thinking there was something wrong with me mentally/physically, and then researching it and finding something it could be and freaking out about it and then feeling like I was going totally insane. I knew I was exaggerating and that I was probably fine but at the same time everything I thought was wrong with me still seemed logical. So I just went around in a circle because when that happened I felt crazy, which gave me another thing to research and find something else wrong with me. It was absolutely terrible, I could not get out of cycle for a long time. I finally went to a psychiatrist but as much as I wanted to explain to her, basically what I just explained to you, I couldn't. I was embarrassed by my craziness. However, other things I told her about like the random panic attacks, still made her put me on anxiety medication. It has helped a lot, it finally got me out of the cycle and it felt like I was finally back to not feeling psychotic. But as a disclaimer, medication is not always something you want to mess around with. If you do go to a psychiatrist like I did and she wants to put you on medication, you should consider the negative effects of it. For example, the first medication might not work. Then she/he will either want to increase it, or switch it. Whether you increase, decrease, or change it altogether, it will have an impact on your mind and body. Some medications make you tired and leave you with no energy to do anything and others can give you a jittery feeling like you just want to run around and scream. With all of that your mood will also go up and down while your body is adjusting to the meds. So yes mediation can help, but it comes with a price. Another option that helped me was therapy, however therapy is rather expensive. Those are about the only tips I have that really work. I know it is hard to see now, but things will get better no matter what, starting a diary helps too. Anything to help you organize your thoughts does actually help tremendously. Another thing, I know it is extremely hard to do but try to keep yourself occupied with other things so you can't think about what is worrying you. Trust me, it might take a little bit of time but things will get better.
you need to meditate. go sit in a quiet place where you cant get disturbed, sit up straight and comfy, close your eyes and breath slowly. or listen to your favorite music like i do. you need to understand not to worry about the small silly things in life. your going through puberty which never helps much! puberty effects your mind too! everyone goes through it even if they act like they are fine. you dont know who you are, what to do with your life or what makes you happy. you have your whole life to live and figure it out. dont stress the small things. live day by day. everyone is going through this with you but everyone deals with it differently. dont ever feel ashamed that you have anxiety attacks. they will get better once you can relax and figure things out. breathing slowly is important to do when you feel anxious. you will learn to stop it by yourself, control it and eventually grow out of it, once you can control it.
Thank you all, i will be sure to look into books, medication and meditation mentioned and see what works for me. Thank you for taking the time to help me out and i will keep you informed on my progress.
Im 19, Also when i was 16 i had my first panic attack out of no where on new years eve. Since then i have had a terrible fear of death, i try to do as much exercise as possible but will never push myself as i feel like my heart is going to stop and i'm always checking my pulse. I also have so many head aches, pains and sensations. All my family and friends are sick of me complaining about this to be honest i'm also sick of feeling like crap.. I've read books been to therapy, been put on beta- blockers and anti depressants and nothing seems to help. Seems like the best thing to do is find ways to live with this problem not try to fix it, reinsurance always helps me. for example you think your hearts going to stop but you've thought this before and it hasn't stopped your still alive. Think positive (yeah i no thats hard) but don't let it stop you doing anything as then it will take over your life.
Hope this helps
Erik, I'm a qualified hypnotherapist and I know from first hand what panic attacks are all about. It's one of the main reasons I trained and qualified.
I agree with some of the posts in terms of relaxation and meditation.
I would also add this:
We are all born with 2 fears, the fear of falling and the fear of loud or sudden noise.
Everything else that we now fear (ar whatever point in your life you are) has been LEARNT up to this point.
Our subconscious not only controls our autonomic processes like breathing for example (you don't have to consciously think about breathing!), it also looks after our 'survival'.
Every second, your subconscious evaluates millions of inputs (sounds, smells, visual etc. etc.) against the beliefs it already holds.
If it detects something that it believes is a 'danger' to self, it will 'tell' you about via physical symptoms, the fight or flight mechanism will kick-in.
The mouth may go dry, the bowels start to move, the geart rate picks up, you are far more alert: all of these things, in ancient times, would have been readying the body for a physical response to a threat against self.
The subconscious does not distinguish and does not know that you consciously know that you are 'safe'. It doesn't care.
It just wants to keep you 'alive'; and, afterall, everything it has done so far HAS kept you alive; you are still here after all!!
The subconscious will only change a belief if something comes along that is more valid or something changes that belief through experience.
Now, you may have no conscious idea why you suddenly have a panic attack. There may be no reason that you know of. However, there will be something that your subconscious has detected as a threat; this could be anything, and it is probably likely that you are not consciously aware of it.
The reaction we normally have to these episodes is actually what keeps them going.
The subconscious detects and send physical symptoms; the conscious person removes themselves from that situation and the symptoms decline.
The subconscious has won again!
The language of the subconscious is imagination and this wins hands down over willpower (conscious) EVERY time.
Now, to a solution.
There are various ways, and the efficacy depends on the specific circumstances e.g. random panic attacks or specific situations.
CBT is an option for some.
EFT is another option for others.
General meditation and relaxation techniques can help.
As a hypnothepist my obvious preference is Hypnoanalysis to get to the route cause. This can be very effective in the hands of a properly trained therapist. It is not necessarily the answer for everyone. As I have said, it depends on the individual circumstances and is dependent on the unique therapist/client relationship.
All I can advise is that if you want to go down the Hypnotherapy route, please make sure they are trained in Hypnoanalysis and that they are registered with the Government CNHC organization that regulates complimentary therapies, hypnotherapy being one of them.
I hope this has helped.
Hello Erik, I'm also 16 and having the same problem. Last month I went to the doctors over headaches and he took my blood pressure, it was really high which meant I had to go to hospital. As soon as I got to the hospital I started thinking "am I going to die" then I had my first panic attack, wasn't the best feeling I've had! But the doctors checked me out, took blood and all the tests came back fine! that night I went home and couldn't stop thinking about the worst. Ever since then I think about everything, been going to the doctors most of the time having him check that everything is okay, which it is but I don't think so. The worst part of it all is my own family keep saying I'm going mental and "it's all in my head" I always think I'm going to die and I'll have a heart attack. I really want it to go away but it won't! I don't even feel like myself anymore, I use to go out all the time and have fun! I can't even watch TV without thinking something bad is going to happen. But what everyone should know is that you're not alone and that people understand what we're going trough!
I also suffer from Panic attacks
Hi , I am 20 year old male and I too suffer from panic attacks and anxiety . I am scared of the fact that my head would spin any moment and I will probably die or get in deep trouble . I am scared to express this feeling to my family members or friends of embarrassment . I am scared to even do physical activities and in result of that I am getting over weight which is not a good thing . I don't meet friends often , I am more comfortable at home but when I go out alone I feel like i will collapse anytime but I never collapse and I panic . its just a weird feeling which is even difficult to describe . I just dont know how to control it . If you guys can guide me it would be of great help . Thanks .
I can but my beats fast every day all day long my doctor said its from marijuana in caffine so I quiet them both in is its getting worst I can see my heart beat when I look I my chest in I'm 16 too in in need of help I'm doctor said that this is making my anxiety go up will someone tell me wats going on
Hi. I know exactly what you are going through. I'm 20 years old and I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks on a daily basis. I dread getting through the day and through the night. I have been suffering with this for a while and its horrible. And just like you my panic attacks and anxiety come out of no where and mine lasts all day, everyday. I'm considering CBT which my doctor advised me to do, I heard it helps a lot, I have took tablets for anxiety but I get bad side affects so I can't take the medication. I'm also glad to know that other people are going through the same thing as me as I thought I was alone, I'm suprised just how many people suffer with this illness. I really do wish you the best of luck and I hope you find a cure for this.