I just stumbled across this forum this morning and figured I'd give it a shot just because I know that it's nice to have people that can relate to what you're going through. My doctor diagnosed me with depression about a year ago. I've never felt particularly sad or suicidal or anything. I kind of laughed it off because to me it didn't seem real. There wasn't a definitive test that says "yup, you're depressed". The anxiety part of it I do believe, I understand that my brain puts me in these hypothetical situations which never end well for me and that causes me to be anxious. At the same time, I"m constantly fearful that I'm just going to drop dead. I'm a pretty healthy individual as far as what I eat. I exercise 3-5 days a week, and I currently work as a security officer in a hospital. I figured that with this constant fear of death, what better place to be working than right outside the emergency room. While I'm standing outside the ER at work I seem to have more anxiety though. I get dizzy and unfocused, it feels like my brain is just sloshing around inside my head. Sometimes there's pressure in my head and it feels like all I want to do is close my eyes. I've dealt with this long enough that I recognize the symptoms, but my brain still jumps to stroke, brain tumor, aneurysm, and then the anxiety and panic just spirals out of control from there. Even though I have accepted the fact that it's anxiety, I still feel like there's something physically wrong with me.
All I can say is i am very similar. you are not alone in that. When i have xanax it tends to help. Or i just drink a glass of wine. I honestly have not figured out a way to deal with it without something like that though. I know it is driving my husband nuts. This is the way i have been since birth though.
It's very common to obsess over death and what can happen.
There are a few methods to free yourself of your anxieties; they are kind of simple-looking, but you'd be surprised how effective they are.
One way is through emotional freedom techniques. Just Google it and you'll find all sorts of information about how to do it for free. You may find results immediately.
The other way is through meditation. It can be transcendental meditation, primordial sound meditation, or any of the various other meditations that quiet your mind and teach you to focus on present awareness. That can break your mind's habit of obsessing over the future.
Deepak Chopra's 7 Spiritual Laws is probably available for free at your library; it's not religious, it just talks about how to look at you and your connection to the universe. It may help you to let go. I'm not a doctor and I'm not claiming to know what I'm talking about... but it seems like you're trying to control something that can't be controlled. Sure, you can take steps to be healthy and improve your quality of life. But trying to control the future is like trying to control the weather. It's easier said than done, but one of the keys to inner peace and joy is to surrender to the universe and let go of the desire to control things. I'm sure the Dalai Lama can say it much better than I can, so you might want to check out some of his books or lectures. Once you let go of trying to control the future, you will feel free to enjoy the present moment, and stop worrying about death.
For me all the anxiety and panic started around my 20th birthday. I've tried deep breathing and trying to keep my mind focused on the breathing rather than letting my mind wander. The therapist I've been seeing helps, but it's like a completely different mindset when I'm panicking. The meds I've been trying seem to make things worse. I'm currently coming off of Paxil. I've felt awful the last few days. Migraines on and off, disoriented, nauseous, just horrible feeling in general.
I'm no psychologist, but you might want to allow your mind to wander, that is, instead of trying to take your mind off the anxiety, talk to yourself, journal, etc. and figure out what thoughts are stimulating the anxiety. Who knows, your mind may be trying to send you a message and if you ignore it it will be persistent and keep sending it to you. The fight or flight response, the increased heartbeat and panicky feeling, is a product of millions of years of evolution; it used to be a survival technique, now it doesn't really serve us in most situations. But it's rising up again because of certain thoughts you're having, many of which might begin with "what if...?" So, if I were you, I would consider actually focusing on the panic attack itself, asking yourself what thoughts are creating it, and then you can challenge those thoughts and outsmart the automatic fight or flight response. Just a thought. Good luck!