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Self-harming stress and panic attacks

I have had an incredibly hard few years behind me: my parents fighting much, me loosing some of my friends, ending an abusive relationship.
I am currently a senior in high school and I will probably start college in fall. So the stress level is pretty high.

I have had those attacks ( I am not sure if they are panic attacks or not ) for few years. For instance I was at TopShop. And I was having hard time choosing the clothes. So suddenly I felt like the walls were closing in, falling on me. There was no air and I felt like passing out. I started to hyperventilate and searched for the closest exit. As soon as I left I felt better.

Or today I was thinking of my major (law) and I have had serious doubts about it lately. So I started to panic and cry. I could not stop myself from writing to my university and asking them if I can change my course. I was so worked up that I cried for a long time afterwards, then suddenly it stopped and I felt like all these weird feelings disappeared.

I have trouble with falling asleep lately. So I sleep like 3-4 hours at night. It is very challenging for me yet I can not sleep.

I get these total highs. I feel like I am ready to take on the world and do everything. And then it just changes. And I feel worthless and empty.

I am very reserved when it comes to my feelings. I have had experience with people using those "feelings" against me later on. But now those feelings are coming out in very weird places. I have started to cry in school (I just couldn't hold it in, I guess) and at home for no reason.

Sometimes I feel like I might have ocd. But this is just the small things and it does not affect my life.

Should I seek any help or is it just due to stress?
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replied April 21st, 2013
I can sense your panic as I read your post. The first thing I will do is say a little prayer for you to have "peace that passes all understanding" Second, I will tell you a story. As you read my story make sure you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth:) NOW, take a breath in and count to four. Then breathe out and count to four. Ok, now just read:) Panic Attacks, hyperventillation, and personal terror attacks on my brain, are my specialty:) I say this because I've been receiving treatment for a very long time. Years. (I'm an old lady:) It's important that you let someone help you. Call a hotline or go down to your local mental health office and tell them that a friend suggested that you let someone help you:) Medication can help with the anxiety and panic, but when you add to that, the help of a professional, you won't just help yourself, you can actually CURE yourself. Your anxiety won't go completely away on its own, but if you let others help you, it will go away. Just as I felt your level of anxiety three sentences into your post, professionals will too. And they will carry that anxiety for you:) They can because for one, it's not happening to them and two, they really do care. NOW, take another deep breath, in through your nose...The next time you feel your body change and your heart starts to speed up, just go to a water faucet and wipe cold water on your face. This actually triggers your brain to return to actuality. Or what is actually occurring in that very moment, which is nothing bad. And always remember, anxiety and terror/panic attacks is your body lying to you. Reject the lie by proving its a lie. Let experienced helpful professionals help you always. Smile God Bless and feel free to msg me.
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replied April 21st, 2013
Oh, thanks for that answer. My father wants me to see a psychologist. I don't know how to feel about that. I guess I just don't trust them. Everybody talks about everybody. So... yeah. I have no motivation to help myself. Non.
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