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Servere Anxiety problems, Scared to eat food, lost 15 lbs!

Hello everyone, I am 23 years old and have suffered from anxiety disorders and depression in the past. I have also been diagnosed with GERD. About a month ago I suffered from an attack of GERD where it was hard to breathe, my chest hurt and acid was coming up in the back of my throat..this caused damage to my esophagus and made it a little tight for about a week. Prevacid seems to have helped it. When i had the GERD attack i also threw myself into one of the worst panic attacks i have ever had in my life. Since then, even though my throat has returned to normal, I am scared that every time i eat something i am going to choke on it. I don't have a hard time swallowing when i first start eating but the more I eat and the more i think about it, the harder it is for me to swallow. Eating almost anything gives me a panic attack and even after i am done eating and i feel my food digesting, i think it is stuck in my throat, which makes me aware of my breathing and often leads to yet ANOTHER panic attack. I know that the "lump in the throat" feeling and gas and bloating can be attributed to stress and anxiety, but this whole thing of not being able to eat is ridiculous...I have my appetite, I'm hungry all the time, I just psych myself out when i eat. Has anyone else had this issue? if so, how did you get through it? Thank you and God Bless you all!
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replied February 2nd, 2019
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
You have depressive,autonomic and psychic symptoms of anxiety disorder. You would need anxiolytic, antidepressant like paroxetine and psychotherapy sessions like CBT. Psychoeducation and support group are also helpful.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care
Khan
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