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Anxiety Has Taken Over My Life...

Dear Dr. Schwartz,

I currently am a full time worker for NYS and am 23 years old. My first experience with anxiety happened my junior year in High School when I was in a Medical Technology class and a girl next to me fainted. I, myself have fainted before and it never effected me the way it did that day. When it happened, I didn't know what was wrong with her and immediately started to sweat, panic and ran out of the classroom. I went to the nurse and she told me I probably had a mild anxiety attack and had me lie down for awhile. I went about my day like normal - until the following day when I returned to the classroom. The moment I walked into the door it was unbelieveably terrifying. The smell of the room, the sight of the girl, everything about it scared me like I was walking on death row. I started to cry for no reason and got the same exact feeling I did the day before and left school. I almost didnt graduate becuase of this. Everytime I returned to school I immediately got the same fear and had to somehow leave. I was tutored for 4 months and managed to pass by the skin of my teeth.

Since then, I have seen numerous Doctors to try and help me but I can't seem to get past the 1st visit without literally running out of the office. I am absolutely petrified of Doctors and anything that has to do with them, period. My anxiety and new found phobias (elevators, crowded places, long distance traveling, heights, closed areas, heat, death - the list goes on) seem to be progressively getting worse. I am so depressed over it and I just think this is the last step for me. I am on medication that my Primary Care Physician has prescribed for me (Xanax) that seems to be the ONLY thing that will calm me down and I am sick of taking it.

I am only 23 years old and can't even walk into a mall without fearing for my life. It's so depressing and scary beyond belief. It's strange that I can write about this all day long but the moment I am face to face with someone talking about it, I clam up and cry.

I just don't understand this and I wish I did, or knew how I could be normal. If you have any help or information for me, please let me know. I really could use it.

Thanks for your time. I really appreciate it.

Sincerely, September3

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