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Hi, I am a 25 year old woman with anxiety. Usually it comes and goes but my boyfriend is on holidays and he forgot to call after a night out and I had a complete breakdown, shaking, vomitting, calling him every 5 minutes until he finally woke up the next morning and replied. Since then, I have an anxious feeling in my stomach and have had diarrhea and vomiting. This was 5 days ago. He has been keeping in contact but I keep having crying panic attacks when we talk even though I know its nonsensical.
I have anxiety breakdowns every so often, usually over my younger brother going out drinking. The last time, I went to the doctor to get medication but because I am highly functioning(I go to work, do exercise, eat properly and appear ok to my peers) she thinks medication is not necessary. She referred me to a CBT specialist who said she could not help me now and that before she could I needed to  return to another counselor who I went to during a traumatic event. In university, my college boyfriend went out drinking and was found dead in the river 12 days later. He was supposed to come back to my house and I tried to call him all that night but I knew something had gone wrong.. My boyfriend gets back next Tuesday but I feel like I cannot cope until then. I have called two counsellors but cannot get an appointment until the 20th of July.. How can I cope now?

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Hi fairytaletear. Welcome to AC. :).

There is no doubt that what happened to your previous boyfriend has left a deep mark in your mind. That is what PTSD is. All the symptoms you describe are those of acute anxiety. Your doctor may not think you need medication but acute anxiety does need help. Does she realise how bad you feel or did you play it down? I know doctors are not happy prescribing tranquilisers but acute anxiety often needs medication.

It is not nonsensical. It is the result of continual introspection, turning in on yourself. Oh yes, I know, we look OK to our peers but inside we are in turmoil. The CBT specialist may have felt that your problem is deeper than what CBT can do for you. CBT is good but in your case I would agree with the specialist. What happened to you and your previous boyfriend would leave anyone with trauma. Good counselling is needed and if you can get back to your original therapist you should do so.

You ask how you can cope. By taking it one day at a time. Getting the help you need is essential, but looking too far ahead can be counter productive. Anticipation is a real no no in anxiety. Your reaction to any even small negative event is typical of acute anxiety because we blow everything up out of all proportion. But I suspect you know that. People can be inconsiderate but we can't blame them. They have no idea what anxiety is like. When your present boyfriend forgot to phone it triggered all the thought and feelings that happened before. Your mind went into a panic mode and your body responded with all the symptoms you describe. It is very possible to recover from PTSD but it does need expert help. Go for it but try to take it all slowly.   Best wishes.     Jon.

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Thank you. He is being amazing about keeping in contact now but I have this intense feeling or worry still. I'm terrified he will be so overwhelmed by my reactions he will decide it's too much. I also feel its not worth it caring about someone when it feels like this. I get the same over my younger brother going out too. Thanks Jon.

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No fairy, never stop caring. Love is close to caring and if we give up on Love we are really in trouble. What happened to you has caused a deep trauma and it will take time to recover, Give it as much time as needs, but at the same time keep moving forward. You will be fine.     Jon.

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