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Hi Everyone, 

I am a person that has suffered with anxiety for many years now. I have always been an anxious/worried person, even as a child, but I didn't begin experiencing full-blown panic attacks until I was involved in a serious car accident. I guess it could be called PTSD, but the panic attacks continued for several years after the accident and still occasionally happen today. I am wondering if anyone has experienced a similar evolution in their mental-health and would be open to sharing their story. I am trying to learn more about my panic disorder/generalized anxiety by understanding my predisposition to these disorders, as a naturally anxious person. If anyone is willing to share, I have some more specific questions to provide guidance: 1. When did you begin experiencing anxiety/panic disorder? How old were you and were there any specific circumstances that impacted you?

2. Did you experience any events/circumstances that were particularly traumatic that you believe might have contributed to/triggered your anxiety/panic/PTSD?

3. Would you describe yourself as a naturally anxious person? Do you recall being more worried about things (sickness/health, irrational fears, bad things happening) prior to the onset of your anxiety/panic disorder? 

4. Did either of your parents or close relatives experience similar anxiety problems/mental-health disorders? Do you think you were impacted by them at all?

I apologize if any of these questions are too personal, of course this is just a forum and I expect that anyone that doesn't want to answer/isn't comfortable won't. I feel that learning as much as I can about my mental-health and the nature of my "problems" is very helpful in understanding why I am this way and how I can help myself and others. I hope that maybe this can help some of you as well. I appreciate any responses/contribution, and I hope that maybe we can spark an insightful conversation here. Thank you! :)


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Hi Ally,


You and I sound very similar. As a child, I did not have any anxiety but I did have some OCD behaviors. When I was 17, I was in a serious car accident. I almost died. I needed two blood transfusions, broke both of my arms and both of my legs, I needed fluid drained from knee and got such a bad infection in my left broken arm that they almost had to take it off. I was in the hospital for a month and spent the next year in physical therapy. It was during this time that my anxiety began. It started with mini panic attacks but got progressively worse. I will never forget the first big panic attack I had. I was still in my wheelchair and couldn't even move!  Luckily, I started to walk again and the only lingering affects are occasional pain in the areas where I have metal rods and plates and the inability to lift anything heavy with my left arm.


Fast forward 15 years, and my anxiety is worse than it has ever been. Mine tends to come in the form of health anxiety, but depression, GAD and OCD are also prevalent. I kept it all in check for many years until my medication stopped working. Since then, it's been a battle trying to find the right medication for me, as well as going to therapy. My therapist says even though the accident was so many years ago, it's the underlying problem that has set off all of my mental health disorders.


Are you currently on medication and/or going to therapy? I know medication is not for everyone, which is completely understandable. But for me, I know I will need to be one for the rest of my life. Therapy is a help for many though. It really helps to dig down to the root of your issues and face them head on.


Also, you have to keep in mind that the accident happened and unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change the past. But, there are things you can do going forward to help you out. (There is hope).


As for family, I only have one person (my cousin) with any issues anywhere close to mine. Hers are not even as bad as mine, but it helps to be able to talk to her. Sometimes when we talk, we end up having a laugh at how irrational our fears sound. Do you have someone close to you, a friend or family member, who can relate?

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