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I’m new in this! Any advice?

Hi, I’m 30 and I been suffering from anxiety for some years. Everything started from a panic attack while driving and the rest is history.  Some days I feel ok and other days I  feel like I’m going to lose it. I have a Job and I am currently working and I have to drive myself to work. I always had anxiety while driving but manageable. But lately I been feeling like I can’t. I don’t understand why? I understand I have a mental issue but why my mind is closing on me? It’s a fear of getting a panic attack. I shouldn’t be afraid because I drive the same route everyday. But my mind keeps making me feel like I’m driving the wrong way. I am not taking meds and I’m afraid to. I have taken therapy and it was helpful. I need positive energy. Someone to tell me I’ll be ok. Someone to remind me I’ll be ok. Reactivate my brain that I’ll be ok. My thoughts are going down hill. It’s so painful to suffer this fear. I really need to work. I’m the only provider in my family. I’m scared. Any positive advise I would appreciate it. Thanks
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Avatar universal
Hi. I have had a difficult life starting in my college years. I am now 77. It's been a long road, but I have had many blessings for which I am grateful. I have a question for you. Was there an incident that started your anxiety attacks? I never understood anxiety attacks until recently. Something happened with a close friend that very much upset me. It's a long story, so I won't go into it now. But I'm curious. Was there an incident that set you off?
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Oh yes, P.S., I get "anxiety" sometimes when I'm driving, I feel a sinking in my stomach area when I get scared of what might happen. I don't like the feeling, but I don't want to go on medication because of that sinking horrible feeling. It goes away. I like a cup of coffee while I'm in the car. That makes me feel better.
Just to say, for those who have a more severe anxiety problem, don't drink that coffee.  It contains caffeine, and that might just make it worse as any stimulant might.  For some, coffee is a placebo as are all comfort things we do to minimize anxiety, but for others it might add to the adrenaline coursing through you.  Take care out there, find what works for you.  Peace.
I was about 24/25 yrs old. I was sitting down watching tv when I started feeling tickling and numbness on my hands, it felt weird but I started panicking a lil. So I went to my room and was trying to shake off the feeling. But my mother walked in and told me if there was something wrong and I explained what I was feeling, so she told me I was getting a stroke so there goes that. I panic like crazy and went to hospital thinking I was going to die. Long story short, ever since that day I always started panicking I had a underlying disease that I was going to die, I started off by reading off google and ending up in the hospital. So my anxiety started getting worse. Until one day while driving I got a panic attack and then I started getting scared to drive but I still kept going, I started getting therapy and my therapist to me I was going trough a lot of stress in my life that maybe started my anxiety In the first place.. Therapy helped manage my anxiety and manage my driving for couple years. But recently I started feeling bad again. I need to keep reminding myself I’ll be ok. It’s kinda like a rewind in my brain, like a training.
I know it doesn't seem like it, but if you're going to get an anxiety problem the best one to get is one that is caused by a traumatic incident.  That's because at least you know where the problem started and have something to work on.  Now, that doesn't mean working through it in therapy will fix the anxiety -- you still need to work on that in a behavioral way as well -- but trust me, mine has no discernible cause and so there's just nothing to work on.  Peace.
Avatar universal
If you have this much anxiety the therapy didn't really work.  Is this the only phobia you have, or do you have other things you have also become anxious about doing?  If it's the one phobia, CBT therapy should fix it.  It won't happen super quick, but it should work.  Other types of therapy can help as well, especially if there's some issue that was going on that triggered this anxiety.  But what you are describing is a phobia, and the fact you keep driving is good.  But CBT if it works for you will train you.  Things that a good therapist for anxiety can teach you are breathing exercises.  You can learn meditation which can calm your system.  If it's just the one phobia, you can probably fix it without medication, but if you get to a point where you just can't function meds might become necessary to stabilize you.  But the key is, it takes work to beat this.  There's no guarantee, but it isn't going to get fixed by chatting with a therapist.  It can make you feel better temporarily, but what you really need is to learn tools that help you beat it.
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