Am I ok?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am a 15 year old female. 5ft 7″ 130 lbs I have a little bit of PTSD because of an even that happened to me recently. A few months ago I did a stupid thing I smoked this drug known as “spice” after taking a couple “hits” my friend called on my phone, so I stepped out to take the call. I felt this numbness in my upper back and as I was talking to my friend on the phone I hung up because then I got this overwhelming sensation and I could not think straight. I walked into the house and my heart was pounding a lot. I thought I was going to die. But in reality I was having a HUGE panic attack. So my friend walks into the house and is like”Dude! what’s wrong” then I told him I was freaking out and I told him to call 911. I’m a kid, what was I to do? So he starts freaking out saying stuff like “no i’m going to jail if I do call 911″ at that point I was screaming at him and he was making the situation worse. His sister heared me screaming came down stair to see what was going on and then she finally called 911 thankfully. After that whole situation I could not sleep that night.

The next day I had this really run down, depressing feeling. I really did not know what to do so, my wonderful mother helped me by calling a therapist to talk to. she really helped out a lot I only have gone to 3 sessions with her but she suggested another lady for me to see for people with PTSD. I am not on any medications thankfully, but the point of me writing this for help is because I am almost afraid of everything. I am afraid of getting a heart attack, becoming insane and never have my life back again, of losing everything I love, becoming schizophrenic, becoming depresses and suicidal, or dying in my sleep. It is deferent every day I start thinking to deeply even when I do not want to. I have small anxiety attacks almost every night. I do not really know why it happens only at night but it does. I use so many techniques to avoid it, sometimes it works other times it doesn’t. I just want to be a normal 15 year old kid. I have lost interest in most of what i do such as painting, and filming. But luckily I have not lost interest in the one thing I love the most, which is skiing. What do I do to make sure that I will not be a homeless mentally ill schizophrenic, or a crazy person in a straight jacket when I am older?

A: Wow. You really had a scare. You were so scared that you are still coming down from it. That’s why you are so anxious. That long list of fears is your system reverberating from that initial panic attack. My guess is the anxiety attacks probably happen more at night because there is less to distract you.

It’s hghly unlikely that you will end up in a bad way when you are older, especially if you learned your lesson and you stay away from drugs that mess with your brain. Work with the therapist to learn how to bring your level of anxiety back to normal. Please be patient. It will take awhile. You’ve only had three sessions and now you will be changing therapists. It will probably take a few sessions with the new therapist for you to get comfortable and to get down to work.

In the meantime, I strongly suggest that you go back to your painting and filming (and anything else you used to love to do) even if you don’t feel like it. Sometimes acting “as if” we’re in a better place helps us get there. Providing some external structures can help settle down internal distress. Also, work on calming techniques like slow breathing, prayer, listening to calming music, and getting some exercise. Activities like these will also help reset your nervous system.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Dec 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Am I ok?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/12/22/am-i-ok/