Possible Anxiety Disorder

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 25 and for more than 11 years I have felt like this. I feel afraid, like dying my heart beats faster, I can’t control myself, can’t breath…and after it I stay alone don’t talk to anyone and all the day afraid this might repeat. I can’t sleep at night because sometimes when I’m asleep I wake up afraid for no reason. i can’t eat consequently. the strange thing is that when I eat I thing I’m going to die because my family all the time say these superstitious things and I found myself trapped them. ALSO i CAN’t stand open closets they drive me crazy.finally, I stay at home and can’t go out out or meet friends and if i go I can’t be in open places or crowds.I hate being around people.

A: I’m so very sorry this has gone on for so long. It sounds terrible! I can’t make an official diagnosis on the basis of only a letter. But I can tell you that everything you describe is consistent with an anxiety disorder. A rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath and being afraid that it will happen again are all symptoms of panic disorder. Not being able to go out or be in open spaces suggests social anxiety and the discomfort with open closets suggests obsessive-compulsive disorder. All are under the heading of anxiety disorders.

Please educate yourself. Go online and find out more about anxiety disorders and treatments for it. The good news is that anxiety, even when it is an intense as you describe, can be treated. A combination of some medication and some therapy usually is very effective. You can even start by doing some reading. The book, “Feeling Good” by David Burns is excellent.

You have suffered far too long. You have missed a great deal of life because of an untreated problem. Please get the treatment you need so you can start enjoying life again.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Dec 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Possible Anxiety Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/12/03/possible-anxiety-disorder/