I am recently graduated (with A marks), looking for job with quite good skills and knowledge, but still unable to acquire any position. All of my friends are having full-filling relationships and successful jobs and I feel unearthly inferior to them when hanging out. I keep having anxiety attacks about what am I going to do, because I think that my best years are already behind me. I don’t have a good relationship with my mother and I am constantly afraid of letting her down, because she often throws her problems on my head. If a have too many drinks and something bad happens to me (e.g. I often lost my wallet or get robed), I have a huge hysterical attacks and scare my closest friends by the way how desperate and lost I can be. Many times I beat myself up with guilt, because I haven’t done something right and I am not like the majority of people around me. Could I help myself by self-help or should I trust myself into hands of specialists?

A: It must be very uncomfortable to feel as though others are doing better than you and you don’t measure up. Yet it seems clear from your grades that you are bright and motivated, so let’s focus on what can be done about the feelings you are having.

I would take a two-pronged approach to this. The first thing I would do is start experimenting with yoga or meditation. Along the lines of self-help these are some of the most powerful and well researched interventions for coping with anxiety.

Second, I would get some professional help. Since you are a recent graduate I would go back to the university and ask them to help you find a suitable counselor. Even better, enroll in a class to keep yourself engaged in your field, and take advantage of trained counselors at the university. The combination of self-help and professional work should be helpful.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral