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Panic Attacks and ROCD

by Anon

Hi, I am a 19 year old female and I have just learned what my problem might be in my recent panic attacks. I have had panic attacks many different times before but none as severe as these that I have had recently due to some "personal issues" that I've been trying to deal with. I started to have panic attacks when I was a child, they weren't severe panic attacks just normal one's like: When you freak out about doing bad over a test, or get nervous over being in a new environment. Over time however these panic attacks progressed and became worse and worse especially into my teenage years. When I was 13 years old my panic attacks came more frequently. I started freaking out way more than a person should. I wasn't diagnosed with depression until I was about 15 years old I was put on medication for a while but the medication had horrible effects on me, I had taken it for about a good 5 months. I eventually stopped taking the medication and feeling better about myself. I became more social and more interactive I had great support of my friends and my family. When I was 16 I felt I had beaten my depression and anxiety for good that's when it came back to haunt me yet again. Those feelings had started to come back - the feelings that I wasn't good enough, that I would never be anything, that I may as well just give up on myself and my problems because they would never be fixed. I went through deep depression and terrible anxiety and I drove so many people away from me. It was a rough period for me but eventually I persevered and came out back on top again. When I was 17 I was doing extremely well. My confidence had resurfaced and I felt like a completely new individual. I thought I had beaten depression and anxiety for good this time. This was probably one of the happiest periods of my life or so I thought anyways. I was in a relationship and I couldn't have been any happier. I got support, love, someone that cared about me but something still wasn't right. There were times I felt I was loved very much and there were other times where I felt I wasn't loved at all. I thought these were normal feelings so I went along with what I felt. I thought these were just temporary thoughts and eventually that these thoughts would go away but they never did. As the relationship progressed so did my anxiety, fears, worries and the feeling of wondering if I ever was loved or not. I was always reassured that I was but there were times I just didn't feel it. I wondered if something was wrong with me or wrong with what I was thinking and feeling. There were nights I couldn't go to sleep because my mind kept wondering and wondering. Fast forwarding to now - I wonder why I keep having these horrible panic attacks. I decided to see if anyone else had any similar problems to mine and surprisingly, I found an entire community online that did and a disorder I believe I might have, ROCD (Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Its a disorder where you worry constantly about relationships and how they are going. I want to know if anyone else's story is similar to mine and if it is how did you cope with your new found problems?

Reply from Sound-Mind.org

Hello Anon,

Many people suffer with panic and relationship obsessions (rocd). Another story that you may be able to relate to is Obessive Thinking & ROCD

I think for the most part, people who struggle with anxiety and panic often find that recovery is much like a roller coaster ride. It is not uncommon to have periods of time when you do really well and then others when you feel like you are back to square one. Learning to overcome anxiety and panic is something that takes practice and a lot of trial and error. When you fully understand what causes panic and anxiety then you are more able to conquer it and keep it out of your life by doing the work and keeping your mind in the right place. It's truly about dealing with the bad habits of thinking that many of us have. The tendencies to "what if", looking for the negative in everything.

Truth of the matter is this..."feeling are not facts". Feelings are based on the things we think - good or bad, true or false, real or imaginary. Many times people will say..."if I feel a certain way, then it must be true". The brain will believe whatever you tell it. So this means...if you think on negative things, your brain will accept that and then respond physically to it. The mind and body work very much in harmony, so if your mind is negative you will feel the effects in your body and if your body is feeling negative, your mind will also be effected.

The best thing you can do to turn this around is to first, look at what you are saying to yourself on a regular basis. What are your thoughts? Then ask yourself if these thoughts are based on truth.
Check out Positive Self Talk for some tips on how to do this.

In the meantime, I encourage you to learn all you can about panic and anxiety. Hang in there and remember one day at a time! This website is full of tips and techniques and I hope you find something here that will help you have that final breakthrough.

Don't give up!
~Susan


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