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Help. Girlfriend panic attacks

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lenmoni123

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
1
Location
Sacramento, CA
Hello,

I am only here because I don't feel like I am qualified to effectively help my girlfriend. I've known her for two years, and every moment I spend with her is well-spent. When I met her, her grades were perfect; however, last semester, she took many difficult classes while working many jobs. She lives at home and her family members (13 in one house) always ask her for favors. She completes them without question, and they rarely return the favors. Because of her busy schedule, as I first thought, she failed a couple of her classes. She recently told me that she has depression and anxiety. Because of her depression, (according to online sources) she feels hopeless very often and does not have enough energy to perform basic activities, including listening in class. Combined with the fact that she did not learn the content in the prerequisites well due to her depression, she does not perform as well as she used to in college. Recently, she also told me that she has panic attacks often. To keep herself from having them, she does anything to keep her mind off of the stressful thoughts causing the attack. The fact that her parents left her in another country when she was a child, the fact that she was sexually abused as a child, the fact that her aunt kept her from eating, watching TV, having friends, or leaving the house, the fact that her brother injured her when he was drunk, the fact that her parents told her that they wished her brother would have hurt her more, the fact that she loves them and they don't love her back, the fact that her best friend committed suicide recently, the fact that she hasn't exercised because of her depression (she feels bad about her body image), the fact that she has she has lost some hair due to stress, and the fact that, for some time, I've experienced ED (she thinks that I'm experiencing ED because of her body) because of stress from school (the first time) and performance anxiety (the other times). Usually, when she gets upset because of the events in her life, I hug her and comfort her. Today, however, I cried because she said that she didn't want to see me anymore because she can't help feeling that my ED is caused by her body. As a result, she had a panic attack; she says that she wants to hurt herself every time she has one. She also says that she has tried to commit suicide five times. Every night, she has at least two nightmares. Some of them involve ghosts; others involve her family members sexually abusing her while other family members stand by, laughing. She says that she sees ghosts in random places and sometimes feels that someone is breathing on her. I've talked with her about going to a psychologist; she doesn't want to go. She has never told anyone in her family about her depression or anxiety. Often, she says that she doesn't need help and she says that she just wants to be alone or die; she says that dying is the best option for her.

I have OCD; I stopped taking medication two years ago when I met her. I question if I need to start taking medications again: I refused to eat any non-homemade foods (with my girlfriend) and I didn't listen to music or watch TV because I felt that it would "damage" me. Sometimes I fear that my ED will come back (it always does now).



What can I do? What can I say? She is my life. She is everything.



I request for this post to be deleted after it becomes inactive for some time; I don't want to make her feel any worse (in the fact that I told some strangers about her life). I only want to make her feel happy.
 
Schwarzen

Schwarzen

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Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
73
Location
Nowhere in particular.
There's not much you can really do other than keep trying to convince her to seek help.

All that you mentioned goes well beyond traumatic, some of that is just outright horrific, and there's very little chance of her getting better on her own when faced with emotional trauma to such a degree.

It's hard to suggest any strategies that may work better on convincing her as obviously nobody here personally knows her but perhaps you should consider getting back on treatment, both for your own sake and hopefully to work as an example to show her if indeed it helps with your issue.

Also, for your own sake, try as hard as you can but also start preparing for the worst, you can do everything possible to help someone but if they don't make the choice themselves then there's nothing you can truly do and even if she does end up seeking treatment that's not a 100% guarantee of recovery. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
 
Empish

Empish

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Joined
Apr 7, 2021
Messages
251
Location
Uk
Hi,

She is obviously very overwhelmed by not only her past abuse but also the demands on her to help her family. I think the first thing you could do is to tell her that in order to help her family (and there is actually no reason why she should if as you say they never return the favours) she needs to help herself first. It sounds like she is empathic and empaths feel the need to support and help people BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF THEIR OWN WELLBEING AND HAPPINESS!! Is there anyway she can remove herself from her family even if only for a few months. She can explain to them that she is not abandoning them she just needs to take a break and even if she were to leave permanently she can still be of assistance via the phone. Having to live in a house where you have been taken advantage of can be very draining as can feelings of having been abused.
 
Empish

Empish

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Joined
Apr 7, 2021
Messages
251
Location
Uk
I also think that if she were to remove herself from the situation either temporarily or otherwise there would be a good chance of her recovering. If she can't leave then she needs to take a stand and tell them she's not about to be taken advantage of any longer. I used to suffer From panic attacks and have lots of advice.
 
babyblue22

babyblue22

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
337
Location
Uk
My boyfriend just shows up & tells me everything is going to be alright & holds me through the panic attack. No judgement just a shoulder & an ear to listen. Sometimes he helps with my breathing and counts for me which is really helpful. (In for 4, out for 7) You don’t need to be a professional to help. Nothing and no one has helped me as much as he does ❤
 
babyblue22

babyblue22

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Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
337
Location
Uk
It sounds like your girlfriend has Borderline personality disorder. Unfortunately I share some of the trauma she suffered from too. Propranolol stops me bleeding so much when I self harm but she needs to see someone to get some medication xx
 
babyblue22

babyblue22

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Jan 23, 2019
Messages
337
Location
Uk
You should have been supported. Panic attacks are awful but having someone there with you makes it less traumatic
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Apr 20, 2019
Messages
2,614
Location
England
There's too much going on there, she sounds like she's about ready to snap. Try and get her to go to a doctor. This is pretty urgent I would say due to seeing things and feeling things because this may be a sign that psychosis is developing, and she is clearly a threat to herself. Doctors as soon as possible, do all you can to get her to one.
 
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