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Is something going on with me?



New member
Mar 19, 2015
Ok I figured I would just post my little situation/vent here....if anyone has knowledge of mental health-related things, it would be awesome if you had any thoughts :)

Ok so (I'm 20 years old in 2nd year college) There are 2 main things going on in my life: the first is struggling with what to do with my life — I’m torn between going into medicine or becoming a writer (I know this sounds pretty common but it seriously consumes me). The other is that about four months ago my dad died. It was from ALS, so it was slow but very painful to watch him go through it, and I find myself haunted by it (I will explain more). Right after he died I was actually doing fine, I think I was still in shock probably, but I could at least go to school and function day-to-day. Lately though I’ve been feeling very very anxious all the time, jittery, sometimes I feel fine and other days it takes me a long time to get out of the house, and I get very consumed with the thought of death to the point of crying, and feel very worried about my own personal death and about what I’m going to do with my life. I feel like time is passing by so quickly and each day I am getting closer to my own death, and this gives me so much anxiety (I’ll explain more soon).
There are certain triggers that make me think about my dad/death (for example the sound of a train or certain music), and my heart starts racing and I get short of breath and start crying and feeling like throwing up (I don’t know if this is a “panic attack,” I’ve done some research on them and this doesn’t seem to be as severe — I don't want to label myself with something I don’t have).
I’ve been also having a lot more nightmares recently, not always explicitly about my dad or anything although sometimes they are, but generally they’re just really frightening dreams that leave me waking up feeling short of breath and that whole panicky feeling again.
I generally just feel on-and-off depressed but I am really struggling focusing on on school, making it to all my classes, and even just doing day to day tasks like laundry takes a lot out of me and by the end of every day I always find myself with that anxious feeling. I have a lot of trouble falling asleep because the thought of death and time passing by consumes me tot he point of having these “panick” moments — I have to watch videos on my computer until I fall asleep because I simply can’t do it naturally, and haven’t fallen asleep without my computer playing beside me in months.
Anyway, I’m not looking to be diagnosed with some serious mental illness or anything, I’m just curious as to what might be going on with me (do I have some sort of mild PTSD, or anxiety disorder? — again, I’m not looking for anything to label myself with…but at the same time it would give me some peace of mind). I’ve neglected the idea of anything abnormal going on with me but I honestly feel like there is a problem. I want to reach out to counselling services at my school but I’ve never experienced anything like that before, I don’t really know what to say. Any thoughts on what this could be or what to say if I try to go to counselling? Thanks for anyone who reads this, if you have any advice it would mean the world :)
The Dragon Lady

The Dragon Lady

Well-known member
Jul 9, 2015
Hello to you! I know it's been awhile since this was posted. I understand very well how you are feeling and the uncertainty that goes along with it. Yeah, it sounds like you are dealing with anxiety and depression. That is what I began with when my psych stuff began some years ago (I was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but it seemed to have been a triggered reaction. It wasn't present prior to 2010). I was being treated for generalized anxiety disorder and depression. I think that if you feel there is a problem, then there probably is something going on. You know yourself best. I do think you should take the opportunity to speak with the counseling people and just let them know how you feel...describe exactly what you posted. I think you described it well in your post. Don't be nervous about talking, though it is difficult to take that first step. Talking really helps with some of this, so this site can be beneficial. It helps to know you are not alone.

You mentioned sleep. I don't know if you are open to it or not, but for me Xanax (alprazolam) really helped with the racing thoughts so I could eventually sleep. It may help (or something similar). If you aren't sleeping well, it can add to the feelings of anxiety and increase symptoms of various psych disorders. Sleep is so important!
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