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SI & Anxiety


nicolee

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I work full time and go to school full time. I suffer from severe panic attacks during my classes, which are 2 nights a week from 5-10. During these attacks, I can't breathe, my heart races, I feel like I'm choking, and I shake so bad I can barely take notes. My pdoc won't prescribe benzos, says it's agency policy. This anxiety is crippling me and it lasts from the time class starts until I get home and eventually fall asleep. I usually feel worthless the next day as well, totally not myself. I've tried to move my pdoc appointment up from the end of March, but the office called back and they won't move it up, told me to go to therapy. Which in theory is good, but I don't have the money. I have no insurance, lost my house to foreclosure, credit card companies are going to garnish my wages and if I have to choose between therapy and gas to get me back and forth to work, I choose gas. And food. My school just hired a part time counselor that I'm going to start seeing on Monday and it's free since I'm a student, but other than that, I have no access to counseling services.

To make a long story short, I've resorted to to cutting again. It grounds me and helps with the anxiety. I was doing it when I got home from school, but over the weekend I've purchased a "kit" to carry with me in my purse so I can harm if necessary during my breaks. I wish I had different coping mechanisms, but I just don't. I'm so overwhelmed with the anxiety that I can't function. I've tried relaxation, deep breathing, all that stuff and the only thing that seems to help is cutting.

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Hi,

Your frustration comes across in your post, I don't want to minimize that. I don't know what to suggest to you really, we're not a pro cutting site, and while I see your predicament, you're not going to get any endorsement or support for cutting yourself on CB. We have a pinned list of self harm alternatives which may work for the kind of anxiety that you describe. I'll see if anyone else can offer any other ideas.

Have you spoken to your tutors about student support and accommodations?

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I wasn't really looking for endorsement of my behavior. It was more of a vent. Thank you for your suggestions.

I have accommodations for the classes I'm in, but I still have to attend the classes and that's where the problem lies.

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What kind of therapy have you done in the past?

I have my eye on some Buddhist prayer beads. The idea is to recite mantras with each bead. You can do this in your head, if you want. It's an exercise in mindfulness. Mindfulness is good for anxiety.

One of my coworkers uses a long string of beads to ground himself. He carries them everywhere. I imagine it's for similar reasons.

Some Christians use rosaries.

In short, that's a suggestion. It's easy to do discretely.

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I guess I've just done basic psychotherapy. Nothing like DBT because it's not offered around here anywhere. The counselor at the school sent me a confirmation email today, so I'm all set to see him on Monday morning. I will mention mindfulness to him and see if he can help me with that.

I'm a little nervous though because I've never had a male therapist and I'm afraid I won't like him. But even if I don't like him, I don't have any other option, so I guess I will continue to see him for as long as I'm a student.

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