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I'm 20 years old... I started having anxiety symptoms a few months ago, and couldn't figure out what it was. What triggered mine is different than most people. I had tried meth one night, which was a mistake all on it's own (though I am happy to say that I have stayed away from it since). And from the next day on I had all of the diagnosed symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which was especially severe when I went out and around new people. I had no idea of what was happening, but it was so unbearable... I was losing control of myself mentally and physically... blanking out completely, and it was very dreadful because it just suddenly started happening and I couldn't figure out why. I had no idea that anxiety was [i]that[/i] horrible, scary, and uncontrollable (you can never fathom the feeling until it's experienced yourself)... these feelings were so bad that I thought that it was something more "serious", not realizing that anxiety [i]is[/i] this serious. I was just informed the other day that meth can cause depletion of serotonin in the brain, causing anxiety. And most likely, that's what happened.

I have been moderately depressed before all of this, and usually had insecurities and complexes about myself. But I would normally be able to "get over them" and build up enough confidence to go out and enjoy myself. I've always been a shy person in social situations... but usually am able to deal with it, become comfortable and normally interact. I found it possible for me to get past these worries when necessary.

Now it's like I'm afraid to go out because this anxiety suddenly takes over, shutting me down completely, causing it to be entirely impossible for me to interact. Now I'm scared what people will think of me because of [i]this[/i], because I can't even pay attention to anything around me... I just blank out and get this dreadful feeling of worry, but it doesn't necessarily have to do with the social situation. I think it usually has to do with other worries in my life. I do get this way when I'm by myself, and I have trouble concentrating, and I do blank out, but it's not as severe. Being around people makes this 10 times more dreadful, simply because I'm experiencing this in the presence of people instead of by myself. So I don't know exactly if this sounds like GAD or social anxiety, maybe it's social anxiety because of GAD symptoms?

When my anxiety settles down, I usually feel emotionless. It's like after all this worry and fear, I'm just so drained that I don't know what or how to feel anymore. I don't even know what to think about. My worries settle down, but I still blank out... seemingly not thinking about anything at all. I rarely go out with friends anymore because I can't socialize... I can't think of what to talk about. I feel like I lost my personality, kind of feel zombie-like... and I'm constantly baffled by all of this. This isn't 100% of the time though. There are times when I do feel like I'm fine, and feel I will be okay... this happens almost everyday, but is susceptible to change.

I don't have medical insurance, so right now I don't have the option of medication... and am trying to look into free/low cost therapy programs. Someone recommended omega 3 supplements, what else would you recommend? And once you have anxiety, do you [i]always[/i] have it? I'm afraid that this is going to effect me for the rest of my life, basically preventing me from even having a life. I'm afraid of becoming agorophobic... missing out on meeting new people, making new friends, and dating again. I'm even afraid that all of this is going to make me age badly because of the stress. I'm really worried because I'm supposed to be going back to college this fall, and I don't want to experience these symptoms in class. I just want to be cured of all this, but I hear about the struggles many have had with this and continue to have with this... and then I feel like there's no hope for me. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated... and thanks for taking the time to read this.

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