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Anxiety Message Board

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I struggle so much with this very thing. I have been with my boyfriend for 3 and a half years, and I am sooo soooo in love with him. He makes my life sane! He knows how to make me laugh, he's my best friend in the whole world, and he's sweet, caring, adventurous, and has all the same values as me. But since the moment I met him I've had major anxiety. It took me 3-4 months just to say yes to the first date! When we finally did start dating, I was having such severe anxiety that I broke up with him in less than a month. I took a month to pray and go to counselling, and realized that I was in love with him and wanted to be with him. We got back together, and have been together ever since. Yet every month or so I have an "episode." I start questioning everything and freaking out that "he's not the one." One moment I'll be so sure that he's everything I want, and that I'm so happy, and the next I'm incredibly scared that someday that will change. My parents divorced when I was 7, and my Dad moved far away and I rarely saw him again. So I know that has a lot to do with it. When my Dad left, my Mom frequently had very painful panic attacks where she would lay in bed and scream or cry for hours, and would refuse to be touched. I don't have episodes to that degree, but whenever I start freaking out I have trouble breathing (my chest constricts), I cry a lot, and my muscles feel "white-hot" or drained of sensation. Since I'm also in grad school at the moment (and moved away from my boyfriend), I'm feeling a lot of extra stress.

I guess my question do I know if I have an anxiety disorder, or just plain doubts? I don't seem to freak out about anything else - just my relationship. I've been going to counselling for about a year, up until 3 months ago. Counselling helped a lot, and I know I should go back. But I haven't had a counsellor ever say, "You have an anxiety disorder." I know it's normal to have doubts sometimes, but something is wrong with the frequency and violence of my "episodes." Do I need medication? Or just counselling?

My boyfriend and I are thinking of getting engaged in about a year or so, which makes me so ecstatically happy! I really can't wait to be his wife - I know that he's my "heart-mate" (or "soul-mate")! But I really really REALLY want to get my anxiety in check before I make a committment to him. Sometimes my anxiety hurts him as much as me (he is incredibly patient and understanding, but is sometimes frustrated or unsure of what to do with me). I want to get a handle on this so that I can live the life I want to live.

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