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Mia,

I understand your frustration as I experienced the same back when I had my first panic attack and was agoraphobic for 4-6 months. Even in your writing I can see the viscious anxiety circle (ie: feel like you won't be able to support yourself = more anxiety).
As you can see by the number of members on this anxiety forum, this is such a common problem and you are not alone.
You will feel better, with time and effort.
First off, how long have you been on the Zoloft? It typically takes 2 months for you to feel full effects. I am on Paxil (10 years now - low dose) and I have weaned off in the past. Each time I go back on, it takes 6-8 weeks to feel 'normal' again.
I also suggest getting the Anxiety and Phobia Handbook by Edmund Bourne. Even just reading this book provides a lot of clarity regarding your sensations and what you can do to cope with your symptoms.
In my opinion, the issue with anxiety sufferers (as I am) is that we over-react to sensations of panic. The only way to overcome this reaction is exposure (ie: work through the anxiety). Eventually your body finds that the heart flutters and sudden blood rushes are not signs of danger and your body does not over react. I find the medication helps during this stage to dull the sensations of panic and allow you to experience the anxiety without going into full panic mode.
Unfortunately, you need to go through all the experiences that cause you panic and prove to your body that there is nothing to fear. Running from the fear only perpetuates the panic circle. Go out with your friends and get your mind off the anxiety. You will absolutely feel anxious during these first few times. Heck you might even have a full panic attack. You just need to think 'who cares' just keep moving on. Every little success, reward yourself.
Eventually your body will come to realize there is nothing to fear in certain situations and you won't be anxious.
Don't get me wrong, you will always at some point become anxious but this is healthy. I get anxious/nervous at least a couple of times per year with no apparent reason and it lasts a couple of days each time. I just don't think about and it eventually goes away.
Talk to your doc, there are a multitude of drugs to help you in the early stages to allow you to face your fears without escalating to full panic.
You can do it. There is light at the end of the tunnel:)





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