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I don't know what to do, please help


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**trigger warning I guess?**

I don't really know how to start with this so I'm just going to sort of jump right in. I'm sixteen and I'm a girl (just to clarify). And I really don't know what to do anymore.

I've been struggling with self harm for a little over a year and a half, and in the past year or so I've noticed major signs of depression, and in the last six months I've developed anxiety as well. I've been told by multiple people (both my friends and adults) that I show signs of both.

I don't know how to explain the depression aside from the fact that it seems pretty generic. It's hard for me to find motivation to do anything on some days, I just sort of plummet into bad moods and I can't pull myself out, and when I do experience something good, the mood only lasts for a little while before I'm back down again.

The anxiety is more of what has started to worry me. A few months ago, I noticed that my hands would start shaking when I got nervous about something, and sometimes wouldn't stop for an entire day. I just laughed it off. But more recently it's gotten a lot worse. I've had multiple panic attacks in the past couple of weeks, and on a regular basis over the smallest of things it gets hard to breathe and I have to seriously force myself to.

I know I need to talk to someone. I want to talk to someone so damn badly. But the thing is, I honestly don't feel as though I can talk to my parents or anyone in my family about it. I have three older siblings, one of which has moved out and is married and I see maybe once a month (oddly enough, this is the one I'm closest with), another has graduated from college and is working almost constantly so I can't really talk to her and wouldn't feel comfortable enough to mention anything, and the third who is taking a break from college. I told the third, my brother who is closest to me, about how I thought I had anxiety one day when we were having a close conversation (which never happens, the normality for us is to start screaming at each other) but he immediately downplayed it; he said that sometimes a specific person (ie me) will have more anxiety than another, "but that doesn't mean that that person needs professional help". He made me feel two inches tall about it, especially when it's the closest I've ever come to really talking to someone in my family. I can't talk to my dad because when I was growing up (and still now) he traveled constantly for work so I never felt like I had a true relationship with him. I can't talk to my mom because she downplays almost everything I say, no matter what it is. I'm not a girly-girl as she wants me to be, and I'm into "scary music" according to her, and she tries to change everything about me. The one time I tried bringing something up with her (about how my job felt toxic to me and that I hated working there so I was considering quitting) she told me that I was just making it worse than it was, and that everything was just stressful because it's the holidays, and she makes everything I feel so invalid.

I don't want to talk to a school counselor or anything because I'm so terrified that she'll tell my parents. I know that they're supposed to do the whole "confidentiality unless in the case that you may harm yourself or others" but I've known friends who went to talk to the counselor and she skewed the idea of what was harmful and told their parents. The number one thing I don't want is my parents to know, because I know they'll just make it seem like I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill and I can't handle that.

I don't know what to do anymore because I feel like I'm drowning. I feel like something is grabbing onto my heard through my throat and is squeezing it, trying to yank it out. I feel like there's constantly a whirlwind around me and I don't know how to stop it. Please help me and tell me what to do.

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Welcome to our community, TheLastMarauder. I'm sorry you are struggling so much. :( Anxiety can be very difficult to cope with. I imagine it's especially tough if you feel you have no one to turn to and ask for support. :( We all need support at times. Your feelings matter. Do you have any friends you might be able to share with? Another trusted adult? The school counselor sounds like a good idea as well, but I understand your fear of your parents finding out.

Do you have any hobbies that help relax you? Does deep breathing or meditation help?

We aren't therapists, but we can support you here and listen if expressing yourself more might be helpful.

I hope you feel better soon. Take care.

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I have some experience with panic attacks.

Everyone is different but this helped me.

Practice nose-breathing using only your stomach, focus mentally on it rising and falling then allow your body to do it for you as though you're asleep; imagine tension coming off your body like rising steam with the exhale and practice it every day and panic attacks will go away. There is no instant fix and it might cause attacks at first, but persevere and it will steadily improve.

If you're ever panicking a lot, try to find something you would do pull ups from, and hang off it; it straightens the posture and/or relaxes the muscles, I used to use the top of the door frame and just hold onto it with my fingers.

Take care.

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