I'm new to this forum. I have been living with anxiety for 7 years now. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety and OCD. I have learned to control the anxiety (for the most part), and have started to enjoy aspects of my life again. Although I can somewhat control the anxiety, I still get sever panic attacks some days, which actually have a detrimental effect because it puts me through a cycle of self-defeat and negative self-talk. This usually pushes me back into a cycle of sever anxiety and depression for a few weeks. I came to this forum to try to figure out how others have dealt with the very bad, or "high level" anxiety days. I am able to control the "low level" anxiety days, but have no tactics for the "high level" days. Any advice would be great!
I've also always wanted to go to law school, and have studied countless hours for the LSAT exam. I know that I can do well, as I have scored fairly high on my practice tests, and tutored my friend for his exam, but every time I think about writing the actual exam I have a panic attack and don't write it. This is the only thing holding me back, and I'm wondering how others have dealt with high anxiety around specific tasks. I have been avoiding the exam for 2.5 years now, so I decided to force myself by registering for the upcoming sitting, but still panic every time I think about it. I am not worried about the exam itself or the content; I panic thinking about the number of people in the room, and feelings of being trapped, which stem from my social anxiety. I have registered at a smaller test center (which still has about 60-80 people), but just knowing that I will have to sit in that room for 5 hours with all those people makes me very anxious and makes me feel sick.
I tend to avoid rooms with large crowds, especially if I have to sit in the same place for a long period of time. I haven't even been to the movie theater in years, and skipped any classes I had in large lecture rooms. I have no idea how I will be able to sit through this exam. I feel trapped if I am forced to sit for a long period of time in a group of people, which makes me feel like the room in closing in on me, and I can't breathe. I'm wondering how others deal with these feelings? My exam isn't until June, and I'm trying to learn to build the skills now, so I will be ready to handle the crowd on test day.
Thanks for your advice!