I'm JJ, I'm 32 and live on the East Coast of the US. The past couple of years, but more so in this last year in particular, I noticed a huge change within me. It's only looking back now that I see it started sporadic and then gradually for the past few years, I just never knew or even suspected that it was anxiety. I was convinced I had something seriously wrong with me that was causing me to be dizzy or lightheaded or nauseas all the time, but the worst in stressful situations. Since I was about 20 I had been smoking weed every day. I always said it took the 'edge' off. The past year though, suddenly when I'd smoke I'd be convinced something was wrong with my heart and I'd have a heart attack whenever I would smoke. I stopped smoking because that seemed to make my anxiety worse but then it started even when I wasn't smoking. It was now every day I believed at some point, that I was probably going to die, or faint, or get sick. I was never a heavy drinker of alcohol but I did drink socially, that seemed to also make things worse, so I stopped drinking. Any event that deviated from my normal day to day, like a night out with friends, a dinner, a party, a wedding would cause me to obsess about what I was going to feel like at said event. Would I be dizzy? Would I get light headed? Would I be convinced I was going to die? So I started avoiding those situations. Going into large stores or shopping malls started to make me dizzy. Sitting in a theater would make me think I would have heart attack. Sitting in a restaurant was making me dizzy. Then, sitting at a friends house started to cause anxiety. Was my heart beating faster? What is that pain? Am I going to die right here? Until eventually even being alone watching TV or reading a book I wouldn't be able to pay attention to plot lines and stories because my mind would start obsessing over any pain or twinge, or dizzy spell. I was going to my primary doctor all the time. And then started getting referrals to specialists. Testing my eyes, my inner ears, sleep studies, cardiologysts, etc. finally I admitted to myself maybe it wasn't any of these crazy things I was finding when I did a google search of my symptoms. A little over a month ago I finally made an appointment with a psychiatrist, who started me on Fluoxetine (Prozac) and he referred me to a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in addition to medication. I'm determined to find a balance that can allow me to function and do the things I enjoy again and especially to stop obsessing over the fact that I believe I'm going to drop dead at any minute. My therapist believes I suffer from Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia and after so many doctors have told me that they don't know why I'm having the symptoms I do it's actually a relief to have name for what I have and the hope that with hard work I can get better. Now I'm going through the not so fun period of putting what I'm learning in therapy to practice and to also deal with starting a new medications and the not so fun side effects. I know this intro is pretty long compared to most but one of the reasons I signed up here was after reading some other posts on these forums and relating so much to what others are saying I knew this would help. The other part of this that has been so hard is feeling that no one understands what I'm going through. Friends and family seem to just not understand at all and take it so personally that I've needed so much alone time. Some are actually even angry and hurt at me for it. I miss being the way I used to. I miss not being able to be carefree and "fun" and not having my thoughts all lead back to whats wrong with me and trying to talk myself out of the belief I'm going to die in that moment. So really I'm here to give and get support and not so feel alone in all this.