My name is Anthony. I’m currently a freshman in college. I wanted to talk about my anxiety/panic attacks I used to experience all the time. I actually experienced my first real panic attack in 9th grade, so four years ago. I’ve always been an anxious and nervous person for as long as I can remember. My mother passed away when I was 7, which I think has contributed to my anxiety disorder. Anyways, my first anxiety attack triggered many more. They were terrible, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, I felt like I was dying every time. Countless trips to the ER, and many more doctor appointments followed each episode. My frustration increased every time I was told that I had experienced a panic attack. I was convinced something physically was wrong with me, I was sure my heart was failing. I thought I was gonna die soon. It got so bad that my father would not believe the symptoms I was having were real. I was suffering from something that made it impossible for me to live a happy life. I learned to control my anxiety, although still experiencing chest pain and detachment, I didn’t want my father to think I was crazy, and I definitely did not want to go see a psychologist. I remained silent, I refused to talk about it to anyone in fear of being seen as weak. I was the captain of the Varsity soccer team, top server at a restaurant, and in the top 5 percent of my class, I could not be seen as weak. That was the worst mistake of my life. I went on experiencing the same awful symptoms, but I learned to control my anxiety attacks for 3 years. My senior year in high school I fell into depression. The worst thing that could’ve happened to me after a break up with my 2 year girl friend and being kicked out of the team due to bad grades. My life seemed to have taken a terrible turn. I felt disconnected to the real world, I didn’t feel like myself, it was such a horrible experience. I finally told my dad what I was feeling, and he agreed to take me to a psychiatrist. I was prescribed medication, ssri’s but they made me feel way worse. To say the least, I was living in hell those entire 6 months of high school. It wasn’t until the last month of my senior year where I stepped up. I knew it was up to me to get better. I decided to workout everyday, eat very healthy and maintain healthy habits, such as getting good sleep and hanging out with friends. Slowly but surely I rose out of my depression and focused on bettering myself. I ended that year with better grades, played the last couple of games, and managed to stay out of anxiety’s path. Today I’m relatively happy. I haven’t experienced a single panic attack, and I’ve been feeling mentally and physically healthy, since I still follow my diet and workout routine. Although I may still have slight feelings for my ex, I have done everything in my power to ignore her and forget about her and its working. Im at peace, focused on my education, and at the shape of my life. All it took was a change in lifestyle, a change in mentality, and a change in attitude. You can do it.