Get to know anxiety: Racing heart 

As a child I was extremely shy, I was extremely anxious about things at school, participating in school. So, I just thought that was quite normal to be like that and to avoid circumstances. I think before my first major panic attack, I actually remember being probably 18, 19, being with some friends at a cinema and feeling my heart beating and thinking that it wasn't quite right. And my first instinct was that, could I be possibly having a heart attack? I kept feeling the pulse rate going for the entirety of the movie to make sure I was still ticking. So...


Then in my early 20s, I was probably about 19, 19, 20, I woke up one morning and my first feeling waking up was my heart. My heart feeling like it was jumping out of my body, racing a million miles an hour. Again, my innate thought was, my natural thought was that I was having a heart attack. From there I felt like I couldn't breathe.

I felt like, I was feeling out of body. I felt like I was almost dying. I was sort of leaving my body. I wanted to pretend it wasn't happening. I don't like bothering people. I keep a lot of... Especially, at that age, I was keeping a lot of dramas going on in my life to myself, and just putting on a brave front.

And I remember one morning, probably 3:00 AM, and I don't... I'm not religious, but I prayed and said, "If I can survive this, I promise I'll go to the doctor." And I went to the doctor, made an appointment, went to the doctor a few days later and told him what I was experiencing and got no resolution.

I ended up seeing seven doctors, seven different doctors. When they couldn't easily diagnose me, they just sent me on my way not knowing what to do. So, unfortunately my diagnosis didn't happen till I was... I had given up work, unable to cope, and ended up... My life just kind of disappeared with anxiety. It wasn't until I kind of gathered that, "Is this agoraphobia?" Someone said, "Yeah. You are.". So I went and got books and I saw these "Ah ha. Okay. I've got all these symptoms but what do I do now?"

I was so elated to have an answer finally. I knew what I was battling. My key advice would be to talk, to talk, to not be ashamed of what you're suffering, and to speak to family and friends.