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Constant state of panic

Community Member

Hi all, I’m 22 and I still can’t function like a normal adult. I’m on my fourth year of University and I’m in a constant state of panic, I wake up every morning with a suffocating feeling. Complete dread is what I feel, and this results in the feeling of unease for the rest of the day. People and University stress me out to the point, where I can’t move. I feel so trapped, my degree which was suppose to take me two years to complete, is taking me longer. I just feel like I can’t do anything right. I’ve always been a quiet kid in my childhood and teenage years, but now I’m afraid of human interaction. I just feel so disconnected, I feel like I’m running my life.

4 Replies 4

Hi Emilia15, 
Firstly, welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing with us here. We can hear you’ve been through some really difficult stuff and are feeling really worried about university and socialising. We’re really glad you could come and share this here, it’s not an easy thing to do and we really admire you doing so.   
We’d really encourage you to give us a call on the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 to talk things through with the lovely counsellors there. A few more options are KidsHelpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 44, and Headspace on 1800 650 890. All of these options are also available through webchat, if you'd prefer:   Hopefully, you’ll hear from this lovely community soon. Maybe you could help them along by letting us know what kind of support you have at the moment, and if anyone around you is helpful or understanding with how you’re feeling? 
Kind regards,    
Sophie M 

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Emilia15,


This sounds like a really difficult time for you, I am sorry you are struggling with these feelings during a busy and important period of your life. 


You describe feeling uneasy and highly stressed, I can relate to this a lot. Being in a state of panic, or feeling disconnected all the time. I was like this for many years of my life. I would strongly recommend you explore some stress relieving activities and build them into your routine to help regulate your stress levels and reduce these feelings. For example, slow deep breathing exercises or mindfulness exercises are a great way to reduce stress and calm the mind. I use the Insight Timer app on my phone and try to make time for around 5-10 minutes of a guided meditation each day for my anxiety.


If your mind feels busy, you may also benefit from journaling your feelings or speaking with someone you trust to get things off your chest. The Beyond Blue helpline is free, here are the details.


Regular exercise is also an affective way to reduce stress - perhaps start with a 20 minute walk a few times a week?


Be kind to yourself - it is okay to go at your own pace and it's okay to extend your studies to complete them at a pace which suits you. Ultimately your wellbeing is the most important and you are doing you very best which is all you need to be doing.


Let us know how you are going when you can.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Emilia15,


I'm so sorry you're feeling this way, university can be a stressful and overwhelming time in one's life. But you've made it to your 4th year which is an incredible accomplishment! Studying part time and taking breaks is important. I'm studying part time as well, and while it does feel like there's a long road ahead, your wellbeing is more important than getting through uni quickly.


All universities have support available such as free counsellors and disability support (this includes mental health). Perhaps look into your university's student support. You might be able to get extensions on assignments and special adjustments for exams. 


When I feel overwhelmed with uni, I allow myself to take a break and schedule in an activity that I know makes me happy. This might include watching my favourite movie in the morning, to calm myself early in the day, taking a break from studying by painting or reading before bed so I'm not thinking about the things that are stressing me out before going to sleep. 


Best wishes,


Community Champion
Community Champion



The other posters have give good advice so I won't repeat what they have said.


I was in the middle of a degree when I had to take to a break for mental health reasons. I was working and studying part time, dropped from 2 subject to 1 and 0 in the following term. Taking a break is OK if you have to. once you have completed a degree only you know how long it took.  I know from my own experiences with education we can be (or are) critical of ourselves.


I guess one question might be whether you like the course / degree you are doing?


Please be kind to yourself  because you deserve it.