Is it normal to feel like this or do I need help?

I have been experiencing these symptoms for quite a while. Like suffocating/breathlessness, overthinking, tired in the day but just can’t sleep early at night, difficult to focus on my work when I need to then panic when datelines are near…

I first experience these when I was studying in poly. Whenever there’s projects datelines or exams nearing and when I felt very stressed out, these feelings gets worse. I’m constantly overthinking, my mind just can’t stop the negative thoughts. I feel very suffocated like it’s hard to breathe most of the time and I feel very lonely even when I’m with my friends.
I tried talking to school advisor, family or friends but people always brush it off, that I’m just stress and I should just not think about it. I just gave up telling anyone about these anymore.

These feelings have always been on and off. When it gets triggered, I’ll feel very suffocated and uncomfortable for days but it tends to go away after a while. Then it gets triggered again.
I have been experiencing this for more than 5 years already and have pretty much learn to mask these feelings when I’m around people but it still feels very uncomfortable when it’s triggered again.

I’m not sure whether I should seek help and have been struggling with these for quite a while. I tried reaching out to a Dr at a polyclinic once but backed out after the Dr asked what’s wrong. I really want an answer if there’s something wrong with me but I just don’t know if I should really seek help. I don’t know how I should ask for a referral for help at the polyclinic, while also not letting my family know about it.

Hi @Aiv :wave:

This must not have been an easy thing to share so thank you for finding the courage to submit this! Firstly, I want to acknowledge how you’re able to notice your patterns of behaviours when it comes to your anxious tendencies – it does sound like symptoms of anxiety and it’s taking a toll on your relationships, completing tasks, etc. for many years.

I wonder if you’re anxious feelings serves some sort of a purpose for your body to be engaged in it? Perhaps it’s a signal that something you value is being threatened; since it happens on and off and during certain times… In the meantime, whenever you feel stressed, perhaps you can give this exercise a try to see if it helps.

It also sounds like you know one of the ways to help yourself was to reach out to others. I’m sorry to hear that you got brushed off when you reached out to people (they probably aren’t as equipped to help :pensive:) so I’m heartened that you’re trying to work on this by getting professional assistance. You know, therapists will work with you in a non-judgmental manner and collaborate on a recovery plan that suits you. Below are a list of resources that you can check out if you’d like to consider besides a referral from polyclinic:

  1. Samaritans of Singapore (1-767)
  2. James Cook University Clinic
  3. NIE Wellness Centre
  4. NUS Clinical & Health Psychology Centre

I can see where you’re coming from when you say you don’t want your family to know about seeking counselling. However, I believe that the benefit of engaging your family and others close to you serves as a support system to provide social support, check-ins, healthy distraction – as you are not in this on your own! At first, it will seem daunting to make the changes and involve others, but this is a necessary step in recovery as having people to reach out to does reduce anxiety and improve coping abilities with stress. Remember that you deserve and can get the necessary support you need! :slightly_smiling_face:Take care and keep us updated on your progress!