Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Anxiety Issues Life Changing
Hello Mr Keeran, I really hope you can be of help.
I'm not entirely sure if I'm in the right topic area but it's worth a try.
I am a 18 year old male who is having trouble with various thoughts and issues which were caused by anxiety.
Back when I was 14, I made the mistake of smoking Marijuana and it caused me to have a massive panic attack. I thought this was only going to be a one off as I felt completely normal after I had recovered. Unfortunately and most regrettably, The second time I smoked it, about a week later, it caused me to become completely anxious about almost everything, which in turn completely changed my life.
For the next few weeks I found myself becoming very anxious over anything and everything, I found myself looking through tunnel vision, finding it nearly impossible to breathe, extremely fast heart rates, getting light heads anytime I walked, especially in big crowds and lumps in the throat. The usual anxiety symptoms. I found myself barely coping throughout this week. Eventually I had to do an English Speech in front of the class on the Friday of that week but just before it came to my turn, I left the class as quickly as I could as I was about to have a large panic attack similar to the one I had the first time with the Marijuana.
This inevitably led to my parents finding out and I had to go see the local doctor. My doctor prescribed me with Beta Blockers (Propranolol) for about 6 months and I had to take several weeks off school. These were a solid dosage for this period of time and then they were decreased after a certain period of time.
This brought some form of stability to me, but I was never the same as I had been before as I still found myself getting anxious at the smallest of things. I used to be fearless at anything which had happened before this and I was a confident speaker who relished the chance to show of my oratory skills, but this was not the case now.
After several months, I had got into a relationship. This actually completely stabilized my life and I was somewhat happy through the course of this. Unfortunately, after a year in that relationship, I was cheated on. She dumped me out of guilt then got back with me, and only after that I found out that she cheated on me. She then refused to admit cheating on me until 6 months later.
It gets somewhat complicated from here on..
I never had sex with my girlfriend during that 1 year relationship. We did have sexual contact on regular occasions with out sex though. For the next 6 months I remained single, and obviously meeting girls being a typical male enjoying single life. I then mistakenly got into a relationship at the end of that six months with a girl I never really had any proper attraction for. This was only last year. Simply put, I just wanted to lose my virginity sooner rather than later. So, in the first week of meeting this girl, I tried to have sex with her. Only my anxiety kicked in and I lost my erection. I am certain this would not have happened both before I started having anxiety attacks or during the long term relationship I was previously in due to how comfortable I was with her. Just to make it worse, I couldn't use a condom and I was dumped a week later due to my complete inability to get an erection in my second attempt.
My anxiety then started causing a mass amount of overthinking to go through my head and it has been since last June, over a year now. I have constantly thought "What if I can never get an erection again?" or "What if I'm gay?". Now, I've just been the typical male and always wondered what being Gay/Bisexual was like, but I have only ever wanted to grow up and have a wife and children. Unfortunately, this is one of the thoughts which haven't gone away either.
Since last year, I haven't had much confidence with girls, apart from the 6 month period between my 2 relationships as sex had never come into it, I was still not having any problems. But now this has come and has affected absolutely everything, solid erections are uncommon now, even during masturbation. Also, If I do find myself with a girl getting intimate, I get the increased heartrates and anxiety symptoms which prevent my erection from forming.
Now I am in a relationship with a girl. I do like her, but with all the events that have been happening in the last year, I don't know how I could cope if I had the same experience again and I couldn't bare to tell her my problem as:
1. We've only been going out 2 weeks.
2. It is embarrassing.
Also, I don't want to be going to my doctor about this as he is not the brightest of people. He would likely prescribe me with more drugs but I don't want to do that.
So basically, If I had the chance to change what I had done with the Cannabis, I would have done it a long time ago and changed alot of things.
I just want to know:
How can I get my life back to the way it was? (Ending overthinking, having a successful relationship etc?)
I just want to be normal and have my life back again.
Other Information (If it helps)
I drink alcohol 1-2 times a week
I smoke 5-6 Cigarettes a week (When I'm drinking)
I watch porn 1-3 times a week
I exercise once a day. (Running)
I'm 6ft 2 and 14 St.
Thank you very much for your help and time Mr. Keeran.
Worried 18 year old.
Here are suggestions to get back to an earlier period of psycho-social development:
1. stop watching porn
2. stay off marijuana
3. practice focusing and concentration techniques
4. when you feel anxiety, start reading something even if concentration is difficult
5. remain chaste until marriage
6. join a close faith community for support