panic attacks

‘Half my bowel was coming out of my body. The doctor said, ‘Hannah, I have no idea what to do with you anymore.’: Woman survives life-long battle with eating disorders after trauma, ‘There is always hope for change’

“Laxatives started out so innocently, but quickly took over my life. ‘You’re not allowed outside. Any change in temperature and you’ll collapse and die.’ I started starving myself at 6. I could no longer move or talk. My lips were going purple. A light bulb went off. If I wanted to see change, I needed to be the one to make the change.”

‘All I could think was, ‘How can you miss a baby?’ Twins quickly turned to 3, then 4. I could not believe my eyes.’: Mom births miracle quadruplets after battling infertility, cancer

“My infertility journey began at 11. I’d just started my period and there I was, having life-saving surgery, my ovaries twisting in pain. ‘The growth on your bladder is cancerous and ready to spread.’ After years with my husband, it was time to call the IVF clinic. I did the usual bloodwork, only to be called soon after. ‘Can you come back in? It seems you’re already pregnant…’ Tears fell down my face. I could not believe my eyes.”

‘My daughter grabbed my face. ‘You got this, mom. It’s time for you to move on.’ I signed the divorce papers, and finally put myself first.’: Teen mom divorces after 12-year emotional battle with husband, ‘Never be afraid to start over’

“I got pregnant at 17. Every anniversary we celebrated made me angrier. We were living together, doing everything a married couple would do, yet he never popped the question. ‘Why am I not good enough for him?’ We argued so much my insecurities took a toll on my well-being. When we said ‘I do,’ our issues only got stronger.”

‘I’m 14, alone with a boy. ‘What if you had sex with me?’ He leers. ‘No thanks.’ ‘What if I held you down and made you?’: Survivor advocates for fellow survivors of the Me Too Movement, ‘Culture tells us not to complain. To keep quiet.’

“I’m 17, and I have a long-distance boyfriend. He begs me for phone sex and I say no. ‘I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable.’ I hang up on him, feeling guilty. He’s lonely in the Marine barracks. I’m all he has. He needs me. He suffers from depression, self-harm. A few nights later, I pause on the phone. I hear his heavy breathing, muffled moans. ‘Are you…?’ I ask. ‘Don’t stop. Keep talking,’ he pants. Feeling sick, I hang up the phone. I feel dirty and embarrassed. ‘Men will only go as far as you let them,’ I’ve been told. Boys will be boys.”

‘It’s just anxiety. It’s all in your head.’ I was on the floor, barely conscious. Something wasn’t right, and Ruby knew it.’: Woman diagnosed with POTS, genetic mutation with help from psychiatric service dog

“My dog Ruby was acting extremely odd towards me. I didn’t think anything of it. Then, paramedics arrived. By then, I was barely conscious, being rushed to the ER. I didn’t expect it: ‘The tests came back. It is life threatening and life expectancy is 38 years old.’ That hit me hard. I gave the doctor a nod and a quiet, ‘Okay.’ I was speechless. I didn’t know how to break the news to my fiancé.”

‘I was not a virgin. BUT I was in my own home. I took my rape and buried it. For 21 years.’: Teenager raped at her own party in high school says she was a ‘broken spirit,’ but learned to ‘survive, be strong’

“When I was 18, I threw a party at my house. I convinced my parents I was grown enough to stay home alone. Enter the sweaty keg in the living room that left a ring on the floor permanently. And the collection of teddy bears my mom kept in the living room drowned in the pool. It was devastating. That night I drank too much and let people I thought were friends, destroy parts of my childhood.”

‘My arms are tingling!’ The wind knocked out of me. ‘Um, are you having a heart attack?’ My anxiety went from zero to a million.’: Woman with Generalized Anxiety, Panic Disorder declares anxiety ‘can’t take away my strength’

“I was at lunch with friends, light on sleep, and full on caffeine. I was already wildly anxious after having a bad breakup, an unexpected job change, and being hit by a car (I mean, seriously?), and then, out of nowhere, I couldn’t breathe. I was so nauseous I was profusely sweating. ‘There’s nothing wrong with you,’ I was told. I was damn close to calling myself a nice little ambulance. I didn’t leave my house for 2 months.”

‘You look like a snake. You’ll never get a boyfriend.’ I made up my mind the whole human race was beautiful, and I was ugly.’: Woman survives 4th degree burns after ‘hide and seek’ game gone wrong, learns to embrace unique beauty

“My friend invited me to a local nightclub. Before I knew it, I was dancing with someone and their hands were rubbing up and down my back. He whispered in my ear, ‘Are you wearing a corset?’ That scared the absolute life out of me. It was my scars, once a gaping hole through my back, and he could feel them through my clothing.”

‘After that baby was inside me, it was over. Heroin was no longer an option. I had no choice.’: Woman beats childhood addiction, now ‘8 years sober’

“I was addicted to heroin at 15. It was no longer enjoyable. No longer an escape, but a hell I was creating for myself. Maybe a few seconds of serenity, then reality always slapped me in the face. I’d feel so guilty about the damage I was causing to people that loved me, the pain I was inflicting on myself, the hatred and anger I felt from all the things I had no control over. I thought this was the only way to feel this good. That little heartbeat was the sound of a chapter of my life closing.”

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