“I felt a tingling sensation spread throughout my chest. A sudden fear of death seemed to come from nowhere.”
My name is Jacob. I'm 20 years old and this is my story:
It all started on what seemed like a regular day in my sophomore year of college. I went to all my classes and got back to my dorm room at about 5 p.m. When I checked to see if my roommate was in yet, I found him lying on the floor by his bed. He had died of a heart attack at 20 years old.
I felt as if I had dealt with the stress and grief as well as anyone could have under the circumstances. But months later, as I tried to get to sleep one night, I felt a tingling sensation spread throughout my chest and I thought I was having a heart attack or that my body was shutting down. A sudden fear of death seemed to come from nowhere. This was the first of several panic attacks and anxiety episodes.
Then I started feeling “on edge” and anxious about my own health. I felt like every small pain or ache in my body could be something serious or life-threatening. I would feel smothered and short of breath, or that my heart wasn’t working hard enough to sustain me. So I would check myself in to emergency rooms at 4 a.m., or find a doc-in-a-box to take my vitals and talk to them about my