Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

by Sleepy Head

I am 21 years old and currently studying at a university. I'm finding it very difficult to achieve anything at the moment. I am constantly in a state of anxiety and have difficulty breathing a lot of the time. I feel as though there is a belt around my chest and it is an effort to breathe (this sounds quite dramatic, its not overbearing but it is a constant uncomfortable feeling).

I find it very difficult to concentrate and get work done. I constantly feel pressure and a fear of failing and when deadlines come near I end up panicking and become reduced to tears. I will purposely miss tutorials when this happens.

I constantly feel a lack of motivation and a feeling of helplessness, like whatever I do, it won't make a difference. I am too afraid to find a job and find it very difficult in social situations. Even in university I find it very difficult to interact with my tutors and also other students. I feel like I'm my own enemy, that I'm constantly doubting myself and restraining myself from progressing in anyway. Sometimes the thought of leaving the house is overbearing...

Last night I grew increasingly anxious and paranoid, I felt as though I was going to die, that plays on my mind a lot. I have a constant fear of death but other times I feel like it would be a relief. I just feel like there's a constant battle in my head and I am absolutely mentally and physically exhausted.

I haven't been able to speak about this to anyone as I feel I am just overreacting and should be getting on with things, but don't seem to be getting anywhere. If you have any ideas, they would be very much appreciated.


First and foremost, you are having very real feelings so don't feel like you are over reacting! It is a very good thing that you are taking notice that things aren't quite right, reflecting on that and reaching out for help.

Just based on what you write, it sounds like you are experiencing a great deal of anxiety. Anxiety manifests in so many ways including feelings of panic, breathlessness, social fear and/or avoidance, low
self esteem, lack of confidence. What you describe seems like it is predominantly anxiety, less so about depression.

Do you feel a great deal of pressure to succeed? Are you an overachiever? College can be a very fun time in life but it also brings about a boat load of pressure. You are on the brink of creating the next chapter in your life... and, remember, it's just that.... the next chapter.

What you decide to do when you get out of college will simply be a stepping stone on your journey to discovering who you really are, what makes you tick, where your passions lie.... it is almost a certainty that you will not end up doing what you are planning to do. That's, in part, what makes the journey of life so fun!

I am concerned that you don't have anyone you can talk to. Is it because you feel you will be judged? What prevents you from reaching out to someone? I am betting that there are people in your life that love you very much and they may surprise you if and when you choose to lean on them and ask for guidance and support.

If you don't have anyone, there is always depression hotlines or hotlines to help with anxiety that you can call. I have spent many moons answering these calls. These folks are trained, supporting people that you can reach out to for help, support and guidance. I realize you are in the UK. I have a couple of numbers on that page that you might consider calling. Consider local options as well. If you are experiencing an anxiety disorder, it can and should be quickly diagnosed so you can begin successful treatment. No time like the present!

Other pages on my site to consider include:

  • Taking an Anxiety Depression Test.

  • Learn about Anxiety and Depression Medications.

  • Read about Depression and Anxiety Symptoms.

    I admire your willingness to realize that things aren't quite right and reach out for help and support. It is a very important first step towards finding the right path to happiness!

    I wish you all the best and hope this helps in some way. Please reach out anytime!

    In light and love,


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