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Hello to everyone willing to hear me out. My name is Valerie, I’m 19 years old at the moment. This December will mark 5 years since I nearly choked to death on medicine, and I still very vividly remember everything I felt in that moment, and my life hasn’t been the same ever since. I couldn’t breathe or cough or do anything except stand there and suffocate and be completely overwhelmed with panic. I’d fully accepted the fact that I would die, then, so much that I even started to wonder what my parents would do after I was gone and whether life after death was an actual thing that I was about to experience, until my Mom managed to save me, somehow. I started suffocating in my sleep every single night for months after that, and then one time in June of 2016 I couldn’t breathe properly, eat or drink the entire day, I was terrified and dizzy and thought I’d for sure die then. It was awful and scary. My Mom and I went to a number of doctors, I had my heart monitored by a holter for 24 hours, my lungs checked and X-rayed, I wrote to online psychologists and no one could tell for sure what it was until someone said I could be having panic attacks. I still to this day have to take sedatives for periods of time every few months because it gets hard to breathe almost every single day at some point, I’ve often had trouble swallowing—especially pills, but also so much as simple water—ever since, and I get extremely triggered by people struggling to breathe in movies/on TV and still suffocate in my sleep sometimes even after over 4 years. I was diagnosed with neurosis a few months after the accident by a cardiologist, and I never got to talk to a therapist about it because my Mom is against me going to therapy, but my friends at the time pointed me into the direction of PTSD, which I dismissed at first because I didn’t have flashbacks and I thought that was a necessary requirement for sufferers of PTSD—but now, years down the line, I’m pretty sure it was indeed PTSD, and although I don’t completely meet the criteria anymore, I still struggle with remnants of it and probably will for the rest of my life. I’m interested to hear if anyone’s had similar experiences and hopefully a professional’s input on if I got it right and whether or not that sounds like PTSD, because I really need to know if I can ever fully get over this.

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