I ve been wondering about what it is I ve been feeling for a long time now. I m fairly certain that it s not something normal people deal with. In my later teenage years (I'm now 20) I experienced severe depression and the treatment and medication slowly made those feelings ebb away, but ever since then I've been having feelings of extreme anxiety constantly for the past 3 or 4 years all relating to these very intrusive thoughts about mutilation, bodily catastrophe, death, and of non-existence after dying. These thoughts are more controlling and prominent when I am alone (which is most of the time). When I have nothing else preoccupying my attention I cannot escape from these thoughts and they invade what seems like every part of my mind and my chest begins to tighten, my heart races, I start sweating, my hands and feet get cold and numb, and I can feel a tight discomfort at the base of the back of my skull like the feeling before fainting/blacking out. These kinds of episodes give me the most anxiety, sometimes to the point where I feel detached from the world and nothing is real or like I m unable to experience it, when this happens it is very scary and I try to force myself asleep. These kinds of episodes happen at least once a week. I've never told anyone about this. The most I've done about it is try to control these thoughts by working them out in paintings and through other mediums such as writing and meditation/spiritual practices, so far nothing has made it go away and I am afraid of anyone knowing about it (besides anonymously). Recently I've been having trouble (it's hardest in the few hours after I first wake up) distinguishing these images and thoughts as 'not real' if that makes any sense. I just want to know what these symptoms mean and if I should seek therapy.