18, afraid to eat
i'm eighteen and i've been allergic to peanuts my whole life. i had a few minor reactions when i was really young and my first (and only) anaphylactic one when i was two. since i was so young and i haven't had a reaction since, i've gone the past sixteen years not really thinking about my allergy. i mean, sure, i knew it was there and i avoided peanuts/peanut traces but it wasn't a big deal.
flash forward to now: i have become so paranoid about having a reaction that i have a panic attack almost every time i eat. and when i say panic attack i mean i feel like my throat is closing up, my lips are swelling, my face is hot, i can't breathe, and i get hysterical. i am afraid of bottled drinks from the store, fruits/vegetables, etc.
this is especially difficult because i am in college. i was living in the dorms but i had to move home. my school allows eating in class so i'm afraid to touch the desk/seat and i spend every period looking around to see if anyone's eating peanuts and if they are, trying to suppress an attack. i'm even afraid of the surfaces/dishes in my parent's home, despite the fact that they keep no peanuts in the place.
i don't know what could have brought this on but it's ruining my life. i'm scheduled to start seeing a therapist this week but does anyone have any suggestions? has this happened to anyone else?
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