So, I used to be able to tolerate stress fairly well. I do know ways to calm myself down. But I have a problem. A couple of years ago I had a panic attack at my job and since then I just can't tolerate stressful situations any more. Basically my stress levels go from zero to sixty with no kind of gradual escalation. Either I'm totally fine and calm or a bordering-on-nonverbal wreck who keeps freezing up with a tendency to self injure. This is obviously not a good thing for multiple reasons. I've received countless warnings about how I'm never gonna make it in the real world because stuff that totally wrecks my day (like having to do things I havn't totally mastered or understand, or being put on the spot, or giving presentations, or driving. Holy shit driving. I havn't actually been on the road in years to the chagrin of my parents but at the same time even with all of my coping skills I am still dangerously panicked behind the wheel because dyspraxia makes driving on hard mode). Like... I want to go and actually do things with my life, but this is nearly impossible to deal with. If there was an intermediate, vaguely uncomfortable phase than I'd know how to deal with it even if it isn't easy. I am pretty self aware of my internal state. Constantly slamming face first into overload territory and then having people get on your case for being totally unreasonable over every day life shit is not fun and I don't really know what to do either because most stuff about practicing mindfulness, taking deep breaths, etc. is not super helpful. I mean fuck, last few times I tried practicing "deep breaths" when in meltdown mode it ended up turning into hyperventilation that just happened to fill up my lungs instead of shallow quick breaths. It worries me. I feel like something in my brain broke that day and I'm going to have to be dependent on people (who don't really believe in psychiatry and just think I'm too sensitive/blame it on me not wanting to grow up) for the rest of my life.