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Crowdsourcing my life: panic attack edition

As many of you know, I've been struggling with whether or not I should stay in grad school since about, oh the first week of grad school or so. I'm at the point where I've decided I definitely need to find a job and at the very least take a one or two year break from grad school and depending on how it goes either come back afterwards or quit altogether. Why you ask? Because I've gotten to the point where I can't attend a lecture without crying for two hours afterwards about how inadequate I feel and how much I hate doing research right now. I'm completely burned out, and I need a break. But I can't stop going to grad school until I get a job, and I can't get a job when all of my spare time is spent having panic attacks instead of looking for work. I'm in therapy, and I have a Xanax prescription "for emergencies" that I'd really like to avoid using too much. Therapy has mostly been focused on figuring out what I need to do to get out of this massive depression (take a break from grad school), but I need some tips on dealing with the daily panic attacks. My current strategy is total avoidance, but then I shut down to the point of not being able to do anything productive, which in the long run is not going to help. So hit me. Be specific. How do you deal with panic attacks?

And if you have any tips on looking for a job with almost no work experience and a masters in economics, I'm all ears.


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