This isn’t exactly what you were looking for when you asked for information on how people were dealing with anxiety disorders but I would like to share my experience.
When and how this problem developed I can’t exactly say although I do know that it worsened over the years.
I came from an unhappy and later broken home where the silent treatment was a common method of punishment and was unable to openly share, and find healing for the sexual abuse that was part of my childhood.
In my middle teens I diligently searched and found a welcome haven among the people of God but that didn’t automatically cure the wounds afflicted in the past.
As time when on God provided me with a loving husband and we raised a family together. The stresses of life increased and I developed various symptoms such as severe dizziness to the point of not being able to attend public meetings. Panic attacks in crowded buildings especially if there were fluorescent lights and lots of activity such as children running around was severely debilitating by this time.
However, my first and foremost desires were to live completely surrendered to God and have Him burn out the dross in my life. By then some of our children had become prodigals, an indirect result of having a mother with a troubled past.
I told God I would be willing for anything, absolutely anything—even cancer- if my children could be saved.
A couple different people suggested to my husband that we should have a prayer of healing and since our Ministerial Staff was supportive a date was picked.
The day we gathered in the board room at the church is engraved indelibly in my mind. As the meeting proceeded I sensed the warm fellowship and peaceful atmosphere.
By then I was so unwell I could barely even sit up for so long and they wondered if I’d be able to kneel. I wanted to however and with support, managed.
As the prayer proceeded and the oil was poured on my head I felt a burning, but not an uncomfortable sensation in the center of my forehead.
When I stood up the dizziness was gone and within a few weeks the accompanying headaches. I felt like I was treading on holy ground like I had just partaken of a deeply meaningful Communion. This feeling of awe and holy wonder lingered with me for weeks.
About a month later I was asked to drive a vehicle back from a different province. Although I would be following my husband the whole way it seemed impossible. I never drove anywhere by myself except for short distances and such a long trip was totally unthinkable.
Naturally, my husband was concerned and as we proceeded down the highway he stopped frequently for the first hour or so to ask how I was doing but I was fine.
As the evening came on I was more than fine: there was a glorious sunset and I felt so in tune with God that I sang and prayed with the tears running down my face because I couldn’t praise Him adequately enough. There was no doubt in my mind that I had been healed by the hand of our Almighty God.
As the weeks following unfolded, I saw many little and not so little changes in my life. For example, instead of being so exhausted I’d have to have two or three naps a day, I could get plenty done and even go for a brisk over two-mile walk without any problems.
It was a pleasant surprise to me, and possibly to others to see my personality unfurl. Instead of being caged in by physical and emotional disorders I found myself unselfconsciously joining in conversations and becoming the self that I was always meant to be.
P.S. This is several months later and I still can’t praise Him enough.