For Mia Dinoto, the crippling anxiety attacks started when she was 8.
“I was diagnosed with OCD and anxiety. I got really, really depressed,” Mia says on her YouTube channel. “I got panic attacks 24/7 every single day. I would not leave my house. I was terrified to leave my house. I felt stuck inside myself. I was trapped inside myself.”
Raised in Christian home, Mia didn’t know Jesus and, trying to pray, found it difficult and neglected it for years at a time.
“Is my life going to be like this?” she asked her parents, who signed her up with a therapist three times a week.
“I got put on medication,” she says.
She wavered between being able to function “like a normal person” and relapsing, she says.
In her teens, Mia was diagnosed with anorexia. “It consumed my life,” she says. “I no longer cared about anything other than what I ate, what I looked like, working out. All my goals, priorities and values got thrown away. I didn’t care about anything else. I would do anything to get skinny and have the perfect body.”
Mia argued with her family members and treated them rudely, she says. “I got in fights with them every day,” she says. “I pushed all my friends away.”
“I got to a really unhealthy point where I was starving myself. I was malnourished,” she says. “I still looked into the mirror and thought I was fat. It consumed my thoughts. My anxiety and depression came back worse this time.”
Under the crushing weight of depression, she was fatigued and slept 16 hours every night. Living in California at the time, she would be outside in 90-degree weather with a jacket and comforter because her malnourished body felt cold; it didn’t have the nutrients to produce heat to warm itself.
Her regular menstrual cycle stopped for a year. “My body was shutting down,” she admits. “I didn’t care about my health. I just wanted to be skinny.”
“Saying it seems so stupid. Anorexia isn’t just a health problem; it is a mental health problem,” she now realizes. “It consumed me.”
Her parents enrolled her in a strict, in-house treatment center, but it didn’t work. Hearing a podcast about overcoming anxiety through chakra meditation and manifesting, she fell into New Age practices trying to get more balanced and “control her destiny.”
Then she stumbled across a video that challenged chakra ideas from the Christian perspective. She considered herself a Christian and was startled to hear, for the first time, that chakra was anti-Christian. She found out she was drifting ever farther from God.
“I didn’t want to do anything against Christianity,” she says. “I watched a lot of videos, and I realized I was being pulled away from God because I was depending on myself to fix things and not the Lord.”
Her brother started reading the Bible and this prompted Mia to do the same.
“I had never… Read the rest: crippling anxiety even as a child