I am from Australia. I am 46 years old and have been a Catholic all my life. Unfortunately I suffer from an anxiety disorder which developed about 8 years ago.
My problem is I cannot attend mass. I fear crowds. I have tried but find I need to leave. For example last Easter I was unable to worship with my wife and kids because I felt too anxious in mass.It’s not just mass but meetings for work etc. I try to avoid these situations.
My wife might say we will go to mass tonight and I dont say I dont want to go but I dont. I fear the anxiety I could suffer, the light headedness and feelings that I will collapse.
Another part of my condition is Obsessive Compulsory Disorder. This can manifest itself in many ways. Mine is unwanted thoughts. For example bad thoughts when I try to pray. I have not told this to anyone.
I cannot go to mass and I cannot really say prayers. What a mess. In fact if I go to mass I often wont go to communion because I dont feel like I have really and honestly been to mass, because I often leave or go outside, due to my condition.
What can you advise me ? Only my doctor knows my condition and my wife knows most though not all. I feel ashamed and am thankful I can express myself here with annonimity.
PS on TV here there is “Mass For You” a TV mass I guess for persons who may be unwell and cannot attend.Its good but obviously not the same.