Yes, in many cases it does grow over your entire life. Overbearing parents? Did you jump through hoops to make them (or others) happy, but never were "good enough?" Unhappy childhood? I am not saying that these were your particular experiences but this seems to be a common thread that many, many of us have. So, there is the groundwork. And then... life altering trauma hits that sears our very souls and bammo....... anxiety, panic, and sometimes even more. Mine started when my husband suddenly died from a heart attack at a very young age many years ago.
Healing is possible, absolutely, yet, I will share with you that sometimes there is a little scar here or a little scar there that just doesn't quite heal and things that come up later on in life cause a bit of a flare up. And they can be quite ordinary things, yet some of those old issues may surface. This is just a reminder that we still need to heal and it could very well be an opportunity to complete our healing if we use it in this manner.
How long has it been since you first started having panic attacks? I will tell you that healing takes time but the key is to love and nurture yourself. In healing from this condition "easy does it" is the key. It is a fine line, as one must do the best they can to "broaden their horizons" such as going that one extra block so to speak but, I do not believe in forcing or "white knuckling" anything because that is not the way to true healing. The issues are within our souls. That is where it began and, bottom line, that is what needs to be healed. And yes, we must eat right and take supplements, lead a healthy lifestyle but I will tell you one thing. If that fear is there, whether real or imagined, the condition will be there no matter what we do. That is why it is so important to also address the emotional issues.
I am so sorry to hear about your best friend's passing. After we mourn, some things we just have to accept,and continue with our life. They would have wanted it that way. Does this mean we ever forget? Of course not. Do you have someone helping you through this?
In any event, I wish you the very best. It won't ever go away, but it does get better, and you will get better too.