I wish I could see a therapist and talk about these instead of writing about them here but, in my country, there are no reliable therapists and people do not emphasize higher study at all. People do not deal with anxiety here, some ignore the symptoms and others who know keep it a secret because it is seen as a weakness. So there are no help or support groups here. Two years ago, when the mild anxiety started because of stress at my first job, I sought medical help but I think I was wrongly treated with medicine and I think this contributed to insomnia or worsen the anxiety, whatever it is. This experience has gotten me fearful of seeking professional help too.
I have been struggling with anxiety for more than two years since I first started my job but did not know that it was anxiety. Recently I got to know about it and made lifestyle changes like leaving my job and moving back home. The anxiety is less now because of having no job stress. But the application time for the fall 2018 semester in the US is approaching and I really need to make a decision right now. I feel like I do not know much about this illness or how to cope with it. I don't know if it is insomnia or anxiety, but because of it, my performance was suffering in the job and my manager was unhappy with my performance before I left. For these reasons, my confidence level is zero, I feel like I won't be able to keep up with a Ph.D. program and also work as an RA or TA since I do not know how to deal with the boss. Also, my anxiety reaches its extreme when I start working seriously and can't sleep enough for days. The condition at home is very poor, all of my family members are suffering from illnesses and since I do not have any friends right now, seeing them suffer breaks my heart. I feel like running away from home so that I do not have to see them suffer. If I could help them financially it would be very useful for them and so it is a source of pressure too.
So right now, I am fearful of my potential adviser (if he turns out to be unsympathetic to students), seeing a therapist here in my country, getting fired from my Ph.D. program when I get into one or staying at home with the risk of worsening my anxiety for not having any help.
I have options like going for the Ph.D. program in the US and see a therapist over there. It's a benefit that they have enough data about people like me. But I do not know how to work with a therapist and if I'll be able to help myself and also keep up with the grueling schedule of a graduate program. There will be other challenges like a new culture, not having anyone to talk to, etc., and I'm not good at making friends. So I don't know if it will be the proper step. I have been trying to get into a Ph.D. program for four and a half years now, so if I get fired it will emotionally crush me and take a huge toll on my confidence.
So what should be a rational step in this situation? I am willing to do anything to improve my mental health condition to get a Ph.D.
Thank you for being patient with this long post.