How to Overcome Anxiety: Stories of Hope and Help
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- Anxiety in Teens
NOTE: **Some of the contents below may be explicit, triggering or some may find uncomfortable. Anxiety In Teens does not condone, recommend or suggest any of the following behaviors or activities mentioned below, nor are opinions of contributors representative of Anxiety In Teens. This is not medical advice. If you feel like hurting yourself or others, get medical help immediately. ** -The Anxiety In Teens Team
My journey with this baffling disorder has made me who I am today. Although I have prayed to god every night for the past 4 years asking for hair and to not have trich, I become thankful to have the disorder when I remember all of the people I have met that have changed my life along the way.
My journey with trichotillomania started in seventh grade. It was April or May and my Bat Mitzvah was approaching. Although the preparation of the event did cause me undo stress, it was not more than any other anxious child. I have one vague memory of the beginning of my trichotillomania. I was in my Pre-Algebra class. I was pulling the hair from the left side below my ear and near my neck. I don’t remember much because I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t an issue or something that held me back. I didn’t even think in my head, “I’m pulling out my hair.” That never crossed my mind.
Fast forward to about 2 weeks later. I was standing by my right closet door. I thought to myself, “Oh, I haven’t done it for about a week.” It. I still thought pulling out my hair had no importance. I didn’t really care. I thought that was a thing that I did for a week or two. It was only one or two hairs pulled over the course of a few hours.
Over the summer of 2011, I still only pulled very little. I remember my grandmother was driving me home from the theater and I was sitting in the back seat thinking, “You say pull, I say no no no.” It was to the tune of some Beatles song. I thought it was that easy. I could just stop. It was simply a habit. Little did I know, it would be the center of my life for the next four years.
Now it is the beginning of my 8th grade year. Throughout the first semester of 8th grade, I started pulling more and more. My trich would be considered “moderate”. I have images in my head of looking down at the grey tile in my science classroom and seeing piles among piles of hair. My hair. I would kick it to the side or spread it out so no one would notice. Thankfully, no one really did. It was still mostly from the bottom left side of my head.
Second semester of 8th grade was worse. This is when it all started going downhill. I pulled a lot more and all over this time. By February, my hair had gone from mid chest to above my shoulders. I constantly kept getting asked if I got a haircut. I said, “sure.” Just to go with it. By March, my hair had gotten a bit longer. But the bottom left side was still a problem. I was at Hebrew school and standing by the snack table. My friend was to the left of me. Of course I was twisting/pulling the left side of my hair. She looked at me and said, “Maddie, stop touching (pulling) your hair. It’s beautiful the way it is.” That quote has forever changed my life. That night, I so badly wanted to stop. So badly! But I couldn’t. I wanted to do it for her how she was there for me. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t just stop. And that’s what I hate most about this disorder, that I am out of control.
It was the night of my spring choir concert. I was making a short introductory speech. As I was getting ready, my mom told me, “your hair is too thin to wear down. Pull it up in a ponytail.” I did exactly that. That school day was the last day I wore my hair down. For the next 9 months, my hair would be constrained into a ponytail. Just thinking if I could of had that one night, maybe it would be different. The next day, I was in the math classroom taking a test with classmates. I was super self conscious. I was not one to wear my hair in a ponytail. But I had to realize this is my life now. The next 9 months I wore my hair up and had 2 ponytail holders on my wrist just in case any of them broke. When I showered, I took it out and put it back in one before I left the bathroom. My mom was oblivious.
In June, my mom had scheduled a hair cut for me. I was terrified. I came downstairs crying the night before and I told my mom I didn’t want to get a haircut because I ripped off the ends of the left side and it looked weird. She said it was okay. But she didn’t know I pulled it and still didn’t think anything of that night. So I got a hair cut. It went fine. Thinking back, my hair wasn’t that thin. I thought it was, but I didn’t know how much worse it could get. I think that’s why I was so scared of people seeing my hair.
As the months passed, my ponytail continued to get thinner. I would twist and pull the hairs inside the pony tail. I always have wondered what the people behind me in class thought. On the first day of high school, I told myself that I would wear my hair down. And I did. But I braided part of it back to cover up that it wasn’t that long. During 6th hour, I was so self conscious that I pulled it back up into a ponytail. That was my life. Living in constant fear of anyone seeing my hair for how it really was. By October, my ponytail had become more of a rat tail. It was so thin I had to use the ponytail holders for little kids.
Now it’s November 2012. The day before Thanksgiving, I had a haircut scheduled. I tried so hard to get out of it. When I went, I told her it got thinner from water polo and all of the chlorine. So, she cut off the ponytail and called it a day. That is the last time I went the hairdresser. I was happy though. My hair was just above my shoulders and it looked good and healthy. My first day back at school after Thanksgiving Break I still wore the little hairs up. But the day after that, I wore it down. For the first time in 9 months. It was horrific. I was so scared of what people would think. The few people that even noticed said it looked good. That was enough to calm my nerves a bit. But, that didn’t last long. I started pulling even more. My hair got shorter and shorter. By January 2013, it was choppy and all over the place.
During the shift from winter to spring, every day I wore a bow in the upper left side of my hair. I used that bow to cover up the part of my head where I could not stop pulling. The placement was awkward, but it was the only thing that looked semi-appropriate. Over time, I still kept pulling from the same area. The clip of the bow had less and less to hold on to. After a certain point, I could not wear the bow anymore because there was no hair to grasp. The top left side of my hair was not completely bald, only stubble over and inch sized patch.
On an early evening in March 2013, my mother and I were going to the grocery store. As we stepped out of the car and headed for the double doors, I was walking in front and my mother was following closely behind. A few steps in, she stopped me and was shocked to find that I had a bald patch about two inches big. At that exact moment, I broke down. After two years of hiding and constantly feeling ashamed of myself, the dreaded reality of someone noticing struck me harder than I expected.
A lot has happened since that night in March. I have had my ups and downs. But, I feel that in the place I am in currently, the only way for me to truly get better is to help others. It’s a trichy life.
Well, where do I start? It’s only recently that I’ve really come to terms with and accepted my anxiety. I went to the doctors in around November after a recommendation from my social worker. I’d been suffering from what I suppose was anxiety for a while by then and I’d had a good few panic attacks. They started small, outside exams and before performances – getting butterflies in my stomach, feeling sick and dizzy – I just thought it was normal fear. Then it got worse as I approached my GCSE exams and it was my first maths exam in year 11. I stood outside the exam room and I could feel myself beginning to breathe quicker and quicker, everyone around me was telling me to calm down but nobody really understood what was happening. Someone obviously got the attention of my teacher then as she came over and took me for a walk but I genuinely just remember being terrified and having no idea what was happening. I still can’t really remember the exam and have no idea how I passed. This happened a few times outside exams and my teachers were all very helpful and tried to understand as much as they could.
Anyway, at the end of last year I was at the start of year 13, my second year of Alevels. The ‘panic attacks’ had been getting worse for a while and it was often when I had to perform or speak in front of others but I was also beginning to wake up in the middle of the night, for no reason, unable to breathe properly. It got so bad that it was basically happening every time I had to show my music teacher what i’d been practicing that lesson and after a while she began to get really sick of it because she just didn’t understand – which inevitably made me worse.
So, I went to the doctors and I told her a bit about the ‘attacks’ and she prescribed me with some medication (just a very small dosage of beta blockers – didn’t help at all.)
Not long after that I had a parents evening and my head of sixth pulled me and my foster carer over and began talking to me about university and trying to force me into applying, it was then that I realised I was completely and utterly incomprehensibly terrified of leaving my school and of the future.
So, I went back to the doctors and fortunately saw a different person who actually realised how anxious I was at the time, never mind anything else. So, she upped the dosage of what I was already taking (still didn’t help) and referred me for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) then told me to come back in three weeks. It was around then that I started to become very depressed, I was self harming a lot and often I would cry myself to sleep thinking some really horrible and disturbing thoughts. My Alevels were going completely out the window (and still are if I’m wholly honest) and I was getting very little joy out of doing anything in life.
Then, I went back to the doctor and told her things were just getting worse. She suggested putting me on a course of anti-depressants that would also help with the anxiety, however, because I’m in foster care she had to talk to CAHMS first which meant more waiting. That was almost three months ago and I’m still waiting.
I’m still fighting though, I have good days and bad but I am getting there. I finally reached out to someone for the other day, the woman that runs the children in care council I’m a member of. I was in a tizz over some coursework I’d been told I had to redo, sat in the sixth form block crying and panicking and I picked up the phone and called her (which in itself was terrifying for me.) Now, for the first time in months I feel as though I’m getting there and I don’t feel so alone. I’m still on the waiting list for CBT but I can only hope that talking to someone is the way forward. I don’t know whether my past has caused my illness or whether I was born predisposed to this kind of thing (my Dad is schizophrenic after all) and I may never know. However, I do know that I won’t let it beat me, I will get to see my future and I am not alone.
I guess that’s the message I want to spread to everyone else: You’re not alone and you will get through this. Everybody has somebody that loves them and I love you too. Keep fighting! <3
I used to suffer from depression but I finally got over it last year thanks to my mom. If I hadn’t trusted her enough to tell her about my problems, I don’t know where I’d be.
I guess I got out of it because someone like my mom was around to help. She told me that if there is anything bothering me, I should go up to her straight away about it no matter how busy she is.
She guided me and persuaded me to think positively. She said: “Mickey, you’re a smart girl. You know being depressed or hurting yourself won’t make things better. The problems in your life will come at you harder than it does at most people because you make yourself feel…weak. There are so many things out there that can make you happy. You just have to be brave enough to go out there and see. You have to convince yourself you’re a strong person.”
I told her about how I just didn’t seem to fit in at my school and I got constantly bullied, though the bullies had greatly minimized to one person, her blows were harder than all the others I had in the past put together. And I felt like I had to change to fit in, but I was stubborn and I didn’t want to, but I felt like I was becoming something I didn’t want to be and it scared me.
She told me that what people said about me shouldn’t matter and I realized that if I wanted to change, I should change to be better, not into those snobby girls who didn’t appreciate anyone or anything for who or what they were. Then she told me about willpower. She told me if I truly had the will to do anything, nothing but God could stop me. She said I should have the will to be happy again and focus on the good side of life. I should do what makes me happy and that there were so many things to be thankful for and I felt ashamed for being so ungrateful and thinking I had the worst of whatever life gave me and didn’t do things that made me happy because people thought it was lame, like writing. She told me that if I had the willpower to be happy, I will be happy. And I did. And no one could stop me.
During that time, things got worse when my bully realised I was starting to act more cheerful around people and I was more social. She embarrassed me badly in front of everyone, spread rumours, all kinds of stuff. And it wasn’t just the bullying. There was a lot more that had happened to me over the years which make my parents really protective of me, more than any parent should be. I was afraid I might fall into depression again, and I hated depression. I hated how it made me addicted to it and made me feel weak and worthless. No one was worthless. I mattered to someone, even if it was just my parents. Everyone matters to someone.
I acted smart about the bullying case and it stopped a few months before I left for another school that had better education than my previous one.
I further discussed about willpower with my mom. She said that most cancer patients survived just because they had the will to live. 80% of the cure is willpower. Not only cancer patients, but others as well. My mom reminded me that I hardly got sick as a kid, and even if I did, I recovered so quickly it surprised her all the time. She said it was because I was always telling myself that I’m going to be okay soon and that I will go to the park to see my friends. I will be alright. It’s just a fever, it won’t kill if I run around a bit. I had willpower.
She told me that when I was born, I wasn’t supposed to survive. I took longer than expected and the doctors said I couldn’t make it. Mom had prayed and prayed to God that I, her first child, come out alive. Then something happened. My health started getting better and I came out really healthy, and the doctors couldn’t believe it, though they did notice disturbances in my health in the womb, how it would worsen and then get better. They thought it had something to do with my mom and her deternination to keep me alive. I was crying so hard when I came. She said it sounded a lot more like screaming and shrieking than crying. She held me and I calmed down and she said I opened my eyes and immediately went back to sleep. She freaked out and the doctors took me away but I was fine. She said that she felt like I was fighting to live even before birth. She said I was born a warrior and that she wanted me to strong and be the warrior I had come as to Earth. That cheered me up a lot. I bet she made it up a bit but it worked.
She told me that whenever I thought positively, my brain released hormones and boosted my immune system because my positive thinking motivated it to heal quickly.
She gave me an example of my grandma. God bless her, she is the strongest person I have ever known. Even with her ailing health and rusty bones, she still got up and moved around. She was independent. She never let the pain in her bones bother her. ‘It’s going to go away soon, anyway. I always forget about it’, she thinks. My mom and her siblings could never tell if my grandma fell sick or not, because when she did, it wouldn’t look like it and by the time they find out about it, it was nearly gone.
Two weeks ago, my grandma got a pralysis heart attack and my mom flew straight to her the next evening. My grandma was in a bad shape and it seemed like she had given up. She could hardly move and certain parts of her body were paralysed for a while. Then she heard that my mom and siblings were flying out of where they lived and coming to meet her and she started to get better all of a sudden and made amazing progress. She said she wanted to be in good health and condition by the time all her children reached her. She’s really, really old and her strength will never stop surprising and inspiring me.
My mom told me that even research proves how powerful the mind is over body, especially willpower. My grandma proved it.
When life knocked me down and I felt like I didn’t want to get up because I was afraid it would happen again, I’d shake my head and get back up. Some time during my recovery from depression, I had convinced myself that all my flaws and insecurities I kept being reminded of, all the time I felt like lying down and not getting back up, all the time I felt like hurting myself (I never self-harmed, though) and cry myself to sleep, it was the demons inside whispering, wanting to take control over my body, wanting to take control over me. I wouldn’t let it.
I’m a stubborn girl who never wants to change, and even if I did, I’d change to be a better person. I’m a strong girl who no one can mess with if they tried because they don’t know me. If what they say isn’t true, it won’t affect me. Even if I did something bad, I’d apologize, repent, move on and never do it again. I was born a warrior and I will be one until the end of time. And no matter how hard life gets, I won’t hurt myself or others and try to be an example for everyone who’s suffering out there, everyone who’s fighting, all those warriors. Just like my mother and grandma.
I found things to do that I love and have met so many amazing people and I feel blessed. I have found reasons worth living for and being happy and no one is going to keep me away from them.
I have convinced myself to be a strong person and intend to stay that way. My parents are relieved about it and they trust that I am capable of taking care of myself. I won’t tell the world everything I’ve been through because I promised my mom not to tell anybody about my past because she’s afraid someone will use that information against me, even twist it into something that never happened. Believe me, I know a lot of people in my life who do that. Plus, this is the internet…
This is my story…and I’m still living it. I’m thankful for everything I have and the guidance my mom provided me. I just wish that other teens out there would trust their parents or another adult enough to let them help them fight their demons that keep pulling them down towards the dark side. And when they leave this world, they leave with dignity and respect. They leave as warriors.
I’m a senior in High school and pretty much all of my life I have lived with worry and anxiety. I can remember when I was still in grade school when i was out of school for weeks due to a stomach ulcer. I remember worrying ALL. THE. TIME. Everyone would get annoyed with me because any little pain in my body, anything that felt out of the ordinary with me and I would freak out. Everyone just thought I was a worry wart, when in reality I went years undiagnosed with anxiety disorders. In seventh grade I remember I had been going through a lot in my life. I’ll never forget one night I was sitting at our kitchen table doing my homework, when out of nowhere I got really hot, I went and sat next to my mom on the couch, and then I started having difficulties breathing. Which in turn made me freak out even more which made it even more difficult to breathe. My mom and dad had me lay down, and my entire body was shaking. I thought for sure that night was going to be my last. I literally thought that I was going to die. My parents didn’t know what to do, but they stood by my side that night and helped me the best they could. And when I went to the doctor the next day He told me I had asthma. Asthma!?! really!?! Looking back now, I just want to smack him!!
Anyway, I didn’t really have any huge attacks like that again until I was in high school, but all through middle school and freshman year of high school I was constantly on edge and nervous. Back then I would gag randomly and quite often, and looking back now I realize it was a part of my anxiety. Sophomore year is when the panic attacks started to get really bad. Before every band performance I would end up on my hands and knees gagging, or super hot feeling like I was going to faint, or having trouble breathing. I missed many performances that year due to my panic attacks. However at the time, i still had no diagnosis.
I went all summer between sophomore and junior year, and I hibernated in my room. I hung out with maybe 2 friends the entire summer and probably only once each. I was afraid to leave the comfort of my home. I had developed panic disorder with agoraphobia. I was afraid to go anywhere, in fear of dying, in fear of having a panic attack, in fear of anything happening to me. It ruined my life. I was depressed all the time. It finally got to a point where I couldn’t live like that any longer, and I reached out for help… I finally went back to my therapist, and this time I got the courage to truly open up to him. I told him that the anxiety was severe, so bad that I was afraid to even sleep through the night in fear of dying.
I was finally diagnosed with panic disorder, and I was also finally seeing a new doctor that was willing to work with my therapist and get me on the right medicine. the years prior I was terrified of medicine, and I often would just not even take it. So, this time my parents had to make sure I was actually taking it. I can actually say that I’ve not taken any really long breaks from seeing my therapist like I used to. And I’ve been taking my medicine like I’m supposed to. I’m on the road to recovery.
So why did I tell you all of that information? Why did I tell you all of the background stories? I wanted to get them out there because I just know that there are others struggling with the exact same things if not similar to mine, and have not had a proper diagnosis. Having a proper diagnosis and parents who push you to get better, and a really good therapist who specializes in mental illness is so very important. I’m a senior in high school now, so it’s been over a year since I went through all of that and since I finally opened up to my counselor. And honestly I can stand here (well sit here) and say that I’ve done a complete 180 degrees.
My self esteem has improved because I actually fought it and took my therapists advice and I “went towards my fears” in order to grow. Which was never easy. I got my license, got a job, got accepted to college, and those were all things I never thought I could do because I was so afraid. I’m participating in youth group regularly, as well as small bible study groups. I’ve gone on retreats, I’ve stayed over at friends’ houses, and I’ve had friends stay over. Which for over a year I never ever did because I lived in fear.
If you are a person struggling with these issues, if you suffer from random attacks of anxiety, or maybe just anxiety in general. please get the help you deserve. If i wouldn’t have reached out when i did, I probably wouldn’t be here today. The mind can play so many tricks on us. Don’t let it win. There is always hope. It was definitely not easy by any means at all and still isn’t easy to fight the panic attacks, to deal with them when they happen, to have to take medicine to help control them, to go towards my fears to conquer it, and even to open up to my therapist… but I can tell you that it is SO worth it to get your life back, or to even get the life you’ve always wanted. Do NOT let anxiety and panic attacks control your life. Get help.
And if you’re a parent, I have some tips and advice for you as well. If you want your teen to overcome their struggles with anxiety, keep in mind it may be something they deal with forever, but if you want them to get it under control… it’s not going to be easy for you either. Have patience and understanding, because they don’t like it just as much as you don’t like to see them have it. You’ll have to push them to do things their brain is telling them not to do. Things their brain is saying that it’s too scary, or that something bad might happen. If it’s in their best interest you need to follow through for them, guide them and help push them. They may fight back on you about it. Trust me I fought my parents a lot when they would try to push me to go towards my fears and to do the things that my brain was telling me not to do… all the time. But I promise it will be so worth it to get them help, and to help them by pushing them.
It IS possible to get it under control. With a great therapist, great parents, and a great psychiatrist my anxiety is under control. Do I sometimes have something that will trigger a random panic attack, yes of course. But i’m not struggling with them daily, and i can now live my life to the fullest. I’m going to College this fall to study mental health counseling and social work because I want to help others the way I’ve been helped. I know how vital it is to get good support from a good therapist. And I can’t wait to be that for others. I hope my story can help someone, anyone in need. Thank you for reading and for the opportunity to share it This website is a great resource for teens and parents!! Research can also help a ton!
Life as a kid was perfect. Until I was forced to grow up at age 17 when I lost my grandparents. Life was always ordinary. I’d see my grandparents every weekend, we were very close. I was there little baby, until they got sick. My grandpa was fighting brain tumors for a couple years and everything always turned out okay after surgery, until one day it didn’t. He grew sicker and eventually we were visiting hospitals everyday because he was getting worse. My grandma was healthy until one random morning she couldn’t walk because she had a heart attack. My grandpa was in the hospital for 6 months and then my grandma was moved into one too. It was hard visiting two people at the hospital. My grandma was moved into a rehab to learn how to walk again, she was in there for three days and we got a call at 4 in the morning saying she had minutes left because her heart was giving out. I rushed to the hospital with my mom and sister, grabbed my grandmas hand and said goodbye, she squeezed and the line went flat. She died holding my hand. My grandpas death was expected so I had time to accept it, I just can’t except my grandmas. She was my world and I would give anything to have her back. I started fearing death because I was Around it.this nightmare happened in the course of a year. I started having chest pains so I went to the emergency room cause I thought my heart was giving out too, everything was perfectly normal. Then I had head tingles, so I thought I was having brain tumors growing. My limbs went numb constantly, then I couldn’t breath, then I couldn’t swallow. I am convinced my fear of death is taking over. The only thing that relaxes me is knowing that I don’t take life for granted anymore and I got in contact with my spiritual side by going to church. I just want someone to understand what I’ve been threw and maybe help someone too. I still get panic and anxiety but it is calming down
I wanna start off by saying that i am not a homophobe, but i am afraid of being gay. Don’t get me wrong, I love gay people, sexuality shouldn’t change what people think about them. I was a happy 16 year old heteroseuxal, I chased girls persistently, with almost no doubt of who i was. until one fateful day my doubts began. I was with a friend who i admire alot, he had it all, he was going to med school ,gorgeous girlfriend, and for some reason i thought what if im actually attracted to him.The thought stayed with me all day regardless of how hard i tried to let it go. The next day was just full of doubts. What if your history was a lie? What if you’re really gay? These doubts persisted and almost drove me crazy. I knew i wasn’t gay, so where were these thoughts coming from. Even worse, because i have these thoughts does that mean im gay? I didn’t realize this later but the reason why I was afraid of being gay is that i was afraid not of homosexuality, but the fear of losing myself. The fear that if i was gay and had absolutely no idea, what else could have been a lie? These thoughts took control of my life, my grades plummeted, i woke up everyday with a ball of anxiousness in my chest which persisted throughout the day. I no longer had control over my life, my life was about having this anxiety and trying my best to get rid of it. I have pure “o”( obsessional) ocd. I have rituals but its in a different way. Well if i see a dude is attractive, i must want to date him. This cause anxiety and i tried to make this dude unattractive to fufill my ocd. I stopped hanging out with my guy friends in fear that i may become attracted to them. I sat in my room hours on end constantly looking up how to know if you’re gay. What does it feel like to be gay. How to realize you’re gay. The fight was never about my sexuality. I only wanted to know for sure. I wanted to know for 100 % that i wasn’t gay, and then my life could go on. I was under so much anxiety that i actually lost 30 pounds and caught another mental disease.
Derealization, another hell in itself, I didn’t know if anything was real. You see i had put so much pressure on my brain, that it went into defense mode and reality slipped away. Suddenly i was living a dream, my vision blurred, and i felt like my life was no longer mine. I still am not a dream. I eventually found a website which is my support group for every time i stumble against this horrible disease. I am writing this for the teen or person who feels they have ocd but not the way everyone else describes it. Pure o ocd exists.
First of all I tried to write my story twice but I got scared and backed out. I am still scared to submit this. Second I am bad at writing so don’t hate me haha.
This whole thing all started in about October. In class we were taking a test and it was dead silent. It was the class before lunch so I was really hungry. Then my stomach growled and my face went bright RED. Dun dun dun!
The next day I was really nervous in that class because I did not want my stomach to growl. Guess what? It did.
So every day after THAT I sucked in my stomach and looked at the clock every five minutes. It started to happen in my A.B class then my science class then all of my other classes. I tried to drink water before class and I started to eat breakfast. Then finally winter break came and I was FREEEEEEEE!!!!! (Btw that went on for almost two months)
Little did I know when I came back that I would be 10x more miserable. After winter break I came back to school and I wanted to cry when I got to school. I even debated on making my self throw up. I thought it wasn’t going to be that hard because I felt nauseous anyway. My first period was PE and I was looking for the clock constantly. Every day I sat in class looking at the clock with my head on the table. Then a few days later I googled what the duck was wrong with me. I googled “stomach hurting around people” and the first thing I got was anxiety.
What the duck? I did not believe it. I thought that it was something else, it had to be. I told my mom… She believed me at first but later she did not. That frustrated me so much. I thought that I was going crazy. Later that week my stomach hurt during PE and we had to run a mile that day. I told the teacher my stomach hurt and he said “oh well”.
I started to cry a little but sucked it up. I have NEVER EVER cried during school. Well that might me a bit of a stretch of the truth let me rephrase that. I haven’t cried at school for two years. There. But I sucked it up and stood next to my friend on the starting line. *i can’t really write each and every one of my feelings down but lets just say I was VERY nervous* . He blew the whistle and immediately I started to breath really fast and I could not catch my breath. I did not know what the BEEP was wrong with me because I had barely ran five feet. I ended up stoping after one lap and sitting down on the bleachers the teacher was really mad at me. Then he asked if I had asthma problems because I was literally breathing like…. When you come up for air underwater, every second.
I could barely answer him so he just left me to sit by myself and gave me an F for the day. How fudged up is that?
I later found out that it was a panic attack.
I refuse to accept haha.
But ever since October *it is January now* I’ve been very stressed and unraveled and I wee bit depressed. A wee bit.
(Btw my stomach hurt every day not just those days)
Sorry this is long I get carried away and I still feel that I haven’t wrote nearly enough. I don’t even know why I wrote this anyway.
Thanks for reading
I was bullied badly at school, which I feel caused my social anxiety. I was always too scared to leave the out, never mind on my own, in case the bullies were out. When I was 14, I changed schools when we moved to Ireland, and at that time whenever I went out I would feel people were staring at me and laughing at me. When I started my new school, I just expected the same thing to happen again, and I was too frightened to interact with people for fear of being judged, or if I did interact with them I would panic and mess up my words or stop mid sentence, forgetting what I was going to say because I was so anxious. I would have flashbacks of the bullying, picking up on little gestures from people, and I magnify them, making it seem like the whole thing was happening again. I would walk into the lunch room and sit down on my own, and my legs would begin shaking like a leaf and my heart pounding, so I had to go to the toilet for the rest of lunch to calm down. My social anxiety continued for me at college and work. My anxiety got so bad to the point where I was having panic attacks constantly at work, and I had to give up my job because of that and depression. I’ve now had agoraphobia for a year. I only leave the house when my mum makes me, and when I do I feel completely out of my comfort zone. When I’m in busy places, I feel really exposed to everyone, causing me to panic. I can no longer go out and simply enjoy myself. I always get myself into a real state of panic when people come round to the house, and I’ll hide in my room.
I have been going thru depression for so long n I found out when I saw it in the internet and realised it started at the age of twelve I have no access to medical help but I keep strong since I have no choice sometimes I feel so much anger, bitterness and pain at times alone and broken into a million pieces but I have to hold on and survive believe in myself and hope that one day this nightmare will come to an end and I will feel alive n happy something I haven’t felt for seven years …anyone out there going through the same hold one to the hope that one day it will get better
My OCD started out at a young age. It wasnt as bad until I hit the age of 21. I had also fell into a stage of depression. It all started out from me dwelling over a guy that I was currently dating. I would sit up all night in my thoughts and I would cry myself to sleep. One day it the thoughts hit me. I started having thoughts of harming my family and wondered why I was having this thought. It was hard to shake at that moment. Then I began to have more horrific thoughts that was so scary that all I could do was cry. I laid up in bed just asking why did this happen to me? Previous months before I was happy and enjoying my life,celebrating my 21st birthday. Things just started turn upside down. I laid up in my aunts bedroom for an entire week,didnt eat nor sleep and just wanted to die. Not that I was suicidal or anything but I felt like I was going to die in this misery that I was having.Until one morning my mom came and took me home…my journey to success staretd from there.
I started to do research on different types of mental illness and I started diagnosing myself which is not a good thing to do. So, I started calling hotlines and mental health clinics asking questions,etc, until I came across my counselor whom I am seeking today.
She told me that it couldve been a form of OCD but couldnt diagnosed without propery testing. My mom has been a great support through this process. Some of my family inlcluding my friends didnt quite understand what was going on. They would say things like well stop worrying and try to think positive but they had no clue. In my mind, I felt like I was living in the dark. I couldnt enjoy myself with being social nor being active in things that I really did like to do. I feared everything possible such as contamination, fear of harming myself or others,etc..the list goes on.
But through it all, I continued to pray. Prayer is good and I thank God that Ive had better days than usual. I get up more, I smile more, I laugh more and I learned to appreciate life more. I had to realize that somethings in life are worth it and somethings arent. Loving yourself is very important because if you think someone can love you better than yourself than your wrong. OCD is something that happens to the best of us and it doesnt have to conquer your life. It doesnt stop here and I AM a firm believer that you can conquer all if you put your mind to it. Dont give up and dont give in. Being positive can be hard but giving it a try can start you off. Know your self worth in this experience is the key to all things.LOVING YOU..Getting some help might seem crazy to some people but thats ok. Dont be concern to what they think because they are not the ones living your life. Its nothing wrong with going to talk to someone about whats going on. Take it a day at a time and I promise you that you will soon see progress.
So, before I start with my specific topic, I’ll give you the general low-down that everybody has to give so you know where I’m coming from: I’ve been depressed as long as I can remember, but didn’t recognize it ’til I was in 6th grade and didn’t do anything about it ’til I was 16. Depression started slowly taking my sleep away from me, and then the panic attacks started. I dropped out of high school because I freaked out every time I tried to go in the building. Tried online school-didn’t work, either, so I got my G.E.D. Then, my family and friends started pushing for me to go to college, mainly because, before I dropped out-school was my THING. I ruled, but not in a snobby, know-it-all way, I just liked learning, and yeah, I hated waking up early and having to sit there all day and not talk in the middle of class, but I still rocked at it. So, this was the thought-“Maybe if she gets back into school, starts challenging herself a little, she’ll be ‘our Nancy’ again.” –I HATED it when they said that. I still WAS and AM their Nancy. I never stopped being me. And before you get the wrong impression-no one but my parents can call me Nancy-the name’s Monster, and not because I still think I am one, I just really like the energy drinks and it’s my artist name and kinda fits my personality.– Anyway, I was exhausted, because, I hadn’t really slept for longer than 4-5 consecutive hours in 2 years, and there were several days in between usually, so I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. I thought they were right. Plot-twist? They were most assuredly NOT. Challenging myself more seemed like it helped for a while, but I cracked yet again, and fell even harder this time. Because this time, it wasn’t just depression and panic attacks and not sleeping and being a zombie that was afraid to go outside-no, this time, I started cutting myself. I didn’t do it deep at first, they were barely scratches, and then I called my mom and told her I did it. I haven’t ever hidden the fact that I do cut-don’t get me wrong, I have hidden specific cuts, and blades and things, but I knew right off the bat that someone who cared about me needed to know. I’m not really sure where I was going to go with this next, so I’ll skip ahead some-meds, meds, meds, blah, blah, blah, feeling worthless, thought my loved ones would be better off without me, thought I was helping them by trying to take myself out, 2 suicide attempts, several hospital visits, and lots of cuts and scars-now I am 20 years old. I still break down and cut myself roughly once or twice a month, I think, but I used to cut every half hour, so I have improved quite a lot. I no longer think I am nothing, I have a sleeping medication that actually works and I listen to a sleep hypnosis tape that ends with a playlist of short stories from LibroVox.com (or maybe it’s .org?) Anyway-so that’s all good, I guess. It has been 3 months and 3 days since my last suicide attempt and I intend to keep that as my LAST. I am not back in school yet. I am not ready for it right now, but I was working at an arts and crafts store for a while, until I moved and now it’s hard to find another job. But, I feel like I have the smallest, most minute amount of self-respect now. Before it was just ALL self-loathing, and now, I can catch some of those self-hate thoughts before I start believing them again. But the reason I titled this-Being Aware of Your Surroundings-is because for the past three and a half years I have been everything but. Like I said-zombie. I couldn’t function because I couldn’t sleep, and I was too depressed and panicky to try to do anything even when I felt kind of like it. So I didn’t think for myself, I took everything in. All of it. I bottled every word, facial expression, music note, and every other thing I came into contact with and held it dear, deep inside my chest. I couldn’t talk. Well, I talked, I spoke, but not about me, not about what was wrong, not about anything REAL or IMPORTANT. And that was yet another problem in the pot of my life. When you can’t see clearly, you can’t see how things really are-it’s distorted, so you operate under a certain belief that isn’t true, it doesn’t even make sense half the time, but you can’t see that, so you continue that way until something happens, something changes, you get desperate and try to kill yourself again, and your aunt cusses you out for doing on her mother’s death date instead of any other day, and then your dad gets remarried and you have to go back to work and then your aunt threatens to kill your dog because…I still haven’t figured that one out….and then all of a sudden-BAM-clarity. Someone tells you, someone who is supposed to look out for you, that they don’t care, never cared, never will, and then they threaten to take away the one reason you’ve managed to stay this whole time, and from out of nowhere you gain a little respect for yourself, stand up for yourself a little, and tell that someone to suck it because you rock and have done nothing to deserve all of this crap. And yeah, the next day, shoot, within the next 20 minutes I felt the self-hate right back in my heart, but I can see it for what it is now, and I know I don’t have to believe it. I can see where I am-I am on the road to recovery, and it’s a tough job, it doesn’t take a break, you never get a day off, but in the end it will be worth it, so I don’t do it for me, or my family, or my friends. I do it for the person I could one day be if I somehow manage to make it through this. And it’s becoming easier and easier to believe that I will.
I know that I rambled,
But such is my nature,
You don’t have to read this,
But I needed to write it.
It made me feel better.
So I want to share with you my story of anxiety starting from the very beginning of my life. I’m an open book when it comes to sharing my struggles because I hope that it helps at least one person out. So I’m sitting at home, staying home from school because, you guessed it, my anxiety. But I think to make it more meaningful I will start from when I was born. When I was about a year old I had to go see a therapist because I was afraid to go to the bathroom. I had to get so many medical tests done to see if something was wrong physically, but of course, everything came back normal. This went on until I was 4 years old when I finally learned how to go to the bathroom like a big girl. That story is a little embarrassing, but this is when all my anxiety started to show, and yes, I was that young. I’m 16 now, but before I was 16, my anxiety would come in phases. It was never constant and there always was a trigger to it. I was afraid to go to the doctor or the dentist, which is probably normal for a young child, but the fear was so intense that it didn’t seem “normal.” To this day, I still hate going to the doctors or the dentist or whatever it may be. I also would fear going on vacation. Not so bad to the point I wouldn’t go, but I would cry constantly the whole trip. I even cried when me and my family went to Disney World. When I look back, it would make sense that I have the fear of the unknown. If I didn’t know what the ride did or how fast or high it was I would FREAK out. I also started to have signs of emetophobia, which is the fear of throwing up or being around someone who was sick. There was a time in my life where for two weeks, I would hardly eat anything because I knew there was a virus going around the school and I was so worried about catching it. I always worried that I would get sick in public and that’s still a huge fear today. I also showed signs of extreme shyness. I never thought anything of it, I just thought that was my personality. But now, it would make more sense that I have Social Anxiety. Every year at school, I would stick to having one friend in each grade level. I wasn’t good at making friends and I also still am not today. So to jump into more recent years, things just didn’t seem to be getting better. In the late spring of 2013, I had my first major panic attack. It hit me so fast, I wasn’t ready for it at all. It happened at random and I was trying so hard to figure out what triggered it, but I just couldn’t seem to find it. I was just sitting in church minding my own business then, bam! Out of nowhere came a panic attack. It also happened at school when I was just sitting in class. I ended up having to leave class and talk to the school psychologist. I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack or anything since I knew I had some sort of anxiety problem, but I still didn’t know what was going on. From then on, the whole summer of 2013, I became a recluse. I didn’t want to leave the house in fear of having another panic attack. I begged my parents to let me see a therapist, but they thought I could deal with it on my own. I just sat in bed crying, feeling like I was wasting my life. Finally, my parents took me to a therapist, who I still go to today. Unfortunately, school was coming around the corner and I could only fit in two therapy sessions, which hadn’t really benefited me at all for what was about to come. Sure enough the first day of school came and I was up all night crying because I was so afraid to go. I juts started dealing with panic that I didn’t know how to deal with it at school. All I could think of is how the kids would feel about me and what the teachers would do and how they would react. Luckily, most of my teachers this year ended up being very understanding. I ended up staying home and we had to make an emergency therapy session. I was still so afraid to go to school that I ended up missing 11 days first quarter. Its second quarter right now and things have been getting a little better, but I’m still missing a lot of school. Considering that therapy really doesn’t help with anxiety instantly (it still helps a lot so I do recommend it don’t get me wrong) I needed a quicker way to find relief from this mess so I went to see a psychiatrist. I’m currently on anti-anxiety medication, which makes it a little easier. Now, I don’t want to send the wrong message by saying medication will solve the problem because it all comes down to you. I’m still having a tough time with anxiety but I’m hoping I will soon get out of this cage and be able to fly free from this intense challenge. What I want readers to take from this is that don’t be ashamed to get help. As much as I know most kids don’t want to, it does help a significant amount. And if you do end up getting medication, don’t be ashamed to take it. I’m not trying to endorse the idea of taking meds, but sometimes you need that little extra boost to get going. It’s your decision to take it and when to stop it so you wont have to take it your whole life if you don’t want to. I just know that I was afraid and ashamed to take them but you have to do what you gotta do. Another thing I want to mention is that you should know that nothing is your fault and I want to make that clear. I’ve blamed myself for a lot of things these past few months but what I’ve realized is I was born with this. I didn’t ask to be born with it and I’m sure you did not either. You should never blame yourself for something that’s totally out of control. Things will fall into place and get better, I’m sure of it. And lastly I just want to reach out to any parent that might be reading this. Please be patient with your child through this difficult time. I know you might be frustrated and stressed out during this difficult time, but I’m sure your child is having those same feelings as you are. Just try to stay calm as best as you can because it just adds to the stress and I know that because, trust me, I’ve been there. Be encouraging at all times, that’s what will help with this horrible illness. Just remember, this isn’t something that just happens over time. It takes time, courage, and support to get through it, which I hope you all realize. Well I think this is long enough so I will end this by saying; I hope this helped anyone who is going through the same thing I am and please, stay strong and never lose hope. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel <3
I used to love people. I loved being around everyone and everyone liked me. Now I’m scared. I’ve never been so scared of anything. I’m always afraid of being judged or having everyone secretly hate me. Not to mention I hate my school, a place I used to feel safe and loved. I’m paranoid about simple things like soccer practice and even just hanging out with my friends. Things that used to bring me happiness. One of my close friends turned against me, and it seems like everyone in my life is so hot and cold. I just want things to be the way they used to be. When I felt normal, happy, and had a place to fit in. I’m tired of being anxious about life, and I want a change, but how can a little girl in a big world change when she’s afraid of so much?
Over the last 2 years specifically, i had noticed that i would get anxiety over some of the simpler things about school. When i was asked to read a passage in English class i would start to panic because what if people thought i was annoying and didn’t want me to read, or they heard my voice shake or i stumbled over my words. While giving presentations i would worry that my hands or voice were shaking and even if i just answered a simple question i would think about that moment for the rest of the period, and if i messed up even slightly i would think the entire class was still thinking about it. I found myself telling people i couldn’t go places that i wanted to go because i didn’t feel comfortable and i always thought everyone was thinking about how much they didn’t like me. I found myself not interacting with my family as much and i was constantly called ‘lazy’. My parents didn’t realize that it was not something i could control, so they constantly put me down for being lazy and antisocial. My doctor noticed something was off one visit and through some tests and a series of questions he diagnosed me with social anxiety disorder and mild to severe depression. If most of these things sounds like you, DO NOT play it off as just you being lazy or shy. The right treatment and medication can make it so much better i promise you so please go see a doctor.
When I was 10 years old, I started to like this boy in my apartments. We would hang out almost every day. I felt comfortable around him, One day he asked me to be his girlfriend and even though I liked him- I said no. I mean, I was only 10 years old! At least I thought that was the reason why I rejected him. For the next two years he would ask me out EVERY DAY! I was afraid of what was going to happen if I said yes, you know? what where we going to do afterwards? should we kiss right away? so many questions that within the years kept me from always saying no. But he insisted so much that one day I finally said yes. Turns out he moved out of town a couple of days later, and have never heard from him ever since then…
When I was in middle school, I had friends but not many. There was three main ones that i would hang around with, but for some reason during lunch time they rather go to the restroom or library, so I would go with them too. It would annoy me because it would make us seem like such losers, but they were my best friends so I never said anything. It was until one of them started dating a guy at school and we finally went outside during lunch time and hanged with her boyfriend. I remember my friend being so scared and him too. They didn’t know what to do, they wouldn’t even talk and would rarely hold hands. I didn’t want to be like that, so I guess that made me even more afraid of being in a relationship.
My first day of high school, I remember being scared but then again I thought that was normal. I wasn’t at all ‘alone’ because I knew people from elementary and middle school. My three best friends didn’t change much, they were still shy and would get mad at me for socializing with other people. On second semester of freshman year they stopped talking to me and well for some reason I’m not one to beg so I didn’t bother talking to them either no matter how much I missed them. I started hanging around with other people, and I don’t want to brag but I was really known. I had lots of friends. The rest of freshman year was awesome! sophomore year was also great and made many more friends. I don’t want to say I was popular because I wasn’t, people just knew who I was. Life was great, until more and more of my friends started dating, and guys would start talking and flirting with me also, but there was one specific guy that I liked. I could have a normal conversation with him without getting nervous. We would always flirt during class and classmates even thought we were going out. Things started changing when I realized he liked me too and would let me know at any time. I knew he would ask me out soon and I didn’t want that because well I was still afraid. I started ‘playing’ hard to get, I guess he got tired of it and got himself a girlfriend. That hurt it bad, but not as much because I knew he still had stronger feelings for me. One day- him, my friend, and I went to go eat hamburgers. It was my first time actually hanging out with him outside of school so when the burgers came I couldn’t even take a bite because just the smell of it was getting me nauseous. I thought that was so weird because I liked those burgers. When he left I told my friend how I couldn’t even take a bite b/c I thought I was going to throw up, she said it was normal because I was nervous so I let it go.
My friends would always ask me why haven’t I had a boyfriend, who do I like, that it was time for me to get one. At first I could bare with their questions and simply say “I don’t like anyone from here” or “they are all ugly”. But then the questions kept coming again and again from female friends and guy friends. I just couldn’t stand it no more. I had to leave, no matter how much I was going to miss them. So I told my mom that I wanted to start off in a new school because this one just wasn’t good for me. Teachers wouldn’t teach. My grades where low and I just wasn’t learning anything.
Sophomore year end it and since my parents did want a good school for me we moved 45 minutes away to my aunts house. I was happy because I was going to be able to start fresh, nobody knew me in this school. Nobody knew that I’ve never had a boyfriend before. I thought maybe I could meet new friends and hopefully a guy. Two days before school started I started to feel anxious. I had trouble sleeping and I wasn’t craving any food. I remember the night before school all of family was gathered cooking fried fish with french fries and salad. I usually enjoyed eating that, but that night the first bite I went to the restroom and threw up. I didn’t told anyone I just told them I wasn’t hungry. I knew something was wrong with me and I was so scared! That night I had trouble sleeping and in the morning my mom gave me a burrito, I tried a few bites and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep it down so I secretly threw it all away in the trash and once again I threw up in the restroom, my older sister watched me but I told her I was fine. I brushed my teeth, got in the car with my parents in the front and me and my sister in the back. the drive seemed so long and once I saw the building with all those strangers walking around, I got a couple of wipes that were laying around in the car and well I threw up again! except that this time nothing much other than saliva came out. I guess because I had nothing more left in my stomach. My sister watched me with worried eyes but I just kissed all of them goodbye and walked out the car. I remember trying not to cry while I was finding my first period class. I was just scared, I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I sat down in my first class, my nerves calmed down. Fortunately, I didn’t had no desire of vomiting once more. I guess because I saw that people there weren’t so bad. Immediately after the teacher finished talking asking us to get in groups of four some girls called me over. They all seemed friendly and well a bit crazy. They reminded me of my old friends from the other school who by the way kept sending me ‘I miss you’ messages or ‘Come back! and ‘Good luck on your first day!’. During passing periods I would see girls hugging and catching up. I felt sad because that could have been me with friends at the other school yet here I was trying to start fresh. Lunch time came around and well I started to panic because one thing I hate is being alone in a lunchroom full of people. I thought about going to the restroom and just wait till lunch was over but I didn’t want to go back to how I was in middle school so instead I took a huge breath and walked to the lunch line, got my lunch, and sat down next to two girls that I noticed from my last class. They weren’t mean when they noticed me but neither were they nice. One of them started going on about how she didn’t get full so I offered her my lunch which I yet hadn’t touch and wasn’t planning on either. I felt like such a kiss ass but I wanted to make friends…
When the last bell ranged I walked to the front of the building and waited for my parents there. From far away I could see one of the girls from first period Kissing with a guy. After she was done she approached me and said Hi. Then she asked me if I had a boyfriend… I lied and said “I used too” We exchanged numbers and told me to text her if I needed anything.
When I got home my mom had a meal ready. I don’t remember what it was I just know I didn’t eat. I just sat in my room going through the events that happened that day. wondering what was going to happen the next day. How was lunch going to be that time? who was going to ask me about my love life next and what was I going to say that time? I was exhausted of feeling that way.
A couple of hours later my dad knocked on the door and said I had to eat something for dinner because I hadn’t been eating good. Although I wanted to restrain I knew he was right. Plus, I was starving and my stomach felt empty. So I willingly made myself a sandwich. I remember taking it with both hands and with all the fear in the world and watery eyes I took a bite praying to be able and keep that down. But as soon as I tasted the mayonnaise I ran to restroom and vomited or at least try to because nothing other than saliva would come out.
This time my parents had witnessed what happened and when I ran to my room trying not to cry my dad walked into the room and asked me what was wrong, why wasn’t I eating anything. I didn’t know how to answer that because I didn’t know either so I just shrugged. He said a cold chocolate shake would make me feel better and went off to make me one. I didn’t had to chew that so I thought that was good idea.
I took a huge gulp and as soon as I passed it, I had to run to the restroom once more. This time I stayed in there crying because maybe I was turning anorexic or bulimic. But I knew that was impossible because I knew I was skinny, I actually wanted to gain weight, and I wasn’t making myself throw up…it just happened. After, I went in my room and threw myself at the bed face down and cried no longer hiding it from anyone. My dad walked in again, and I remember I just threw myself at him crying. I hugged him hard and told him I was scared, I told him I was hungry but I couldn’t eat, and that I honestly didn’t know why. My mom walked in also and told me to put a sweater on because they were taking me to the emergency room. Without hesitating I changed, I guess I really wanted to know what was wrong with me.
We arrived at the ER like around midnight and well it took a few hours for the doctors to take me in. The point is the doctors asked me some questions and ended up prescribing me some nausea pills. We went back home and well I was a lot more calmed. Why? well because I hadn’t had any sleep, therefore I was staying home on my second day of school! Unfortunately, I had to go back the third day. It wasn’t better than the first so when I got home I went to my parents room and literally begged them to change me back to my old school. I explained to them how I didn’t felt comfortable there, how I missed my friends, and how I thought that was the reason why I wasn’t eating. I seriously cried like never before because I just couldn’t stand being another day in that school. Fortunately for me they realized that what I needed to get better was to move me back and so they promise to go to my old school and see if they could enrolled me again.
But still I had to keep going to school until I could go back to my other one. Yet, I didn’t care. I had HOPE! The next day was a thursday and I was so happy knowing that my parents were probably already enrolling me at my other school that I even wanted to try and eat. I went to the lunch line and bought me chips and a gatorade. I didn’t even bother to find somebody to sit with. I went outside and sat on a table by myself. I took a bite of my chip but I just couldn’t eat the rest. I drank a sip of my juice, and that got me nauseous also but I restrained myself from running to the restroom and instead I took deep breaths and reminded myself that soon I didn’t have to be back here.
The class after lunch was the best!!! why? well because it wasn’t even finish when my parents got there for me. They had a big smile on there face and well mines was way bigger. It meant I didn’t have to be back here again and that soon I was going to be back with all of my friends- with the people that I knew and loved to death.
Slowly but surely I went back to eating like I used too. For about four months school was good. But what I feared the most and what I ran from in the first place came back to haunt me! My friends interested in my love life and overwhelming me with questions on why haven’t yet had a boyfriend. This didn’t stop me from eating but I was constantly worrying even when I was at home. I avoided situations where I knew the conversation would come up which was mostly ALWAYS! I mean it was high school and that is the everyday main topic. I was afraid that if I stayed there longer, I was going to start getting sick again and i didn’t want that. So one day on the fourth month of school I got home and I asked her if she could please move me to another school that was like 8 mins away because I found out that they had a really cool criminal justice program that I was interested in. Although it was true, I did not care about the program at all, but when it comes to education my mom wants the best for me, so with SEVERAL DAYS of begging her she finally gave in but said that would be the last time she moved me.
I knew this school wouldn’t be as hard to suffer through because I had my friends close but not TOO close so they couldn’t bother me about dating as often, and plus in the new school I knew an old friend that I Fortunately had for lunch everyday in school! I made friends fast too.
HOW I FINALLY FOUND OUT WHAT I HAD…
My health class teacher assigned us a project on disorders. We had to research about an specific one. I picked GAD. I remember sitting in the computer lab and reading a story just like the one I’m writing now. It was a girls story and I had all the symptoms that she did. As I was reading through it- my heart would beat faster and a tear would escape my eyes every once in a while because I understood her. I knew what it felt like being hungry yet not being able to eat. I didn’t know if to be happy because I finally knew what I had or too be sad because I had something.
I didn’t told my parents and I tried to tell my sister but she said it was all in my mind and to just forget about it. I tried my best to not think about it and although sometimes I did forget, It was always it the back of my mind.
Finally Senior year came around. First day of school was a pain in the butt. I didn’t eat for the first day and at lunch I no longer had my friend. But thankfully I found new ones who ended up being great. My classes were also great so the second day I went back to eating.
It was my senior year. Where I was suppose to have fun and enjoy all the senior activities. Did I?… NO! I avoided homecoming game. I avoided homecoming dance. I would get asked on dates or even to just hang out by guys and I would always reject them and say I was busy when really I had nothing to do. Since freshman year till senior year, every valentines day has been horrible to me and I hate them because I get to see what I’ll probably never have. To make things worse my friends there were starting to realize I wasn’t dating and were constantly asking me why. I honestly couldn’t wait to graduate. I also avoided prom. I heard about it since middle school. I saw my sister go to hers and come back happy. I saw my classmates look for and talk about their dress and dates like the whole month before. I got asked to prom from a guy I would’ve loved saying yes too, but I said no. My whole family and friends kept telling me how prom is a one time thing that I should go to or else I would end up regretting it. I simply told them “I don’t want to go” or “Prom doesn’t interest me so I won’t regret it”. But between me and you… I do regret it! and deep down I did wanted to go. I wanted to experience that one time thing. I wanted to buy an expensive dress that I would look beautiful in and try on many heels till I found the perfect ones. Have perfect hair and amazing makeup. But most of all I wanted to have fun with my friends and that special guy who would make that night unforgettable.
I graduated from high school 4 months ago. Graduation day is the day I will always remember not only because I graduated and made my family so happy and proud, but also because it was a great relief that I won’t have to avoid situations anymore.
I thought my life would be better by now, you know? But I feel like it’s worse than ever! I have no job. I don’t go to school, because I wanted a break from it, and I no longer have friends. I deactivated my facebook and any other social website that could keep them in contact with me. They would text me and I would not text them back because I knew that the love questions would soon pop up. I lost contact with all of them, even my closest friend who from my cousin I found out she’s getting married. I didn’t even get invited to her wedding. how sad is that?
Just when I thought my life couldn’t get any worse… My family starts questioning me about my love life too. My mom even asked me if I was a lesbian!! not only her, my uncle did too. Do you have any idea how painful that was? Sometimes I think i should tell my mom that I suffer from GAD that way she’ll understand what I’m going true. But I’m afraid she won’t believe me or will think I’m just making it up. She will probably say It’s all in my head and that I just have to stop thinking about.
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not whining about my life. Other than being afraid of the unknown and not being able to form a relationship, I consider myself a happy girl because I know that there’s people who have it much worse than I do. There’s people who have real diseases to worry about like Cancer or down syndrome. I just thought It would help me feel better sharing my whole story with someone. Thanks for making it to the end of it, and if you suffer from anxiety disorder as well – I hope you’re doing fine(:
Over the last 2 years specifically, i had noticed that i would get anxiety over some of the simpler things about school. When i was asked to read a passage in English class i would start to panic because what if people thought i was annoying and didnt want me to read, or they heard my voice shake or i stumbled over my words. While giving presentations i would worry that my hands or voice were shaking and even if i just answered a simple question i would think about that moment for the rest of the period, and if i messed up even slightly i would think the entire class was still thinking about it. I found myself telling people i couldnt go places that i wanted to go because i didnt feel comfortable and i always thought everyone was thinking about how much they didnt like me. I found myself not interacting with my family as much and i was constantly called ‘lazy’. My parents didnt realize that it was not something i could control, so they constantly put me down for being lazy and antisocial. My doctor noticed something was off one visit and through some tests and a series of questions he diagnosed me with social anxiety disorder and mild to severe depression. If most of these things sounds like you, DO NOT play it off as just you being lazy or shy. The right treatment and medication can make it so much better i promise you so please go see a doctor
Do you ever feel uncontrollably sad? When I was in the fifth grade I had my first true depressing moment. It had never happened before; I had a happy childhood. We moved to MN when I was ten. In Illinois I had many friends, my whole family was together, and life was solid. After moving here I found myself alone much more often than before. My brother and sister were off at college back home, and my parents were often at work because it was summer. My other sister had gone out so was me and my dog. I was crushingly lonely. I literally cried for how sad it was to be alone for the first time. That moment has stuck with me for thirteen years. No longer do I cry, but my heart aches. I fear being alone. But tonight no one is home. So tonight I am lonely.
When I was younger, I was sexually abused never thought it had a major affect on me until recently. I noticed that each time I would get anxious, I would feel like I had no control. Each time I would go the the ER I was freak but never understood why. Two weeks ago everything came crashing face first to me, I was in the ER for a head ache. Even before the doctor had seen me I was freaking out thinking I was going to have to stay. Once the doctor actually saw me and have me a shot to calm the pain I had the biggest My biggest panic attack ever. All I wanted to do was leave, go home go anywhere that wasn’t the ER. I thought by leaving everything would go away but I shortly found out I was completely wrong. Once home I couldn’t stay still, I couldn’t sleep my heart was pounding my mind on constant alert. I let some days pass thinking that all this was because of the injection I got. Well two days later I look at my arm and notice that where the doctor gave me the injection I had a big black and purple. This once again gave me a panic attack, I thought something was wrong with me. So the next morning I rushed to the ER for the black and purple and chest pain. After being in the ER for a few minutes I began to have my thrust panic attack in less then a week. After being seen and having test done I was told that I was having panic attacks. I was give a low dosage of anti anxiety medication, but at this point medications began to scare me. Not allowing my self to completely fall victim into the vicious cycle of anxiety I chose to go to school which sounded easy but turned out to be harder then I thought. I couldn’t stay still, fearing that at any given minute I would have another panic attack.
In school as hard as it may be the best thing you can do is inform you teacher. You don’t have to tell them everything but let them know so they can understand when you have to step out. Speaking to my teachers and letting them know that I wasn’t my usual loud self at the moment helped a little. Another thing that has been helping is having a support team around you. Let your close friend or close family member know so when you do have a panic attack they can understand and help you get back to you.
I can’t say I’m fully back to normal but i sure am trying. By far the hardest two weeks of my life. I am learning how to overcome anxiety.
The first anxiety attack I ever had was when I was 13, and to tell you the truth I had absolutely no idea what it was. My family took a trip up to San Francisco, and we stayed in a hotel in a really bad part of the city. Now, I don’t want to sound like one of those California girls who wants everything absolutely perfect; but I think I got somewhat homesick, and I couldn’t sleep. I started to have a bad panic attack with nausea, sweating, crying (that’s how I know it’s an attack). It was pretty bad, my family thought I was being ridiculous and I thought that a little about myself also. In the morning, I kept having these insane compulsive thoughts about harming myself. Then I was worried because I wasn’t hopeless or wishing to die, but I had visions and pictures of me in my head harming myself; that scared me to absolutely no extent. I got these thoughts every night, and sometimes during the day; I would experience panic attacks, but I still had no idea that they were panic attacks. I thought something was seriously wrong with me. It took me 3 months to finally go to a psychiatrist. He told me that I had OCD, which I thought was a little weird because I was having panic attacks along with it.
The psychiatrist put me on a low dose of Zoloft, and after a couple weeks, I was back to normal again. I had absolutely no thoughts and panic attacks anymore icon smile Stories of Hope and Help . Until I decided to stop the medicine with my psychiatrists support (one of the worst decisions I have ever made). Life was fine for a little while, until a period came when I would be throwing up before school. If I would chew anything, I would throw it back up. And this didn’t happen only before school, I also got my first boyfriend (we are still together now, and he is so supportive, Go guys!) and I would be vomiting before dates. I would only experience this in the morning, so I could eat in the afternoon. I couldn’t only keep my food down, but this caused me to miss lots of school.
Along with this, the panic attacks started to come back and I started having them more often. I found a solution to eat (I drink breakfast shakes for protein and calories) and I was back at school. I started having excessive panic attacks at school and we are talking about every day. I would go home early, and therefore miss school. And another problem I’m still facing is that I’m loosing lots of weight. I’ve lost 20 pounds since June, and it’s February; I fit into a size 5 dress almost perfectly. But, people who are reading this please remember there is always help! At school, at work, at home even. I started talking to my school psychologist and let me tell you, it’s helped me so much it’s insane. I can leave class for a moment if I’m having a panic attack (I still have them mostly every day, and the full anxiety symptoms with it), and I have been making it through days of school.
Please know, DON’T LET ANYONE CALL YOU CRAZY JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE THIS. Sorry, but it’s true. People ask me if I would change anything about my life (meaning my anxiety disorder) and I say no. My body is just programmed like this. Hell, don’t even call it a disorder. It’s life, and for some people, anxiety is our lives, and we have to welcome it as a part. Now listen to me, the absolute point of no return is when you start feeling sorry for yourself! Don’t feel sorry at all because you have done no wrong. And just remember, that no matter how bad that panic attack, or anxious feeling is, it always goes away.
There is a common misconception about why young adults have had eating disorders. I want to emphasize that it is NOT just about the food you eat or the weight you are but it’s more of a deeper physiological symptom. I am not here to lecture you but, I am here to tell you that it is possible to fully recover from, what people like to call, Anorexia Nervosa. My experience started around the age of fifteen. I was just moving to a new town with all new people and starting high school. I felt lost, not only was I new but I was coming from Colorado to a school that was all about having your one “group” and sticking to it. My inability to fit in with all the “perfect-looking” girls around me caused a reaction. Stress, anxiety and unhappiness were overwhelming my thoughts and actions. From then on my goal was to fit in, I turned to an unhealthy lifestyle of convincing myself that I didn’t like chocolate chip cookies anymore and Diet Coke was pure sugar. Everything I looked at that I used to enjoy was bad, negative and not acceptable to think about. My grandma’s diet pills became my everyday “vitamin,” that quickly affected my body. It was almost like there was a voice in my head consistently telling me that I can’t eat this or else I will become fat. 130lb was my weight in the beginning of freshman year at NDP high school but by the end I was 107lb. The worst part is that I was hurting myself and didn’t even know it. When I looked into the mirror, I saw the start of perfection but I believed that there was always room for improvement.
The middle of sophomore year come around and after bringing me to a few doctor appointments for nutrition visits my mom stressed her sad thoughts about what I was doing to myself. Hearing my family’s worries about my weight, I started to slowly eat healthier. It wasn’t just their worrying that helped me; it was mainly my choice to finally fix myself. This took more willpower and understanding what is best for me then anything. By junior year, I was healthy and happy; I had a boyfriend that liked me for me and friends that cared.
Now five years later, looking back, I realize that I am stronger than I believed I could be. I took those over-the-top mental issues that I was suffering from and pushed them aside. I tried to focus on what mattered more than my looks, and with a smile on my face, I can say that from this I have became a better version of me. If any of you readers leave here with one realization, I want that to be an understanding that you are stronger than you think you are; you can stop anything that is the way of your future, including Anorexia.
I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t always know what it was. I never liked school very much, only in the fall i liked it for some reason. The fall made me happy, it was my favorite season. I loved to be with my friends. I can’t remember when I realized I had anxiety, but freshman year of high school was the worst. I skipped. I hated it, and I had no idea why. I had excellent teachers, cool people to talk to, but it was something about the people I didn’t talk to. I was anxious all the time, and scared. I just wanted to go home, and that wasn’t any better but at least I could curl up in my bed, take some sleeping pills and knockout. Everyday I went to school I was anxious and scared right before I walked in that door. Time went on, i got past that year, and I was still scared. I wanted to transfer, but I realized it probably wasn’t the school. I was comforted by drugs. Sometimes I didn’t even have to actually do them, just talking about them calmed me down. I liked talking to guys that liked talking to me. But sometimes they would just stop texting me and I couldn’t understand why. I was alone and confused. One day I watched the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I fell in LOVE with it. The movie explained so many things about me. Like when the boy didn’t have his friends to talk to, he started going right back into depression. I thought I was alone in that fight, but I guess I wasn’t. Even as I’m writing this, my anxiety is almost eating me from the inside out, but I’m working on it and I’m trying. I know that for sure.
This is not an award-winning story of how I dramatically overcame my anxiety disorder and went dancing off into the sunset of total happiness. No, this one’s just about a particularly unpleasant behavioral problem, and the ordinary decency of normal people, which I’m sharing because I think I need to get it off my chest.
This time last year I admit I was, to the external observer, an annoying, slightly unstable character: so sometimes nice, perhaps overly nice, sometimes chatty, sometimes silent. The truth was the GAD and panic attacks were permanently bothering me: when one wasn’t, the other was. The worst bit was that I didn’t think I could tell anybody about it. To me, and to many other people I knew and know now, that was like showing weakness, or that you were some sort of freak. Plus I didn’t want people checking up on me all the time, just in case they triggered another attack. A terribly sensitive person I was then.
I had bouts of depression too. I mean, sometimes I was happy – that is to say, my “happy” was everyone else’s OK – but mostly I was sad, or aggressive. And of course I took it out on the people around me, though I knew it was wrong.
Basically, you get it, I was UNSTABLE.
But beforehand it had not been particularly damaging to have been in this sort of state – my GCSEs were approaching, and I was terrified, convinced that if I did not pass these exams the sky would fall down on my head. But of course I didn’t acknowledge that I was scared. I just shoved it down with all my other feelings, because ain’t nobody got time for that.
In those frenetic months, I discovered that maths and the sciences were my biggest concerns. I could not do them to an acceptable standard, probably because they were my least favourite subjects and I had had many really bad teachers. Things were not looking up. I needed a C at least in Maths to get back into the Sixth form at my school, and it was looking unlikely. I began to panic more often because I thought I had no alternative but that sixth form.
A tutor was found through my mother. She and I worked through maths and science for two to three hours – as much as we could possibly manage. But the tutor was not like I’d expected her to be. She didn’t force me to do any more than I could take that day. I was allowed sufficient time to take a break and rest. I found myself calming down and by encouragement and practice, getting better at those dreadful subjects.
Then, at one point, I panicked. At first i was rather nervous in telling the tutor I’d grown to trust about the panic attacks and my anxiety, and even then I tried to brush it off as a problem. But she met me with such decent compassion and understanding it took me by surprise. She told me the most obvious thing, but beforehand it had meant little, whereas now – in that moment, it was the most important statement in the world.
It was this: “It’s all right to feel how you’re feeling”.
It took me two or three weeks after the event to work this out. In that time, without me really trying, a change must’ve taken place inside me. I began to see the relationships I had with myself differently. For me this was the last major battle over the fight I had with the anxiety.
Where has this left me now? I’d say that I’m a lot freer now – mot totally free, of course, but free to be honest with myself, and therefore in a position to pursue other freedoms responsibly. I treat people better too, I think. Instead of being mostly sad I’m mostly in good enough spirits. Obviously the war isn’t over yet, and I still have my off days, but I am no longer scared of disclosing my feelings to others, and that is the biggest step since then. The panic attacks have all but vanished, and the GAD is making a retreat too. For the first time in six or seven years, I am finally beginning to make peace with myself.
And if I can be at peace with myself, I can begin to make peace with society.
And that is the most important thing.
I’ve had anxiety since I was 5. Nobody really knew, I would just spur out in episodes where I’d cry and shake and couldn’t talk. It kind of just happened when there was stress in the house or when my parents would fight, or they’d fight with my older sister. Sometimes after my sister molested me, and would have me do stuff for her. I’m 16 years old now, and I still have anxiety. Its not easy to live with. Its scary to do stuff, but if you’re looking at this website for whatever reason; Anxiety, depression, eating disorder, bullied, whatever it is. I want you to realize that you’ve made it. You’re strong, and I’m proud of you. I don’t even know you, and I’m proud of you. So think of the other people you have in your life. They’re proud. So for anybody on this website who has thought about suicide, please don’t. Think about the people out there that care about you, and the people you care about. They would be so hurt if you were gone. So before you even think about grabbing that gun, or picking up that pill bottle, or however you’d do it, please talk to me. I’m an open person, and I would LOVE to talk to anybody. Please press reply below and talk to me. Even if you’re not suicidal. If you have anxiety or depression, and are alone and need to talk, or are feeling depressed about something. Or have a secret you can’t tell anyone. I’m here with ears open, and a mouth shut. I’d love to talk to any of you amazing survivors and hear your stories.
I’ve always thought of myself as a happy person. I have friends and a great family, but no one really understands me, understands what I go through on a daily basis. Ever since I was young, I’ve been struggling with bad social anxiety. School is rough for me..I hate it with a passion. I dread waking up in the morning, not because i’m tired, but because I have to go to the place I hate more than anything. I am a loud person and I talk a lot, but at school I’m pretty much just the opposite. I rarely speak and I only talk to my two best friends. I can remember since elementary school of having a fear of speaking in front of people, even one person. I hate presenting projects…I shake like a leaf and stutter when I present, and I can’t even eat anything the day of a presentation or I will throw up. I’ve never really been bullied, but the thought of people looking at me and judging my every move and word scares me so badly. My anxiety really is holding me back. I try and tell myself that there’s nothing to be afraid of, but I can’t control how my mind thinks. My anxiety has also somehow led to problems that I shouldn’t be dealing with…like my terrible fear of the dark, my fear of choking on food, etc..name a fear and I probably have it. I try and tell my family about my problems, but they don’t listen and it hurts me so badly. I tell them and they just think it’s a joke and tell me to grow up and start dealing with my problems on my own. I’m not a depressed person and I’m not suicidal or anything along that line, but I do cry a lot and find myself frowning more than smiling. Do you know the feeling when you’re in a crowded room but you feel alone? Because that’s what I feel like every day.
I don’t remember how fast this started or when it went from innocently skipping meals to finally meeting ana and mia. Since the first day of junior kindergarten I was ridiculed, ignored and outcast. I felt hated. Every kid in my class turned against me…for the sole reason that I was different. I grew up in a polish household, so I didn’t grow up learning English. When I finally went to school I didn’t speak much or know much English at all. Most kids called me an alien or stupid while others just didn’t even acknowledge me, as though I was of a lesser kind than them. I struggled through the first few years of school trying to catch up to everyone, but by then even my teachers were calling me stupid. When I finally started to understand and speak English like everyone else the other kids couldn’t laugh at me for not speaking English anymore so they moved onto other things. FAT, UGLY, BLONDE, IDIOT- were only some of the things I got and this only being grade three. By then I had started throwing my lunches out and lying to my teacher that id already eaten. As kids kept bullying me I tried to tell my teachers but all they said was “its a part of growing up so get over it you have to learn to fight your own battles”. Things got worse progressively I got beat up by kids either at recess or after school. I was pushed down the stairs at school, and I almost got choked by a kid while walking home alone. I felt scared and alone. Eventually I chose to stop talking all together, and when things went wrong I got in trouble. I’ve been dancing since I was 3 so I know what its like to constantly have pressure on you. I was never one of the skinny girls generally “average” as my family members would say. But as things got worse at school I started to feel fat and whenever I saw myself in the mirror I couldn’t handle what I saw so I started to cut. I started cutting before I knew what it was or that it was bad. I was 7 when I started it wasn’t very often but by grade 5 it was almost a daily thing and I started deliberating suicide. Finally my family moved and I had a chance to start over, but I felt like I could never be the way I used to be. I got Facebook and kids from my old school added me and it kept going. when I came to high school I had stopped eating breakfast and lunch. Dinner I ate every night because the hunger cramps were killing me. I wasn’t losing weight tho over the years I had also started playing volleyball, but still I felt like I needed to be skinnier. In grade 9 I was about 126lbs when I started, and id get the odd comment on how I wasn’t skinny enough especially to be a dancer so I started to workout. I did the odd jumping jacks and crunches but then it became regular 50 jumping jacks before every shower and 20 crunches before every meal or snack. Slowly my weight started to descend, but I felt like I needed to be skinnier so I kept pushing. This year my best friend lost his little sister and our whole school was devastated in that same week I lost my uncle to brain cancer and by then I was ready to give up too. By then I weighed 110lbs and I was only eating about 300 calories a day and after every “meal” (if it can even be called that) was throwing up. This year as a grade 11 I met one of my now best friends. He’s been really supportive and helped me to stop cutting. He was there for me a lot, but lately hasn’t really had time for me and I feel like he doesn’t care anymore. His girlfriend being one of my friends notices that hes changed. I’ve started worrying a lot bout how to get him to talk to me. I helped him through a lot as well and now he won’t talk to me. I hate it and I don’t know hat to do. When I stress I workout more and eat less…since October I’ve gained about 5 pounds and lost 9 im still going down. I’ve been struggling and changes have always been hard on me since I was little I just don’t want to lose my best friend and I hope he hasn’t relapsed. Sorry for whining and taking up your time I just IDK I’m confused still.
I’ve been having sleeping problems for over a year. My parents still don’t believe me. They got me some sleeping pills once when it got really bad, but they didn’t work, and that’s when the anxiety started. I can’t do things I used to be able to do. I can’t listen to music, watch films or go to sleepovers. I’m losing my best friend because we don’t have sleepovers anymore and it’s killing me. I’ve been to the doctor three times and described my anxiety thing to them and they made me have all these blood tests. One doctor said that i have anxiety symptoms but it’s impossible to get it at my age(14). Most of my friends know but only one of them cares, and she has other things to worry about right now, i don’t want to annoy her by asking for help all the time. I’m posting this because i need to know that I’m not alone, because that’s all i need to know right now. I’m also due to go to the hospital soon to get more tests done, and i’m scared of hospitals, they really don’t get it.
Do you ever feel uncontrollably sad? When I was in the fifth grade I had my first true depressing moment. It had never happened before; I had a happy childhood. We moved to MN when I was ten. In Illinois I had many friends, my whole family was together, and life was solid. After moving here I found myself alone much more often than before. My brother and sister were off at college back home, and my parents were often at work because it was summer. My other sister had gone out so was me and my dog. I was crushingly lonely. I literally cried for how sad it was to be alone for the first time. That moment has stuck with me for thirteen years. No longer do I cry, but my heart aches. I fear being alone. But tonight no one is home. So tonight I am lonely. but I am going to know how to overcome anxiety sooner than later.
I don’t know when my anxiety started but I think it was when I was about ten when I went to a friends and was ill the whole time and they did not tell my parents and so I was stuck in a house I had never been before throwing up all night and at such a young age it was especially upsetting now I have anxiety and I Am 15 I cannot go to a friends go out with ought my parents have people round my house or even go anywhere with other family members without having a panic attack i.e. crying being sick and just generally having a horrible time I am miserable and it is effecting my life I just wish my anxieties sold to away
It all started when I was in secondary school and i had to run around the school, it made my throat close up and therefore i had my first panic attack. I then went to the doctors and had an asthma check up; I didn’t have asthma. He diagnosed me with GAD and a panic disorder. This made me scared as I thought I was going crazy. I had to have counseling for my anxiety and also anger issues. After these sessions had ended my anxiety got better. However a few years later it got worse again. I told my parents put they didn’t believe me. My friends thought i was attention seeking so I had no on to talk to. They didn’t realize how it feels to have this! I started having suicidal thoughts when I was in Spain, which I don’t like to talk about, and again my throat closed up whilst leading a sports event. This resulted in my hands going numb, feeling faint and not being able to breathe. I’m 16 now and my anxiety is still here, I try to forget about it when i’m out with my friends or at college but i can’t. It’s make me let down job offers, police opportunities and going to see bands i like. It also makes me scared of the dark, small spaces, being left alone, not being about to concentrate, not being able to memories things and the fear of loosing control. As well as making me paranoid, not feeling good enough and making my social life not as good as it could be. So this is my story, I haven’t explained it fully before and I haven’t had the guts to tell it to anyone. Whoever takes their time to read this, thank you. It helps me to know that someone will understand even if the people around me don’t.
I just recently had my first anxiety/panic attack about a month ago. I was in the car with my cousin when it happened. Rapid heart beat, sweating, shortness of breath, tightening of the chest and muscles. To the point where I couldn’t even dial my moms number because I had to use my hands to do it. Ever since then I have a feeling that I won’t ever be able to get back in my feet. I use to go out with my friends all the time. Now I usually just stay at home. I get extremely anxious getting in the car with anyone but my mom. I feel like I can’t go anywhere with anybody. And what bothers me, is that school is starting in a couple of weeks, and I’m scared to go because I don’t feel like I have a handle on my anxiety or control over how I think. I feel hopeless. And everything on the Internet for reducing anxiety all say the same thing, and I don’t know if its truly helpful to me. If anyone has this same feeling, or knows what to do to help me get over this as well as I can. PLEASE help me.
This story isn’t so much as mine as it is someone else’s, however even so it has made a scary impact on my life and added on to the stress i already have. It’s the story of the only person in the world that i love; my fiance. I’ve got my share of problems, but he’s got even more and i’m finding it difficult to cope with them. The mistakes he has made aren’t pretty, the things he’s seen are devastating. and the way his family treats him is even worse. Everyday he works doing the same thing he did the day before, with constant yelling, and abuse…he doesn’t sleep at night, he doesn’t get to eat and his parents don’t believe a word he ever says. and often he isn’t in a good mood. Everyday he has fits of shaking and sometimes crying just asking “why? why do they do this to me?”. He has the flashback deal, the nightmares, but i never ask what they’re about. (all i know really is that he was ok one minute, telling me about some of his friends, then looked at me and told me to always wear a seat belt and not to die…) Sometimes i take the blame on myself, i feel like i’m not good enough, that i’m being selfish when i don’t want to help because i’m afraid that he won’t get better. Both of us have struggled with self abuse, depression, anxiety all the lovely stuffs. He’s very supportive of me, and i try to be supportive of him, but it takes days for him to get better just for a moment before everything goes right back down. I just want to help, but it’d difficult when his mood effects mine. A lot of the time i just tell him i need to stop talking and i’ll go get my mind off of him. I know everything will be alright. I’m fighting for a better life with him as soon as we graduate.
I’m 14 years old – 15 in a few months – and I have generalized anxiety, mild social anxiety, mild panic disorder, and seperation anxiety (along with SAD, but that’s not anxiety). Now being older and knowing more than I knew at that time, I remember having anxiety as young as four years old. I had mild panic attacks in the middle of the night about my limbs falling off – all because of this weird dream that I had (and I still remember that one part of the dream). My mom just brushed it off as a childhood fear, and left me to think about it on my own. A lot of sleepless nights and crying, I remember. And pushing on my arms whenever I felt like they were about to pop.
It stopped – finally – but when I was six I had a dream about dying. I remember this dream pretty vividly, and now that I think about it, it’s very weird. But little six year old me cried every night and had mild (from what I can remember) panic attacks. On top of that I had anxiety about not being able to fall asleep at night. That kept me up even more, FYI. I finally stopped worrying about both of those for awhile, but the dying was always in the back of my mind.
When I was around 9-10, I had my first severe panic attack. I thought I was going into a terrible allergic reaction because I put something on my arm and it made a rash. I remember what it was like and it was not pleasant at all. My dad was even worried because of my symptoms, and my dad doesn’t usually show it. My mom broke it to me that I was having a panic attack (because she lives with anxiety, too – just on medicine), and she took me to a doctor where I was diagnosed for real.
Around that time, also, a website that I used to go on someone died, and it really affected me, and I fell into the fear of dying again. Mild panic attacks – a lot of crying. That finally went away, also, but then I was getting afraid of everyone /around me/ dying. My family, friends…Mostly my family. My dad was deployed in the military so it only made it worse. I had mild panic attacks and cried in the bathroom stalls at school for two years, thinking something was going to happen to my mom.
My anxiety started to get better – I thought I was getting over it, naive little me – I sometimes freaked out a little over dumb stuff, but mostly I was worry free. But end of 7th grade – beginning of 8th grade – it started again. It was where I dreaded going to school (at the end of 7th I dreaded leaving the year because I didn’t want to get older), panicking and scared of leaving my mom. I had separation anxiety as a child and it always mildly stuck with me, but never this bad. I longed for my childhood back and I would cry daily over the past. I didn’t want to leave the house and I wanted to stay with my mom and dad. It got worse in the winter – and that was when I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder and separation anxiety for real.
Now I just got back from my 2nd day of high school, and I want to enjoy this year so bad, but I think I’m becoming depressed, my separation anxiety is worse than ever, and I have to distract myself by writing this so I won’t burrow under the covers and cry. It’s Friday thankfully, but…
I just wanted to share my story as a distraction for myself, and to see if anyone else has the same problem as me, because it gets worse whenever school begins, and I feel sick to my stomach because I think everyone is judging me because they just think that I’m acting like this because I hate school – which for the record I don’t. I feel sick for leaving my mom and my home, then feel bad for putting myself in my room without them even when I don’t have anything better to do, and I’m in constant need of being with someone at night, especially And it goes away when I’m at school because I’m distracted. I don’t want to be seen as someone who’s making this up to get a sob story or to get out of school – because I want to enjoy this school year but I don’t want to have mild panic attacks and cry every night and dread leaving every morning…..
“The first anxiety attack I ever had was when I was 13, and to tell you the truth I had absolutely no idea what it was. My family took a trip up to San Francisco, and we stayed in a hotel in a really bad part of the city. Now, I don’t want to sound like one of those California girls who wants everything absolutely perfect; but I think I got somewhat homesick, and I couldn’t sleep. I started to have a bad panic attack with nausea, sweating, crying (that’s how I know it’s an attack). It was pretty bad, my family thought I was being ridiculous and I thought that a little about myself also. In the morning, I kept having these insane compulsive thoughts about harming myself. Then I was worried because I wasn’t hopeless or wishing to die, but I had visions and pictures of me in my head harming myself; that scared me to absolutely no extent. I got these thoughts every night, and sometimes during the day; I would experience panic attacks, but I still had no idea that they were panic attacks. I thought something was seriously wrong with me. It took me 3 months to finally go to a psychiatrist. He told me that I had OCD, which I thought was a little weird because I was having panic attacks along with it. The psychiatrist put me on a low dose of Zoloft, and after a couple weeks, I was back to normal again. I had absolutely no thoughts and panic attacks anymore :). Until I decided to stop the medicine with my psychiatrists support (one of the worst decisions I have ever made). Life was fine for a little while, until a period came when I would be throwing up before school. If I would chew anything, I would throw it back up. And this didn’t happen only before school, I also got my first boyfriend (we are still together now, and he is so supportive, Go guys!) and I would be vomiting before dates. I would only experience this in the morning, so I could eat in the afternoon. I couldn’t only keep my food down, but this caused me to miss lots of school. Along with this, the panic attacks started to come back and I started having them more often. I found a solution to eat (I drink breakfast shakes for protein and calories) and I was back at school. I started having excessive panic attacks at school and we are talking about every day. I would go home early, and therefore miss school. And another problem I’m still facing is that I’m loosing lots of weight. I’ve lost 20 pounds since June, and it’s February; I fit into a size 5 dress almost perfectly. But, people who are reading this please remember there is always help! At school, at work, at home even. I started talking to my school psychologist and let me tell you, it’s helped me so much it’s insane. I can leave class for a moment if I’m having a panic attack (I still have them mostly every day, and the full anxiety symptoms with it), and I have been making it through days of school. Please know, DON’T LET ANYONE CALL YOU CRAZY JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE THIS. Sorry, but it’s true. People ask me if I would change anything about my life (meaning my anxiety disorder) and I say no. My body is just programmed like this. Hell, don’t even call it a disorder. It’s life, and for some people, anxiety is our lives, and we have to welcome it as a part. Now listen to me, the absolute point of no return is when you start feeling sorry for yourself! Don’t feel sorry at all because you have done no wrong. And just remember, that no matter how bad that panic attack, or anxious feeling is, it always goes away.
I started having anxiety attacks when I was 14 years old, I’m not sure what caused them but it made me so sick that I would miss so many days of school. I also ended up losing 30 pounds and got down to 110 pounds because my anxiety attacks made me so sick, and I didn’t think I could eat. They sorta just went away, but as soon as I turned 16, they came back. And it was for the worse, I had them while driving. I would feel lightheaded, nausea, cold and sweaty. I also felt like I wasn’t actually really even real. After awhile, they went away again. Now since I’m 17, they are back again and even worse. I can be sitting in class and all of a sudden feel nervous and hot and sweaty. Then my heart feels like it’s beating 100000 times a minute. It’s the worst feeling ever. It’s also so embarrassing, because nobody knows why your doing it and I can’t sit still, I have to leave the class. I wish I didn’t have this disorder, like would be so much easier without it. I don’t know why I get them, it’s not like I worry. I can’t even go into Walmart, a store, or a mall without having them now. Also, my sugar got low and i about passed out so now I have anxiety attacks with my sugar getting low, and that has caused me to gain all of the weight I lost, plus more.
So, I’m 17 now. This all started when I was around 13. I made silly mistakes and I kick myself for it now. When I was 13, this guy liked me. And I liked him. He asked me photos, so I sent them. It gave me a buzz… It made me feel beautiful. Someone wanted to see me, my body, in my head I thought that he thought I was stunning, and that he loved me, but this wasn’t the case at all. He sent the photos to everyone, and I was humiliated. I started having panic attacks in public, and I stopped eating for months. I tried to tell my mum, and she said I was just over reacting and that it was hormones, but I knew it wasn’t. I lost a ridiculous amount of weight and eventually confided in someone, a teacher at school. She got me help, and a counselor, but my parents found out and hit the roof. So I had to stop seeing her and began suffering on my own again.
When I was 14, we lost all contact with our cousins and my Aunty., would got into some big legal issues and substance abuse trouble. After going through many a court case, the charges were dropped. But I have never experienced anything like that.
Around this time I met a boy. He was a year younger than me, was quite geeky and skinny, wore glasses. But I saw something in him.. A spark as such. So we started seeing each other, and things were going great, we were best friends as well as being together. But after about 6 months things started going wrong. If I annoyed him, he would hit me. Beat me up until I bled. He would talk down to me, call me fat, ugly, disgusting. He told me no one else would ever love me. And that he’s now made his mark on me so no one could have me. The scariest time was in the park in the summer of 2010. We were sunbathing, and he then climbed on top of me. I told him to get off, but he took advantage of me instead. Not how I ever thought I’d lose my virginity.
It took me two years to get out that relationship, and he has ruined my life. I can’t have sex without being in pain, and always have flash backs. I’m covered in scars, and I’ve only recently told my brother this happened, it’s now nearly 3 years later.
I suffer with both anxiety & paranoia. And partial depression. I can’t have a relationship with anyone, as I’m terrified they are going to hurt me, or paranoid about what they are doing. I’ve recently been to hospital as I was coughing up blood as part of an anxiety attack. I’ve torn my esophagus, which means I have to be incredibly careful. Anxiety doesn’t also just screw your head up but your body too. How to overcome anxiety and panic attacks is my next goal.
In January 2011 I tried to commit suicide.,. I wasn’t successful, obviously as I’m still here. However, I didn’t try again for a long time as the outcome scared me. In November 2012 ,I was all set to try again, until I told someone very close to me. Somebody I love, and their reaction scared me. They got upset. I was shocked. He cared for me. He also suffers with anxiety so he can relate. But his reaction made me realize that people do care. And he was the one person I wanted to care back. He has been my rock and support & I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. Another massive influence throughout this was Katy Perry. Her music inspires me. I’ve met her twice now & her song ‘firework’ means the world. I have the lyrics tattooed on me, I told her my story, she cried with me & told me to be strong, to hear that from my idol was priceless.
I don’t know if this is what you want on the page, but I just wanted to tell people my story, and that it does get better. I’m now back into counseling and my parents are aware fully and are supportive. There is a guy in my life that I love more than anything, but you can do it on your own. People with anxiety are ten times stronger than anyone else. Keep smiling, everything works out for the best when it feels like the worst x
Hey… I’ve lived with Anxiety for 4-5 years of my life from it wrecking my confidence from it scarring me.. I also suffer from Paranoia and some depression of the littlest of thing’s thinking people are talking/don’t like me or I have done something wrong by upsetting people. I always think that I’m losing grip of everything/everyone I have hardly any trust for my parents/friends/other relatives. I have thousands of insecurities about people and what they think of me. Thanks to doctors and really close friends I am dealing with my Anxiety/Paranoia now.. I’m so happy I’ve also found this website so I know it’s not just myself who suffers from this diabolical problem. I would love for this comment to be posted on Your Stories Wall because I know how hard Anxiety can be and how much it means to some people and know some of the side affects it can possibly have on different people. Stay strong. Keep Fighting. Never Give Up. <3
Growing up is part of life. It is a process that comes with challenges that you learn from, some of which you enjoy and others that you hate. When I was 12 years old I went to boarding school little did I know that it would be the roughest time in my life. On March 2002 I realized that something was not right, my family escorted me to school I felt so scared, I kept on crying but my parents did not understand why.
It was my first time in boarding school and I was really frightened. I just thought it was normal and I would adjust with in no time. Unfortunately this discomfort went on for two weeks, I fell very sick because I was not eating so the school nurse called my parents. My mother picked me up and when got home I was fine. She asked herself if I had been sick because the nausea and lack of appetite disappeared and I was jolly again.
After four days my mother decided to take me back to school and when I was on my way to school I was vomiting, shaking and sweating. I did not understand why my body was in that condition. My mother thought I just didn’t want to go to school so she decided to take me to the hospital for a general check up. Surprisingly the doctor run all the tests and everything was normal so I went back to school. After two days I went back home because I was very sick and the school conditions were not good so I could not cope. I did not go back to school since I was in and out of hospital. I remember my mother went to school at the end of the term and packed my belongings. During the holidays I was very fine but when it was time for me to get back to school I fell sick. This condition was on and off until it got to the point when I was admitted in hospital.
My parents realized that something was not right and they started to relate that time to all the times when I was not well. The doctor told my parents that I had anxiety issues and that they needed to understand my condition in order to help me. My parents decided to put me in a day school and that made my life easier. I was able to talk to them since they knew my condition and they helped me feel better. I started by accepting that I had anxiety and that everyone is anxious at a certain point in their lives. I wrote down my worries and what the worst scenario would be that helped me decrease on my anxiety. Also breathing in and out helped me relax.
In school I would study for an exam thoroughly and when I got to the classroom all the answers would disappear because I was very anxious. But breathing in and out has made me feel better. Thinking about the nice things also helped me not to focus on things that worried me. Some situations made me cry, I think crying when you are anxious helps because it made me feel better; I realized that when I was anxious and I did not cry the anxiety would pile up and make me feel sick so it’s better to cry when you feel like it.
The most important thing is to know that most people will not understand how you feel sometimes and why you feel like that so you need to take those baby steps to help yourself. For example it was finals week so I stayed up all night vomiting and feeling sick yet I had an exam the following morning so I went to my professor’s office and I explained my situation to her. Good enough she allowed me to sit outside the examination room I took my test with a few trips to the restroom but I was more relaxed and able to concentrate. Sometimes being in tensed up environment makes you even more anxious. Also having self pity makes the situation worse. You need to ask yourself what you can do to help yourself. Whenever I am anxious I ask myself what is making me anxious and what I would do to make myself feel better. Anxiety is something that makes you feel sick, sweat, cry but the only solution is to accept you are the only one who can help yourself. You need to be determined and purpose in your mind that you will be fine.
I still get anxious for example I still sweat, feel nauseated but it does not make me sick like in the past. The improvements I made can be experienced by anyone all you need to do is to believe that it can happen. I know it is not easy but accepting that you have anxiety issues is the first step, also knowing that what you think dictates how you feel and lastly knowing that we as human beings have the power to decide how we are going to feel. Have a positive attitude, do not stage a pity party like I used to and remember that you are the only one who can help yourself all the people around you are just branches for support and you are the tree.
I’m 16 and I hate this thing called Anxiety, It all started when my 3 grandparents and 2 dogs . this all took place within the time span of 2years. I started to get anxiety attacks every night… I hid it from family friends it was hard One day at school I had a really bad attack and I begged the nurse not to call my mom but of course she did. Now I go to therapy and I guess thing are a little better. I tried to take medication but it really isn’t for me. Seriously even taking normal medication like zyrtek makes my anxiety start. I hate pills and liquids that make you tired.
Anyways I hate feeling like you’re constantly losing grip of life and never feeling there. Well that’s how I feel anyways and my memory is shot. My mom says it’s because of stressed but I don’t feel stressed at all. I just hate saying that I have this mental disorder. It seriously makes simple tasks like getting a job, and my license, hell it’s hard to make it through a day of school without feeling lightheaded, weak , and sick to my stomach when I’m not. I always feel like I have some horrible illness. Anyways .. this stupid zytek is making me super sleepy. If I fight it off anymore I may actually be sick >.< have a nice day!
I started suffering from anxiety when I was about 16 (I’m almost 18 now). I had a panic attack out of nowhere while eating dinner, and I ended up passing out. I had no idea what had happened, but my mother knew. Panic Disorder runs in my family! I didn’t know that at all until then. My mother thought my grandma had told me about it and that’s why I ended up having a panic attack. I ended up getting no help for almost 2 years. My panic attacks kept getting worse and worse, to the point where I was avoiding hanging out with my friends, for fear of having another panic attack in front of them. I would start having about two a day. I had to get a physical for school one day, and without my mom in the room, I told them about my anxiety. They gave me a test, and I scored 19 out of 20 on the scale, 1 being the least severe anxiety, 20 being the most severe. They immediatly put me on the phone with a therapist and now I see her regularly and take medication. I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia. I started taking medication about six months ago. My anxiety is still bad, despite the medication, but it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be! I hope to find ways to control my anxiety in the future, and help to make it go away. Thanks!
Hey I am 17 years old and I am suffering from severe anxiety, I found out a year ago when I was depressed and I had went in to the doctor to get help and they had done some tests on me and they found out I also had anxiety, that’s when I realized why I got panic attacks in small places and when I am in a car. I always felt that if people found out about my anxiety I would be called a freak so I would try and keep it to myself. I am also very nervous all the time I hate talking in front of groups of people I start to shake and freak out. Sometimes I get so anxious were I become very mean towards my family and don’t want to talk to them or even be around anyone. So I had gotten medication for it but I don’t take it much because it makes me feel worse. Recently it has gone down a little bit, and I am so glad I found this website that helps people who suffer from anxiety, it will help me alot to get this weight off my shoulders and share my story with people who understand what I am going through. Thank you very much!!<3
A story from one of our very own AiT staff member!:
Have you ever felt anxious? Sure, we all have. Whether it’s the school play, a test, a big game, a job interview, or a new friend; we have all felt anxious. But have you ever felt that kind of anxiety that aches a little bit more than usual? That type of anxiety that makes you breathe a little shallower, weighs down on your chest and your mind, and isn’t easily pushed away? You aren’t alone. In fact, you aren’t even in a small group. Did you know that roughly 1 in 4 Americans faces anxiety every year? I didn’t. That’s a HUGE number. And guess what? Those numbers mean that someone in your close circle of family and friends probably deals with anxiety too.
I have always been an anxious kid, always. When I was little I remember worrying that something would happen to my family and they wouldn’t come back. I had the greatest parents and upbringing a girl could ask for, so it wasn’t a fear that was warranted by any specific actions on their part. As I got older, my anxiety was like a rollercoaster. Up and down, up and down. Big test, it went up. Summer vacation, it went down. Choosing a college, it went up. Hanging out at my beautiful cabin, it went down. Moving into college 300 miles from anyone I knew, it went up. Growing up brings a lot of stress and unanswered questions.
I never noticed that my anxiety was such an issue, until recently. I started experiencing anxiety like never before. The type that stops you dead in your tracks. The type that makes your world move slowly around you, while your heart beats so fast you wonder if it’s going to pop out. The type that scares you and eats up a portion of your day.
If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m a sufferer of anxiety attacks.
The aftermath is comparable to a summer thunder storm. The kind that downs trees, leaves water pools in parking lots, and every so often leaves us without power. An anxiety attack leaves you wondering how to pick up the pieces of what just happened. It leaves you scared of having another attack.
When I started feeling this way, I decided it was time to do something about it. So here I am, writing content for Anxiety in Teens.
My name is Jocelyn, I suffer from anxiety, and I’ll be here writing away my anxieties to help you deal with yours.
It all started with a fear of death and/or dying. I was always unstable in my thoughts on religion and afterlife. So I was atheist for awhile. But one night I was lying in bed thinking about things, like usual. This time I thought about after death, what I’d nothing happens? Is it just all over? And it shook me to my core and I couldn’t handle it. I talked with my mother and I was temporarily placated. But then I got to thinking about it again and my Anxiety/OCD acted up and I found myself, for lack of a better term, freaking out. It became such a heavy worry in my life that it consumed me. Nothing in my life seemed important anymore, my life seemed to be half taken from me. It wasn’t completely mine anymore. Like I was moving but it wasn’t me who was seeing. I’ve broken down more than a few times, crying until I can’t breath, for hours. It’s still weighing on me like an elephant sitting on my stomach. My uncle told me worry can cause ulcers in the stomach, and it became a medical worry. I am trying to see a therapist, and my mother warns I may even have to go to the ER. I’m worried beyond belief, and I have trouble explaining it but I hope that if someone else out there feels this way, then maybe it’ll make them feel better to know they aren’t alone. That’s one of my biggest worries. 1.) Will this ever go away? and 2.) Nobody knows how I feel. So maybe if someone feels like me, then im not as alone as I think.
In tenth grade I started heavy smoking; marijuana that is. Soon I began to drink even more than I smoked. By eleventh grade I failed all my classes and could not stop drinking. Drinking made me calm. After I quit drinking, with God’s help I realized I have major social phobias. I could not look people in the eyes. I felt weird and awkward. I hated life. Things are much better now, it’s been a long journey. I have no paid counselors but I have, first and foremost, God, friends that listen and loving parents. I still struggle sometimes and I think about getting a counselor but I don’t think I ever will. I am coming out of my fears. I think I am almost free. Life is easier to handle, people are more fun to hang with, but my eyes still remain the biggest problem I have. If I ever get out fully I swear my life will be to help others do the same (and preach the gospel).
Hello. I’ve had anxiety problems since I was about 7, I am now 14. I used to be afraid to sleep, go outside, and even knock on peoples’ doors in one part of my life. Now although I still have panic attacks, and doing much better with the help of medication (which at first I despised), therapy, and a bunch of family that cares about you. Well I actually just had a decently bad panic attack which got me thinking, that this whole anxiety thing sucks really bad and even the worst of the worst don’t deserve to have to go through it alone. I wanna help people get through it.
Im 16 years old and I suffer from anxiety. I don’t have serious anxiety but I do want to reach out to people my age so that they know that there not the only ones feeling a certain way. I don’t want them to be scared to ask for help. because there is help out there for everyone. even from the mild anxiety like I have or from a more severe cases. I want to thank you guys for trying to help people all over the world, and I hope I can do the same one day.
I’m 18; I’ve been suffering with anxiety since I was 7 years old. My first experience of it was having a big panic attack while my mother was out, I felt horrible so I went downstairs to tell my father. When he saw the state I was in and heard me complaining of feeling sick and my stomach hurting, he thought I had appendicitis, so he phoned an ambulance. I remember crying in the ambulance because they made me lie down which made me feel worse, and I remember seeing a bucket which made me think it was there because I might be sick, and that’s when I first developed my phobia of vomiting. When we got to the hospital my anxiety attack had passed, the doctors recognised it as an anxiety attack, and from then on they happened almost every night and we called them “anya attacks.”
I remember the feelings I had then, and nowadays I have the same symptoms but much, much worse. It feels like the world is caving in on me, my brain is showing me unrelated images and videos faster than I can see what they are, sometimes it feels like my brain is vibrating in my head. I feel sick to my stomach, my mouth and throat goes completely dry, I can hear and see the people around me but it feels like i’m on a different planet to everyone else, or that i’m in a glass box and no one can reach me. My muscles shake out of control and I feel the need to scream or punch a brick wall but I can’t. I can breathe but I can’t get enough air into my lungs and my heart is going at twice it’s normal pace. I can’t blink or speak, all I can think about is getting away. The anxiety I felt in general every day was just as bad, I felt nauseous every second of the day which resulted in me not eating as much as I should, which resulted in headaches and dizziness and rapid weight loss. All I ever felt like eating was sugary foods. And I never slept, I probably got 2 to 4 hours sleep a night, which made my health and my performance in school deteriorate, and when it came to the weekend I was so physically exhausted that I couldn’t go out with friends. Since I didn’t want to appear as an “attention seeker” I never told them the reason to me declining their invites all the time, so they decided after time that I was “boring” and a “loner”, and especially in my teens, had very few good friends. I was liked at school because I was a very bubbly, friendly, and supportive and kind of weird kid, but nobody could relate to me and they didn’t understand my strange behavior.
I had multiple full blown anxiety attacks every single day from the age of seven to 17, because I was so young, psychiatrists were always reluctant to put me on medication so instead I was given a lot of therapy. I had learnt all the therapies off by heart by the age of 12, but as a lot of people with mental health problems can relate to, you can listen to the therapies and take them on board, but applying them to yourself is harder said than done because it feels as if your anxiety or problem is in a part of your mind that is very much out of your reach.
By the time I turned 16 I’d developed a deep depression on top of my generalized anxiety disorder and my insomnia, I managed to complete my GCSEs and my AS levels, but when I was 17 I could no longer face school, I didn’t want friends, I didn’t connect with people, and the only people I spoke to was my mother and my very very supportive boyfriend, who had stuck by me since I was 15. I often had thoughts of suicide but I knew I was too afraid ever to act on it, but I began harming myself by scratching the tops of my thighs with a math’s compass. The reason behind myself harm was that often I got so frustrated and so angry that there didn’t seem to be a solution to my suffering that I felt like I wanted to seriously harm someone, so afraid that I was going to lose it and hurt someone I did it to myself instead.
I’ve currently hit a big gap in the mental health system for people my age, I’m on a long waiting list for a psychologist as I’ve just switched from the children’s center to the adult center. In the mean time I have appointments with an Occupational Therapist who so far has been very insensitive and no help at all. As my depression increases I become more numb to my anxiety, I just want to let everyone who is suffering with this too, not to let the pressures of life and school get to them. It is YOUR life, do not live up to other people’s expectations and to life’s unwritten rules. Everybody is so different but we all live such similar lives, by breaking out of the pattern and relieving the pressure and stress I assure you that your anxiety will loosen it’s hold on you. Take responsibility for your own life. And remember these quotes;
- “It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop” – Confucius
- “Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
- “We are unusual and tragic and alive.” – Dave Eggers
- “Beautiful things can come from the dark”
- “Many people need desperately to receive this message: “I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. you are not alone.” – Kurt Vonnegut
I am 13 years old. I have generalized anxiety disorder and am currently still fighting it. It interferes in my everyday life and makes school VERY difficult. When I am at school i usually stay in the counselor’s office and go to the classes I can handle. My class is fairly big and very loud and rowdy. This is my first year at this school. I feel like an outsider mostly because these kids have known each other since pre-k, but also because I have trouble talking to new people. I haven’t been diagnosed with social phobia, so anxiety just adds to my major shyness. I am currently going to a counselor and am making progress, very slowly, but still making progress. I hope I will be able to overcome my anxiety, and i am striving to do better!
The past 3 weeks have been pretty full on for me, both mentally and physically. Things in my life have been hectic lately with family stresses and some harassment that was happening online and at school. Having this happen made me resort to not eating or drinking for 2 weeks, and if I did eat it was a tiny bit of food or sip of water. This all caught up with me last week where I ended up in hospital twice, due to low blood sugar levels. Ive spent the everyday at school this week in the sick room because I’ve either passed out, collapsed or fainted. My school counsellor says I’ve got the beginnings of an eating disorder, and at the start I refused help from a professional.
And another thing is that I’ve been feeling very anxious lately, and that has gotton really bad this week. I’ve been having like panic attacks, small ones at start, but they have been getting worse. Yesterday at school was really bad, i had a couple HUGE panic attacks to the point where I almost couldnt breath..my chest, torso, arms, legs, face and neck had huge tingling sensations, and my hands were really sweaty and my heart was pounding fast. It was really scary! I think what triggered it off was being in a crowded computer room in class. But, I also get smaller panic attacks when I do put food in my mouth, and either spit it out, or if I’ve eaten something, huge piles of guilty and anxiety come over me and the other night was the first time it got so out of hand that I made myself throw up. I’ve finally accepted to go with my school counsellor to see a professional, so I can get help.
I am joining the Overcome Anxiety Race because I myself was a teen who struggled tremendously with anxiety. I remember anxiety beginning in the 5th grade. The pressure to maintain friendships with girls who were popular was a tough task. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be funny. I wanted to be like the other girls…but I never felt that I measured up. Things at home were unstable. My mom fought a lot with her boyfriend who was an alcoholic.
I began to shut down after being rejected by my “friends.” I became very quiet at school. I didn’t have anyone to sit with at lunch. I became very self-conscious; worrying about my appearance and what other people thought about me. I was self-critical of myself.
By the 9th grade, my first year in high school, I started feeling very depressed and anxious. I was nervous all the time. I didn’t like to talk in front of a group of people. I hated being the center of attention. People often miss-read me, thinking I was mad or stuck-up. I was neither of those things. I was actually scared to death of people and relationships. I didn’t know how to act around other people. I refused to get up in front of my class and speak. Even when it was a graded assignment, I told the teacher to just give me an F because I wasn’t doing it.
I became paralyzed with social anxiety. I started having anxiety attacks where I would hyperventilate and lose my breath. I even passed out on a couple of occasions. I didn’t feel like I had any support. I did not have anyone to talk to. I tried telling my family that I needed help and medication. Nobody seemed to listen to me. This was ultimately the beginning of my drug use.
I met a boy when I was 16 and became very co-dependant on him. He was a drug-addict, addicted to prescription narcotics. One of them being xanax, an anti-anxiety medication. I quickly became addicted. Long story short I was taking up to 60 pills a day. I should have died many times. All of this, I believe, was a result of my un-diagnosed anxiety disorder.
I have since then been through a treatment program and learned skills to manage my anxiety. I also had eating disorders as a result of my anxiety. I also sought treatment for that. Now I am on Fluexotine to help with depression and anxiety. It has helped me tremendously.
I am a recovering anxiety-aholic if thats a good way to put it lol. I have been struggling with anxiety for years, as long as I can remember. It was to the point where I would skip school during high school because it was just too intense to attend class. I missed more days of my junior year of high school than I attended. I went through inpatient treatment at the end of that year, and outpatient therapy after that. I continued to struggle as I learned a new way to live life. I found an amazing doctor who tried a new course of therapy for my specific disorders. 4 years later I’m happy to say my daily panic attacks now only occur once every few months. The next step in my life was to get healthy, as I was using binging on food as a way to make myself calm down and feel better. I’ve recently started taking care of myself; eating healthy, exercising and most importantly loosing weight and feeling great about myself! I wanted to find a 5k to run this summer that I could be proud to say I was running and something to look forward to as I train myself for my first-ever race. I happened to run across yours and I am SO excited about it. I’ve perused your site and I LOVE it, I absolutely love what you are doing. I really wish during all my years of closet panic attacks someone would have reached out to me and said “Its ok. What you’re experiencing is a panic attack. You will be ok, and you don’t need to be ashamed about this.”
“There is a common misconception about why young adults have had eating disorders. I want to emphasize that it is NOT just about the food you eat or the weight you are but it’s more of a deeper physiological symptom. I am not here to lecture you but, I am here to tell you that it is possible to fully recover from, what people like to call, Anorexia Nervosa. My experience started around the age of fifteen. I was just moving to a new town with all new people and starting high school. I felt lost, not only was I new but I was coming from Colorado to a school that was all about having your one “group” and sticking to it. My inability to fit in with all the “perfect-looking” girls around me caused a reaction. Stress, anxiety and unhappiness were overwhelming my thoughts and actions. From then on my goal was to fit in, I turned to an unhealthy lifestyle of convincing myself that I didn’t like chocolate chip cookies anymore and Diet Coke was pure sugar. Everything I looked at that I used to enjoy was bad, negative and not acceptable to think about. My grandma’s diet pills became my everyday “vitamin,” that quickly affected my body. It was almost like there was a voice in my head consistently telling me that I can’t eat this or else I will become fat. 130lb was my weight in the beginning of freshman year at NDP high school but by the end I was 107lb. The worst part is that I was hurting myself and didn’t even know it. When I looked into the mirror, I saw the start of perfection but I believed that there was always room for improvement.
The middle of sophomore year come around and after bringing me to a few doctor appointments for nutrition visits my mom stressed her sad thoughts about what I was doing to myself. Hearing my family’s worries about my weight, I started to slowly eat healthier. It wasn’t just their worrying that helped me; it was mainly my choice to finally fix myself. This took more willpower and understanding what is best for me then anything. By junior year, I was healthy and happy; I had a boyfriend that liked me for me and friends that cared.
Now five years later, looking back, I realize that I am stronger than I believed I could be. I took those over-the-top mental issues that I was suffering from and pushed them aside. I tried to focus on what mattered more than my looks, and with a smile on my face, I can say that from this I have became a better version of me. If any of you readers leave here with one realization, I want that to be an understanding that you are stronger than you think you are; you can stop anything that is the way of your future, including Anorexia.
When I was in tenth grade I was having sleeping problems so my parents forked out a lot of money for me to have a sleep study done. After the sleep study results came back as a negative for a sleep disorder, the doctor started talking to me. After a half hour he realized that I was quite the worrier, and referred me to Nationwide Children’s Hospitals Behavioral Health clinic, to see a counselor. My counselor’s name is EXTREMELY nice. I have been going to her for two years. BUT next year I am going to college, and I will no longer have her as a counselor because she works for Children’s Hospital. This makes me extremely nervous because a lot of times I feel like she’s the only one who understands my GAD. Recently my dad told me he does not believe in Anxiety Disorders, he thinks that I was a perfectly normal kid, and that I never needed therapy. He thinks that my counselor put all my worries into my head. This tore me apart, because ever since I was little I was constantly called a “worry wart” and it had a huge effect on me. Right now I am trying to cope with dealing with parents that don’t understand and barely believe in my GAD, while losing my counselor, and going to college. I hope I can make this transition okay, and plan to grow up to be a counselor someday so I can help others. I have always wanted to get my story out there, but everyone seems to blow GAD off as something not important. Thank you so much for taking the time to hear my story, it means the world to me.”
Ever since 7th grade i have been diagnosed with anxiety and i’m pretty sure when i do have “anxiety episodes” they are panic attacks. I used to have them frequently and very bad until half way through eighth grade and it stopped. I am now a sophomore in high school and because of the overwhelming work load school creates for me, the anxiety some how slipped back into my life. When i have these panic attacks, its like someone has ripped my soul from my body and replaced me with this terrible monster. I start shaking and hitting things (including myself) and yelling at my parents. I feel so jittery inside and nothing can calm me down. I say things like “stop it, or oh my god, or i hate myself” over and over. My heart starts racing and i feel as though i have to escape somehow and run away from all the pain. If I can catch it soon enough relaxation and deep breathing can help me but if i don’t almost nothing can. I never know when it will come on and that scares me. Afterwards I feel so guilty, because i know i am upsetting my parents so much. I just started taking zoloft again and i am going to see a psychologist so i hope that will help, but at this point i have very little hope. I also sometimes feel like a freak for having it. I have already fought this battle once and i dont know if i can fight it again. Anyone feels/has felt the way i do? and if so do you have suggestions for me. I’m really scared and it would mean a lot if someone could relate to me so i don’t feel so alone.
How could I let this happen again? To me of all people. I actually believed I had conquered it. Last time, it took so much strength not to give up. And I could have. But I didn’t. I looked to the deepest part of my soul and fought with all of my power. I had won. I finally thought I was in full control, which the pain and suffering, the evilness that haunted me, had gone away forever.
Little did I know the worst was yet to come.
This school year I was determined, more than ever, to have my best academic year so far. I would work harder, study longer, stay up later, and do whatever it took to be successful. However, there were new obstacles I’d have to deal with that weren’t present in previous years. I no longer had a free period and I had added a history class and I was in two honors classes and I had to manage dance company and I had MUN and I had photography and I had confirmation and I had my Jewish youth group and I had to handle the position of vice president for my charity league and I am an ADA sweetheart and I was in community service committee and on top of all of this I had to manage school work. But I was determined; failure was not an option.
And this is where everything went wrong.
At first I was fine. More than fine. My confidence was so high; nothing could bring me down. Although I did have more work, I knew I could handle it. I felt like I was on top of the world: I liked my teachers, I liked my classes, I liked my schedule. Everything seemed to be working out as planned. My first major grade was in algebra II honors. We had a giant quiz, so I studied more then I have ever studied before. There was no doubt in my mind that I would ace the quiz. But, while taking the quiz my mind went blank. It was like everything recorded in my brain had been wiped out. My heart sunk; I knew then and there my aspiration of making a great grade was defeated. Two days later I received my grade – a C. My fears had come alive. I had convinced myself that it was not uncommon to do poorly on the first graded assignment; however, deep down inside I felt my soul tear a bit.
I concluded that the effort I had been giving towards my schoolwork was not enough.
Every day after school I had Dance Company until six. The instant dance was over I would go home and work. I wouldn’t rest, I wouldn’t take a shower; I would just simply work. I was fine. As more and more tests and quizzes were announced, the pressure to do well on them slowly began to eat away me. At one point I even stopped eating dinner. It would only take up more time; it made me even more tired, but I didn’t care. I was fine. I could feel this deep pain spreading through my soul and capturing the true me. Was I fine…? Wait, of course I was fine! School stressed all of my friends, so why would my stress be any different? But part of my subconscious knew that it was much worse than anyone could imagine. Still every day at school I put on a mask to hide my true feelings. I did not want anyone to realize the pain I was feeling. I was fine.
I had them all fooled, and they didn’t even know it.
It was like any other day. I had a Spanish quiz and a chemistry test and a history quiz. I had to make A’s. The past week I had felt like a failure. I had received, in my opinion, horrid grades. I scolded myself that I wasn’t working hard enough. I mentally beat myself up inside. There was no option to fail. I walked into my history classroom determined. I screamed in my head, “This is your last chance Stephanie! You better not screw it up!” Ms. Fayard handed out the quiz. My palms were sweating, my heart was beating, my head was shaking. I looked down at the quiz: I had lost my memory. It was like everything was written in Japanese. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. I tried my hardest to find my memory again, all that I had worked so hard to learn. But I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t lost; it was stolen. All the forces of my mind were against me. It had beaten me.
It had won.
That night I came home, and I was almost at the point of giving up. I needed someone to save me. I couldn’t fight it anymore; someone else had to do it for me. I desperately confided in one of my closest friends. She told me not to give up. She asked me if I wanted to give into this. But that was the problem. I already had. It had overtaken me. It had won.
I became a ghost.
I went to school, but I wasn’t there. People tried to talk to me, but I couldn’t answer. I walked. And I walked. And I walked. That’s all I could do. I watched the world around, full of life, spirit, and energy. They were alIve and alWAyS free, anD evEryday hAd all the hope in the worlD. I was in it. But I wasn’t there.
The. Whole. Day. Was. A blur. E-ver-y-thing. Went by. Slow-ly. I had a pocketful. A pocketful of sunshine. Floa-ting free. No pressure. Nothing. to Pull. Me. Down. Do what you want but you’re never gonna break me. Never. Break. Me.
I went. To dance. Af-ter school. A ghost. But. I went. I had too. I tried. I. really did. To learn the. Choreography. But I. Couldn’t. I wasn’t there.
And then. Mr. Cross. Brought out. A defibrillator: a lecture. Towards me.
AND AND AND allofasudden I became SOOOO anxious and wowohmygod I couldn’t think straight and I ran to the dressssssing room and I hid in the shower and the pain was overtaking me and I YELLED AND I SCREAMED and I was shakingshakingshaking sosososo hard and the pain oh the PAIN and I couldn’t think and it was TAKING OVER ME and I couldn’t take any more of this Icouldn’tIcouldn’tIcouldn’t!!!
Mr. Cross ran and got Dr. Acosta and Dr. Calaway to come help me. And so, they rushed over as quickly as they could to help me.
BUT ohmygodohmygodohmygod THEY WERENT HELPING and they told me to calm down and Icouldn’tIcouldn’tIcouldn’t and they told me to get out of the shower but I COULDN’T (all couldn’ts are repetition)!! and it was attacking me and they didn’t understand and I was shakingshakingshaking sososo hard, and I was OUT OF CONTROL!!!!
And then I saw my mom.
Right then and there I had two options. I could let all the pain and suffering consume me, or I could find new strength within me to set free the real me.
And I knew at that moment, I had to fight: for my family, for my friends and most importantly, myself. Failure was not an option.
And this, is where everything went right .
I have hope, determination, and strength to continue to help me fight through the depression and anxiety. It’s not going to be easy; I am not fine. I will have to continue fighting for the rest of my life. Sometimes it may try to burst out and come alive once more. But if that happens, I’m going to be prepared; I am already seeking help for controlling it. And with all of the wonderful support I hAve been receiving froM many people, I know that I cAn and wiLl make it; It will neVer control mE again.
I am here, and I am here to stay.
This is my story. It is all true and happened to me a only a few weeks ago. I am still not fine. But I am a heck of a lot better. And I’m Fighting. So hard. And until the day I Die I will keep fighting. I will not give Up. And hopefully after reading this you will fight too.
I feel so completely worthless. I talk about the bread crumbs Alton Brown is using on the meatballs on tv, how the cat is trying to eat her skirt, anything to get mind off the longest 45 minutes in our life. She feels like she can’t breathe, she’s shaking and crying so bad and all I can do is give her tea and tell her she knows what this is, that it takes time for the Zoloft to kick in. When in reality, I want to hold her and soothe her like the little baby she was 15 years ago. But I was told getting her mind off what is going on is the best idea. I don’t know. I’ve never been down this road before. It’s only been a month and a half since this started out of nowhere, three days since her first appointment with the psychiatrist to get the formal diagnosis of Panic Disorder. The attacks usually last up to 10 minutes. The one the day before yesterday was the first with the choking/ not breathing feeling so we were in the ER for the second time in a month. I didn’t know it was just part of it. And last night it just kept on going and going. I am not sure how I can help. I finally call her psychiatrist and we pick up Ativan. She calms down and finally goes to sleep.
I know there doesn’t have to be a cause but I WANT ONE. I want to know why my intellectually gifted, artistically and musically talented, beautiful little girl was curled into a ball clutching her chest. I feel so alone, so angry at God for doing this to her. I don’t know what to do to help her and that’s all I want… to help her.
When I was a sophomore in High School I was diagnosed with GAD after my family spent thousands of dollars on a sleep study due to my lack of sleep that I am sure many of you have experienced before. Well I have been in therapy for two years, with the same counselor who has really helped me. BUT.. this is my senior year, and next year I am heading off to college, and I will no longer have my counselor because she works for a childrens hospital. I am kindof freaking out because she seemed like the only one who gets my GAD.
As a little kid I was always afraid of things. I couldn’t go near a roller coaster, and after seeing the Wizard of Oz I was terrified of tornados. For me, it was one irrational thing after the other.
It wasn’t until I got to college that I started having serious anxiety problems. I worry constantly about what people think of me and feel like everyone hates me. A lot of times when I’m in social situations, my heart starts racing, I feel like I can’t breathe, and before I know it, that feeling of doom rushes over me and I can’t stop trembling and crying. It scares the people around me which makes me feel guilty, which doesn’t help my anxiety get any better.
I just turned 19, and just started on Paxil to take every day and a low dose of Ativan to take when needed. The medicine does help a little, but I still feel overly anxious, and still have the panic attacks, which is frustrating. For me, I think this all comes from very low self esteem (something I’ve never really figured out how to fix) and an emotionally abusive relationship. Also, this kind of thing runs in my family. I just wish there was a way to fix it easily, as I’m sure most of us do.
Thanks for reading, and believe me, I know what you’re going through.
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