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I am a new member on this site and would like to tell me anxiety story, and also ask a few questions to those who have been diagnosed and who are receiving treatment.
First of all, I am an 18 year old male from the UK, and I am currently at school studying A-Levels. I am a very nervous and reserved person, and generally I do lack confidence in myself. In my opinion, I suffer from relatively bad anxiety. There are many occasions when I feel anxious, and my heart will race and I can hardly speak at all. I get a lump in my throat and I actually have to take a few deep breaths to calm myself down. As you can imagine, this can be very embarrassing as I always feel like the person I'm talking to thinks I'm crazy.
When I meet new people, my mind goes blank and I can't think of anything to say. This has led to a lot of social problems, as I find it difficult to make new friends. It is especially bad when I am in a group. My personality changes so much, and I am no fun at all. Also, I get butterfies in my stomach and I can even seem hostile. I don't mean to come across like this but my emotions just go neutral and I am constantly evaluating everything I do to make sure I don't make a fool of myself. I won't join in any games or activities as I feel I am tied down, and I can't just leave if it gets too much. This isn't the case with close friends or family, as I am very bubbly and even loud and vivacious, so my family don't understand how I feel as they only see this side of me.
I also get very anxious whenever I speak to the doctor on the phone or in person. (This is just one example as it happened to me quite recently.) I phoned the doctor to try and get medication for my migraines, and my heart was racing. I felt as though it was going to thump out of my chest. I couldn't breath properly, and I had to take a deep breath. I also have to go out the room so no one can hear me and I end up not being able to remember what the doctor has said because I'm so anxious. Sometimes, I even say yes to questions when that's not the answer. This doesn't just happen with the doctor, it also happens with teachers, and it causes a lot of problems down the line. I say yes to things they ask me to do because I'm so anxious I don't know what I'm saying. Then, when the time comes and I don't want to do it, e.g. going on a trip or helping out after school, I can't get out of it. Anyway, back to the doctor story. The doctor asked me to come in so he could ask me a few questions about my migraines, and whilst I was sitting in the waiting room, I felt like running out. I felt like I was having a panic attack. In the end, I felt like just saying 'I know I'm here about migraines but I need to sort this anxiety out', but I never because I don't think he'd take it seriously.
I sometimes can't buy things in shops, and so I have to ask my friend to get it for me. I can't speak to teachers without my heart pounding. I feel like I have no control over my life because of this anxiety, but my family don't see it because I'm fine at home. Right now, as I write this, I feel very relaxed but that's because I'm on my own. Throughout my life, I've missed out on so many things because I've ostracised myself from other people.
I also have periods when I feel very down, and I can't think of anything that would chear me up. It may last for a day or so, and then I'll be fine again. This generally only occurs at home when I have time to think, and I'm not trying to control my anxiety. I have been the doctors before as I thought I may have depression, but he just said I needed to get a hobby. Depression does run in my family - my grandad suffered from it for years and was put on fluoxetine. Saying all this, I am generally a happy person - I can laugh and joke with friends and family, and I can enjoy myself. I don't feel down all of the time though.
Next week, I am going to Cambridge for two weeks with people from all over the world to do a leadership course. This will involve group activities and we have to speak in front of out peers, and even pitch in front of established businessmen at the end of the course. I am so nervous about going. I feel like dropping out, but I know it is a great opportunity and one that will look great on my personal statement for uni. I think it is going to be very difficult for me in university too, and I don't know how I'm going to survive.
I was given Propranolol for my migraines - 40mg twice a day, and I have heard this is good for anxiety, but I still want to speak to the doctor as this is a seperate issue.
Anyway, I'm so sorry for waffling but this has been a long time coming. Has anyone else had experiences similar to mine? Do you think I should go to my doctor about this, and what should I do if he doesn't take me seriously? What treatment have you had and how did you find it (medications mainly including side effects and benefits)? During the times when I'm around family and close friends for a long time, I start to doubt if there is anything actually wrong. Has anyone else ever felt like this? Basically, I just need some advice. Thanks so much for reading through this huge, waffling post, I really appreciate it. Thanks so much,
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