Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought today that I would get a little bit personal and kind of share what I go through with my anxiety and panic disorder. I know reading other people’s stories or watching videos on YouTube about this always makes me feel better about my disorder whenever I’m feeling self conscious, so my hope is that this post will help anyone else who feels insecure about their mental illness feel just a little bit better.
I’ve suffered from anxiety and panic attacks basically my entire life, but they really started to escalate when I was in seventh grade. Thankfully, my mom works in a neurology and psychiatry office, so she was able to get me in to see an amazing psychiatrist pretty quickly after I started having melt downs.
I would just like to say, that going to therapy or going to get help does not make you weak. It makes you so much stronger. Going to get help helped me to understand my disorder more and genuinely helped me to function better. I was put on medication and eventually stopped going to my psychiatrist right before my freshman year of high school. Although I obviously still had my hick ups throughout my four years, I felt like I didn’t need to talk to anyone or need the help of my medication. I genuinely felt like I had conquered it.
But going to college made everything change. I had never been away from home like that before and I was struggling hard. I started having melt downs and major panic attacks again and started developing social anxiety. I had a hard time making friends and began going home every single weekend because I just could not be at school. Obviously there is nothing wrong with going home and no one should judge you for that, but I felt like I was being judged and that I was making my situation worse for myself.
I went back on my anxiety medication second semester of freshman year, and honestly I felt defeated. I had gone four years without medication or help and now so quickly, I had “relapsed”. But going back on my medication was one of the best things that has happened to me. There have been times in the past year and a half where I’m at school, I run out of medication and my mom hasn’t mailed me the new prescription yet where I tell myself that I’ll be fine until it comes. Newsflash: I’m not. That is always when I have a terrible panic attack and feel like I can’t even get out of bed. And that is okay.
Just because I am dependent on medication for my anxiety does not mean that I am weak. It helps me function, and for that I am grateful. I even requested that my mom set me up with another psychiatrist while I’m home for the summer for some extra help, because honestly it can only help.
I hope reading my story has helped some of you feel better if you suffer from something similar, because mental health is just as important as your physical health, so take it just as seriously!
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you in my next post!