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To be perfectly honest, I think that I've always had anxiety. I can't ever remember a time when I wasn't worrying. I was never just a small type of worry either; it was always one of those "omg-I've-messed-up-so-badly-how-do-I-fix-it" type of worries. I would obsess, panic, and drive myself absolutely insane thinking of everything could go wrong. I never felt as if I could talk about it with anyone, mostly because mental problems "don't exist" and are highly stigmatized in my culture. It definitely didn't help in my teens and early 20s. Those worries allowed me to get peer pressured into things I didn't want to do and I often turned to drinking as a way to calm myself. It was always a temporary fix though, because I'd still feel the same panicked feeling when I sobered up. After going through a particularly traumatic experience, I fell into a deep depression and didn't leave my house for more than a month. I could't go to work or even run basic errands; nothing felt safe. I remember attempting to go to a grocery store and having a panic attack. My chest felt like it was going to explode from how fast my heart was beating, I couldn't breathe, and I threw up in the bathroom. The anxiety got worse from there, keeping me from sleeping and messing with my cycle. After a while, I looked in the mirror and realized that I didn't even recognize myself. I needed help and I couldn't do this on my own. I found a therapist, who eventually diagnosed me with PTSD (from the traumatic incident) and general anxiety disorder. Therapy was difficult, mostly because talking about what was going on inside my head felt so shameful. I felt like my problems were so minuscule, but they were affecting me in such a dramatic way. I have a thing about really not ever wanting to inconvenience someone, so I normally keep things to myself and try to deal with them on my own. However, my therapist helped me to realize that there is more strength in seeking help and that no one can truly do everything on their own. Through the sessions (it's been about two years since I started going to therapy), I think that I've gotten better. I can go to work, I socialize a bit better, and I started working out regularly. I've got a long way to go, but everything feels less lonely.