The first time I realized I needed help was when I was too terrified to go into school due to bullying, up until this point bullying had never impacted my ability to go to school. During the summer of 2010 however I built up a debilitating anxiety about returning to school in September, I ended up being out of school for the entirety of Year 9.
During this time, no one around me really understood what I was going through, least of all myself. I was referred to CAMHS through my GP who put me through a course of counselling which to this day I am very grateful for as it certainly did get me back on the right track; from an educational perspective. I knew that I couldn’t possibly face going back into that school again, so in Year 10 I moved to a much smaller school to try to scrape together what GCSE grades I could, considering I was a year behind my classmates.
I was very nervous about entering a new environment, especially with what had happened at my last school. However, at last – thanks to the counselling I received from CAMHS I felt that I was in control of my feelings and able to try and do the best I could at school. I have always felt somewhat nervous as a person my entire life, but I felt I now had the tools to rationalize and manage those feelings.
Soon after getting the grades I needed for University though I was suddenly unable to cope with my emotions and thoughts as I had before. I began to lose interest in most things and isolate myself from others simply because I didn’t feel I was able to socialize, or at the time feel as though I was worth the time of the people around me, this is of course utterly nonsensical; but the mind is a powerful thing, and it can convince you of so many things which may not be true, but can seem the most real things in the world at the time.
University is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, there have been so many supportive people that I have met so far, it has also been a struggle at times. Again I had, and still do have many people I can rely on, just as now they can rely on me.
I was very nervous when I first went to my GP with how I was feeling, the Doctor I saw was very understanding, asked me a few questions and tried to put me at ease. She suggested that I try Sertraline and to see if it improves my mood at all, but I just felt so spaced out and sedated, able to do things but not all focused. I am still trying other medication to find one which has a positive impact for me, I am also trying to occupy my time more so I am not put in a position where I could isolate myself again.
Fast forward a year however and I will say that things are not perfect, I still suffer with these feelings, some days I don’t even leave my bedroom, but other days I will go out and feel like there is nothing wrong. I am also waiting to go for counselling which will hopefully let me talk about and understand why I feel the way I do.
There are even days where I question if it is even all worth it, and some days it seems like it isn’t. Then I remember all the people who would be affected by my actions, not to mention how devastated my family would be, and that is my main goal; to keep going and get better. Not just for them – but also for myself.
Even when I felt alone, looking back I really wasn’t, it just takes courage to take the first step and ask for help.
You are not alone.