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Anxiety has ruined my life...

Community Member

this is my first time doing anything like this. so um hi everyone. 

My story begins in yr. 8 (2006) when I went to a school production and as I got on the bus I felt breathless and lightheaded and then fainted, this was the beginning of my "anxiety" attacks. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before so I put it down to dehydration and that’s what it seemed to be. But then in the summer of 2007 I was doing cadets (surf life saving) and I had two anxiety attacks in one day and one of them was while I was in the water. I had no idea what was happening to me, it was very frightening and for it to happen on the beach in front of so many people made it that much worse. I was totally and utterly embarrassed. That afternoon I got home and told mum, we both put it down to asthma and she brushed it off while I felt like an idiot. Yr. 9 (2007) was a total blur with me having anxiety attacks left right and center. My first 'major' one was when I was in religion and I got short of breath, thinking it was my asthma I went to my locker to get my ventolin which is where I completely lost it and had a full blown attack. My attacks were varied from shortness of breath to hyperventilating to blacking out in which case I would have to be carried by teachers. They would also be from anywhere between only 10 mins to a few hours. One of the worst cases was on school camp, I went on a challenge high course and had an anxiety attack while up there and my weekend just got worse from there, I have never felt so humiliated in my life. I hated it! it was like having an attack for 3 days straight, I was exhausted, they were almost going to ring the ambulance but I begged them not to. The teachers also wanted to call my parents to tell them what had happened, they did which I didn’t forgive them for. I hated the fact that mum and dad knew. I dint know why, I think I felt they would be disappointed. Anyway through the year I saw the school counselor who attempted to help me with "strategies" they then also passed me onto a psychologist. I felt neither of them were very helpful and the strategies I was supposed to use I felt were just pointless, for instance I had to go through the alphabet. I guess it was hard for them to help me when there didn't seem to be any one cause. The one person I could count on when having an attack was my yr. 9 coordinator, I have no idea why but he was the only one that could calm me and actually comforted me. I will be forever grateful to him for what he did, he definitely got me through the year. Yr. 9 was one of the hardest years of my life. My anxiety attacks made me feel different (that I wasn't normal), that I wasn't in control and everyday that I went to school I felt embarrassed in front of my peers. After yr. 9 there didn't seem to be as many attacks but they were still there. I was still seeing the psychologist but I was really doing it just to keep my mum and dad happy. But inside of me I started to feel down, sad and worthless. I began having dreams and thoughts about harming myself, one day at school I took an overdose (I have never told anyone that before) but not with the intention of dying more that I didn't care what happened to me, and of course nothing happened I just felt really sick and dizzy. But those thoughts were still there, I ended up talking to one of best friends about it, I just wanted to get it off my chest. After a couple of weeks my friend came to me telling me that she was going to go to the school counselor with what I had said, I told her that if she did our friendship would be over. A few days later I was on the bus home when I got off mum was in the car waiting for me which was odd cause our house was within easily walking distance, not thinking too much of it I got in. I could feel the tension in the air I asked her what was wrong and as we were speeding down the highway she told me that the psychologist had rang informing her of my thoughts. I immediately burst into tears. In that moment I was seriously thinking of jumping out of that car at 100km/ph., I felt dead inside, I felt mums disappointment, I felt that my life was not worth living right there and then, I didn't want to have to deal with the consequences and I wanted it all to be over. I have no idea what stopped me but for that 30 min drive that’s all I thought about while blubbering. When we got to the psychologists I refused to go in but in the end I did, we weren't going to leave, as my normal psych wasn't there I had to talk to someone new. So I talked...and I talked and got everything off my chest. How I felt my relationship with my mum wasn't very good and that she didn't understand me, how I felt I was a failure, and how I wanted to kill myself. When I walked out I felt like the biggest weight had been lifted off my shoulders, but I found this was only a short-term fix. When I went back to school I distanced myself from my usual school friends and found a new group, I learnt not to talk to them about my anxiety and sadness if I wanted to feel somewhat equal and if I wanted the friendship to last. I went to the psychologist a few more times that year (2007) but felt it wasn't helping anymore, I didn't find there strategies useful and they wanted to include my mum and I didn't and overall I just didn't feel like the understood. So through the rest of my high school years I had anxiety attacks and still had dark thoughts but didn't seem too bad so I kept quiet. In 2011 I had a gap year and as you can imagine it was not very stressful (I had to have 2x knee surgeries) so from what I can remember I didn't have any attacks but this was one of my happier years because towards the end I became close friends with these two girls. I had never felt so happy, included, equal and loved as I did with my new found friends but also my family and I can safely say if those two girls weren't in my life I believe I would not be alive today, they saved me from myself. In 2012 I arrived in Ballarat for university and stayed on campus. Within the first couple of weeks I had my first anxiety attack in what felt like forever, and it was the first one I ever had intoxicated, as you can imagine it was not a pretty sight. It went on for at least 4 hours until I blacked out. When I woke the next morning all I could think about was the fact my new 'unit' friends would think I was a lunatic. I was mortified that they had had to witness it and that next day I had another one. These anxiety attacks brought back all those unwanted feelings I had left behind a year ago. So I went to the doctors that weekend and asked for help. My GP gave me two options; either sees a psychologist or medication. I had tried talking to someone before and it didn't work, I wanted the possibility of these attacks gone I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of my new friends ever again so I took the medication, which seemed to help. I didn't have any more attacks but I still had the unwanted feelings. One time in my room on campus I was feeling quite down and thought about suicide but I couldn't, the fact that I couldn't go through with it made me feel even worse so I took an overdose knowing nothing drastic would happen but hoping to god it would. Obviously nothing happened I just felt a bit sick. Then when I would go out drinking with friends, I would really drink, say 9-15 standards or more in 6 hours. Mixed with the medication, I was a mess. The positive was that in those few hours I would forget everything wrong in my life and it would seem to be rainbows and sunshine but then the next day would be even worse with all those feelings coming back along with the embarrassment of the night before. So this summer (2013) I went back to the GP and she gave me a higher dosage of my medication, 20mg, and it has made me feel somewhat better.


2 Replies 2

Community Member

Dear Kari,

Push yourself any harder and you will probably become a mother in law.

Adios, David.

Community Member

Hello Kari.

I'm new as well to this, I felt very similar in high school, not as severe but I do understand.
 I had tried to commit suicide, they told the year advisor who then told my mother and it hit the fan, when they finally went to see the councillor, letting down my guard (which I had built when I was 9) and talking  they went and spread it around the whole school, it hit the fan again. 

I hope to see you post on here again when you are ready.