I lived with my mother as my parents were divorced, i had quite an abusive father who along with bullying at school, shattered my self confidence. At the age of 16 I had a fallout with my father over sport and trying to make time for him, i was never invited around to his house to seem him again.
I still have not spoken to him in 11 years.
When i was 19 my mother was diagnosed and died from cancer, my sister and i had to grow up quickly.
How i dealt with it all is i turned to computers. I stopped socializing with friends, i stopped my active lifestyle and i started eating unhealthy. My weight went up and down but it never got to the point where it was an issue. After completing a course i was studying, i went to get a job in computers. It got me out of the house but i found myself sticking to the same lifestyle as it was still an indoor job, and i was in a bad place.
At the time i had a supporting cousin who would try get me out of the house, and thankfully i did. I went to a party where i met a person i hadn't seen in years, and they asked what i had done with my life. I told them i had gotten into computers, and i heard their disappointment that i hadn't followed my childhood dream of becoming a "_". This reignited an interest back in it and i decided to get into the industry. I got a job that involved quite a large crew of both girls and guys, and all of a sudden i felt thrown into the deep end sociably. It's like i had forgotten how to interact properly, and i was scared of awkward silences or situations(particularly around girls). I had developed anxiety, and began to worry what others thought.
I took some time off to go on a holiday with a friend to a party destination. I felt the need to drink in order to be calm around others(i still do) and so when one night when i was not up to drinking i decided to do something stupid... I tried a drug in order to put me to somewhere where i thought i would be more comfortable, but it had the opposite reaction. It made me notice everyone's eyes, and i thought everyone was looking at me. It made me panic, and this is when i thought i had an anxiety attack and couldn't breathe properly.
Upon coming back home i found my anxiety issues were flared up even more, i was even nervous talking to my closest friends - people i lived with!
I was diagnosed with anxiety and saw a psychologist. It helped me calm down quite a bit but i still found the need to drink every time i went out to get over the nervousness. After a year or so i stopped taking the medication as i thought i could deal with it on my own. Now it's just a certain people that i get nervous around, always those who i "care" about what they think of me.
So in pursuit of this new career i went overseas to study(i had been told it was a great avenue to go down). I had a good friend who was meant to come over with me but pulled out at the last minute. He said he could not handle it financially. I was in a position i could not pull out of, i had sent over my furniture and i had to go.
I had a caring girlfriend who would come over and visit, but i found the isolation and dealing with the coming and going all too much. I was getting down.
It started to effect my study, my brain wouldn't shut down at night(i thought it was a sinus/breathing issue i had been suffering from) and i was then struggling in class. It was a vicious cycle.
So one day i went to a hospital and after multiple tests and a HUGE bill, they thought it was a relapse of anxiety issues and prescribed me with the same medication. That night after taking it i woke up sick as a dog, and i knew enough was enough, i needed to return home to see doctors at a more affordable rate.
The doctors at home found my white blood count to be abnormally low, as if my body was fighting something. But after many many tests they could not find out what it was. Another doctor decided i was depressed, and prescribed me medication to deal with my sleep. I got back to running and getting fit and after a few months the doctors released with my "levels starting to go back up", and said i could go back to study, of which i felt i needed to do. The sleeping issues were fixed for the time being(helped with medication and nasal decongestants).
But because of all of the problems i was getting fed up with myself and my ongoing issues, and it took a toll on the relationship with my girlfriend which ended.
I completed my course overseas with flying colors, i was committed and focused. I was happy with how i went.
But the biggest challenge for me is still a challenge i face, it is the return home and seeing friends and family.
There's the expectations i feel from everyone, that i should "show" i am happy to see them. I "care" too much what other people think. It has started to get to me that much that even when watching TV i put myself in other peoples shoes and dwell on negative thoughts.
*My biggest concerns are "not showing emotion" to those i care about, and/or worrying about "looking nervous".
I am constantly thinking of situations where i would probably be nervous in. It eats me up.
It makes the situation that i may be facing all that harder.
I think the aspect of showing emotional happiness would come with genuine happiness. I have not felt good or healthy for a long time, and given that i was released with levels on their way up i thought it was important to be tested as soon as i had returned. Thankfully they are ok, still on the low side but not at dangerous levels. Furthermore i had tests for my breathing/nasal issues. The doctors said i am highly allergic to something but they can't determine what. They said i would need to go on a 2 year study to determine what it is, but the profession that i have chosen will not allow me to spend 2 years getting tested. I thought my breathing issues could also be leading to my anxiety.
I am heavily medicated taking allergy decongestants and nasal sprays, and combined with plenty of exercise i am hoping that they could fix itself. But i have had a sinus/breathing problem for years, so i am doubtful - i worry it is a far more serious issue.
I have considered seeing a Psychologist to help me with my anxiety issues. I am sick to death of caring what other people think. I just want to live my life and not worry about it. It is important going into the career i have chosen not to have these issues. This is why i have also opted to avoid the medicare rebate as i do not want anxiety on my medical records, it would not fare well when looking for a job. This is why i am also trying to phase out the depression medication.
Are there ways to combat the anxiety regarding "showing emotion"?
And avoiding being worried about "looking nervous"?
Like i said these only really effect me when seeing friends/family/girls that i care what they think of me. There's that expectation of when having not seen alot of these people in a long time that i should "look happy" to see them. Even when i do i struggle to show it. Even a smile to a complete stranger becomes a struggle sometimes.
I am in a similar place. Read some of my other posts in other threads to confirm. It feels like a diagnostic black hole, and I’m slipping through the cracks. I’m taking extreme measures towards getting healthy, and I suggest you do the same. Your career will be waiting for you when you’re done.
Adapt. Your health is the most important thing. Don’t take their word for it about the 2 year time frame. Get a second opinion about allergy testing or whatever. You might be able to spread it out over instalments of time or participate remotely by performing the procedure on yourself and sending them the results for analysis. Ask them if they have any overseas consultations centres they're partnered with. Usually they don't mind the whole sharing information thing.