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I just joined this site, so I thought, "hey, might as well share my life's story."

I've had anxiety every since the age of 11 or 12, I believe, and I am 16 now, nearly 17. I haven't had it for that long in comparison to some, but it feels like forever. It began when I was sick with mononucleosis for about 4 months, then promptly got stomach flu and strep throat after barely getting over that. I have no idea how I got mono in the first place.. (I know it's considered the "kissing disease" or whatever, but no. My 5th grade self wasn't kissing anyone). I understand getting other illnesses after that though, due to weakened body and immune system. During and after all of that, I hadn't really been able to eat much due to nausea and other horrible feelings. This caused my stomach to shrink and me to develop a slight fear of eating, for I was afraid I would vomit. I had anxiety about eating because of all of the terrible feelings eating brought while I was sick. I think this may have lead to my fear of nausea and vomiting. I've always been sort of uncomfortable with nausea and vomiting, just like anyone else, but it became a full blown phobia at that point. I believe this is why I may have nausea as a predominant symptom of my anxiety and panic attacks. Anyway, I've sort of gone off on a tangent here... Long story short, I became what was defined by my general doctor, nutritionist, and eating disorder clinic doctor as "borderline anorexic." I did not believe I was overweight by any means. I've always been tall and thin, to give you a reference, I am currently about 115 lbs and 5'8", and I was at the age of 13, 5'5"ish and 72 lbs. Eating, while it did taste nice, was just unpleasant because I felt like I'd just throw it all back up. I feel bad because my parents paid for so many things to figure out what was wrong with me and how to fix it. I thought there was something physically wrong with me, and I was terrified. I had so many tests done and so many doctors. I saw a nutritionist, psychologist, my normal doctor, and an eating disorder doctor. After many years, psychological help, and being prescribed medication (generic Zoloft), I overcame my anxiety. Unfortunately, I had many relapses. And this is why I am here on this very website today. I am suffering from yet another relapse... the first one I've had in maybe two years. I was perfectly fine until just last week. In my history class, we began watching videos on World War II... they were very depressing and gory. I began to feel anxious while watching the videos, so I believe it may have been the trigger. I had not felt anxious at all before that. It was really great, and I already miss the time when I was okay. We are no longer watching those videos in class; however, my anxiety has stayed. It's a pretty vicious cycle. I get anxious about who knows what, I start to feel nauseated, I get more anxious because I'm terrified of vomiting, I get a panic attack from that, the panic attack intensifies the nausea, I get even more anxious from that, then once it's all over, I get anxious I'll get another one because they feel awful. I have a few outs during school, such as the nurse and my QUEST teacher, but knowing this doesn't exactly help. I get panicked if I sit around for too long in a class. I'm fine at first, but then suddenly, my throat starts to tighten and I feel very nauseated. I'm not exactly sure how to go about tackling this. I don't even know what's bothering me, so I don't know where to begin. I want to increase my dosage, since I'm at the bare minimum dosage for my medication, but my mom thinks I'll become too reliant on it. Any advice for coping in the meantime would be greatly appreciated. 

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  • Comment Link Lizzi Clark Tuesday, 25 November 2014 22:12 posted by Lizzi Clark

    Hi, Firstly, you are very brave for making this first important step with how your feeling- and that is to speak to people about it.

    One of the common issues anxiety sufferers have is the inability to clearly communicate how they feel and what they feel and we sometimes cant, on here you can do this, as you only need explain a little of your situation, and two paragraphs in I already understood the pain you have been going through.

    Secondly, you are so young still and I am hopeful that as time goes on you may be able to overcome these issues, the mind is a powerful thing and none more so than a young mind still learning.

    I have a tip for you that I think is something you could try- when I was your age I suffered from low self esteem and depression, and to escape I locked myself in my room after school and I listened to music, this is but one coping mechanism, as I am not suggesting you isolate yourself, in fact the opposite.

    The amazing thing about being your age now, is that technology enables you to do a multitude of activites that can help- I would find music you like, that helps you feel at ease, and to a degree you get lost in, you may not wish to at first then take yourself somewhere, a coffee shop or somewhere you can eat, and a book, this is the most important bit! Buy yourself a good book, one where you can identify with the characters, and feel like you know them and their adventure, and once you are lost in this music and this book, you can buy something small, say a biscuit and sit and read, while you have your little world of music and fantasy you can begin to eat the biscuit and before you know it you will have killed an hour, and managed to eat something without over analysing the process.

    Now this will be no means easy and I am not saying you might not back out before you even get there, but you are in a position of power, you control your mind AND your body- challenge yourself to try because even if all you manage the first time is to get to the door of the place- you made a go of it, you tried and you succeeded in achieving motivation in yourself.

    Let me know how you get on ;p

  • Comment Link Janna Rae Tuesday, 25 November 2014 12:49 posted by Janna Rae

    Hi there, I'm sorry to read about your problem with anxiety. I have a similar experience of worsened anxiety due to anticipating the anxiety. What differs with me is what I worried about or what I was afraid about was going crazy. When I was having a panic attack without the main trigger (coffee or hunger), I thought I was losing it. So I started to fear a lot of things, and I developed intrusive thoughts. I am on medication now and getting better. I am looking forward to getting off my meds. Thank you for sharing your story. :)

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