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.