- Mar 7, 2015
Coming to terms with the fact I've got a mental health condition has got to be one of the hardest things I've dealt with in my 19 years. My main issue is that I've been suffering with it for a couple of years now, but I've tried to pretend nothing's been wrong. It's difficult for me to talk about, but even worse for me not to. I think it's due to a combination of factors; my parents' unexpected divorce, not feeling like I fitted in at school, and constantly feeling like I was being criticised, analysed and judged by my peers. It was particularly bad in my GCSE year, I had to have nearly a month off school, just because I didn't have the energy or the capacity to cope with the people or the workload. I had sleeping problems, and occasionally suffered with anxiety attacks. Due to the situation my parents had left me in, I was frequently left alone for weeks at a time; leading to a complete inability to cope with silence or the feeling of loneliness, something which has impacted me massively at university. Although I am constantly surrounded by people, it is still hard to not feel isolated. I feel like my anxiety is choking my potential; I know there is someone inside of me who is confident, bubbly, chatty and funny all of the time, but my anxiety holds me back. It feels like I am caged within myself, I just want to break free of it but it's not that easy. I try all the coping methods recommended, I exercise and eat well, take part in things I enjoy, and spend time with my friends. But it is still there in the back of my mind, all the time. I worry what people think of me, how I look, what I say, if I'm funny enough or pretty enough. I constantly compare myself to other people, and have a constant need for reassurance and company. Admitting I have a problem has been incredibly difficult for me, and I refuse to let it take over my life.