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Struggling with anxiety but don't know how to get help



New member
Jul 7, 2017
Hello everyone,

This is my first time writing anything about my mental health, so apologies if it's in the wrong place, but I'm really struggling right now and I don't know what to do.

I'm a 20 year old gay male, and for the last few years I have been experiencing waves of intense periods where I feel incredibly nervous, restless and overthink situations to the point that it causes me to feel more nervous and quite nauseous. I have always brushed it off as nothing, and used to think that I was level-headed, and so could deal with any problems I had by myself, but recently the frequency of these waves has been increasing, which I think is mostly being triggered by stress surrounding my sexuality.

I am out to all my friends, and have never had a problem with being gay per se, but I am not out to my parents. I have always said to myself I will never come out to my parents (not until I have graduated university, have a stable job and am financially secure etc.) as my dad is openly very homophobic (he went mental when he found out I had a gay friend), and has told me on multiple occassions he would disown me if I were ever gay. We disagree on quite a lot of things (he is religious, tries to enforce it on me etc.) and I feel quite disconnected from him emotionally. I feel like I have a 'duty' to maintain a relationship with him because he supports me financially at university, put me through private school etc. We don't have much of a relationship anyway for me to care much about being 'disowned' by him, but the idea of being cut off financially and excluded from the comfortable bubble I have grown up in causes me a lot of anxiety.

The stress caused by going to an academically very intense university hasn't helped either; I've now found myself feeling fear and nervousness over things such as interacting with other people or passing exams, and whenever I'm left alone I will overthink these issues to the point that I have started having what I could only describe as panic attacks. I feel guilty because I am a fortunate person who comes from a well-off family and goes to Oxford, and so I tell myself that I shouldn't be having anxiety or feeling down because my issues are insignificant, but this only causes me more stress and the cycle continues.

The tipping point was this morning when I overheard my mum talking with a friend about me probably being gay (I'm pretty sure she knows, but she is the type of person who would be very supportive, and so coming out to her wouldn't be an issue at all if it weren't for my dad). This overwhelmed me with a whole load of thoughts about eventually having to come out, feeling guilty for not being able to tell my mum, and I have been an emotional wreck all day, feeling extremely nervous, dizzy and like I'm destined to never be at ease and have a happy life.

I really don't know what to do at this point or how to ask for help or if I even need help, and I'd really appreciate some advice and what I should do.

Thank you so much in advance and sorry for such a long post!


Apr 4, 2017
Hey hope you are well
I'm sorry to hear about the problems you are having. If your thoughts are impacting on your studies I would certainly try and speak to someone in the university. Do you have some kind of student guidance centre or anything? There may be some support there.
With the coming out to the parents isn't anything I could help with as I have never been in the same shoes. I really hope it works out for you. I really hope your dad comes around and won't let his beliefs come between you two.
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