Hey guys. I haven't spoken to anyone about this before, and I'd really appreciate your help.
I've just finished my first year at uni and about half way through the year I noticed I was feeling more and more anxious. It was basically a sense of dread that made me feel sick, and wouldn't go away. I've been thinking that the only way it would disappear is if I began cutting myself, although it's hard to explain, it's like tension that builds up and I need to release it, and that's the only way how. I'm not anxious about anything in particular (something my parents are finding very hard to believe) but started just before exams and it still won't go away.
I found myself putting off dealing with it. At first I thought it would go away after exams because I was nervous about failing (which I almost did, just scraped a pass), but after exams I still felt it. I thought maybe then it was because of exam results (which were a few weeks after) but once I got the results I felt even worse. The feeling has disappeared a little over the holidays but I still feel it sometimes and my parents are starting to think something is wrong.
I don't have any issues with confidence, or talking to people in social situations, and I'm usually the loud crazy one who's the life of the party ect, so I've never considered it might be an anxiety problem because I assumed that's just what shy people experienced. I don't want to tell anyone about it because I don't want them to think I have difficulty in social situations.
I'm not sure what to do or say to the doctor when I see him. I personally feel this would only go away with medication but would the doctor even put me on anything or just tell me to see a counsellor? I really don't want to see a counsellor about the issues. What are the side effects of the pills and will they make the dread go away?
My parents think it's turning me into some social recluse, which is even more embarrassing to deal with. Basically I'm really not sure what to do and I'd really appreciate it if I could speak to someone out there who's going through the same thing, thank you.
Hey, I understand what you mean as I have suffered anxiety and the onset was a couple weeks into University. It has improved greatly over time, I've tried medication and have had counselling so I will try and help you the best I can.
First of all, you don't have to tell your family or friends if you don't want to, but talking to someone would help. I would advise if you don't know much then phone the NHS Direct and explain your problems, they sent leaflets and information out to me which was really helpful. You could also go on a mental health charity's website and find out some information about medication and treatments available (I'll post some links). I would recommend seeing your doctor, depending on your GP they may recommend talking treatments such as counselling or CBT or medication or even both. Tell them everything you are feeling, the physical and the mental symptoms. It is completely up to you who you tell, but the sooner you act on it the quicker you can start to recover. I promise you, anxiety is treatable and it can go away but you need to address that there is a problem. As far as medication goes, anti depressants are used, which can have quite nasty physical and mental side effects in young people (I assume you're around 19/20) but it depends on the medication and the individual. There is also beta blockers that can be subscribed and my understanding of these is that they slow the heart rate to prevent palpitations.