I have suffered from anxiety since I was 17. I dropped out of sixth form due to it. I was unemployed and basically useless for a year. I moved to Bournemouth with my mum and worked for a year before getting into Bournemouth Uni to study Business. I lived at home during my time there. I did well on the course but decided I wanted to do a different degree, applied to Winchester for September 2016 and got in.
I'm living in a shared flat and my anxiety has gotten extremely bad. I've never had it this bad. I can't eat, even though I must be hungry, I feel sick when trying to eat. My anxiety has never effected me like this before. I was okay in Bournemouth because at the end of the day I knew I could go back home.
I'm considering seeing if I can get back on to my old course at Bournemouth. Or maybe commute to uni here instead of living in student accomodation. Do you guys have any advice?
Are you receiving any help for your anxiety?
Yes, first things first, seek help. Go to your GP, discuss what kinds of support are available in your area for young people - there may be specific counselling services, for instance - and keep an open mind towards things like medication. Have you spoken to your parents about it? If not, I'd recommend doing so - you don't have to give them all the gory details if you don't want, but sometimes a simple conversation along the lines of 'Mum, I'm having some difficulties with my health, I'd really appreciate your understanding' goes a long way. If they have the means to do so, don't be afraid to ask your family for help with seeing a private therapist or other practitioner if you find NHS services to be inadequate, to have long waiting lists, etc.
I'll try to keep this brief, but I feel like it's relevant to you. Anxiety ruined my life for a good 2-3 years, and I lost 2 full years of my life to it, making horrible decisions and essentially not knowing anything about who I was, trying to keep things together with this crazy stuff completely taking over. It started at the end of my undergrad degree, and I only got a good handle on it this year - a couple of times I was really on the brink and feared for my own safety. What I learned that might be helpful:
- If you've got the means to do so, TAKE TIME OUT to deal with your anxiety. It sounds like you're trying to cram a lot in, and may have the means to put things on hold, go home and recuperate for a while. Whilst that's frustrating and can be depressing/stressful in its own right, consider whether it might help you. It's not your fault - at the end of the day, if you're sick, you can't help that, and it's better to give yourself a break than run yourself into the ground trying to deal with other stuff. I lost 2 years, it was crap, but worth it from my perspective.
- Don't rule anything out. I tried 6 types of meds and countless therapies, nothing worked, I was convinced I was some kind of Neo-from-the-Matrix savant who was sane while the rest of the world wasn't. Things got really bad, I had to go to hospital. I was really anti-medication at this point, but I tried one more (Venlafaxine) and it WORKED like an absolute dream. This was in April, I turned my life around, feel happier and more stable than I have in years, and have just got a full scholarship for a masters degree. Four months ago I could barely leave the house. Keep your mind open to trying anything that might help, even if it seems pointless at times.
Summary - seek whatever help you can and remember that you can and will get through this, even if it takes time. What works for other people may well not work for you, so listen to your own mind and body, look after yourself, and work through things with your support network. Good luck.
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