Mini-series: Sharing Our Stories to Stop the Stigma #5

This week’s story focuses on social anxiety and depression and how it can affect many different aspects of your life. It also shows how you can find help and make things better. 

I am 17 years old and suffer from social anxiety and depression. 
Having depression makes me feel like I don’t care about anything, and social anxiety makes me care too much about everything, so having both is a bit of a nightmare. 

My social anxiety makes me nervous around people when I’m alone, I can’t ring people, I never raise my hand in class, I won’t eat in front of people (unless they are family or close friends), and I rarely go out. I’ve been mad at myself on so many occasions for skipping parties that I would have enjoyed because I’m just too nervous. If I go out, I often have to drink a bit before I go to soften the nerves and give me that extra push. I hate it. 
My depression tends to make me sad for weeks, or I just feel nothing, almost empty. There are a lot of times when I don’t have any desire to do something that I would usually enjoy, I have no motivation for anything, and it’s hard for me to see the good in anything. It’s hard when people ask me what’s wrong and I genuinely have no idea, or when I’m not talkative and people get bored of me, and sometimes even irritated with me. 

Since this is anonymous I’m going to say that I had a very low moment about a month ago where I went to try and commit suicide, but I was so nervous that people would judge me for being the weird girl who killed herself, and I would be remembered in a judgemental way, so I stopped myself. I guess my social anxiety was my saviour here. 

In the beginning my friends were supportive, and they’d go somewhere with me if I was too nervous to go alone, and they’d just make me feel better in general. 
I don’t really have any friends now, people got bored of having to be there for me all the time, and I can admit that I must have been a bit of buzz kill. So I have felt pretty lonely for quite a few weeks now. But I’m getting there. 

There have been many occasions in sixth form where I’ve cried, as I’ve been too nervous to walk in alone, or too nervous to go to my lesson. Walking into any room alone makes my heart race and my face turn red, because I’m terrified that everyone’s going to judge me. Sitting alone at lunch has been the worst. 
I have also cried a lot because I’ve been sad for ,sometimes, no reason at all, and had to go home. 

My parents didn’t take it seriously for a while after I told them I was constantly down and constantly anxious, until my brother made me go and see a doctor. The doctor confirmed what I had thought. 

Talking to the doctor was hard because I was so nervous but I took a friend a wrote a list of everything I felt, and he went from there. Although my nerves made me cry, it was worth it. 

I now have a counsellor and she’s really nice and even though she’s the only person I really talk to about it, it’s really nice to get things off my chest once a week, it helps me feel better

I have also left sixth form, because being lonely and friendless in a place that made me nervous was never going to help me get better. 

I have been less anxious lately, because I don’t have the worry of school, and I’m hoping to find an apprenticeship somewhere nice. 

When I feel anxious, I often tell myself that it’s fine, and people don’t really care enough to judge me, and that I’ll get through it. I also tell myself that even if they judge me, they won’t even remember what they thought in 24 hours time. It’s hard but I make myself do the things that make me nervous, and seeing that I’m fine afterwards helps me realise that my thoughts are often irrational. I’m working on my anxiety and I think it’s getting better, especially since I got a part time job. 

I haven’t really found a way to help myself feel better in the depression department, but I’m sure I will, and I’m going to seek advice from people in the same boat as me. 

I encourage everyone who suffers from any mental illness to not go through it alone. Just talking to my counsellor once a week has helped me, so if you have a close friend, a family member you’re open to talk to, or even a pet or a diary, letting it out does help.  
Also, take yourself away from ,or out of, any situation that you know isn’t helping you. Or try and find a way that helps you get through it, anything that makes you happy. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. 🙂 
 

If you would like to share your story please contact me by email (completelyrambling@gmail.com). I would also like to say that even if you do not want your story posted, my email is open for anyone that needs to just vent how they feel. Sometimes it is nice just to share it with someone and take some weight off. I will not post your story without consent.

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