Jeannette’s story

Ever since I can remember, I have always had anxiety. I was feeling anxious and scared. I was afraid to try new things. I was 14 when I had my first panic attack while hanging out with friends.  After this incident, nothing was the same again.  A fight has begun, a fight against myself.  I shut myself off from everything except from school that was obligatory. My biggest fear was that panic attack would come again in front of others and I would be deeply ashamed and embarrassed. I didn’t have many friends, only few. My best friend helped me a lot but she didn’t know what’s going on with me. Nobody knew. After some time had passed, I started going out again. I looked up on the Internet and I realized that I had agoraphobia.

When I entered in the university, new symptoms emerged. I couldn’t go to the lectures during the first year of my bachelor’s degree because many students were following the classes. I was participating only when the attendance was mandatory. Nevertheless, I tried to be a good student and to pass the exams. This desire made me even more anxious. I couldn’t sleep during the exam periods and in the nights I was feeling like I am suffocating. These anxiety feelings continued throughout my bachelor’s. I still remember the day of my thesis presentation, I was feeling very nervous and I thought I might not make it. However, I managed to do it and actually I did it well. My professor couldn’t believe that I have made it after being so stressed.

I am afraid that I wont make it.

My social life was very limited during the college years.  I was and I still am very picky when it comes to making friends. I wanted to be able to trust people who are close to me. I continued to hang out with my best friend from high school. I was going out with her in quite places avoiding loud areas.  I never went to a club in contrast with most of my classmates. I continued alone my slow but steady steps forward.

Now, after these years, I have not been able to work because I am afraid that I wont make it. I hope that I will overcome this fear and I will be able to prove to myself that I can work. It is the first time in my life that I asked professional help for my problem and I believe that I will win the battle against anxiety. After all, what does not kill you can make you stronger.

Jeannette

28 september 2016

Name and photo are fictitious. Photo:  Flickr