FASHION WISHLIST

I have suffered from Anxiety for the last 8 years, it has been a very real illness for me and something I have suffered a great deal with. However I feel as though I am not taken seriously, by almost everyone.

It took me crying in school everyday, unable to go to lessons, for a teacher to finally take me seriously and actually help me. And this was in year 12, when I was 17. By this point I had already been having serious anxiety attacks and crying almost everyday for 6 years. I cannot thank my teacher enough for everything she did for me, she took my seriously, she believed that I didn't want to be this way (by this I mean that several people thought I was doing it all for attention) and she was the one who encouraged me to keep going back to my GP until they did the same.

I went to 3 different doctors until one began to actually do something to help me. I was referred to someone who assessed me and concluded I needed CBT, the waiting list was so long and I needed help immediately. I was fortunate enough for my parents to find me a private CBT therapist and after 3 sessions he said I would be alright.

Unfortunately CBT didn't work for me and my doctor was reluctant to accept that. At least by this point he had taken me seriously enough to refer me for a consultation. After another month of being unable to attend lessons due to crippling anxiety my teacher sent me to my GP, telling me to write down everything I was struggling with and tell my doctor he needed to do something about it. I was prescribed Sertraline and suddenly I could do life again.

I understand that doctors don't want to prescribe anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds to individuals under the age of 18, I completely get that. But there needs to be more resources available.

This leads me onto my controversial title. Anxiety is not being taken seriously. When I started university I didn't tell any of my flatmates I suffered from anxiety until I had been living with them for months. My flatmates thought I was really strange as I spent more time on my own than they did, they don't understand that anxiety is a real, very real disorder that has serious effects on peoples lives. When I finally did tell a few of my flatmates one of them said "Oooo Allie don't go funny on us," with another saying, "Oh yeah, really. Just like I'm stressed." This will always stick with me. They thought it was a joke.

I feel like nowadays people say that they have anxiety when they don't, because their friend or someone they aspire to be has it. This leads to people who are suffering not being taken seriously by almost everyone. If you think you are suffering from anxiety or even if you are overly emotional or stressed, go to your GP, I know how scary it is but if you persist they will help you.

My anxiety has held me back in every single aspect of my life. I rarely talk to friends, I am so lucky that they actually stick with me, I just feel like I don't want to be a burden. I don't do things that I want to do because the thought of the anxiety that surrounds them fills me with dread. I struggle with simple tasks such as getting out of bed, the thought of the day ahead gives me such an overwhelming feeling I simply can't get out of bed.

When people ask me what I've done that day I am ashamed to say that all I have done is have a shower, because to them that is the first in a long list of things they have achieved, but for me having a shower is a huge hurdle.

I wanted to share this with you with the hopes that if you are someone who things anxiety is fashionable then you will think again, or if you are someone who thinks anxiety is purely attention seeking then you will understand that it's not.

And if you are someone who thinks they may be suffering, or is struggling go and get help. Without my teacher pushing me and being there for me don't think I would have gone to university, let alone get out of bed. I would honestly be a crying mess everyday, luckily now I feel like I have a lot more control over my anxiety. There will be someone to help you, you just need to start talking. I promise it gets better.

Here are a few links if you want to get involved with Mental Health Awareness, or if you want some help:
Surviving or Thriving, Mental Health Awareness Week
Donate to the Mental Health Foundation
Mind.org
Young Minds
NHS Choices: Mental Health

Allie x





3 comments

  1. Hi Allie, thank you for writing this. You mention crying every day. For me that's my most frustrating symptom because it's not socially acceptable, especially in the workplace. I hope you're doing better and achieving what you want to.

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    1. p.s. Just read some of your other posts...I also speak German if you want a friendly practice partner :-)

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    2. Thank you for reading! Yeah I agree, there is so much judgement surrounding crying it's so difficult. Thank you so much!

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