Anxiety by Matthew

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I’ve always had an anxious personality, but when I started college a couple of years ago it turned into a real problem. I don’t know how it started, but I began to feel more and more uncomfortable in public situations. I had panic attacks sometimes, and I was afraid that if I had an attack in front of other people, I wouldcompletely embarrass myself. This stopped me from doing the things I should have been doing, like going to classes and meeting with friends. I was afraid to talk about this problem, even with the people I trusted most.

Once I had to meet with my tutor in college to discuss repeating a year. I felt very jittery during the couple of hours before the meeting. I felt ashamed about my anxiety problems, and about needing to repeat the year at all. On my way to my tutor’s office, I noticed that my hands were shaking, and this completely freaked me out. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I started thinking that all this would be really noticeable, and was worried about how my tutor would react if I had a panic attack in his office. In the end I just couldn’t face it, and went home. I ended up putting off that meeting for a long time.

My anxiety problems eventually became too obvious to hide, and I was surprised how much better I felt when I finally talked about everything with some close friends. I followed their advice to seek help from a professional, and soon found a psychiatrist who I’m very satisfied with. A few months after that I also joined a support group. Talking about my problems with people who had experienced something similar was really helpful.

Matthew’s tips

  1. Find someone you can talk to about your worries
  2. If you think you might have a problem with anxiety, don’t wait until it gets serious before you seek help
  3. If a problem seems too big to solve, try to break it down into smaller parts and work on the bits you can do
  4. Try not to let things escalate in your head