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'Just chill'

by Millie
(England)

One of the worst things about having anxiety or depression is that people cannot see it. It's not a visible or physical health problem so people find it very hard to sympathise and understand the pain.

I am taking sertraline at the moment and have been for 3 months. Although I have had anxiety for almost 2 years. I also have mild depression. A lot of the time my emotions feel drained, I have to put on a fake smile. Then I get people saying things like 'why are you so awkward?' and 'lighten up' this makes me feel even more aware of my emotions, even more pressured to always be energetic and happy. I get more stressed so end up not going to many things, staying at home alone where I have nobody to please. I also get very angry and upset over the smallest things. Then people tell me to 'chill out'.

My friends, who are completely aware that I have anxiety and depression, judge me for not wanting to go to events with them, getting mad and telling me to stop being 'boring'. When I get offended by what they say they laugh at me. In response to one of them telling me to 'calm down' I sarcastically said 'okay, I will just flick a switch and calm down, it is that easy' she replied 'just take your bipolar pill'. At that moment I knew I would never be able to get their support. They would never be able to understand how I feel. I would always feel scrutinised and judged for being different, for not doing what they like. Judged even for just having my own feelings. This is the reason I need the Internet, to search for things on anxiety. To hear people's stories so I don't feel alone.

My anxiety started whilst I was in my last year of school. I would feel so ashamed and embarrassed about having to take myself out of lessons. I would ask to go to the toilet at least 3 times in a 50 minute lesson just so I could have some time alone to breathe. The majority of my lessons were spent in the computer room upstairs where all the naughty children would go where they had been removed from their lessons. I felt like I was causing a hassle for being there. I put myself down. Told myself I was pathetic for not being able to simply sit in lesson with my class mates. Sometimes I would have to beg the teachers to let me go home.

If they let me I would come home to my dad shouting at me 'WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?' He would belittle me and add to my self hatred. Whilst I sat there crying my eyes out, confused at what is happening to me, I would be getting told off for being the way I am. This is why I haven't told him about being on sertraline. He won't understand, he will see it as me trying to find an excuse to get out of difficult things in life 'everyone gets nervous, just get over it.'

This kind of treatment makes me feel guilty for even saying I have anxiety. It makes me ashamed of myself that I am asking for help as everyone else seems to deal with it alone, not needing pills.

I'm scared I will have this feeling for the rest of my life. And I am terrified that I will never be able to let someone new into my life as I will have to embarrassingly explain why I would randomly cancel plans with them, why I won't go to certain places with them, why I won't take drugs with them because they bring out all my anxieties, why I can't have sleepovers because the thought of spending that many hours away from home sends me into panic. If my friends and my dad don't understand, how will a stranger?

I feel trapped inside a bubble that's too big to get through certain doorways in life. I'm held back all the time. I'm not experiencing life anymore and no matter how hard I try, there is nothing I can do about it.

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