From a young age I was an extremely shy and quiet person but this was something everyone thought I would grow out of as I got older. I wouldn’t go to playgroup or primary school and I used to cry for ages and say I didn’t want to go which everyone just assumed was because I didn’t want to leave my mum however now I’ve come to the realisation of this was early stages of my anxiety.
Once I had to go to secondary school everyone said I settled in well, better than people thought especially because it was a big change but my attendance was always really bad but if I’m crying in the morning my mum would obviously assume I was just ill, when in actual fact I was anxious but even I didn’t know this or what was happening to me. I never wanted to go and see my friends outside of school but I think my family just thought I was being lazy. We also used to have a holiday home and in year 9 I used to cry about going purely because we’d have to go out a lot, even the man next door said whenever I went outside “you’ve actually came outside then”. It got to the point where we was in a busy shopping centre and I cried in there because I felt too anxious but nobody knew what was wrong with me, including myself and that is nobody’s fault.
In year 10 I went on holiday with my mum, dad and best friend and we would go out on our own then come back and say “I didn’t want to go inside” and this happened a lot. In year 11 my attendance was the worst it’s been and I had time off then just kept saying I don’t want to go. I think my mum slowly realised something wasn’t right and came to the conclusion I was suffering with anxiety. My school was really understanding and supportive however professional help wasn’t quite that.
I went to see a doctor who said he doesn’t think there’s a big problem but to go back again if I want too, so I did. The second doctor I went to see who is now my regular doctor was excellent and has probably understood it more than anyone else. When I went to see my counsellor for the first time I was extremely nervous but she was very laid back and joked around with me and made me laugh and wasn’t too serious – I like that. However on our next appointment she said to me “do you even want to change the way you are?” because I hadn’t been out since I last seen her, when she had given me no tips or help as to how to control my anxiety. I was really annoyed about it because I didn’t think it was fair and it wasn’t that I didn’t want to get better, I just needed some help to do so and one session wasn’t going to do that. This was just temporary and then I started regular counselling with someone else however he worked alongside this woman and had spoken about me which I was already pretty cautious about but just went with it and the exact same thing happened again…
He was really harsh and strict and it felt as though I had gone to be told off and punished for the way I am feeling rather than being given help and support. He raised his voice at me a lot and kept interrupting me and was almost trying to tell me off and that session we did nothing but him have a go at me.
If you are going to have counselling, please don’t worry because of my experience, this could be a one off, even one of my teachers said “you wouldn’t look at her and expect her to have anxiety” which I don’t quite understand however I definitely think I have been prejudged a lot. I wish that my counsellor had got to know me himself and was more open minded and more sensitive to how his actions could have made me feel, it may not have been intentional but either way it knocked my confidence as you would think if anybody was going to understand and be caring and supportive about it, it would be them. All I’d like to say is if you get treated badly by a counsellor or denied further help, make sure you go back again as it is your right to get the help you want and it is their job so. Do not feel like you shouldn’t be going again or you will bother them or are wasting their time as a lot of people do because you have every right to visit until you are happy with the outcome.
Thanks for reading and if you are going through anxiety stay strong and positive!