Anxiety, Mental health

The first time

So, the first time I felt quite unwell I was 16. I had moved schools as my parents and I believed it was the best thing for me before I applied for universities. Basically, the new school just trained people on how to pass the exam, rather than teach the subjects properly. Before that I’ve been on the same school for 6 years, with the same friends etc. Suddenly I was in a sort of ‘factory’ for students to pass their exams, with 60 student classes, very impersonal …

I don’t remember when in that year but at some point I started to feel sick during classes. Eventually it became unbearable and I had to run to the loo to be sick, but nothing happened. I sort of dry heaved – yuk! I started feeling worried and scared. I also felt a bit detached of what was going on, sort of floating above it all.

My Mum, ironically a clinical psychologist, had her practice near my school and I started leaving school early and waiting for her break so that I could talk to her. I am not really sure what I was expecting to happen as a result. I would feel some relief once I saw and talked to her, but it was short lived, the horrible feelings would come back again.

I didn’t have much appetite and remember eating lots of apples at that time as they didn’t make me sick. It was all a long time ago. Now, in hindsight, I realise that it was my first experience with anxiety. Also in hindsight, it is obvious to see why I felt that way, but then, even though the reasons were under my nose, I didn’t see it. A dear friend from school had died a few months earlier, I had had a serious health scare the previous year and the school move was awful for me.

I lost weight, I felt constantly tired and basically fighting against thoughts in my head and the constant feeling of sickness. It lasted a few months, but it passed. I moved back to my old school and I completely forgot about it…it would be another year until I felt anything similar, but that is another story…