My final year at highschool was not smooth sailing. Both my parents had pretty bad health problems at the time – they’re doing better now 🙂 – and stress levels were high, especially wanting to get into medicine. I never told any of my friends what I was going through at home because I didn’t want to burden them and wanted a place where I could ‘escape’ to. So, I bottled everything up.
During the break between highschool and uni, there were more worries at home – financial and moving home (and playing tug-a-war with centrelink) so I didn’t really get to enjoy getting into med and I bottled everything up. Then uni started and I didn’t know anyone and I’m a shy person so I was stressed about making friends.
Eventually things started to change. I didn’t want to go to lectures (compulsory classes saved me – they forced me to get out and about and not isolate myself), and I wouldn’t just feel so overwhelmed that I would burst out crying for no reason. I finally spilled everything to my mum and after sobbing for hours, she dragged me to the G.P. the next day.
Luckily, he knew about everything that was going on at home from my mum’s visits and knew that I was doing med. He diagnosed me anxiety, prescribed diazepam and offered to refer me to a psychologist. I declined the referral and said I would see the uni counsellor instead – my G.P made me promise that I would come back if things got worse. Even though I never went to the counsellor or took the meds, checking in with him really helped. He asks me how everything’s going each time a see him – even just to get the flushot. I’ve become more aware of my anxiety and have learnt how to control it – venting to everyone about exams really helps.
Taking that step forward made me feel empowered and in control (and was less scary than I expected).