I first knew something was wrong when I was about 10. I was on summer vacation and I kept having thoughts that bothered me. For most people, they can shake off those thoughts and keep moving on with life, but these stuck with me and continued to disturb me until I made myself physically ill. I really scared my mother and she took me to a child psychologist. I hated seeing this psychologist, but I kept going until she told my mom she didn’t need to see me anymore. Then I went back to school and those thoughts dissolved and I was back to normal. On and off during school breaks the intrusive thoughts would start again, only to disappear when I started school- this happened all throughout junior high, high school, and into early college. I figured that it happened because I was bored and didn’t have anything else to think about. I tried to ignore these intrusive thoughts, but they would bring me such anxiety and I would feel so sick. I thought that something was just wrong with my morality and that I was crazy. I believed I was a bad person and I was ashamed of myself. It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in college that I took a psychology class. We were discussing certain psychological disorders and I realized that I had experienced the same symptoms of some of these disorders, but of course I knew I shouldn’t self diagnose. I’m really glad I took that class when I did because that summer I had the worst onset of intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and depression that I have ever experienced. It was so debilitating. I was afraid to go to work because I was afraid to be with my own thoughts. I wanted to sleep all the time to escape my reality, but I became afraid of my dreams. My heart felt like it was racing all the time. I would go through this vicious cycle of intrusive thought, anxiety from this thought, and severe depression to follow. I couldn’t live with myself anymore. It was then that I thought I needed to get treated for some sort of mental disorder- thinking back to my psychology class I was sure I had OCD or something similar. I went to my doctor who decided that she didn’t want to diagnose me with anything specific, but instead wanted to treat me for general anxiety and depression. I started going to a therapist- who I still see- and I learned how to manage my feelings. I very gradually began my journey to getting better. To this day, I still struggle, but I am better, especially at controlling my intrusive thoughts. I am now having new issues with my self confidence and I often feel worthless. I also have started having panic attacks in overwhelming public situations. These are things I am working on, but I am not discouraged. I have already gone through the hardest part, which was figuring out how and where to find the help that I need. I don’t want to keep my mental disorders a secret. I feel that if people are open and honest about how they feel, they can get the help they need, and maybe they can get that help before they enroll in a college psychology class.
Thanks Jaycie for sharing your story!
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