Could This Be Happening to Me?

2009: the year I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

I was sitting in Spanish class, freshman year of high school. Out of nowhere, my heart started racing, and I was feeling flustered and suffocated. I felt my face get warm and I was blushing, but not in a good way. I felt sick to my stomach, overwhelmed and I couldn’t sit still.

What I didn’t know is that I was having a panic attack.

I left the classroom, and my friend Jamie walked me to the nurse’s office. I cried, and didn’t know what was happening to me at the time. I was able to call my dad to come get me from school and from that day forward, life wasn’t easy.

I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I was prescribed two medications to take. One of the medications I took as needed, and the other I had to take once a day. The medicine I took once a day caused an even worse chemical imbalance in my brain, forcing my anxiety to spiral even more out of control.

I couldn’t go to any public places and could barely sit in a classroom. These places included your every day, errand-running stores such as Wegmans or Target. I would try so hard to relax and tell myself to relax and stop being “silly,” but I would begin panicking as soon as I would even enter the parking lot of a restaurant or store. This is called agoraphobia: a fear of public places. This was all because of the wrong medication. This was the new me.

What did my friends think of me? Why was this happening? I was an outgoing and fun girl, and now this? Do my parents believe me? Was I going to be able to play sports and finish high school?

…to be continued.

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