Why am I blogging about my Anxiety and Emetophobia?
I can’t tell you exactly when I started to get anxious because if I’m honest I’m not entirely sure. As a young child I was outgoing, adventurous and full of confidence. However, as the years went by I began to retreat into my shell. I was misdiagnosed with having a phobia of school. I was terrified of going into school and whenever anyone would ask me I would tell them I didn’t know why. Everyone thought I was being difficult but I wasn’t, I was telling them the truth. All I knew was that the thought of going into school filled me with this irrational dread. At around the age of 10 it was decided that I should be home schooled for a while – the effects of my anxiety were taking its toll on everyone. For the whole of year six I was home schooled – I worked hard and my nan was a primary school teacher and so I did the same work as all my friends at school were doing.
We decided that starting Secondary School would be the best for me. I look back and I’m incredibly proud of myself. I had to return to school to all the rumours and questions as to where I had been. I stood up to it and made a new start and formed new friendships. This was my chance to make a success of it. It went really well for around six months until one day I came home for lunch and felt ill. My mum tried to make both her and myself feel better and took me out to the supermarket. The result of which was that I was quite publicly sick. This is not what caused me to have emetophobia but it did not help the situation. Following this I found it incredibly hard to leave the house and was eating about a tablespoon of food for dinner. At the time I had no idea what was going on or that I was suffering from mental health problems. My family did their best and I went back to being home schooled.
As the years went by I began to understand more about my anxiety and my phobia. However, instead of talking about it I became isolated and thought it was something to be embarrassed about and that people would judge me. At the age of 16 I started college where I did my GCSEs and then went on to do my A-levels. Not once did I tell anyone about my anxiety or my phobia. Why would I tell someone, they would just think I was being silly. The three years at college whizzed by and my anxiety barely affected me.
I then went on to University and again I kept pushing myself, at this stage in my life my anxiety was almost non-existent. Despite this, I still didn’t talk about it. It wasn’t the kind of thing you talked about, at least that was how I had been brought up. During my Masters I began to struggle with my anxiety and have done over the past couple of years since. Having taken a step back as an adult and seeing how the world is changing and becoming more accepting of people’s mental health problems I want to talk about my problems. Perhaps if I had known more about mental health as a child or it was openly talked about then things may have been different for me.
I want to encourage people to talk about their anxiety and to show people that they’re not alone. It is something that I feel very deeply about. The movement towards openness in regards to mental health is amazing. All those people that have been suffering alone are slowly beginning to realise that there are others out there. Mental Health problems are as real and debilitating (if not more so) than physical health problems.
How do you feel about this openness towards mental health?