Anxiety and Depression Support
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Very First Time Here

Hey, I'm Josh, 18 years old and will soon turn 19. I guess I have been suffering from anxiety and depression since about the age of eleven or twelve. My father is in the military and we move around a lot, so that may just be a factor of my depression with having really no friends. My anxiety and depression has made it extremely difficult for me to go out and socialize when every second I think everyone I pass up on the street is whispering about me or plotting something nefarious behind my back. I can't even comprehend how i'm able to still go to work almost everyday. Maybe it's because I don't wan't my family or anyone to notice, I don't know.

School has been another difficult subject for me. Technically, I should have gotten my diploma a year ago, but I always put it off. Good thing I attend online schooling where you can work at your own pace or I would have been kicked out or something. Of course, I know that this is an extremely important point in my life and I want to hurry up and finish so that I can move on. I pop it up on my computer, ready to knock out a class and then.... Nothing.

A few months back, I recently joined a church and met some very nice people there. Most things started looking up for me, I was happy, joyful, I smiled more often then I ever did or could have. I was finally somewhat content until the depression and anxiety kicked back in. I didn't have it in me to go or really care that much anymore, but I still go. I guess now I really push myself to get up on that Sunday morning and attend, though it feels as if everyone is constantly judging me or unapproachable and I know it's all in my head. My family thinks that i'm just mostly lazy, but I really do want to go out and have fun, make some friends, meet a nice girl and live my life. Regardless of all of this, I wear a fake smile and pretend that i'm okay.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to hear me out. Sorry if it's too long.

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Josh, we are so similiar. You are not alone. This is not our fault. We are good people. We just have a sickness- i think. Think of addicts- people say they have a sickness. It helped me to think of my anxiety like that. Because it does not define who we are. We define ourselves. Our anxiety is seperate from us. It is not us. I know you are a great person. You can beat this!

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Thanks, really. It gives some comfort knowing that I'm not alone.

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My anxiety kicked in major about 11 or 12 too. I have been paying for college since I was 18 and still havent finished. I dont tell my family or not yet, because I dont want them to know either.

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I also think people are out to get me. I have been bullied in the past and that could help with it. But when life throws you down- we have to get back up. You can do this.

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Glad you are reaching out now. I'm forty four and dealt with this for years. Don't let too much wasted time go by. You will meet, probably marry, have children. Take care of yourself so you can give the best to them.

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Thank you, I will certainly do my best

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I know you will. You have lots of wisdom for your age.

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U r a brill young man i would be proud to have u for a son, can i adopt u. U r doing all the right things nd so much repect for joining ur new church (must be fab) cos that for a scot is a major thing, wee women dont take kindly to it ur an inspiration to other young people

Karen

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Haha, thanks

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Hi 2lio. It sounds like you might have social anxiety. Have you checked into cognitive behaviour therapy for social anxiety? It's very effective for a lot of people. In my area, there are CBT groups run by trained peer facilitators - people who have recovered from it. There are also CBT groups run by professionals and there is self-help on-line CBT.

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Actually, I haven't been attending any therapy. I've been recommended, but never went because I feared what people and my family might think. And also, I'm afraid this job I'm going for might reject me because of it. But, I guess I would like to give it a try.

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I wouldn't worry at all about what people might think. I had that worry when I was younger and went through much unnecessary suffering. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern IN THE WORLD. I don't know that you necessarily need to let your employer know that you are going for therapy, although some employers are very understanding, and in some places, there are labour laws protecting employees from any kind of discrimination based upon these types of situations. I would very much encourage you to check into some form of support/therapy. it can make a world of difference, and a huge difference to your world and life. A couple of online resources you might like to check out, just to get an idea, are anxietybc.com and adam.mb.ca

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I thank you, menagerie 11. These will prove most useful

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You are very welcome! My family is well aware of the fact that I have an anxiety disorder, as are some of my friends, and they are certainly supportive. Having an anxiety disorder is much like having any other kind of condition. It is what it is,it's not your fault, you are not faulty or weak...it is a condition that occurs to many people. Recent research indicates that anxiety disorders may have some basis in biological or genetic factors, as well as environmental issues, stress overload, etc. My mother had social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder - although we didn't know the terms for it at the time. She was acutely anxious about what people thought about her, whether they were criticizing her or judging her, etc. She also worried endlessly about money, health and many other things. My brother had generalized anxiety disorder. My mother-in-law had social anxiety. My niece has OCD. So, to some degree, it runs in families. Thankfully, there are more young people now than ever before who are coming forward for help with their anxiety disorders and/or depression before it becomes acute or even if it is acute. Getting help when you are young prevents the disorder from becoming stronger and more disruptive to your life as time goes on. Wishing you my most sincere and heartfelt best wishes as you take the first steps to recovery.

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Hi Josh! Please don't be too hard on yourself. Nobody chooses to be anxious or depressed. If church gave you joy and a sense of connection, I'd try to stick with it. One possibility would to ask the minister to meet privately for some pastoral counseling, so you could share your concerns. People do that all the time, and you won't be the first person who's asked. It's free and might really help. Whatever you're family thinks, you're not lazyl You're just not feeling well. Also, it's normal to feel that people are judging you when you're anxious. Anxiety gives you those thoughts, but that doesn't mean they're real. It's just a symptom. Most people are so wrapped up in themselves that they aren't thinking about you at all. Give yourself a huge pat on the back for continuing with some positive activities even when you don't feel like it, especially when your family doesn't get it. Whatever you do, try not to isolate if you can help it - and keep getting out there around a place that once made you happy.

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Thank you so much Windy! Your post really made my day! :)

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Well, the rest of it.

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Dear Josh, you are putting an awful lot of pressure upon yourself. I understand that you don't want anyone to notice how you are feeling, but I do feel really sad for you, as I know how difficult it is to keep moving house when you are in your formative years. It really has been very difficult for you. I just had a thought when reading and the thought was that perhaps you might be able to benefit from CBT? (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) I'm not a doctor, Josh - so I definitely can't diagnose or prescribe, but I do have way too much experience of life's challenges! It's up to you - that goes without saying. Maybe just something to read up on. You have been very, very strong - that's clear. Lazy? That's not how I see it. I believe that you have been doing everything you can up until now, to make yourself feel better.

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