I’m a student, 17 this year. Since last year my symptoms for anxiety have been obvious, I kept complaining about how my tummy aches, and mom just brushed it off, until, at the end of last year, things worsened and I was sent to the hospital immediately. The doctor diagnosed me with ibs-d which is over sensitive bowel movement that led to runny, loose watery stool. I was prescribed with 15 types of different pills, because ibs comes with nausea, bloating, gas, headache, vomiting. I wanted to end my life. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything. This year, school reopened, and I am stressed about it because I do not know how to deal with it. For 5 months, I have been missing school a lot, but still catching up with my homework and all, but my grades dropped drastically. Because of this, I’m getting yelled at constantly by my mom because she thought I was playing truancy, laziness and stuff. I just do not know how to tell my mom I have anxiety and stress, I just hoped she would understand. I have been alienated by my friends; my sickness also caused a big misunderstanding among them because they too were like my mom assuming I hate school. At this point, my mentality has been drained out and I’m just tired. I don’t know what to do anymore. At nights I spend my time alone crying, yelling, because of anxiety killing me.
Hi Natalie1615_17 –
As I see it, your letter can be summarized simply as: “I have high anxiety, and every symptom of it gets me more misunderstood and in trouble, which of course just causes me more anxiety.” This situation would be intolerable for anyone; it sounds like one of those experiments where they would give dogs treats for doing certain actions, and then change the treats to punishments, and the dogs went mad.
I wish I could help more, but I do have two basic thoughts on this. First, I think you should try a different strategy with your mother. Stop denying that you hate school, or that you’re truant or lazy or anything else. Just look your mom in the eye and say “Mom, I’m 17 years old. Most kids my age hate school and are lazy. Why do you think I’m different?” And let her answer. My guess is that if you present her with the fact that everything she says about you is true for you and most kids, she’ll be more willing to consider that there’s something else going on with you.
And second, I urge you to find a therapist. I’m not calling you “crazy” or anything like it, but you have two great reasons to see one. First, your anxiety is impairing your life in some major ways, including your grades and emotional well-being. But secondly, because your IBS is very likely anxiety-related. If you can reduce your anxiety overall, you might well reduce the intensity of irritation and pain there. It doesn’t have to be a doctor, or anyone hugely expensive, and you might not even need to visit them many times. You just want someone who’ll listen and help you handle and reduce this anxiety, so that you can start enjoying your experience of what many consider the best years of a person’s life.
Natalie1615_17, there is no reason in today’s world that you shouldn’t be seen for who you are, and helped out with what’s going on with you. Anything I can do, just let me know. But just know I’m 100% on your side.
All my best,