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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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acting101 Offline
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Should I see a doctor...? - October 26th 2013, 03:26 AM

Hey all

So in Grade 12 I started feeling a lot more anxiety than I ever used to. I figured then it was probably just because I was dealing with applying to universities and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.

Last year, I went through my first year of university and the feelings didn't go away. I still stressed about my schooling and ended up switching schools- but the thought of switching schools just haunted me and I couldn't not worry about it. Every day I sort of felt like I was drowning in my anxiety about it, even after I was accepted into my new school that I'm at now and everything was decided. I was also really concerned about making friends and going out to events and stuff, and I didn't go to a lot of stuff because I was so scared about it.

I also started noticing how freaked out I get about some social situations. There were a few situations where I had to make a phone call, once about a job interview and once about returning a game I bought that was broken. Both times I had panic attacks before and after the call where I could hardly breathe and just started shaking and crying. I still get that way now when I have to call someone who isn't a close friend or immediate family member.

And I noticed last weekend that when I feel uncomfortable I have a really demanding desire to tidy things up. I visited some friends and slept over for a couple nights, and one night we were all just sitting around and everyone was kind of doing their own thing but me and I just started cleaning THEIR house all of a sudden until my friend told me to "just stop", and then I felt really terrible and sort of depressed and ashamed for cleaning a house that wasn't mine.

And just every night it seems like I have something else to be really scared and concerned about. Usually about school and my future and making friends, but sometimes random things pop up. For example, my mum texted me tonight and told me she pre-ordered my sister and I PS4's for Christmas. I just started freaking out and crying, even thought my mum has talked to me about getting my sister and I PS4's and I knew she was going to but I'm freaking out nonetheless because she's spending so much money on us even though she can afford it and everything's fine.

Oh woo, long post so far. I just wanted to get the point of view from people who deal with anxiety themselves. Is this something worth seeing a doctor about? I don't feel this way 24/7. It's usually at night when I'm in my room by myself and my mind just starts wandering. Or it's when I have do some sort of performance for school (I'm in a theatre program). Like, in my vocals class I had to do a solo and I ended up doing really poorly because I could barely control my shivering and shaking, even though I didn't think I would be nervous about it.

Also, if I go to see a doctor about it, what will the process of getting help be? Will I for sure have to see a psychiatrist or something, or can a regular doctor help me? I also don't know what to tell a doctor really. Do I just say I've been feeling a lot of anxiety, or will I have to go into specific detail? ...will the doctor judge me if I just start balling my eyes out?

Thanks to those who take the time to read this.
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Re: Should I see a doctor...? - October 26th 2013, 04:26 PM

Hi there,

I think that it is worth seeing a doctor or other professional about this. Even though you don't feel this way 24/7, a doctor can still identify what may be causing you to get this anxiety and diagnose you if needed. They can develop a treatment plan with you and give you ways to cope with the anxiety in better ways so you can manage it better. In other words, they can give you ways to get back on track and deal with the anxiety better so it's not a burden. So, it's really worth it!

I think it's okay if you start out with a doctor, but they may recommend seeing a therapist or other mental health professional. They may be able to refer you to someone like a therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist that they think is best for you given your symptoms. Or, if you want, you can start out with a regular therapist or psychiatrist who will be able to do more long-term sessions with you. You can probably find therapists by doing a Google search, looking through your phone book, or giving your doctor a call. I never saw a general physician for what was going on, though, so I won't go over the process of speaking to a regular doctor, first. The first people I saw were Licensed Clinical Social Workers at a counseling center for children. Now I'm seeing someone in my school's clinic who is also an LCSW. But I think it would be okay if you started out with a therapist or other mental health professional.

Every professional has different tactics that they use to help patients. They will probably start out by giving an "intake" sort of session, where you speak to them about what brings you to them. Maybe you can start out by telling them that you have a lot of anxiety, and you can also copy down examples that you gave here, like getting panic attacks (if you want, you can explain what they feel like) during social situations and worrying a lot about school. They may also want to ask you a bit about your family history or childhood, to get to know you a bit. They will need to know a bit about what's going on in order to help you to the best of their ability, and I bet when you explain what is going on, they will be able to ask you questions to guide you in the right direction. But, it doesn't have to be all question and answer. Sometimes they will give you little activities to do, like little art projects showing how you are feeling. They may also give you different ways to control your anxiety, such as meditation or breathing exercises, or different grounding techniques. If one thing doesn't work for you, definitely tell them that! They can try something else. If they think it is necessary, they will discuss the possibility of medication with you.

They certainly won't judge you if you start crying, though. Crying is a good, healthy thing. I know that the LCSW I see now actually even told me that crying is a beautiful thing on a day when I started tearing up almost as soon as I sat down. It shouldn't be pent up inside, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. You're under a lot of pressure right now, I doubt they'll expect you to sit there without any emotion.

So all in all, definitely see someone about this. If you start with a doctor I'm sure they can refer you to the right place, but you can also look into the possibility of counseling centers. You have a lot of courage for wanting to speak to someone about this and I hope all goes well!


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Re: Should I see a doctor...? - October 27th 2013, 03:42 AM

Hey there, I'm glad you want to seek help for this, anxiety is not fun. If it's gotten to the point that it's interfering with your life or that you really feel like you want help then it couldn't hurt to reach out. While a regular medical doctor can help, I would suggest starting with a mental health professional simply because medical doctors will most likely throw medication at you and while medication can help you, it works best in combination with some kind of counseling. Even a psychiatrist will do a full assessment. If you are in school you can probably get free or reduced rate counseling at your school. None of these professionals will judge you for anything.

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