Overcoming Childhood Anxiety
My First Panic Attack
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My first panic attack was during the fourth grade, and from then on I have been experiencing anxiety every single day of my life until now. Thick depersonalisation, unrelenting fear and wandering thoughts have been haunting me throughout my life, but things have changed. I recall that I was very nervous when I experienced my first panic attack, and I wanted to leave school badly - I remember that it was our “School Appreciation Day”, and I had been asked to recite a story on the topic of “The best things about school”. I had prepared well, but I didn't know how I would feel the first time that I was on stage. I felt nervous and nauseous, and I just wanted to run away and hide in some place alone and far from people, but I couldn't - Instead I was speechless. I didn't utter a single word on that day, and finally my teacher took me out of class, and I felt incredibly embarrassed. I went home to my room and cried bitterly. After that day I made the decision to not perform on stage ever again at any point in my life. This is one of the #1 most comprehensive Psychology Books ever written, and it's free on Kindle (Get a copy, because it's like a Masters Degree wrapped-up into a single book). However, I recommend that you upgrade to the Print edition, because that copy comes with images.
I kept that promise for over fifteen years; I never participated in any competitions or in any cultural events. I was happy to be left out of social activities and spend time alone. Since I wasn't able to socialize comfortably with my peers, I felt lucky when I was ignored and felt relieved when my teacher didn’t include my name on any School Events lists. However, I didn’t realize how I was ruining my life with my decision until I reached high school. Once I reached high school I realized that I needed to successfully complete a College Admissions Interview if I wanted to get into any college whatsoever. That’s when my problem evolved. Since I hadn’t participated in any events, my resume clearly showed that I wasn’t socially active, and my grades where only slightly above average, so I had got to do something about those limitations in order to get into college. However, I felt that I couldn't change my future, and whenever I wanted to say something in my various interviews, I would become nervous, nauseous, and finally end up being speechless. I was continuously rejected by all of the colleges to which I applied until I met a compassionate savior in the form of a college principal. She was an incredibly sweet woman who served as principle at one of the state colleges, and she was the one that I needed to meet for the interview.
I went in and she immediately began to study me and personally asked me if I was nervous - She understood my problem. She created a warm environment and offered me coffee, but I was trembling and she noticed this when I denied her offer for the drink. However, the interview continued and she simply asked me about my grades, my school, future plans, etc. You would be surprised to hear how I responded when she inquired about what I wanted to become in the future. I said that I wanted to become a fashion designer, so she asked if I had a portfolio, and I gave it to her. She was actually quite impressed with my work, so she then said, “You are good at your work, but the fashion industry is a huge social industry, where you have to converse with many people. That means that if you are not comfortable with socializing then some other person could make use of your knowledge and succeed in the long run." She said that she would offer me an opportunity to enrolling her college, but that along with my studies, I must use these years to transform myself into a confident girl! She told me that she strongly believed in me and that she and the other staff would always available to help me. I tried hard to say thank you but nothing came out of my mouth; I just smiled at her and went out.
When I came out of the office, I was drenched in sweat. My mom was already ready to console me, but when she saw me smiling she was surprised, I went straight into her arms and cried, only later explaining that I was granted admission into their program. The next three years were the best years of my life, and those were the years during which I had the opportunity to know my true potential and developed it. The best thing that I learned to do in my college days which has changed my life was that I needed to learn to control my anxiety and to shift from a state of fear into confidence.
My personal transformation didn't happen overnight, and I had to work hard all through my college years to achieve it. Although I still can’t stand before a crowd and give a complete speech, I can talk with new people and can walk the ramp with my models at the end of the show, which itself I consider as a mighty change and a huge achievement. During my college days I exerted myself tremendously to communicate with all of my classmates, and I must thank my college counselor and my roommates who helped me out throughout my college days. I just wanted to share one thing with all of the readers, which is that we can definitely control our anxiety with regular practice and a strong belief in our selves. Go ahead and get out of your shell, start talking with people, and make friends. This change in attitude and behavior can create a change in your life.
Author: Anonymous Contributor