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こんにちは!アリーシャ エイミー-ジェーン、意欲的なシンガー ソング ライター、英国からです。日本と韓国の歌を翻訳し、歌う人の英語歌詞を書きたいと思います。私の夢は、1 日、日本に住んでいるし、タレントのためすぐにオーディションに思って !私は願って彼らは私のような非常に神経質です。私は私は自分自身言語を少しずつ教えていますが、うまくいけば、私は十分で取得する知っているので日本語に堪能ではない !~

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Living With Anxiety, Social Anxiety Disorder & Depression. (My Story)

The following post is likely to be the most personal thing I write about on this blog.
If you don't want to read, please just move along... There's no need for hateful behaviour...

Many people aren't aware that I suffer with any illnesses, especially mental disorders... I actually suffer from 3 different ones, and this post will be me explaining roughly what I believe caused them, and how I live with these 3 conditions, because I'm just about clinging on to 'normality' through the difficulties.

Firstly... There are some misconceptions regarding mental disorders, especially Depression. Some people seem to think that once someone's diagnosed with Depression, that's them signed out of society and that they'll never be able to achieve anything because they just 'sit inside and cut all the time'. Not only is this an extremely offensive and negative way of looking at people who suffer from Depression, it's also highly, highly inaccurate. Not every single Human-being that is diagnosed as being depressed will then go on to self-harm. Although I am one of those who did... That doesn't apply to everyone. It's highly annoying when I see pages that are supposed to post 'funny' content on social media sites such as Facebook posting images of self-harm, etc. As a way of mocking those who are depressed. Worse still are the comments you see on those posts... Really, how can you be so cruel to people who definitely would've picked a different 'way of life' if they could? It's sick.

That clears that up, now... On to my story...

I was first diagnosed with my 1st condition 4 years ago, I was only 11 at the time, and the doctor told me that he suspected I had a very severe case of Anxiety. At the time, I'd never really heard of Anxiety before, except for the occasions where my Nan came into conversation. So, being told that I had it myself, I was pretty worried... What was wrong with me? Did I have to take meds now? Was I going to be locked away as some kind of 'mental patient'? Of course I didn't get locked up, but when a child is told there's something wrong with their mind that the doctor can't just fix, you freak out. You're confused, and Anxiety causes you to assume the worst, anyway...

How did it come to me being diagnosed? Well, it started even when I was much younger than 11, back at Primary School. I'd always hated going to school, I used to constantly complain that I felt ill, that I couldn't go in for one reason or another. Of course, little kids do that anyway, so my parents just thought it was normal behaviour and I was forced to go to school anyway. But things gradually got worse over the years, my pleas to not be sent to school got worse and worse as time went on, until the time came that I would burst into a full-blown panic attack at the thought that I would have to go to school and see people that I was convinced hated me. This struggle went on for a year or two, until I entered Secondary School, and my attendance plummeted where I insisted on spending so much time at home, refusing to go to school, screaming, crying whenever I had to leave the house. It wasn't even school-related anymore, just having to leave my bedroom made me freak out, so the school suggested that I go and talk to a doctor. Hence, I was diagnosed with Anxiety.

But, things only got worse after that.

I couldn't go out and see my friends, I couldn't go shopping, I hated school and rarely went in, and when I did go to school, I often had so many panic attacks that I just got sent home again. Things were getting worse, I wouldn't speak to people, I was absolutely convinced that people were speaking about me behind my back, and the negative thoughts kept coming and coming until I found it impossible to like anything about myself, I was convinced that if I went to see my friends, they'd just pick on me or try to hurt me. Feeling like this constantly, I lost my friends. It was bound to happen, anyway. But it kinda felt like I was kicked when I was already down. Not a great feeling, anyway. I turned to self-harm, cutting myself at night when I knew I wouldn't be caught, because I knew how my family felt about self-harm, they thought it was a cry for attention, so me doing it would cause many problems for myself if they found out. But, I got no relief from doing it, and so I decided that...

I wanted to die.

I only feel comfortable talking about this now because so much has happened that I no longer have the desire to die, but there I was, 11-12 years old, and I seriously wanted to die. So much that, whenever I was left at home by myself, I'd go to the kitchen, take a knife, and press it against my chest, imagining what it would feel like to just impale myself on it and die then and there. But, I never did... Until things got worse, and all I could think about was how happy everyone else would be if I wasn't there. My attendance at school had gotten tonnes worse, and they were threatening my mum with a huge fine that she couldn't pay, saying that if she didn't pay it she'd be taken to court where she would likely get a prison sentence for a while. Even though my mum was begging me to go to school for my siblings' sake, I couldn't do it. I felt absolutely pathetic, and she looked at me as though it was deliberate. That was the time that my suicide attempts started. 2 in total. I first tried to drown myself in the bath, but one of my younger sisters found me and so I had to abort that attempt, and the next was almost successful. I tried to hang myself from the top-section of my bunk-beds, using a cord from a jacket and a skipping rope. But my mum found me. She couldn't believe what I was saying to her when I said I wanted to die and she took me to the doctors straight away. As she explained what had happened, the doctor asked if I'd been harming myself, and I had to admit it. I thought my family would hate me, but my mum just continued to cry rather than being angry.

That's where conditions 2 and 3 come into it. I got diagnosed with Depression, and I was put onto antidepressants and referred to a psychiatric centre close to where I lived. Also, at that time, I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, and the doctor told me that, not only did I have ordinary Anxiety, but I also had a stronger form of it that was related directly to having to socialize with other people during everyday activities. That made sense, and it was clear that it applied to me. So, I left on medication and having an appointment with a counsellor a week later.

When I started seeing my counsellor, I didn't notice any improvement, I was convinced it was a waste of time and that nothing was going to change, but I wanted things to change more than anything in the world. So I kept going to my sessions, and on the days that I didn't see my counsellor, I was trying to attend school as much as I could. I was trying so hard to protect my family, even if it meant that I was a nervous wreck all day. The thing about my school is, they don't care. Mental illness, physical illness, they don't care. They won't support you. They won't help you. All they do is threaten you with fines and court cases, having to repeat years, being excluded, etc. So I knew that nothing would help my family unless I started going to school more, completely against my inner will, I didn't want to be outside, I didn't want to go to school. Especially since I'd had so much time off school, when I started coming in more regularly, I got bullying. I'd always been somewhat 'popular' so bullying was something I'd never expected to have to deal with. I got teased for 'skiving' and being 'fat and lazy' even though I was clinically under-weight since my Anxiety made me not want to eat around other people, and so I hardly ate at all. I started to believe that I was right for not coming to school in the first place, everyone hated me and I hated them. Why was this happening to me?

Then, my counsellor spoke to the school and they agreed to let me go into their special help unit for a few weeks, which meant that whilst I was technically 'in school', I was kept away from the other students and rather than doing set lessons, I had work sent to me in the unit, but I spent most of my time with the woman that worked there, working through the issues I had with socializing and being outside, my self-harm, my feelings of wanting to die. We talked about it all, and she taught me some exercises to help me during my panic attacks. Everything was going well, and although it was only 2 weeks, when I came out, I felt a lot better. In school, I kept myself to myself but it was okay, I ignored the nasty comments, I still felt sick to my stomach every morning, but I worked around it, I forced myself to go into school every day, and spent break and lunchtimes in the unit where I felt safe. And then, after the summer holidays...

I actually made a new group of friends!
I couldn't believe it, but I found a group of friends who had also experienced problems, whether it was learning difficulties, extreme bullying, even people with Depression or Anxiety. They knew how I felt, and they accepted me as I was. It didn't matter that I couldn't go outside to meet them every day, because they knew that some days, I had enough and I couldn't push myself too much, they were there anyway. And to them, although I'm not friends with them anymore, I am so grateful. I really believe that it's because of them that I could push onward and improve my attendance, help my family and not have to repeat any years of school. Though our group has since fallen apart, I am so extremely grateful for all they've done for me whilst I was with them.

My life's never going to be perfect, I know that now. I can't have a 'normal' life, because I'm always going to have Anxiety and it's always going to affect me in one way or another, but I've found a way to control it, to stop it taking over my life. And now, I'm learning to live with it. My Depression has actually gone away, I don't self-harm anymore, and I don't want to die. I've found reasons to live, things that I want to do in the future that push me to do well at school and make serious efforts to leave my house each day. Of course, there are still days where I can't go outside, but they're less frequent now.

I'm doing okay. ^w^