I'm not sure if this is the right place for me. I haven't been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, but after researching GAD, my life makes more sense. I have an appointment with a doctor for Thursday. I feel like talking things out with someone who understands might help. So I guess I'll just tell some of my story and see if anybody has any coping tips to share.
I'm 19 years old. I go to college, where I have been in the Band for three years. This year, I am a member of the Inaugural Winter Guard team. My life is pretty busy with school, work, winter guard, and some semblance of a social life.
When I was younger, I worried about everything. My mom says that in kindergarten, I would come home crying every day. I was terrified that I would get my clip moved for doing something wrong. I was a quiet and very shy kid. I loved to read and would rather sit in my room than go out and play with friends. I was put into the 5th grade challenge classes during first grade and skipped second grade altogether. When we realized that I was going to obsess over my grades in school, we found another outlet to divide some of my perfectionism. My parents decided to start my career as a competitive baton twirler by age 8. When I turned 10, I won my first of 20 National or World championship titles. I practiced every day of the year from age 9-16. Overall, twirling was wonderful because of the exercise, confidence in my ability to twirl, exposure to a whole new world, dedication, etc. I always worked really hard to be perfect, but that was normal for me.
Outside of twirling, I didn't really do anything else. I was too quiet in school to have many friends, and I hated doing presentations. I remember my heart racing, my face and chest blushing, and the extreme fear that I was going to stutter. My mom always said she didn't know why I always got so nervous before speaking or performing, because I was so good at it. Logically, I knew that I was going to do well, but it didn't stop me from stressing about everything.
It also wasn't just being in front of people that made me nervous. What if I twisted my ankle and couldn't compete? What if I missed a question on the test? What if my friend hasnt texted me back because she actually hates me? What if I have a wreck? What if I flip my car and die? I asked myself so many questions everyday, which I guess is normal. The thing is, these questions never went away. On a daily basis I still think about these and so many other things.
The real reason I started researching anxiety disorders are some recent health scares. A few weeks ago, I noticed that my head had hurt terribly for a few days and heart was racing constantly. I have a lot of headaches, but my pulse remained above 100 bpm for about a week straight. I went to the campus health center for an ecg. They mentioned that I had some palpitations. They did some blood work, but the only problems were low calcium and protein levels. I am waiting for more blood tests, but decided to look into the problem. Anxiety came up, and after reading just a few descriptions, I realized that this could be my problem. I had briefly considered anxiety as a problem before, but my mom was a "tough lover" I guess you could say. I heard a lot of "Just calm down, just take your vitamins, you need to chill out, sleep more, you're just freaking out, you should step out of your comfort zone."
Like I said, I'm not sure if anxiety is an explanation for the way I feel, but after reading a lot, I think its possible. Can anyone give me suggestions? I feel a little better just writing some of it down. I just don't know what to do or who to talk to at this point.