Hi, I'm new here. I've been having some problems lately, and I'm wondering if it's anxiety. Looking at various health websites, I seem to have similar symptoms, but I tend to overreact-(example: I look at WebMD because I have some kind of illness and automatically freak out because there's a minor chance it's brain cancer.) So... I may have misdiagnosed myself. I don't want to talk to anyone yet because I'm not sure that it's even real and I don't want to bother anybody. Anyway. This started when I was in sixth grade. I read some horror books and got kind of scared. I started doing things like "If you check behind the shower curtain, you won't die tonight. If you don't, you will." I began doing this for most things, such as doing problems on schoolwork in order so that I wouldn't have a heart attack or feeding my cat so that she wouldn't attack me. (My cat is not violent at all, if you don't feed her she just begs.) I know that doing these things make absolutely no sense (who gets a heart attack from misordering math problems?) but I can't stop doing it. I'm terrified of having the lights off, I always feel like I'll get attacked. I haven't had any traumatic experiences, so I don't understand why I do this. I sometimes set up plans in my head for when something goes wrong. If I'm home alone, I make a list of all telephones and potential weapons in the house so that if a burglar attacks me, I can defend myself. I plan what I'd pack if I had to immediately leave for any reason, and I make plans for how to save my family in any apocalypse.
I'm also afraid of people I don't know. My school is determined to put me in classes with all the people I don't know, so I'm always forced into situations where I have to talk to new people. (Please don't just say "That's life." I've heard that a thousand times.) But I can't just get over it. Talking to new people, ESPECIALLY when they seem better than me (which they usually do) makes me begin shaking with fear. I bite my tongue so that I won't say something stupid, I talk in a whisper, I let them do all the talking and deciding. I always want to say something, but I feel like they'll judge me, or think that I feel that I'm above them. It's the same with speaking in front of a class or talking to adults. I'm very comfortable with my friends, though. I feel like I can say anything among them, but when I'm away from them or there's someone I don't know with us, I'm so cautious I usually barely say a word. But I'm often afraid that if I say something wrong, or act too clingy, that my friends will hate me. If I show a friend something and they react negatively, don't laugh, etc, then I spend the whole next week worrying that they don't like me anymore, or I offended them. They're always fine, but I will lie awake at night worrying that I'll see them the next day and they'll have turned my other friends against me too. My mom gets very annoyed when I don't want to go speak to someone. She'll ask me to go ask a saleslady a question or something, and I'll get scared and tell her that I can't, and then she'll say something along the lines of "Just go up there, you're not four anymore, you have to talk to people! I don't understand why you do this!" It's not her fault, and I feel bad when that happens. But I don't know how to tell her that I'm honestly too scared. Is this social anxiety?
I don't think that I really have OCD, but sometimes I do get annoyed when things are out of order. I'm a generally messy person, I leave dishes and dirty laundry around, I'm not an obsessive cleaner. But whenever I go anywhere outside my home, when I return I have to wash my hands because the outside holds so many germs and if I touch anything that went anywhere near school or the bus then I need to scrub my hand before I even think about going near food. I also have a very specific order that my books need to go in. And although I'm generally messy, if I do clean then the cleaning needs to be perfect and pristine or it didn't count.
I've had a really good life so far. I've never been abused, and people have said mean things to me, but I've never been seriously bullied. I do't understand what I'm so afraid of if I've never had any terrible experiences. I've also ever had a panic attack.
If you just read this essay, thank you so much!It's really long, but I'm really glad that you did. Please help me, is this really anxiety or is this just first world teen problems? I'm in eighth grade and I can never tell whether something is really wrong or if it's just my brain being stupid and 14. I'm really confused, and I don't want to freak anyone out unless I need to talk to anyone.
Sorry for the run-on sentences, and btw if there are any typos the O and N keys on this keyboard are faulty. Thank you for reading, all responses are appreciated.