I know this probably appears to be very long, as it is, but it would seriously mean the world to me if someone could read through and respond. :) (By the way, I apologize if I posted this in the wrong category, as I have OCD, hypochondria, and emetephobia, so I figured I might just categorize it all as general anxiety?)
Today, I had my first day of sophomore year. It really wasn't that bad, aside from the fact that I felt considerably sick all day due to my anxiety. My stomach was pretty upset, which caused me to take pepto bismol (one before I left the house, and one while I was at school). Additionally, the feeling that I need to gag arose a few times, which is a normal symptom that comes along with anxiety for me. I couldn't eat at lunch because I had absolutely no appetite, which was the norm for me last year- I often found it hard to eat due to the discomfort I was feeling in my stomach. Anyways, I'll now attempt to get straight to the point. Last year was really tough for me starting in October (previous to then, I had been extremely happy/optimistic and surprisingly less anxious). I began therapy once again (I had discontinued going in 8th grade as I had felt like I didn't need it anymore), and eventually, in December (over Christmas break), I began on a trial of Zoloft. This is the point in my life that I consider to be a "turning point" for my anxiety- everything in my life seemingly became difficult, and I was no longer the optimistic and hard-working freshman that I was when I started out the year. The Zoloft made me very sick- I had diarrhea, couldn't sleep, felt nauseous for almost the whole day every day for my 4 week trial, and that's when I noticed that what my psychologist diagnosed as depression set in. I quit basketball, my favorite sport which I had played for about 10 years, my grades slipped from high honor roll to high 70's/mid 80's, and I began to miss a lot of school. I don't really know if I have the right to consider this time in my life traumatic, but it sure did have a very negative effect on my quality of life. As I became more and more isolated from my friends, a problem that was caused solely by me- my friends often times attempted to reach out and hang out with me- I began to feel increasingly "crazy". My mind was constantly spinning with what-if's and absolutely terrifying thoughts/scenarios, which led my psychologist to officially diagnose me with (almost purely obsessional) obsessive compulsive disorder, which I had apparently shown signs of from a very young age. I soon found myself so caught up in my fear of *****/hurting myself or others that I found it very difficult to go to school, as cars (which I was afraid of running in front of) were present, and I also found the pressure of being in a classroom tough to deal with, as I was so afraid that I would "go crazy" and hurt someone in the classroom, which would definitely be one of my worst nightmares. The fear of ***** quickly became the only thing that I could think about, and I spent so much time checking and rechecking my brain for any suicidal tendencies (of course, none were apparent, but I somehow found a way to convince myself that I had a major depressive disorder, and that I was suicidal- which wasn't the case, as I never ever wanted to die, and never once did I make a plan to do so. I actually tried to AVOID all things related with death, including knives, pills, cars, trains, and more.) That all started in December and didn't end until the beginning of July. Without the pressure of school, I noticed that my fear of ***** gradually slipped away, and I was back to my happy-go-lucky self again. Looking back now, I seriously can not understand how I thought I was suicidal, as I truly do love life, but somehow when school comes around, that all changes. I often worry profusely about whether or not I will be able to wake up so early five days in a row and be both emotionally and physically healthy for school, and it really stresses me out. Additionally, I spent a lot of time in the nurse's office last year (I normally spend a decent amount of time in the nurse every school year, but last year was definitely the worst) as I was always convinced that I had the stomach flu or was sick, and due to that, I would often experience a whole lot of really uncomfortable psychosomatic symptoms, such as nausea, headaches, fatigue, aching body, diarrhea, hot flashes- you name it. As a result of missing so much school, my normally understanding and loving parents became increasingly angry- each school day often began in a battle (in which I would be crying, explaining that I can't go to school because something bad will happen, such as getting sick, dying, or going crazy. My dad was a lot worse than my mom, and he would scream at me, taking my phone and grounding me, and on my worst days, threatening to call the truancy officer, police, or ambulance to come get me out of the house. I do feel really bad about this, as I know I just added to the immense stress he already has from work. So, as a result of last year, what I'm most anxious about is a reoccurrence of those same events. I'm scared to do schoolwork (as last year I almost felt as if I seriously could not handle any form of work/testing, which was NEVER an issue to me previously) and I constantly worry that I won't be able to do work/will be unable to take tests. Because of my inability to truly work hard last year, I was switched out of my honors classes, (which I want to take, but am scared to) and I'm in collab classes, which are classes for kids with learning disabilities. I'm embarrassed about it, as I'm normally expected to be the bright girl that everyone says I am. I'm also worried about my attendance this year, as I want to try my best to be in every single class every single day for the entirety of the period, which is something I struggled with last year, yet I find myself really worried about my ability to get up and attend school every single day with no issues. I know a common problem/reason for disliking school among people my age is due to a dislike for the people/teachers at the school, but honestly for me, it's neither one, as I really like most of the people I go to school with, and I get along with them well. Also, two of my classes are anxiety causing and uncomfortable for me, as the teachers are strict and have certain rules that don't allow us to keep our backpacks at our desk with us, which is tough for me as I often compulsively drink seltzer water and chew gum to attempt to alleviate my anxiety about nausea/vomiting. So with all of that said, I'm not really sure what to do. Do I go to my guidance counselor, who doesn't think I'm capable of being in honors classes, and try to switch into my normal honors classes (English and Spanish)? Do I also talk to her about the classes that make me uncomfortable? Is my perceived inability to do work caused by the fact that I'm over-thinking it so much?
Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated, and feel free to share any school related stories you may have as well! :)