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The Tip of the Iceberg

Posted on November 17 2015

When I first came to college I thought it would be just like high school. I thought I would do great and that I would fit right in, after all I had made it to Cornell. Little did I know that my pre-test anxiety that was all too common in high school would develop into a life changing anxiety disorder. In high school I wanted to do well, to be the best and this is what I wanted from college as well.
During my first semester, I began to feel my chest tighten before class everyday. I wanted to cry all of the time, in the middle of class, at dinner, doing homework, it did not matter. I soon began having panic attacks. I would call my mom and she would beg me to get help. I thought I could do it all on my own. I thought that only people that were weak asked for help. I continued to attempt to handle things on my own. I soon began to get so anxious that I would bot remember what was taught in class. My worst moment was when I found out I had an essay due the next day that had been assigned in a class that I had attended. I could not remember anything being said about it.
I decided to go and talk to someone, perhaps it was worth a shot. I am so glad I made this choice. My first appointment with the counselor, he asked me how I was doing and I burst into tears. It had been a while since anyone asked me that, I was waiting for it. I had let my anxiety and the depression that developed because of it consume me. During my first few weeks seeing the counselor, he referred me to a psychiatrist who recommended I go on medication. To me this was a hard decision. I wanted to do everything on my own, to handle it without any kind of help, especially medication.
I talked with my parents and they convinced me that medication could really help. When I first started taking Lexapro, I was desperate to feel a difference, I needed to feel a difference. It took a good month before I began to feel remotely better. For once, I was able to fall asleep and wake up only once or twice. I was able to go to class and not feel like the world was caving in on me.
Although the medication was extremely helpful, I was still struggling with my anxiety and I felt like I was not clicking with my counselor and requested to switch. That is when I was paired with my new counselor who has truly helped me. My progress in controlling my anxiety has hit something of a plateau. I am not giving up though. I have come so far from where I was a year ago. From considering taking a semester of leave to looking forward to a new semester of classes, I have begun to enjoy my time here. I have a ways to go in my journey but I have realized that I can overcome this. Everyone's journey is not the same and everyone takes a different amount of time to heal. For me my journey has just begun but I will not let this conquer me, I will and I am conquering my anxiety!

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