On my last year of high school, I started experimenting panic attack in the bus going home and in the exam room.
I remember not knowing what this was and waiting for it to pass but feeling so uncomfortable and unable to do anything.
The panic attacks kept happening when I was in enclosed areas and with people. It stopped when I wasn’t afraid of them anymore, more or less 8 years after my first panic attack.
In the summer of my 18th, I experimented with a lot of derealisation. It can be scary for those who don’t experience it, so imagine for those who do.
In my last year of master degree, I started to experience my first intrusive thought while in class. It felt so foreign, I was feeling so lost. This was a time where I was starting to look for a job, but the intrusive thoughts and my fear regarding them made it a real struggle to feel confident in job interviews. I got a job a year later, after dealing with a mild depression.
During those 13 years, I experimented a wide range of anxiety symptoms. It is only 5 years ago that a doctor mentioned to me social anxiety and generalized anxiety as a possible diagnostic.
Two things I learned from the last 13 years
1) I was part of the people that thought the less you talk about it, the less present it will be. Was I wrong.
2) Recommended doctors and doctors in general, some don’t know about specific condition. I saw a therapist who didn’t mention once anxiety in the 8 sessions we had. Double checking the doctor background, the specialization, the path and asking questions before the consultation is a good way to make sure the doctor will be able to help.