The Only Teenager to Ever Have Anxiety

All my life I’ve been told time and time again ‘everyone has some kind of mental illness‘, ‘so many teenagers have anxiety and depression‘, ‘hey I’ve got anxiety too!‘. Yet all through high school I failed to meet anyone who was having the same experience as me. I would watch presentations and talks from people who claim to suffer terribly with anxiety… which seems impossibly contradictory. How can that be if they’re confidently and calmly speaking in public?! “I have anxiety,” someone might say as they boarded a bus or walked through a crowd, sat in a theatre or attended a party, all with complete confidence. Even ‘they’re struggling inside’ couldn’t convince me. When I was younger, getting on a crowded bus and walking into cinema was enough to give me a panic attack, and the pure fear and sickness I’d feel was very much visible in my shaking and sweating. I couldn’t believe the statistics I saw, because I never met someone as anxious as me.

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Trichotillomania is always something I’ve had a really hard time talking about. Mental health is becoming less and less stigmatised by the day, and that’s only because people are willing to discuss it – but it’s never easy. I’ve suffered a lot because of trichotillomania – I’ve been mistreated by friends and family because of it, never mind strangers – and that means opening up about it makes me feel  pretty vulnerable, based on previous experiences. But people need to talk about trichotillomania, because it affects up to 4 in 100 people, and that’s quite a lot. Continue reading

Uni – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I have just returned from an open day at the University of Salford and have suddenly been struck by the realisation that uni isn’t actually that far away. It’s over a year away – I’d be starting September 2018 – but this first year at college has gone so fast that I’m a little overwhelmed. It’s honestly gone in the blink of an eye. University was unthinkable back in Year Seven, but then again, so were GCSEs. And I’ve already sat an AS level. Continue reading