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Anxiety: A 17 Year Old Boy's Personal Story


There is no greater challenge in life than learning to be content with oneself. When you face challenge after challenge it is often hard not to question things, and this uncertainty breeds anger and resentment. In the case of many, it is often easy to fall into patterns of turning this anger on yourself. Your teenage years are supposedly a time of self-discovery, however, it can be hard to find oneself amongst the pressures and expectations of others. The discussion of mental health is not an easy one to have, especially amongst males such as myself, but it is a discussion of great importance. So let me tell you a story.

My own story is no more noteworthy than any other and in all probability more common than people would care to admit. Over the past almost three years now I’ve struggled a lot, but as I am beginning to find my feet, I hope that it can provide some comfort to anyone who takes the time to read it.

Almost three years ago now, my parents called my younger brother and me into their room. Begrudgingly I paused my game of FIFA and ambled in. They sat us both down, and they told us they were separating. I’d be lying to myself if it wasn’t expected, home life had been far from perfect for some time, but at that moment I simply froze as the tears began to well.

Since then, naturally, there has been much more expected from me, and much more that I expected from myself. I felt caught in the middle of a battle between two sides, neither willing to give up any ground. I found myself becoming a go-between, confidant, emotional support, and a weapon for my parents, whilst also having to care for a little brother who was just as caught up in it all as I was.

Negotiating this as well as the expectation of an increasing school workload, and adding to this a traumatic break-up experience, I found it immensely difficult to reconcile who I thought I was, and who I felt I had to be for everyone around me.

My natural response to this was to turn inwards. I went into myself, I kept my cards close to my chest, and it was hard for me to let anyone in. I bottled up all the emotion I was experiencing, and turned all the negative emotion I had on myself, and as you can imagine this had a profoundly negative impact on my health. I developed Anxiety, to an extent which I was struggling to eat without being sick from nerves. I lost weight, I fell into unhealthy habits and I spiralled, as it is easy to do.

Things began to turn around for me when I reached out for help Now, this was not as easy as I make it sound, I was incredibly anxious, and it was hard for me. But I can say now that it was one of the best things to have happened to me. I began to go to therapy and having someone to talk to, to help me understand myself better helped immensely. I began to open up, and the stress and anxiousness I felt began to be alleviated, bit by bit. I began to find the people who accepted me for who I was, not who I pretended to be. I don’t know if I can express to those people how grateful I am, but perhaps if they read this they may know.

Understanding Depression & Anxiety - Ft Ruby Rose by headspace

Infographic by MSKARENPAYNE

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, contact mental health services or emergency services on 000.

Headspace Australia 1800 650 890

Lifeline 13 11 14

Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Woke magazine.


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