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TW: Unsure about what to do with school

Hello all, 

I just made made an account to ask this one question that has got me so overwhelmed I had no idea where else to go or what to do. As much as i wish this question was simple, it's not and I will try my best to give a bit of a back story - however, I won't burden anyone reading with the details. 

 

I am a 17 year old female, my family is amazing and supportive, I have grown and continue to live in a beautiful house comfortably and I receive great education. why should I be complaining? I decided to move schools this year due to a disaster of a year last year concerning my mental health, which ended up ruining my school attendance, friendships, family relationships and ultimately i have never been the same. I've never been to a counsellor or been diagnosed with a mental illness but I've been to doctors in the past to get medical certificates for extensions for assessments that i haven't been able to complete - in their words i suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. i don't want to self-diagnose but i know something isn't right. ill try not to babble.. but this year i started fresh at a new school and I settled in alright, not really making many friends but right now my holiday break is about to be up and ill be going back for the 2nd term of school and I'm so scared. throughout the first term i had to be picked up a few times as i was having panic attacks in the bathroom and the last two weeks of term i didn't go into school. honestly couldn't summarise what for since everything freaks me out. i become introverted and don't talk much so my parents yell at me to get up in the morning but i roll over and don't move. of course missing 2 weeks of school makes it even harder to go back and i know the more i put it off, the harder it will get. its just more added pressure. i know the logical thing to do is to go back but i can't. i feel like since i haven't been diagnosed i should stop complaining and being dramatic. i should suck it up and to stop being self-absorbed. forgot to mention i don't talk to anyone about any of my problems. i don't speak to my parents, friends or counsellors. my parents tried to force me to go but i screamed and yelled. i hate talking about my issues because i don't want to burden anyone, i am probably being dramatic for all i know, there are so many other people out in the world worse than me so why should i use up valuable resources like a councillor appointment? this post seems to be a last resort and quite pathetic may i add. there are so many contributing factors that add to my anxious self. it seems I'm more on edge in social situations but only some in particular. like school especially or even little things like ordering a coffee. to simplify it ill try and list the stuff: body image, eating, self-harm, school, family, friends, how others perceive me, self-worth.. they are the main ones i would say. the dumb thing is, i want a future. i don't want my silly mistakes to cost me of getting a job and finding a guy and starting a family. i know i should finish school so it allows me to go to university and get an ATAR. but i can't do it at the same time. i don't want to drop out but i don't want special treatment at school. my mum has organised for me to talk to a teacher with my parents to work out what i should do but i don't want to go, I'm scared of crying or having a panic attack. i feel stupid and dumb and i feel myself winding down while writing this because i am a lost cause. i don't know what i want, and what i want i can't have. everything is shit, i feel horrible, i look horrible, i make my family upset, I've driven my sister back into depression, i stress my mum out, i annoy the school, people are fake to me at school. i can't do anything right, and it freaks me out. god i could write on and on and on because i feel like these last few years i have royally fucked everything. I'm not even sure what this post is asking for? i guess my options with school (I'm in year 11 btw). I tend to work for my mums business at home when off school which i really enjoy. I'm way more comfortable at home. at school i have to wear short sleeves and short skirts and I'm so fat, no wonder i have no friends. i go back to school in a few days and my mum is away and my dad will yell at me and i don't know what to do. i tend to bottle everything up, have a panic attack, then start fresh and bottle everything up again. it goes on and on but i don't want to talk to anyone. i guess this is a rant more than a question. oh god, and my eating is a whole other story. i think i self-sabotage everything because no matter what i do, or say or look like i will never be the girl i have always wanted to be. even when i was little i was determined to be something, pretty and thin, successful and be happy. honestly questioning everything in my life right now, and there seems to be periods where it gets very very dark which leads to self-harming and bad thoughts. I'm really sorry if you've read this far, i don't really know what to say. this is the first time I've ever written stuff down about my life and it seems I've only covered the tip of the iceberg. honestly call me out if I'm being stupid, i have nothing to lose. 

 

edit: sorry it seems I've posted this in the wrong topic but not sure how to change it. I'm new sorry! 

Re: Unsure about what to do with school

Hey @angel.
Welcome to the ReachOut forums!
I don't know how to move posts either...
I'll just tag a mod or someone to help with that part...
@Taylor-RO, Can you please move this post to the correct forum? Thanks!

Anyway, My first question is this:
Are you safe right now? I mean, Right Now.

My next thing,
You're not alone! I'm only 14, but I understand what you mean with the panic attacks, dark thoughts, self-harm, friendships, and bottling things up. I have a lot of periods of time when I bottle things up, I think I'm fat, and start to have urges to self-harm. My friends tend to backstab me, and turn back again.

But anyway...
I can't exactly help right now, because I'm about to have dinner. But i promise I'll be back tomorrow.

I promise that I'll always be around if you need someone to talk to. Just tag me, and I'll be on before or after school.

@mspaceK @Jess1-RO @blobby @Tiny_leaf
...

Re: Unsure about what to do with school

Hi @angel, welcome to ReachOut and thanks for sharing all of that with us. I moved your post and I added a TW to the title. This means 'trigger warning' and it just lets everyone know that there could be some triggering concepts inside your post. This helps to keep the community safe when surfing the forums. I also edited out some information about your eating habits, as some key words are associated with eating disorders and we do not allow these descriptions on the forums. Once again, just to keep the community safe. We have community guidelines here that you can read. No big deal, we know you are new here Smiley Happy

What you have said sounds like a lot to deal with.. especially without talking to anyone. You don't have to do this alone. It is hard to talk about your problems especially when you aren't used to it. I know it can be very hard and such a scary thing to do. How you feel is valid, with or without a diagnosis and you deserve to have these emotions acknowledged. Nobody can force you to talk though and you never have to share anything you don't want to. At the same time, without support, it is hard for people to know what is going on for you.. and it is hard for them to know how to help. Often people want to help you if they care and are concerned about you. They aren't worried about being burdened because it is their job, they know how to listen and they really care about you Heart We have services here, like Lifeline, eHeadspace and Kids Helpline. Often young people are not sure how to get the conversation started and you can start with these online/telephone services. Some of these services are anonymous and so it can be a relief when sharing your story for the first time.

Re: TW: Unsure about what to do with school

Hi @angeI. You're not being a burden by posting here. Everyone here who supports you is doing it because they choose to, not because they have to.

 

You're dealing with so much at the moment, it sounds really hard. I don't have something useful to say for all of it, but hopefully what I can say helps in some way:

 

Having an amazing family, education and place to live is great, but it doesn't make you immune to mental illness. Mental health issues affect people who live very different lives, and one person being worse off doesn't mean that another person's problems aren't valid.

 

Also, knowing that something isn't right is usually the first step to a diagnosis. Mental illnesses don't suddenly appear or become actually serious after a diagnosis. Having an undiagnosed feeling of  "something's really not right" is not any easier than having a diagnosed feeling of "something's really not right". It can sometimes be harder. Not having a diagnosis means that your problems aren't named, not that they aren't real.

 

As for using up a councilor's time; so many people I know have said that, including myself. It turns out that when I said that, I was severely depressed. One of my friends said that, while she was self harming, suicidal, and with severe anxiety and mood disorders (she's doing much, much better now, and is safe and happy). Feeling like your problems aren't bad enough to get help is not an indicator of how bad they actually are.

Also, it helps me to think of it this way: if I was in a hospital waiting room and saw a guy with two broken legs, I wouldn't ask the guy with a broken wrist what he thought he was doing in a hospital when both of his legs worked. Because even though one is objectively worse than the other, they're both a good reason to get help. The broken legs do not somehow fix the broken wrist.

Yes, there probably are people with worse problems. That does not make your problems irrelevant, or mean that you're not meant to get help.

 

I don't know of any tips with school, I'm going through a similar problem myself with that... But it's worth knowing that ATAR is not the only way to get a future. Schools often try to make students care about ATAR by implying that it's the only way to get into into uni.

There are many other options for getting into university, including (depending on the course) sitting a test for any prerequisite knowledge, adult high school courses, online courses and probably heaps of others. There's no rush to get better to complete ATAR to get into uni. There are almost always other pathways to get to where you want.

 

On special treatment:

When someone hurts a leg and they get crutches, those crutches could be considered a special treatment, as most people don't have them. But then, all they do is help the person move around, and almost everyone can do that. The person doesn't get some sort of advantage, they get the same opportunities as the people around them. Accommodations for school aren't that different.

 

Also, if you cry/ panic in the meeting, that is okay. I know how frightening the idea is, especially if you don't like sharing emotions.

One thing you could do is bring a small bag of things that can help you cope for when you're in the meeting. Scented lotions, a soft piece of fabric, fidget toys of some sort, and cards with breathing/ mindfulness exercises written on them could all help you regulate your anxiety. If you look up "stim toys" you might find something useful. They're mostly used by autistic people, but some of them can work very well for anxiety and grounding.

 

For self harm; this thread has some ideas for safe alternatives if you're interested: https://forums.au.reachout.com/t5/Getting-Help/Self-harm-coping-strategies-and-alternatives/m-p/3536...

 

Disordered eating and body image are issues that I personally don't have much experience with, but I'm pretty sure I've seen others on RO talking about them. Maybe try searching the "something's not right" and "getting help" sections for eating disorders if you want to connect to others with similar experiences, or look online for eating disorder support.

 

And finally, you're not being stupid.

Well done for coming here for support, because I know how hard that can be. You're not being pathetic, you're being brave.