Hear our stories
Millie – Most likely to panic
Hey, my name is Millie. And I have panic attacks. It’s crazy. Sometimes, I’ll just be hanging out, watching TV and then all of the sudden, like out of nowhere, I just get this terrible feeling. Like I just can’t catch my breath. And my chest starts to get really heavy, like someone put a pile of bricks on it. Then I start to get dizzy. I’m afraid I’m going to pass out! Sometimes it gets so bad I think I’m going crazy. It’s also happened a few times when I went to the mall. There were just so many people around. I started freaking out and getting really hot. I thought I was going to puke. The feelings were so strong…I just thought it was never going to stop. Now I won’t go to the mall unless someone’s with me. And I don’t even like to be home alone. I worry about what would happen if I was alone and had one. My mom took me to see my doctor. She said I have panic disorder. Now I’m waiting to see a counselor to get some help.
Millie suffers from panic disorder. She has unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden rushes of very intense fear. When she has these attacks, she worries that something horrible is going to happen to her, such as fainting, going crazy, losing control, or dying. Learn more about panic disorder.
Rob – Nervous talking in groups
Um…My name is Rob. And I have social anxiety. I get so nervous talking to people. Especially people I don’t know. I…I just don’t know what to say. My mind always goes blank and stupid stuff just comes out. Lately, I’ve been skipping school because I worry that a teacher will ask me a question, and I won’t know the answer. And then everyone will think I’m an idiot. I do have a few friends. And I guess I feel okay around them. But I ditch if they invite anyone I don’t know. And I…I can’t talk to girls. I mean, why should I even try … they’re not going to like me anyway. Right? So, now I’m trying to figure out how to stop feeling this way.
Rob has social anxiety, which is an excessive fear of social or performance situations. He is overly worried that he’ll do something to embarrass himself or that others will think badly of him. Learn more about social anxiety.
Jacob – Worrywart
So, my name is Jacob. My mom calls me a “worrywart.” And I guess it’s true. I mean I do worry…a lot, about everything! Mostly, I get stressed out about screwing up at school. Whenever I have a test, I’m sure I’m going to fail. The worst is when I have to do a presentation. I can’t sleep the night before because I’m so freaked out that I’ll mess up and get a bad grade. And If I don’t keep my grades up there’s no way I’ll get into a good University. And I always have this feeling that something bad is going to happen to me, or my mom or dad. Like we’ll be in a car accident or there’ll be an earthquake. Lately, I’ve been worried about someone breaking into our house when we’re sleeping. I can’t even watch the news because I worry that whatever scary thing I see on TV is going to happen to me, it’s like it gets glued to my brain and I worry about it for days. I hate worrying this much. I never feel like I can relax and just, I don’t know, ENJOY things. It sucks! My Mom took me to see a psychologist. He said I have generalized anxiety disorder and he’s trying to help me stop worrying so much.
Jacob has generalized anxiety, which means he spends a lot of time worrying about a lot of different things. Although everyone worries sometimes, Jacob’s worries are excessive (a lot more than other people) and hard to control. Learn more about generalized anxiety.
Aman – Frequent nightmares
Hey I’m Aman. I’ve been having a tough time lately, and I’m trying to get some help, or help myself I guess. Things have been pretty bad this year. Last summer, my cousin and I were in a car accident. This lady ran straight through a red light. I thought we were going to die when I saw the car coming towards us. I got pretty banged up and was in the hospital for a while, but now I’m doing OK. I just keep having these, like, really bad dreams about car crashes or being chased. I wake up all sweaty and my heart is pounding like it’s gonna jump out of my chest. I haven’t driven since the accident. My friends make fun of me because I get freaked out if they start driving too fast. I’m starting to make up reasons why I can’t go places. And I won’t go down the street where we crashed. At school, I just can’t pay attention anymore. Sometimes, I start thinking about the crash and it’s like I can’t get it out of my head. It totally sucks. I thought it would get better but it’s just getting worse. I went and saw the counselor at school and she told me about something called Post... Traumatic.. Stress.. Disorder. I think that’s what I have. And now I have figure out how to deal with it.
Aman has symptoms of post-traumatic stress. This is an anxiety problem that can develop after someone has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event (like a car accident, or a sexual or physical assault). People who have post-traumatic stress tend to relive the event in some way (for example, through nightmares, memories, or flashbacks). They also try to avoid anything related to the event (like getting back in a car after an accident), and tend to feel really anxious and on edge. Learn more about post-traumatic stress.
Christine – Germaphobe
Hi out there... My name’s Christine. So, my friends call me a “germaphobe.” I hate germs and feeling dirty. I get SO grossed out touching stuff. Like, I won’t touch the poles on the bus, and I use my sleeve to open doors I know it looks weird. But, I just imagine all the germs and gross stuff that could be all over them. As soon as I get home, I have to wash my hands. I also change out of my school clothes and put on clean clothes. Dirty clothes go right in the laundry. I can’t relax until I feel clean. NOTHING from outside can go in my room. I always leave my purse, knapsack, and jacket by the door. My dad gives me a hard time because I won’t eat anything with my hands. I even use a spoon to eat chips. I’m just really scared that I could get sick and even die if I catch something. You can just never be too careful. My friends kinda tease me about it and say, “stop being so OCD”...and my mom said I should see a psychologist, so I have been for about a month. He’s helping me learn to “boss back my OCD.
Christine has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, impulses, or images that get stuck in your head and bother you (such as excessive doubts, fear of germs, fear of hurting yourself or others, needing things to be done a certain way or to feel “right”). Compulsions are behaviours that are done repeatedly to reduce anxiety (such as excessive washing, counting, checking, or arranging). Learn more about OCD.
Anita – Terrified of creepy crawlies
Hey, I’m Anita. Ok so don’t laugh, but bugs freak me out SO bad. Like I know lots of people don’t like bugs, but I’m TERRIFIED. It mostly started when I went camping with my family, when I was maybe 11 or 12? Anyways, my brother was messing around and hit a wasps’ nest. And all the wasps started attacking me. The doctor said I got stung 11 times! It was the worst experience ever. Now I’m freaked out whenever I see bees or wasps. I hate going outside in the summer. I’ll NEVER go camping again. I don’t even like going to our cottage. At school, I won’t hang out on the track field because there might be bees or wasps. I never walk through grassy places or gardens in the summer. And when I see a wasp or a bee I just totally lose it – I, like, scream and sometimes even cry. My friends think I’m being a drama queen or totally exaggerating. But I really can’t help it. I hate this! My boyfriend got some stuff off the internet about phobias and how to get over them. So hopefully I can figure out how to get over this.
Anita has a phobia. Phobias are really intense fears of certain places, situations, or things. Common phobias include insects, animals, blood, needles, heights, going to the dentist, flying, and small, enclosed spaces. Learn more about phobias.