Being a teen with a mental illness is pretty darn hard. I would go to school and I would end up having a seizure. Everyone around me is terrified. Teachers discuss among themselves what they should do. They can’t remove me from the class, and they can’t have everyone else leave the classroom. What they come up with? Leave me there as if I’m on display.
Don’t get me wrong all the teachers, principle, and secretary are all fantastic. But as soon as I come too and continue on my way to class, my peers would approach me and say things like,
“You scared me so bad. Don’t do that again.”
“I thought you were going to die.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“Were you pranking the teachers?”
“How were you able to make it look so real?”
Yes. Those things did make me feel embarrassed and self conscious. The thing that made it even more difficult was when my disorder started to get pretty bad, there was another girl who had similar things going on. She was rarely at school and when she was, she was in the office.
When I was out of school for doctors appointments and such, the girl had a “seizure.” The school was so distraught that they called for a life flight helicopter to land in the soccer field. When the paramedics did vitals and everything on her they said, “You did not just have a seizure.” And the girl smiled and said, “Nope.”
So, since that has happened, all the teachers were very skeptical of my symptoms. In fact, when we had a sort of field day, where we just do nothing and usually play games outside. I was not aware of this at the time, but all the social interaction was making me anxious. Anxiety is a trigger for me. So, I was often times found staring off into space and sitting by myself.
Now I was in the diagnosing stage, so all we knew was that there was something in the everyday school day that was triggering my episodes. So the secretary would come up to me and say that I need to stop looking for attention and go outside.
Hmm. So now I am being forced to go do something that I’m not comfortable doing. If I knew my stressors at that time, I would have definitely educated her on my current state of mind. I find that school is a very uneducated place in mental illnesses. The school had to walk through the process of me getting diagnosed, so they are now better educated.
School is the most stressful place to be. Teens often times end up being thrown into a depressed state due to striving to get good grades, keeping in touch with friends, sports, and more. Some teens have parents who push them to excel in academia and even beyond. I do not have parents like that, but I would push myself to exceed. Which is just as bad. Feeling as if you can never do enough. I’d get a 99% on a test and feel stupid and feel as if all my hard was for nothing, but still wanting to prove that side of me wrong. So I keep on studying.
Yup… I have a lot of issues. I’m not exactly proud of them, but I’m also not ashamed of them. May is mental illness awareness month and I challenge you to be a listening ear to someone who needs it.