In continuing with "The Many Faces of Anxiety" I am sharing the Jay's story. He hopes that by telling others about his anxiety disorder, he will be able to help others.
Jay is 18 years old. He has been diagnosed with anxiety. While his friends are getting ready to head off to college, Jay is afraid of leaving home. His anxiety, his fear of life, stops him from attending college and getting his driver's license, things that most teens take for granted.
Jay was diagnosed with anxiety in 2006, when he was 14, right around the time Jay was entering puberty. It was his obsession with cleanliness that his parents first noticed. They decided to send him to counseling and that began his treatment. His doctor diagnosed him with anxiety, but hasn't provided a subtype, just "anxiety."
Jay isn't the only one in his family with anxiety, his brother was diagnosed with anxiety, his sister has symptoms, but Jay isn't sure if she has actually received a diagnosis. His mother and grandmother both have problems with symptoms of anxiety, but neither have been diagnosed.
Feelings of guilt constantly overwhelm Jay. He feels the scruples he lives by cause him to feel guilty and he can't even have fun without these emotions causing distress.
It isn't just guilt, although that is a big part of it. Jay lives daily with fear and feelings that there is "a hole inside." Many things from daily life can trigger his anxiety. According to Jay it could start from just getting ready for the day, the pressure of schoolwork, or having to participate in a group situation. In addition, his obsessive compulsive disorder can be triggered by dirt or blood.
Jay is continuing his treatment for anxiety. He takes medication and he negotiates with himself and uses positive self-talk to help him through tough moments. His family and friends offer support and encouragement, giving him a support system to help cope with his anxiety.
Jay knows too well how much anxiety can interfere with your life. He wants to feel comfortable driving in the car alone, without a parent next to him. He wants to go to college, pursue his dreams. Right now anxiety is interfering, but Jay hopes that he will be able to continue to move forward.
Published On: May 22, 2010