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Where did your Anxiety first start?

Pandanae

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I've been an anxious person most my life (mostly severe Social Anxiety). I wasn't really bothered too much by it until about a year ago after I got sick when my anxiety took a strange turn for the worse. Now it feels like it takes over most days of my life. I was wondering how it all started for other people.
 

Rogdog

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I can’t remember my anxiety ever ‘starting’. It was always just there. A sense that somehow I was not good enough or doing something wrong and was about to get caught. I remember school as being torture, at least until university. I can’t say it ever got better or worse, although I spent years trying to act as if nothing was wrong... and suffering from symptoms of body pain through moments of rage and alcohol abuse. I would love to find a cause but aside from the usual family distinctions it seems that genetics play a big role. My whole family is stoically wound way too tight.

Now we’ll into middle age, I am trying to mix a healthy lifestyle with pharmaceutical support and a bit of therapy. Combined, I am not better, but much better at living with it.


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triceps

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Back in the mid 1960's, as a middle schooler I started having trouble with anything related to public speaking. Which was a problem as I was the 8th grade class president and had to make daily announcements over a microphone. I had many symptoms throughout high school and college where I got a degree in Earth Science only because none of the classes had any public speaking expectations. I was unaware of anxiety, the combined social anxiety and ruined a number of good relationships because of it. Finally, because I was totally in love with my wife of 35 years, (in 1984) got help and was prescribed Xanax which allowed me to get married and have two wonderful kids. Mental illness was not spoken of back then and I could have been saved much suffering if I knew I had an anxiety disorder instead of just thinking I was crazy.
Today, in my late 60's I am very open about my anxiety and am on disability and medication. I'm a bit of a hermit but have a satisfying life, due much to my openness about my condition, approaching it the same as being a diabetic with its' limitations.
 

Rogdog

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I'm a bit of a hermit but have a satisfying life, due much to my openness about my condition, approaching it the same as being a diabetic with its' limitations.
I identify with this. Always thought my shyness and struggle to do anything that requires being assertive as a fault of my character. Now realizing that struggling and leading a successful life anyway is actually an indication of strength. The nice thing about middle age... I am now starting to allow myself to say F-it, if I really don’t want to do something, then I don’t bother.


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Pandanae

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Back in the mid 1960's, as a middle schooler I started having trouble with anything related to public speaking. Which was a problem as I was the 8th grade class president and had to make daily announcements over a microphone. I had many symptoms throughout high school and college where I got a degree in Earth Science only because none of the classes had any public speaking expectations. I was unaware of anxiety, the combined social anxiety and ruined a number of good relationships because of it. Finally, because I was totally in love with my wife of 35 years, (in 1984) got help and was prescribed Xanax which allowed me to get married and have two wonderful kids. Mental illness was not spoken of back then and I could have been saved much suffering if I knew I had an anxiety disorder instead of just thinking I was crazy.
Today, in my late 60's I am very open about my anxiety and am on disability and medication. I'm a bit of a hermit but have a satisfying life, due much to my openness about my condition, approaching it the same as being a diabetic with its' limitations.
Thank you! This was really good to hear.
 

ding

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I can relate to what you're all saying.

Makes you wonder just how many folk have never been diagnosed and going through life believing it's tough because they seen't good enough
 

MakUSA

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Mine started two months after I lost my father, so March 2019, I am fighting with it since then, there been bad and good days.
 

Lanchparty7

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Mine I believe goes back to my childhood/teen years, I was able to function but always felt something was off. This feeling became stronger into adulthood and the years I spent at a terrible job with nightmare of a boss sent me into full on anxiety/depression and into treatment.
 

Vincent

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I didn't realize it until I started therapy, but I've had anxiety since I was a child. I realized that the inexplicable dizzy spell I had when I was around 11 years old was the first anxiety attack that I remember.
 

Camden

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My anxiety began at about age 7 in the first grade. Even now as an adult, I remember tons of anxiety brought on by situations in grade school.

My earliest anxiety memory was age 7 in first grade in 2001. A severe thunderstorm hit at about 2:00 p.m., shortly before class was dismissed. My teacher had my class move away from the windows and calmly sit near the opposite side of the classroom. I remember all the other kids moving over to the other side of the room, while began crying hysterically and tried to hide under a desk. Why was I the only one to completely have a meltdown?

I remember in second grade how good of a job my school did of not letting anyone at school know about the 9/11 attacks. 9/11 took place just five days after my 8th birthday. I remember getting home and seeing the replays of the Twin Towers collapsing on TV and being terrified. I was really sad and got kind of clingy with my parents after it happened.

A few other childhood anxiety problems lead to my prescription of Luvox. As I got a little older (9 through 11) I became terrified of going on vacation and leaving behind our pet dog and pet fish, thinking they would die while we were gone. This past trauma has caused me to be anxious about traveling even today at age 27.

I think I had my first true panic attack at age 11. I was too young to understand what it was, but looking back I remember feeling intense anxiety, thinking I was going to die, and feeling extremely tired for a few hours afterwards. The whole episode was brought on by a tornado warning and immediately thinking my house was going to be destroyed and my family and I were going to get hurt. That was my earliest memorable panic attack.
 
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Aries

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I noticed it on the first day of 1st grade. I was too scared to go to school. I don't recall having anxiety on my first day of kindergarten the year before. My mother's alcoholism had gotten a lot worse in that year.
 

Camden

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The first debilitating anxiety occurred for me at age 13 in middle school. Long story short, I was bullied and was so physically ill from the anxiety, I could barely eat. I lost a lot of weight and barely fit into my former pants, swim shorts, etc.

The anxiety persisted into my freshman year of high school (never want to do that again) and I remember being flagged for being underweight during a PE physical. 5’ 10’’ and only 135 pounds was definitely cause for concern because I kept on getting sick from the anxiety.

I finally filled out by my senior year when I began working out more intensely and taking higher Luvox to help me eat more. By college, I was much better anxiety-wise and finally made my way up to healthy weight for my age and height. High school was kind of the dark ages of my journey with anxiety. I never truly opened up about it or fully understood it as a teen.
 

Aries

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The first debilitating anxiety occurred for me at age 13 in middle school. Long story short, I was bullied and was so physically ill from the anxiety, I could barely eat. I lost a lot of weight and barely fit into my former pants, swim shorts, etc.

The anxiety persisted into my freshman year of high school (never want to do that again) and I remember being flagged for being underweight during a PE physical. 5’ 10’’ and only 135 pounds was definitely cause for concern because I kept on getting sick from the anxiety.

I finally filled out by my senior year when I began working out more intensely and taking higher Luvox to help me eat more. By college, I was much better anxiety-wise and finally made my way up to healthy weight for my age and height. High school was kind of the dark ages of my journey with anxiety. I never truly opened up about it or fully understood it as a teen.
I was even skinnier than that. I'm 6'1'' and was 130. Got up to 140 in college and then junior year started lifting and got to 160. I never got over the anxiety in college though. The beginning of every semester was living hell. I couldn't take it anymore and didn't do grad school. The I couldn't get a job for years...
 

Camden

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I remember the beginning of each new school year and each new semester in college being rough times for me. I’d worry about getting the books for my classes on time, what the new teachers would be like, if the new classes would be too hard, etc. The transition from taking time off to going back to school (i.e.: new semester after Christmas break) was also stressful, but I never discussed this with anyone for fear of being interpreted as lazy or ungrateful for my education opportunities.
 

ding

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This just shows that anxiety can come from nowhere.

Discovering the cause may be interesting but ultimately won't help us much
 

Amw311

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I’ve had anxiety since I was a small child and I wish someone would’ve offered me some therapy instead of calling me a “very fearful child”.
I remember my mom would go to the grocery store and leave me home with my siblings/dad and when too much time had passed by, I would stand by the window sobbing, convinced she was in an accident. This wasn’t a few times, it was all the time. I had an extreme fear of being kidnapped my entire childhood.
I also remember riding in the car at about age 10 and I heard a radio commercial about a child with cystic fibrosis explaining the disease and when it was over, I was in hysterics, knowing for sure I was going to get this too. That was the first health anxiety episode and I’ve had it horribly ever since. Only 2 years ago did I begin therapy. It’s a rough ride.
 

Aries

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I remember the beginning of each new school year and each new semester in college being rough times for me. I’d worry about getting the books for my classes on time, what the new teachers would be like, if the new classes would be too hard, etc. The transition from taking time off to going back to school (i.e.: new semester after Christmas break) was also stressful, but I never discussed this with anyone for fear of being interpreted as lazy or ungrateful for my education opportunities.
I did mention how nauseous I felt one to a TA in college freshman year. He asked if I had too much booze. That's when I realized that not everyone has anxiety that bad.

This just shows that anxiety can come from nowhere.

Discovering the cause may be interesting but ultimately won't help us much
You are right. I know the cause. It doesn't help.
 
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