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Hello everyone, I'm Niki. I've literally just had a revelation, which I searched in Google and it brought me to this site.

I had my first panic attack when I was around 10 years old, and several in between, but I first really began experiencing anxiety when I was 16. I've had a very volatile relationship with my mother for as long as I can remember, and her presence at home would often make me scared and nervous. Then, at 16, the pressure got too much. I began to find myself extremely depressed and unable to motivate myself to do anything. Alongside the depression I also experienced problems with my bladder, which lead my doctor to send me to a psychiatrist. I saw the psychiatrist for around six months before I panicked and escaped the situation (I do that a lot). Since then I have experienced both bouts of depression and anxiety, especially during exam times when a lot of pressure is put on me to exceed. My A Levels were terrible, as I was so panicked about them I had to take diazepam just to get me out of bed. As a result my grades were a lot lower than expected, and I decided I needed a break from education.

Then, a year ago, my mother left my father for another man (who is also married). I felt terrible for my father, but extremely relieved that she would no longer be in my life. A short while after that my weight plummeted, and I had become obsessed with calorie counting and exercise. It got so bad that sometimes I would have a room of friends shouting at me to eat, and I'd be completely oblivious to what I was doing to myself. I was the thinnest I'd been in years, and yet I could not see that at all.

At Christmas my brother became extremely mentally ill and was sectioned for two months. I didn't have time to think about myself any more, and I started eating again as I didn't want to give my father too much to worry about. I was surprised with how well I coped with it, given my past history. It gave me a lot of inner strength, and one of the most beautiful and moving things I have ever seen is when my brother began coming back to us - he became himself again.

However, I have found the past few months extremely difficult to cope with. I went away to Madagascar for a month to volunteer, and had the greatest time of my life.. but I was scared of returning home. I knew I'd feel depressed when I got back. At home we are surrounded by a house filled with bad memories. I still get terrified that my mother will come back, and I won't be able to live here any more.

Since coming back to England, and staying at my family home (I'm now at university in a different city) I've become very dependent on people to lift my mood. I have also been self-medicating with drugs to help me take my mind off of things, despite knowing that it is a stupid idea for someone with mental illness in the family to do so.

My revelation from earlier is that I'm terrified of compliments. I'm twenty one now, and have just broken up with my boyfriend of two and a half years. I've been single for three months, and I can't handle people giving me compliments and being interested in me. In some cases I actually feel repulsed, get very anxious, and feel like I can never live up to their perceived image of me. I feel like I must have manipulated them in some way to make them like me.. without knowing it. This leads me further in to anxiety because I feel like I haven't been myself around them and that deep down I'm a horrible person. It's very difficult to explain, but it feels like they compliment me without even knowing me.. so they must be lying. Or they do know me, but only their perceived image of me, so I must have been lying to them about who I really am. I'm sure this ties in with my mother. Whenever she used to compliment me I would cry for hours because I could never accept what she said as the truth.

Anyway, this is a lot of information for an introduction. I was so happy to find this website, and hope people will understand what ever it is I'm on about.. I'm so confused right now I'm not entirely sure myself.

I look forward to getting to know you all,

Niki
 

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Welcome, Fastaperlant! :)
 

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Welcome to SAS Niki. One of the longest intros I've seen here. :b I read through all of that though, and it really sounds like you're gone through a lot in a short period of time. Hopefully you can find a way to cope without the drugs, at least you acknowledge that they're probably not the best choice. Hang in there.
 

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Hey Niki, welcome to :sas
 
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