Megan s Story
“The summer in between my freshman and sophomore year of college, I was taking a class at a local college near my home. In the middle of the lecture, I suffered a stroke. I had no idea what was going on, and began to panic.
When I went to the doctor, he told me it was probably just a migraine and not to worry. A few days later I had an MRI done since it felt like there was a lot more wrong than just a headache that wouldn’t go away.
About an hour after leaving the imaging facility, my dad got a phone call to take me to the hospital immediately. We found out that the stroke was because of a congenital heart defect we didn’t know about. We were also told there was a surgery to fix it, but it was still in trials, so we decided to hold off.
A month or two after my stroke, I began having anxiety and panic attacks. They first started just being in a classroom. During almost all of my classes, I would have panic attacks sitting in my desk, and would often have to walk out of class for a few minutes to pull myself together. It turned into me not being able to focus on anything but my anxiety in school.
Then, it started to affect me in other ways of my life. Somehow this anxiety spread into my life socially and into everyday things. I would have panic attacks over random, small things. I felt more anxious than I felt normal. That’s how I knew I needed to do something, and started seeing a counselor.
Seeing a therapist definitely helped, but I still struggle with it today. I’m planning to go to law school, but sometimes I honestly don’t know if I can handle 3 more years of having panic attacks in a desk. I’m finally looking into doing the surgery.
I know it won’t be a magical cure to all of my anxiety, but I’m hoping it’ll be a big step in the right direction to fully being and feeling like myself again.
Unfortunately, I realize there is definitely a negative stigma surrounding mental illnesses. A lot of people, including myself, have a hard time talking about it. I feel like a lot of people view other people with depression or anxiety as dramatic or that it’s not as bad as it seems, etc.
I would tell anyone who is suffering from something that everyone is fighting some sort of battle, even if it doesn’t seem like it. No one is alone in how they feel or what they are going through. The first step to helping yourself is to talk to someone about it.”