From an 18 year old woman in the U.S.: I used to be a talkative outgoing person that would communicate with others and had the ability of making friends. My freshman year in high school I had the most friends. I talked to a lot of people had great energy. I was happy most of the time and would be myself with my friends. I had the best of times.
My sophomore year I became distant to all my friends and focused more on school. I was also disciplined, ate healthy, exercised regularly and had good night sleep. I would also spend a lot of time alone and had little to no communication on a daily basis. I had my happy moments during those times I would feel this energy and happiness, but I would only show it when I was by myself in my room. One moment I would be dancing and jumping in my room and the other I would simply crawl on my bed and begin doing my homework like nothing happened, and I would just assume it was my teenage hormones. I would feel a lot of déjà vu and I would relate my dreams to real life and started to believe I could predict the future (I know its unrealistic).
My junior year is when my anxiety started. I would feel nervous around others and I would keep my head down at all times. I couldn’t keep straight eye contact with most people my friends started to diminish and I started to become alone. Eventually I started feeling anxious with my own family too.
I started college and going to class started to get hard, not because I did not want to go and learn, but because my stomach would make strange noises and it was embarrassing. I would also have anxious moments and then at other times I would feel with a great energy, and I would feel happy/excited for no apparent reason. I also have difficulty sleeping at night. I forget things easily and I have a hard time concentrating. There are moments when I feel sad and depressed and then all of a sudden the depression would disappear. I am not shy. I just get very anxious around others and I can’t control it. I am not sure if I simply have depression or an anxiety disorder, but it is taking over my life little by little.
I’m so sorry you have been handling this for so long on your own. The first thing you do is make an appointment with your primary care physician. It’s always important to make sure there isn’t an underlying medical condition — especially when symptoms have been progressive as yours have been. Share your letter with your doctor if that makes it easier to present your symptoms.
If you do not have a medical issue, then go to see a mental health professional for a complete evaluation. There is no reason for you to continue to be buffeted about by your feelings. There are treatment options including medications and talk therapy that can help you be your best self. The life you had during your freshman year shouldn’t be just a good memory. With treatment you should be able to reclaim that more involved, happier self.
I wish you well.