More than 3 million people in the world deal with some form of an anxiety disorder, whether it be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Attacks or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a good percentage of those are teenagers. As I write this, I am in the final days of my high school career, and within these four years I learned a lot about my own anxiety disorder, mostly involving OCD and Panic Attacks. I have also learned a lot about how to deal with my disorders, as well as how to survive High School as best as possible. I hope these tips will help someone else like me.
Find your safe place
Whether it be the library, guidance counselor or a break room, having a safe place when you are having a bad day or bad anxiety is always a good plus. Personally, a small corner in the library was always my favorite to plug in my headphones and really concentrate on my work when the classroom got to be too much. This is what I found to be most helpful, since anxiety can get increasingly worse when you are in an environment that triggers an anxiety or panic attack.
Communicate with your teachers
It may be uncomfortable to think about your teachers knowing about your disorder, but I have found it is most helpful to talk to them the first or second day of school and tell them a little bit about your problems, so if you do need to leave the room, they will understand why and also this can help with you developing some plans just in case you are in the middle of a lesson and you need to leave, perhaps having a subliminal signal for him or her. This has helped me out a lot and trust me, they will never be harsh on you or judge you for it.
Find an outlet
Personally, I have found several outlets that have helped me in tight situations when I have bad anxiety or feel a panic attack coming on, such as writing or playing relaxing music, it may not be a immediate remedy, but it definitely has taken my mind off of the panic.
Create a playlist
Speaking of music, if music relaxes you I highly suggest creating a relaxing music playlist to listen to when you are doing your work or feeling anxious or stressed. Put some of your favorite music on it, something that will take your mind off of the stressful thoughts. To me, music is the best medicine.
Find a support system
Friends, guidance counselor, or teacher, having a support system is the best possible way to survive high school. People that you can talk to about how you are feeling is very comforting, but do not surround yourself with negative people or those who try to tear you down, it will just make the anxiety worse.
Know that you are not alone
The hardest part of dealing with an anxiety disorder is believing that you are alone and nobody else could possibly understand how you are feeling, but believe me, I have been there and I learned that so many people are going through the same thing, some more obvious than others. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
High School can be miserable if you have a disorder and do not know how to deal with it, and take it however you want, just know that you are not alone in this struggle and never be ashamed of that extra baggage that you carry, because in the end, it is what makes you who you are, it is what makes you unique, despite the harsh realities. Remember that you can and will survive high school, no matter what.