Anxiety and School Stress – Lily’s Story | headspace

(tranquil electronic music) I’m from a Chinese background. My parents are from China. I think within the Asian community there is sort of this belief that as long as you get to
a really good school, as soon as you’re in a really good
uni, then you get a good job
and you’re set for life. I did end up going to a good school, like a selective school. I had to do really well and like make my parents proud and compete with all these other kids. I found myself getting really
stressed over my assignments and getting really into a very perfectionist
mode. It ended up being like a silent
pressure like where I had to appear to be
okay, but wasn’t feeling okay inside. I didn’t want to see
people and I just ended up cooping myself in my room
a lot and crying a lot. It wasn’t even a question of like me feeling sad then cry. It’s just tears streaming
down my face constantly. My parents were concerned but they didn’t really know what
was going on with me. My mum just decided to take me
to a doctor that she can communicate
her language with, because my parents, they’re
not very good with English. It wasn’t like a cold or a flu
where you get some tablets and then like in a week later
you’re cheery and you’re fine. Out of the blue, one time in class, I just had a poem come into my mind
and I had to write it down. It just came to me, like it
wasn’t like I was trying. Other times, I would
just feel so impulsive that like one time I remember in
class I decided, “My fringe is too long.
I gotta chop it.” And I just brought out my scissors and started cutting my fringe
in the middle of class. These sort of things started building and it got to a point where my highs were putting myself in
very vulnerable situations. And I was getting into a lot of
trouble. I’d just feel I can’t
cope with anything anymore and there is absolutely no point to further living if that makes
sense. I ended up telling the school
counsellor some of my suicidal thoughts. So I did end up having what I later found out to be very
classic symptoms of bipolar. I took an extra year to finish
my year 12 and split the load so I could really push through. A lot of the difficulties with not being able to start an assignment or not being able to do
exams well was still with me. But luckily I did get my HSC. I’ve applied to go to TAFE,
and I studied youth work. I was referred to a TAFE
counsellor and then to headspace. Headspace was able to refer me on to another psychiatrist
and to a psychologist. And I guess that was sort
of the beginning paths to proper long-term treatment for me. Headspace was
a starting journey for me to get consistent help. So in the past
I’ve had to change over from different professionals. I’d have to tell my
story again and again. Sometimes I feel like I’m a broken
record. Since I’ve been with Headspace, I was able to see the same
clinician mostly right through. Because they know me so well,
they’re able to really support me
when things get tough. Things are a lot better now, but not to say I haven’t had hiccups
on the way. My team has been there to support me and monitor me and make sure that I’m back on my feet. My parents have witnessed me
through all my highs, my lows. There is a lot more sort of
a trusting bond between us. I’ve just realised ultimately my
parents just want me to be happy. I feel like through all this
experience it has helped me build
a good support network and good connection with my family. It’s sort of like a springboard for me to move forward
into the future.

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