Why I Had A Year Out Of School For My Mental Health
When Luke got diagnosed with PTSD, going to school became a task that filled him with anxiety. In this blog, Luke shares how he found alternative ways to finish his education, whilst also looking after his mental health.
Why I had a year out of school
So, I have PTSD which stands for Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. A while ago, this led to me having lots of anxiety around going to school. The more time I spent trying to get into school, the more depressed I felt in myself.
Unintentionally, I started telling myself that I was an inconvenience and disappointment to my parents (I know now that this was never the case and will never be the case). My anxiety got to the point where I couldn't even think about school without having a panic attack. There were even a few times my body just went into full freeze mode, so I physically couldn't move. Apparently this is a common symptom of PTSD. But it left me in a pretty bad state mentally and I couldn't go to school.
What I did during this time
I spent a solid 4 months trying to go to school, and in all that time I only went in twice. The days I was unable to go in, I spent with my grandparents. Eventually we just gave up and I started staying with my Grandparents every day. However, my school wanted to make sure I was studying so they referred me to an organisation that re-integrates students back into school.
At first, things were going well. However, the summer holidays then arrived and because I had gotten out of routine, things were quite difficult after that. I just couldn’t go in. My parents and I agreed that there was no point trying to get back into school, because by this point it had been over a year of struggling. So we began looking for alternatives, like smaller schools or private schools.
Where I am now
After a long, almost 2 years of being constantly depressed and anxious, luckily, the same organisation arranged a meeting with me and my parents. It was a very honest and open conversation; I explained my thoughts and feelings towards school and they expressed that they didn’t think I’d go back into mainstream school. I initially felt disappointed and anxious, but they then offered me a place at their school. Now I'm so much happier in myself as a person and towards completing my education. I'm now working on overcoming my other anxieties, such as crowds.
My main message here is that these feelings are temporary and don't last forever. Even if it takes more than 2 years, they will pass and you will overcome this. You are resilient!