Things got really scary during my senior year of high school after I was accepted at college. At first I was happy, but then started to feel sick. I threw up nearly every morning before I left for school. My pediatrician couldn’t find anything wrong with me and by August I was feeling even worse. I didn’t want to tell my friends how bad things were--they’d think I was weird. The day before I was supposed to leave for orientation I couldn’t stop crying and stayed in my room. I pleaded with my parents not to make me go away. They were upset too. Finally, I got a medical deferral.
Then my parents heard about the Center for Youth Mental Health and made an appointment for me. The doctors said I had a condition called separation anxiety disorder and that I’d probably had it for my entire life. They said they had seen a lot of kids with this issue and they had treatments for it. One of them was called cognitive behavioral therapy, which is what I did, with a group of kids just like me. The doctor also put me on a low dose of medication.
Last January, I started college. My therapist connected me with a therapist up there who I saw for the semester. For the first time, I have something I look forward to and am actually excited about. I am even taking a short summer course to get more credits.
Without the support of the Center for Youth Mental Health, I would never have made the transition to college. They made what seemed impossible, possible.