ErinDanzigerMarch 12, 2017 at 9:30 pm #30996
I’ve lived with my anxiety for years now. I’m use to it. I own the trait. I’m not embarrassed by it by any means. If I’m starting to feel anxious, I’ll tell whoever I’m with and go home or work on getting it under control for a second instead of pretending every thing is fine. I did that with college as well. I talked to my teachers about how it affects me in classes, during tests, and what I’m like when presenting. Everybody has been understanding up until now. I’m a communications major and it’s mandatory to take a speech and debate class. Speeches, I’m great at. They make me nervous, but I’ve always been able to do them. Debate not so much. You’re standing in front of people for up to 30 minutes. You give two speeches, ask 5 minutes worth of questions, and get grilled with questions yourself. We had our first debate the other day. I started panicking before my debate partner and I even went to class. She had to go ahead of me to tell our professor what was happening. A couple minutes later I got a call saying that I had to be in the classroom in 4 minutes or I would fail the debate. One failed debate = a failed class. So, I booked it to class and it was harder to get my panic under control since I was now on a time limit. I was the first to speak. I got in to the first minute out of five before announcing to the class that I couldn’t breathe or feel my knees. Then I walked out. My partner took my spot. Lucky for me, with the help of a friend I was able to calm down and finish the debate, but the panic was still real. Afterwards, I talked to her about what happened. She said she wouldn’t dock me points, but I had to get it under control before my next debate or she would. According to her, it’s just a fear that I need to overcome and I can’t use “anxiety” as an excuse because everybody gets anxious before speaking in public. I even had her contact my psychiatrist, but she still won’t let up on me. It’s just an excuse and I need to fight it. What am I supposed to do? Just fail the class? I can’t drop it. I physically cannot give another debate. Just practicing it made me literally sick. Doing it in front of 20 people while being drilled with questions from my opponent and being judged and graded will have me passed out on the floor, no doubt. Simply writing this has made my anxiety act up. I’m taking any words of advice. I really don’t know what to do and I’m desperate for help.TheeCrazyBethyMarch 13, 2017 at 6:38 pm #31010
First off, good job posting! I know sharing stuff like this isn’t easy. *hugs* You’re so strong.
Second, I was in a similar situation. When I started college I was a communication major and one of the first classes I had to take at university was a public speaking class. Unlike you, I have an extreme fear of talking in front of classes. Over the years I’ve gotten a little better at it but it still causes a huge amount of anxiety. Forget debates. Those are pure torture. For me, I gave up and just went with failing the class. I didn’t show to my speech or any of the classes that whole week. DO NOT do that. Whatever you do, DO NOT just give up and walk away! Its such a bad decision. My suggestion is do your best…if you pass, thats awesome! If not, try re-taking the class another time with a different professor. I’m currently a senior at university and I’ve had to learn a lot that sometimes you have to accept failure and find a better professor then try again. Its hard and family may not be supportive of it but sometimes its all you can do.
Another thing you can see about doing is maybe talk with your school’s student disability services. You have a psychiatrist. See if maybe your psychiatrist, student disability services, you, and the professor can sit down and talk and work something out. Anxiety it rough, I have it too. Keep working with your partner too. There should be something someone somewhere can do to help. Don’t give up.
I wish you the best. Overcoming anxiety is super hard, I’ve been there. I hope that you and your school can figure out something so that you can either pass the class now or sometime soon! *hugs* Don’t give up!!! Good luck friend. Prayers and positive thoughts sent your way!!!!TheeCrazyBethyMarch 13, 2017 at 6:39 pm #31013
Also, try lavender essential oils. I’m not super into oils but I’ve found lavender has helped me when I had to face doing something that made my anxiety really bad. Lavender is supposed to be calming.alilkatiekattMarch 17, 2017 at 6:57 pm #31111
hihi friend. thanks for posting! one thing thats helped me a lot is making a self-soothe box and mindfulness exercises.
self soothe is using 5 senses to soothe urself and to help calm yourself down. u gather around any things that u like to smell, taste, hear, see, touch, and smell. perferably, small transportable things for on the go. like maybe a tiny sample of lotion or perfume, some mints/gum, music on ur phone, pretty pictures, pictures that make u happy and bring back good memories, soft things. the touch part is harder though. I usually like my blanket, but i cant bring that everywhere, im usually old all the time, so i mostly use a soft jacket or sweater i like.
mindfulness exercises like square breathing and grounding techniques help a lot too. if u find it hard to breathe, square breathing works. gorunding techniques help prevent ur mind from going 1,000 miles per hour.
here are better descriptions of the coping skills i tried to explain
self soothe: http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/self-sooth.html
heres some natural remedies that can also help anxiety: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20669377,00.html
good luck friend. stay strong. hold fast. u can do this. 🙂 im here for u if u ever need anything! thank u for sharing and being open in the heart support community.MaddieBiancaMarch 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm #31113
Hey there! I’m actually a Communication Studies major too and I’m in a debate class where I just had to do a debate! It sounds like your professor isn’t being lenient and accommodating to your anxiety which isn’t fair to you as a student. One thin I would suggest is to go to the Dean of the campus and explain your situation to him and how bad your anxiety gets. Ask him if there would be any way to change the assignment up to where you would still do it just under different conditions. The Dean may be able to help since they have control over the professors. If this isn’t able to happen then I would try to approach your professor again but in a more private setting and before another debate takes place. This will allow for planning to happen if she decides to change her mind. We also had a live stream on HeartSupport’s twitch where people gave their suggestions on what you can do. That stream can be found here https://www.twitch.tv/videos/129373116 and feel free to join us for live streams at any time. We love you and we want to help you through this! 🙂 and I hope you found this helpful!
Also, the debate I just did was basically a giant skype session where my campus had to video call another campus for the debate (I got to a branch campus). So maybe you can suggest to do something similar to that so you will just be looking at a screen instead of people!
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