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Navigate: FAQ Home Page > Emotional Issues > Anxiety issues
All the symptoms you describe: flushing, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing are common reactions to intense anxiety. However, they are so uncomfortable people sometimes think that there is something physically wrong. I would guess you are also having a lot of anxious thoughts --maybe you are imagining that you will make a mistake or that people will be critical or just that they will know how anxious you are. It sounds as though your parents and teachers may not realize how anxious you are or why you have been willing to do badly in school rather than go through this kind of misery.
I would suggest that you talk to your parents and ask to see a counselor who specializes in helping people deal with anxiety. Although talk therapy is often enough, some people find that taking medication may help them stay calm enough to learn new ways of thinking about whatever makes them anxious. If you would like to read about other people's experience of anxiety, you might want to look on our web site. What's most important is that these are not symptoms you have to live with.
Judith Wilson , Ph.D.