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It started when I was an undergrad in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ottawa. I had just turned 18 and was still living at home. At first, I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I learned later that the sudden waves of paralyzing anxiety that swept over me more and more frequently were “panic attacks.” They struck especially when I was on campus: in the cafeteria, in corridors and even in class. My heart would pound, I would redden and perspire and struggle for control. I was sure that people around me could tell that I was “freaking out,” which made things all the worse.
Editor's note: This opinion piece also appears online in the University of Ottawa’s student newspapers the Fulcrum and La Rotonde..