We didn't know that our teen daughter had an actual mental illness. We just knew that she felt extra nervous sometimes — and it was getting worse.
She didn't get excited nervous, like you'd feel before you go on a roller coaster, or uncertain nervous, like when you're facing a big decision. Hers was the debilitating kind of nervous, the kind that takes over your whole body and brain. The kind where instead of fight or flight, you freeze, and nothing anyone says seems to help.
It took us awhile to name it "anxiety" and even longer to discover that our bright, sweet girl was experiencing emetophobia, a specific anxiety disorder revolving around a fear of throwing up.