I am 22 years old and I have recently began my first year of grad school. It is very overwhelming. Everyone seems to have more developed thoughts than I do, and all my classmates are 2nd or 3rd year PhD students who speak in metaphors. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for about 5 years now. I have had all kinds of treatment for it. I am currently not being treated for it. About a year ago I decided I did not want to take medicine anymore, and my doctor gave me permission to wean myself off of it. Up until last month I was okay. The way I feel right now I have not felt in two years. My anxiety attacks are prevalent and I am so overwhelmed with sadness I cant get up in the morning or eat. . I have probably about 3/4 attacks a day and because of it I have not been to my class in 3 weeks. I am up to date on all assignments, however, participation is 25% of my grade and I have now missed a total of 4 classes out of 12 overall.
I do not know how to talk to my professor about this. I have crippling anxiety when speaking to professors about my struggle with anxiety due to a bad experience. In my last semester of undergrad, I disclosed to my law professor that I had anxiety in general, and also extreme anxiety when speaking in front of a large group. He essentially told me that he did not care and I needed to get over it. He also said that if i ever tried again to "take an easy way out", he would fail me. Long story short, I got up in front of the class to present my brief and I fainted two minutes in. My professor laughed and made jokes about me and I decided not to apply to law school. I am forever scarred by this and I am tempted to just take a W in this class, but I feel deep down that the right thing to do is talk to my professor first. If anyone has any advice for me, I would really appreciate it. I am just very insecure about this. Sometimes my depression convinces me that I am not depressed at all and I should just get over it, but I don't know how.