Oh dude, I used to break down in class all the time. In fact I only ever seemed to break down in class. Well, except the one or two times I broke down at work...and twice at a language school when I was fourteen. But, er, mostly I only ever break down in classes. I've flunked out of university four times over the head of it. It just became more than I could cope with. No one ever said anything to me afterwards but kind and concerned words, but I was so ashamed and sick at myself that I couldn't bear the notion that they were thinking bad things about me...I felt like everyone was looking at me differently. I don't think they were, looking back, I was imagining it, but I can still remember how heavy my feet felt when I forced myself to go in the next day...usually I'd spend the first few hours of the day tense and nauseous because I was terrified of being triggered. I became very very irritable and impossible to talk to. I'd snap at people who were just trying to make me feel normal...it was horrible. I felt horrible. I knew what I was doing was horrible but I couldn't stop either. I was terrified of everyone, myself included. From here I can see that people's intentions were good, the others didn't matter. If I could do it again I'd try hard to see past my own insecurity and mistrust and just take the comforting words. A breakdown can happen to anyone under pressure, at any time, and most people are aware of that. It doesn't have to pertain to an illness. Another thing I'd recommend (which I didn't do, because it killed me to even think about asking for "special accommodations"), is declare your situation and ask if they would consider certain things to make you comfortable and able to learn. Like, say you arrange not to be picked on in class, on the condition that you practice your speech in your own time...maybe make a recording and play it back for your tutor after every one is gone. It'd probably only take a minute. Something to make it easier. It's no crime, its not an excuse and its not weakness. Given how hard it is even for a healthy person to ask for help it shows incredible strength and humility to solve your own problems by making suggestions and asking for a hand. Also its your education and satisfaction we're talking about. I threw mine away because I was too arrogant, and terrified of being perceived as weak to help myself. Don't do the same. Please? It sucks. It's my primary regret. I remember I felt so weak and stupid. I read your back and forth with Chris, and you and I have a lot of the same attitudes in regard to ourselves. I know I have the ability to do hecka wonderful stuff but that stuff will remain undone if I can't walk into a room full of people and not cry. When I cry it freaks people out because I'm seemingly this mean-looking, straight-backed, assertive, clever and confident person...and then I'm silently sobbing in the corner and I can't show my face to people. Then I have to leave the room. I feel like a liar. I wonder if I'm not just imagining I have any talents. Am I clinging to the labels foisted on me as a child by over-eager adults? Everyone expected great things from me, but I'm still at home, at 22, no education after second level, no job in years, not a penny to my name, depressed and reclusive. Because I can't walk into a room and not cry. D***it. I just felt such intense pressure and overwhelming doubt. Things were expected of me, but I was never encouraged. I'm very very sensitive to people's words and feeling and attitudes, not exclusively towards myself either. Sometimes I get madly upset when I see someone else in distress, or being dressed-down or abused in public. I react with fear and tears or uncontrollable anger. I've reaaaally got to work on that. Bah. But Chris is right, coping is everything. If only because challenging someone to a fight to the death is illegal, apparently. The most maddening thing about it all is I know how good I can be. If I'm sufficiently engaged or I'm having a really good day I can steamroll my way through things with impeccable efficiency, downright elegance! Better yet I can do it with a smile on my face! Because I love to learn, and I love to work. I love being the best I can be! I wonder if its because I love those things so much that I've become terrified of them? I don't think so...I think its because somewhere along the way I stopped doing these things because I love them, and did them instead because I was expected to. I was no longer performing for myself, I was performing for mum and dad, and teachers and tutors and grandparents, and they're a f***ing tough crowd. I was never ever good enough. And then age started to happen. My fear no longer pertained solely to never being worth anything, I was also chronically aware of my stagnation. I feared for the future. For real-life problems. I became totally arrested. I thought, "If I can't cope with class, how the heck am I gonna cope with life?". Like you, I took to my bed, stopped caring for myself. Some days I was floored by the realisation that I still had the entire rest of my life to live and I had no idea how I could do it. How could I live life when I didn't know how or wasn't able to? People kept asking me to do things but I felt so afraid to fail I couldn't face it. It would be one more strike against me. More proof that I was destined to never succeed. The rest of my life felt like such a long long time...and suddenly the burden of existing alone was paralyzing me. I felt useless. I was riddled with self-hatred. Aaah yeah, sorry, went off on a rant...anyway, bringing it back to the present, what I had to do was extreme. I had to remove myself from the situation entirely and work exclusively on my mental health. You probably won't have to do that, if you take control now and do the things you need to do to get through and get where you want to go. Be kind to yourself. Think of things that will make your situation easier and go and ask if it can be sorted! Your teacher sounds cool, and you'd be surprised at how accommodating these institutions can be. So many anxiety riddled intellectuals pass through them they're bound to have services in place to deal with it. I only failed because I refused to avail of them. I was a mixture of shame, hubris, and denial. You sound a lot more together than I was! You also sound like you really really want to achieve! If life is about getting through, then do what you have to do. Don't deny yourself the things you want because someone gives you a dirty look. They don't know a damned thing about you and if they've got enough free time to be judging you for things they have no clue about then they're probably a pretty dull individual. No capacity for insight or curiosity. Buttholes is what they are. You be you, and if you have off-days then D***it, you have off-days. You're dealing with a heckuva lot more than most people and you should be proud that you're not lying down in the dirt and giving up. Just remember why you're trying so hard. Remember that you can do it. Because you can do it. You know you can! Other people can manage themselves and their own reactions. They say nothing about you and everything about them. From what I see here you're an articulate, intelligent, ambitious and interesting human being. Folks have no right to be making life harder for you than it already is, so don't let them. They can't hurt you. They really can't. So go talk to your teachers, set some things up. Let people know where you stand and let them see how passionate and serious you are about your education. They're professionals, and they should appreciate a willing student when they see one. Plenty of non-anxiety sufferers show up disinterested, and that's ten times harder to teach than someone who actually cares. You're not stealing, or cheating, or making life easy for yourself...you're making life doable. You're leveling the playing field. And above all, doing things differently takes guts. Guts you've got in you. You deserve everything you want to have. You've got drive and lets not forget, you're a paying customer. So go for it! Don't let snarky, small-minded dinguses get their way. You kick ass. So go kick ass.