iStock 525014944Antonia's story

16 year old Antonia opens up about her experience with essential tremor.

I was diagnosed with essential tremor when I was 13 years old. It started in my early teens – as I struggled doing things like painting nails. At that point I knew something was wrong, as my hands would always shake.

No one else had it in my family, so my dad took me to see the GP, who referred me to a neurologist in Sheffield. When I was diagnosed, I was overwhelmed at the time.

The doctors prescribed me with Propranolol– which helps, but didn’t get rid of the tremors entirely.

When I was doing my GCSEs, I was very stressed. Even when I was doing my GCSE exams I was told I could use a laptop – I was used to writing, so I didn’t use one, but I did alright in the end.

I have now been at college for six months, where I am studying Sociology, Law and English Literature, and recently done my AS Level exams. This time for my exams I did decide to use a laptop, and was told I could have breaks during the exams.

I don’t get pain from my tremors, but in public it does look at bit weird at times. My hands can shake when I do things like hold cups, so I get take away cups instead.

I think I am better than I was, but I struggle mainly with the headaches. During my last year of school, I struggled as my eye would get blurred. The medication does help, and mainly calms it, so I can deal with it.

When I finish college I look forward to going to university to study law, and this year I want to do work experience at a law firm.

I am just thankful my tremor is not worse than it is, and I think there are people much worse off than me.

Read more about living with essential tremor.