Of course living with anxiety and depression doesn’t FEEL ok. You don’t even feel normal… but define “ok” and “normal.”
The truth is that you do NOT feel in control when living with anxiety. Anxiety consumes you. And guess who is anxiety’s best friend…Depression. Yep that little brat likely comes next. Unfortunately they go hand in hand a lot of the time. The bad part is that they feed off of each other and it’s a constant battle between the two. They enable each other, they can be friends and enemies at the same time.
Anxiety is a normal emotion because it’s a reaction of fear or feeling threatened. At modest levels living with anxiety can actually be a good thing to motivate you to complete tasks or things to do. The real threat is high level anxiety or anxiety disorder. This type of anxiety can straight up debilitate you. Like I said before, often living with anxiety and depression work together against you. Nearly one half of people diagnosed with depression will be diagnosed with anxiety. Anxiety in itself is depressing. Do you know what it feels like to be tortured with your own mind?
You worry constantly.
You’re always on edge, fearful for the next thing that will set you off and trigger the attack, leaving you feeling like you’re gasping for air.
You just want to feel safe but again, it’s too hard not worry.
You feel like you’re screaming but no one can hear you.
You feel like in that moment your world is crashing down on you, imploding from the outside in.
You feel buried alive and trying to dig out of the hole to catch your breath.
You feel like you’re pulled in every different direction.
You are scared and feel like you’re trapped in a tunnel.
You ALWAYS assume the worst.
Sometimes I just wake up feeling off. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I just feel lower than low. It’s a challenge to even get myself out of bed or motivate myself to do pretty much anything at all. Currently I am definitely dealing with one of those times. I’m honestly struggling with it as I’m writing this article. (Which is really hard considering your mind literally turns off when you’re struggling with either disorder.)
I’ve struggled with living with anxiety my whole life. Honestly, I struggle with it DAILY. My mind is always racing and I can’t shut my brain off. Depression has creeped in as I’ve gotten older too. It’s one of the worst things I have ever encountered. It’s like a fog that comes over you and you don’t know how to escape it. The “fog” is awful. You’re numb to anything and everything. The best part of each day is going to sleep because you can’t hurt while you’re sleeping. Obviously I have nothing to be “depressed” about. I have an great life. A wonderful husband, a beautiful and kind daughter, amazing friends who are my support system. Depression doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, healthy or sick, how smart you are or how many people you have that love you.
YOU ARE NOT A PRISONER. To yourself or to others.
There are ways to cope.
If you are suffering from anxiety disorder or depression and feel like you can’t get ahead, seek help.
- Talk to a doctor about getting medicated if necessary.
- Seek therapy.
- Exercise. Moving your body helps your mind, keeping you empowered.
- Try relaxation methods, meditation, and breathing exercises.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can trigger episodes.
- Modify your diet. Eat rich nutrients and take a multivitamin. Certain foods also trigger anxiety.
- Talk to your friends and family about how they can help you cope. Keeping anxiety or depression in gives it more power.
- Go outside. Nature has a calming effect on depression.
A few ways you can helped love ones who suffer from Anxiety or Depression:
- Don’t assume you know how to help them, ask them.
- Help them see the positives in their progression.
- Do not ridicule them for becoming anxious or withdrawn.
- Encourage them.
- Learn about the disorders.
- Most importantly… stand by them, support them, LOVE them.
The Worst things you can say to someone struggling with Anxiety and Depression:
“Why are you depressed?”
“What do you have to be depressed about?”
“Someone out there has it worse”
“Snap out of it”
“Could you try to focus on the positive?”
“Are you medicated?”
“It’s just in your head”
People who aren’t familiar with living with anxiety or depression often shake it off telling you to just stop feeling it, that you’re in control of your life. Obviously if I could control it and it was all in my head, then I would. Who in their right mind would CHOOSE to feel this way?
There is this stigma about depression that you’re just “sad” all the time. That’s simply not true. I’m actually a very happy person on a day to day basis. Having depression or anxiety DOES NOT make you a WEAK person. If anything you’re a stronger person for battling it daily. Confronting your anxiety & depression makes you a braver soul. The hard truth is that 1 out of 3 people will experience anxiety or depression at some point in their lives.
You are not anxiety. You are not depression. You are so much more than those two words. Every experience we face in life is meant for us to learn and grow. Hopefully you can take that knowledge and help others that are hurting. I hope this article reaches someone who needed this today, to know you are not alone.
Having these disorders are not ok, but you will be ok.