My Ongoing Struggle with Depression and Anxiety and How it has Impacted My Life

C/W-T/W: Discussion of Anxiety and Depression.

Hello to all who read this! I have disappeared for a few weeks. It was not the plan, but I think it’s a great place to start with this specific post.

So, without sugar-coating it, I’m depressed.

What I mean is, I have depression…and anxiety, the dynamic duo of all things that lead to feeling unmotivated, numb, and alone.

This week, I want to give a little look into what those things mean for me when I’m at my worst.

I want to do this for myself but also for people who either are going through this themselves and feel alone or who have friends/family who struggle and want to better understand what might be happening.

What is Depression?

Depression is an illness that alters feelings, thoughts, and actions in a negative way—causing indifference to hobbies a person once loved doing and a feeling of sadness (Torres, “What is Depression?”).

What is Depression like for Me?

Depression, for me, is feeling numb with this deep lingering sadness.

It’s a feeling of actual weights in my bones—making it hard to do “normal” things like work, exercise, do hobbies, shower, or even leave my bed.

It’s the feeling of not being able to eat because I’m too tired to even think of making food or because I can’t think to eat anything with this pit in my stomach.

It’s overeating snack food because it’s accessible and easy and I need to eat something to keep living.

It’s struggling to drink water to keep myself hydrated and feeling physically sick from not getting the things I need.

It’s sitting all alone sobbing but not being able to get up and talk to anyone.

It’s sitting all alone staring at a wall, feeling absolutely nothing but knowing that I want to feel something.

It’s feeling like I’m completely alone but not wanting to “burden” anyone with the way I’m feeling.

This is just scratching the surface, and it’s different for everyone.

What is Anxiety?

A condition causing ongoing and excessive worry revolving around “intrusive thoughts or concerns” (American Psychological Association, “Anxiety”).

What is Anxiety like for Me?

Anxiety, for me, is obsessing and overthinking about things that are fairly “simple”.

It’s wanting to make friends but being too anxious to talk to others.

It’s wanting to make changes but being too afraid to actually go through with it.

It’s overthinking relationships (friendship or other) with others and wondering how to be the best so that people will stay.

It’s making a mistake and beating myself up about it over and over and over again.

It’s saying or doing something embarrassing and then constantly trying to find ways to explain why I did or said that, especially if it was an accident or was meant differently.

It’s over explaining myself to friends and family and hoping they’ll understand my true intentions even though they aren’t even thinking about whatever it is that I’m still upset about anymore.

It’s feeling like people are pulling away from me because I’m annoying them.

It’s not being able to relax until I get some kind of “closure” because without it I’ll always feel like I’m the problem, even if I didn’t do anything.

It’s inevitably losing people because I unintentionally come off too clingy or potentially obsessive because I was trying so hard to make someone like me.

How do I Manage My Anxiety and Depression?

Honestly, it depends on the day.

Sometimes it’s not as simple as “managing” it.

Sometimes all I can do is let myself feel what’s happening and try to process it in the best and safest way possible.

Even so, there are a few things that help me ease the effects from time to time:

  • Therapy-this one helps me a lot but is obviously not accessible to everyone.
  • Medication-similar to therapy in the way it helps and has limited access but honestly not as effective.
  • Talking to support systems (friends/family)-believe it or not, sometimes this can make a world of difference! Support systems are super important.
  • Hobbies/things that make me happy-this can be a great option to cheer me up or clear my mind as long as I actually have the energy to do those things that day.

What do I Want, You (The Reader), to Know?

What I want anyone who reads this to know is that these conditions feel impossible to deal with some days. For me, I usually feel some kind of symptom from each of these at least once a day.

Sometimes, I can go on with my day as normal, other times I need a to use a healing method (meds, talking, etc.). Then there are also the times when nothing works and it feels like all I can do to keep myself together is stay in bed and try to process everything without any exertion whatsoever because at that point I’m physically incapable.

I want you to know that all of those ways of managing this illness are ok. I want you to know that you or anyone you know who suffers from this is not a failure, they’re sick. I want you to know that it’s hard to manage, but it’s still worth fighting. I want you to know that you’re not alone, ever, even when you feel you’re at your lowest point.

Overall, even though the fight is a tough one, and I see my life constantly impacted by these illnesses, I’m going to do my best to keep my myself here and try to heal. I hope that you or whoever you know going through this will too.

Citations:

“Anxiety.” American Psychological Association, 2021, apa.org/topics/anxiety.

Torres, Felix, M.D., MBA, DFAPA. “What Is Depression?” psychiatry, psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression. Accessed 1 October 2021.

Published by gcalavano

I am a 24 year old who uses the following pronouns: she/her/they/them. I am queer and mentally ill and I’m just trying to live and figure out how to remain true to myself but also grow as I go!

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