Having struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a child, I am well acquainted with them. If you also struggle with depression and/or anxiety you know how difficult it can be to put your experience into words. When it is difficult to wrap your own head around what is going on with your brain and your body, it can be even more difficult to explain it to other people. This is my attempt to describe some of the thoughts and feelings that I have experienced over the years. Can you relate to any of them?
Am I crazy? I feel like I’m crazy. Do I look crazy to everyone else? Who would want to spend time with a crazy person?
Does being this way make me unworthy of love? Why should anyone else have to put up with the mood swings and unreasonableness? I can’t love myself sometimes because of this, how could anyone else?
No one gets me. No one understands. I’m tired of being misunderstand, rejected, isolated. Why couldn’t I have a disease that is “real”?
Things that I have enjoyed doing for years or yesterday or an hour ago are no longer enjoyable. I have a hard time mustering up enthusiasm for anything, making the world seem like it’s creeping by in black and white.
Anxiety makes it feel like my brain never slows down. It is always processing, analyzing, and turning thoughts and feelings in my head over and over again. Sometimes it is under control and sometimes it has me analyzing everything someone says, does, even how they are looking at me.
Comic by Claire Jarvis
Thoughts that won’t stop start to make my skin crawl and my brain spiral because no matter how much I want it to just stop already it won’t. My head starts to literally hurt from the thoughts gaining traction and getting out of control. There is no sleep to be had because my brain won’t slow down for it. I can start to feel out of control of my own mind, as I internally or externally am yelling, “SHUT up!”
There is constant wondering whether my other health problems are separate from the mental illness or caused by it. Is anxiety why I am in a constant battle with insomnia and IBS? Is the constant fatigue and muscle pain the depression or chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia? Is there any point even even going to the doctor anymore?
I wake up, nothing has happened yet in my day to affect my mood, yet I don’t even feel like getting out of bed or even moving. What’s the point when everything is pointless?
Comic by Ryan Pequin
Sometimes the worst is when comes out of nowhere without warning. I am feeling fine, even great, and then it descends. It is like the moment while riding a roller coaster where your heart drops from your throat to your toes. And I think, oh crap, here it is again.
Nothing…sometimes that is all I feel is nothingness. I want to feel something, anything, but instead I feel numb. And I actually want to go back to those moments when my emotions were ping-ponging all over the room.
I don’t recognize myself anymore. Is there a BD and AD me? Will I ever get back to that before depression me or has it permanently changed me?
Someone is sitting on my chest. My heart races, my breath races, my mind races. I feel sick, sweaty, dizzy, weak, but I’m not sick, not in that way. Because I know something is coming, I may not know what it is, but I know it’s bad. It’s another panic attack.
Can you relate? What has your personal experience with depression and/or anxiety been like?