The things no one tells you about depression and anxiety

The things no one tells you about depression and anxiety 

The things you don't get told about depression and anxiety, written from the perspective of someone with both.

So as many of you reading this will already know, I have been suffering from mental health problems for most of my life, but I myself was only diagnosed in February 2015. Everything before that was my parent's mental health problems influencing my life. 

Both of my parents have got mental health problems, which my mum having depression and anxiety (the exact same as me) and my dad having both of them as well but many more problems along with them. He hasn't been in work for nearly 4 years due to a complete mental breakdown at his last job (something which we still, as a family, find hard to talk about). Much like 33.1% of those with mental health problems*. 

Since then, he has been a mere shell of a man that he used to be.

Don't get me wrong, he still has his great days where he seems as happy as happy can be, and these are the moments that for me and my mum are bitter sweet. We never know how long it's going to last so we take advantage of it for as long as we can while also preparing ourselves for when it disappears. And once it disappears, I'm never really sure what type of a dad I'm going to have. Is he going to be angry? Is he going to be emotionless? Is he ever going to be what he was like before this whole saga in our life started? I fear I know what the answer to that last question is...

And that's what people don't tell you about depression and anxiety, the moods that they can put you in will not be the moods that you are in all of the time, but they will eventually find their way back into your brain and then you feel like you are back to square one. So, if we're counting the things people don't tell us about depression and anxiety then:


1. Our moods can change dramatically, and most often it's most surprising to ourselves. The only thing we'd like is some control over our moods/emotions but then depression/anxiety comes and slaps you in the face.  

source
The media always like to focus more on the female celebrities and their mental health problems (who can forget 2007 Britney Spears) and less focus on men but even though it is true more women are diagnosed with mental health problems (in 2016, 6.1% of women were diagnosed with anxiety while only 5% of men were)*, but what if that was just because of the lack of coverage it has in the media and if they are having problems then they feel like no one is going to understand as they don't know about others experiences? This brings me onto the second thing no one tells you about depression and anxiety:

2. While women are often the ones seen to be more "sensitive" in the brain, men are just as prone to these problems. From personal experience, I can see that men often feel like they haven't got anywhere to go where they will be taken seriously. It's time for people and the media to report more on male mental health, educate themselves on the signs of these problems and help anyone they think may be struggling; be they male or female. 

We now move onto the misconceptions that people have about how depression and anxiety can make you feel. Let's talk about depression first. I have only been officially diagnosed since early 2015, but I was showing symptoms for many years before but I didn't want to bother my parent's with it seeing as they were dealing with the same thing but I ended up keeping it bottled up for so long (along with my anxiety) and that ended in me suffering a major mental break down during my first year of college and made things much worse. That very quickly brings me onto my third thing no one tells you:

3. Often those with depression or mental health problems won't tell others about it, not even their close friends and family, as they don't want to feel like a burden to everyone else around them.

As for the way that you actually feel, it can often be put down to just one word...

source
Nothing...

Just...Nothing...

Often people will say "yeah, I get depressed sometimes too, I get upset and sad" but honestly, to me at least, depression can give you that feeling of being an emotionless human being, where you no longer care what is happening to the world around you, no longer care about what's happening in the room you're in, and sometimes you no longer care about what happens to you. You never seem to feel that you fit in anywhere and you'd rather be anywhere than where you are at that point in time. You're outside; you feel like you want to go back to bed. You're in bed; you feel like you want to go outside. It's a constant battle and the worst part is is that it's in your brain so you can never get away from it. It's often a case that you either have to try different coping mechanisms to stop it or you just have to wait for it to go away, but you never know how long that's going to take. So:

4. Depression isn't just a case of "feeling sad", it's usually a case of feeling nothing, not knowing what to do with your day or sometimes even your life. It can make you think that you are drowning in self-doubt and that most things become pointless. This is often the moment that people need to find themselves some help, be it medical help or just help from a friend or family member.

Then there is anxiety, and again, I've heard to before, "yeah, I get worried too sometimes" but again, being worried from time to time and having anxiety are two completely different things. Again, from my point of view and experiences, I have this...thing...I don't even know how to describe it...in my head constantly telling me that I have something that I have to worry about, even if I really don't. I will lay awake at night thinking about something, worrying about something that is completely out of my control (for exam, at the moment I'm anxious about my A-level results) but yet, I still worry because I think "there must be something that I'm missing" and then desperately keep thinking there is something I can do. 

It'll also give be random bursts of motivation to do the weirdest things at the weirdest time. For example, only the other week I was thinking that I need to organise all my knitting supplies at 2 am and that if I didn't do it at that exact time then everything would go wrong.

So I did it.

There's something else anxiety can do, it can make you go straight to the worst case scenario because your brain likes to try and not only come up with every eventuality but also prepare you for what could happen. E.g. If someone is five minutes late to something, I will think "they've got into an accident. They've cancelled and forgotten to tell me and now I'm here all by myself." instead of "oh, they must have got stuck in traffic."

So, number 5:

5. Anxiety disorders and feeling worried from time to time are two very different things. While the feelings of worry that others without anxiety have will pass at some point, those with anxiety may only lose the feeling for a few minutes before their brain moves on to the next thing to worry about, even if they really don't need to.

The mixture of depression and anxiety can be an exhausting one. If you are having a depressive episode at the same time that your anxiety is going at 100mph, then you have a recipe for disaster. You see, you don't feel like doing anything and just lying there because of the depression, but then the anxiety starts to creep in and make you worry about things that you should maybe do (even though you probably don't), but then the depression gets rid of any motivation you might have had to do those things, and the anxiety makes you worried that those things are never going to get done and that everything is going to fall apart. This brings me to the final thing that people don't tell you about depression anxiety:

6. Those that have got either one or the other, or maybe both sometimes need a bit of space, a bit of support or sometimes just someone to have a rant at. That's what makes things so hard, often those without mental health problems don't know how to react to those that do when they have an "episode" and will just try to avoid the situation.

source
But that's the worst thing anyone can do. Very often just a simple "I'm here for you" can make everything feel a little bit better. But if you really want to help, I'd recommend educating yourself on even just the basics of mental health. If you want somewhere to look I would firstly recommend the charity MIND as they have links to where you can find information on different mental health problems but also how you can help support others. 

And that's it for "The things no one tells you about depression and anxiety". I hope that you have learnt something from reading this and that maybe you now look at those with depression and anxiety in a different light. But for now,

Stay happy, stay healthy, from Abbie xx


 

Comments

  1. This is an important topic. Thank you for sharing this with us. It is not an easy thing to discuss but I do believe it needs to be spoken about, addressed and help offered to those that need it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are more than welcome. I have often found that whenever I want to try and talk to someone about my mental health problems they just say "be quiet" or "this isn't the type of thing we should be talking about" but I believe that if we did talk about it more freely and openly then people wouldn't feel so awkward about it and would be more open into getting help. That's why I started this blog, as a way to educate people about mental health, remove a bit of the stigma and to start discussions about it :)

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing topics like these with the public. There's so many of these issues flying around, it's good to be open about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I also believe that it is important to be open about it so that people no longer feel ashamed if they do have mental health problems and feel comfortable about going to get help for them :)

      Delete
  3. I think it's very important to raise awareness about mental illness. It should be treated like any other illness, but because it is "invisible" people often don't take it seriously. Thanks for sharing this important post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, you are more than welcome, and I completely understand what you mean about it not being taken seriously because it's "invisible". I still almost every day get told that I'm "making it up" or that "everyone feels like this" but there is a difference between feeling sad and worried every now and again and then having a mental disorder that causes those feelings nearly 24/7 and having them feel 100x more intense.

      Delete
  4. I think we all suffer of some kind of anxiety and depression. I know this for a fact not all days are good days but mindset and being able to control thoughts helps.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such a very important issue and not everyone understands what it's really like. Thank you for sharing and shedding some light into this topic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and you're welcome. This is exactly why I started this blog, to help shed light on the topic of mental health and educate those whom don't really understand anything about it :)

      Delete
  6. Great post- i suffer from anxiety and disordered eating so this really hits home

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and I completely understand. I hope you are doing okay and that you have got people around to help and support you. Sending you all my love <3 :)

      Delete
  7. Great post for topics many steer away from. It is the courage to open up and speak about this that really helps! Thanks xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I think it as important topic to talk about if we are remove the stigma of mental health problems :)

      Delete
  8. This is a n extremely important topic and one that I am happy to see more people being open about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I'm also happy to see others talking about it and we still have a long way to go, but if we all work together we will get there one day :)

      Delete
  9. This is important to know :) thank you for sharing. It's tough for those who go through it, and any form of support is useful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and you're welcome. It can be tough but I think it's something to talk about. I have gone through a lot with my own and my parents mental health problems so I want to be sure that others get the help and support they need so they don't have to go through the same things as I have :)

      Delete
  10. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with us Abbie.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good information! You're sooo right as a person who can relate there's a lot information that's not disclosed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I just think that the more we start to talk about it then the more people will understand mental health problems and therefore the more help and information people may be able to access :)

      Delete
  12. It's a well written and thoughtful post, and you're right, sometimes the most difficult part is not being down or being nervous, but not knowing if and when depression or anxiety will hit. Good of you to share your struggles and your insight with others - it's so important to not feel alone or stigmatized when you're already dealing with so much distress.

    LifeinFocusSD.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and I agree with the hardest thing being not knowing when it will hit. For example I get hit with it at very random times. I like to show how it affects me and when on my YouTube channel to give people a real insight into life with an anxiety disorder and depression :)
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl_tRqcDOdSJ-YoYbjnayPA

      Delete
  13. This was an interesting perspective on depression and anxiety and mental illnesses in general. Being a psychology major, this is always interesting to read about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I too like to see others with mental health problems perspectives as it is important to remember that everyone is affected by them in different ways :)

      Delete
  14. Mental health is super important and not many persons are sympathetic to those suffering from it. It's not an attention seeking phase, it is real and I truly believe that it should be an issue that is given great importance in our society because it is downplayed ever so often. I think it was last week, I saw an article with a woman requesting mental health day off from her boss and he approved it, which I found great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and I understand. I even had teachers at college tell me to just "get over it" and that "it's just a phase". This is why I think (and if I remember rightly is happening) all teachers and those in the education sector have to have training in mental health problems so they understand how to help students that have them. I also think I remember seeing the article about the woman getting a mental health day and it's a wonderful thing, now we just need all other employers to do it :)

      Delete
  15. Wonderful post! I suffer from anxiety and depression. It's a hard place to be. It's wonderful to see posts that bring mental health to light and get people talking about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and I understand as well just how hard a place it can be, sometimes it's like a vicious cycle e.g. anxiety makes you want to do something by depression gets rid of any motivation you may have had. My hope is to get people talking about it more so more people are aware and less afraid to get help. I hope you are doing okay with your anxiety and depression, sending you my love <3 :)

      Delete
  16. This is so important and I thank you for being so honest. I suffer from anxiety and I am moody! I try really hard, but I know I'm tough to be around at times.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for sharing. We need more conversations around this topic because there's still so much stigma when there shouldn't be.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Good on you for sharing such a personal but very important story. I hope you are gaining confidence from your sharing

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is such an important topic that I would like to see more honest post, like yours about. No one ever realized just how big of an impact anxiety and depression have on your every day life. Thank you for sharing and being so honest.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Dear world, please believe me when I tell you I'm ill...

Yeah, I'm 21 and use a walking stick. So what?

My "emergency" kit I have to get through life