5 things i want you to know about anxiety and depression

8:30 AM

1. I don't always know why I'm anxious or depressed.  In fact, there was no obvious reason for either of my diagnoses.  There isn't always a reason for my panic attacks.  There isn't always a reason that I'm tired all of the time.  That makes it even more difficult to work on and control, not that having a reason makes you feel any better.

2. Sometimes I don't understand how I feel.  I know that it's hard for my friends and family to help me when they don't understand how I feel or what I'm experiencing, but even I don't always understand.  I can't always describe what's going on in my body or mind.  I have panic attacks that I can perfectly describe.  I'll have episodes where I feel anxious, but all I can do is fidget say that I don't know what's going on.

3. My experience may be totally different than others, and it can change.  When I was in middle school, my anxiety presented itself as OCD.  Our front screen door looked straight into the living room where we used to eat, and I couldn't eat unless  I shut the door so no one could see in.  I also couldn't eat until after I used the restroom.  I felt extremely uneasy if I didn't do these things and I only felt better after I did.  I don't have these anxieties any more.  I didn't realize it at the time, but now that I understand more about how anxiety and depression are in childhood I also understand that I did have anxiety.  I wasn't just "weird."

4. I can't just make myself happy or calm down.  This kind of goes with number one.  There isn't a switch, and this isn't something that I have complete control over.  Yes, there are times when my anxiousness or sadness are directly caused by something that I can change or get rid of.  There are also times when I'm so anxious I have multiple panic attacks a day, but nothing can stop them.

5. I used to be very ashamed of it.  I've always been very open about my diagnoses, especially with close friends and family.  I've always believed that it's best for me to be open about them and let people know that there will be times when my behavior doesn't always make sense.  Still, I would often stay up and cry at night because I didn't want to be weak and I didn't want to be different.  It didn't seem fair to me.  When I was prescribed medicine to help me, I immediately cried because I didn't want my family to think that I couldn't take care of myself or that I was weak.  Now, I'm proud of myself and others who have or have had anxiety or depression.  I'm somewhat glad that I'm experiencing it because I can share my experience with others and help them through it.

Samantha | The Life You Love
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