I am outspoken about my mental illness issues to raise awareness for mental health. To make it clear that it can affect anyone and to bring this often invisible illness to sight.
Please, in the name of humanity, avoid saying to someone with anxiety or depression that they are unduly reacting, or that we must calm down, or that our concerns will not improve the situation. I know that worrying won’t help. It doesn’t stop my mind from imagining and anticipating the worst, for my stomach to fill horrible, for nausea to take over. I hate feeling this way. Telling me to calm down or that I’m being ridiculous will only make the situation worst.
“Stop crying” will only tell that person that their feelings are wrong or don’t matter. It’s invalidating as hell and it doesn’t solve anything. No one should ever be told how to feel or what to do with their bodies.
Of course, we’d be better off if we didn’t have to deal with unpleasant emotions all the time. Of course, we wish we could be positive about everything and feel energetic and happy and connect with other people. The problem is people with anxiety and depression can’t control the attacks and we dislike that fact as much as you do. If we could stop worrying, do not you think we would have done it already?
I have severe anxiety and depression. When it first triggered, there wasn’t an hour in the day or night where I wasn’t worried about someone I love, about work and/or about finances. My dreams were filled with nightmares such as house invasion, kidnapping, murder, etc.
Our emotions don’t just affect our mental state but our entire body. I was sick on a daily basis. I woke up with a migraine every day. I couldn’t keep food in. It got to the point where I was hospitalized. My anxiety was killing me. The worst part is feeling bad physically only made me dive deeper into depression and anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are not fun for anyone. I feel an overwhelming worry and a lingering fear that something is wrong and no being happy isn’t a choice. It turns out that my body doesn’t create enough serotonin. I also have thyroid issues that are known to create or/and affect mental illness. So please stop “pill shaming” individuals who take medication for mental health. It is necessary. You should shame someone for having chemo to combat cancer, would you?
Any behaviour that impedes our way of communicating, which generates our suffering and the inability to lead a normal life, requires a diagnosis and a type of therapeutic strategy capable of resolving the situation.
Healthy coping means we give our fears, anger, stress, regrets, and grief permission to be felt. Healthy coping means working through the emotions instead of pushing them back.
Just because I struggle with depression and anxiety doesn’t mean that my feelings aren’t valid. Doesn’t mean that these feelings or thoughts are coming from something real.
The best thing to do during an attack is to be in tune and to know that sometimes we need to be hugged, and sometimes we need a moment of solitude. Sometimes anxious people, especially introverts simply need to be alone.
I’ve found that being raw and real about my own struggles has helped others, so I do it for those who haven’t found their voice yet.