Tired of people not understanding what Depression and Anxiety is? Sick of hearing its all in your head and its just a faze? It’s time we explain these mental illnesses in terms that everyone can understand.
Let’s start with Anxiety.
dictionary.com defines anxiety as:
- Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.
- Earnest but tense desire; eagerness.
- Psychiatry. A state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.
Now to me, this definition is a terrible explanation of anxiety and the effects it can have on a person. I’ve been told so many times anxiety is all in your head. But guess what? It’s not.
Anxiety is pounding of my heart at 3am. Anxiety is the ugly crying that randomly happens at what seems to be the most public and worst time possible. It’s followed by a whole body violent shake. Occasionally, it’s portrayed as an outburst of yelling, kicking, or screaming. It’s the deer in headlights look when you’re trying to hide the fact your body is screaming inside. It’s the grinding of your teeth, trying to hold them together because you don’t know what absurd thing is going to come out of your mouth next. It’s the silence and shutting people out because you’re afraid they don’t understand what’s going on in your head. This is just the beginning of physical effects of anxiety.
Anxiety can put physical stress on your body, but it also plays mental games with you. It makes you second guess every decision you’ve made leading up to that point because you don’t know what’s causing this panic. Even when you are feeling your best, in the back of your head you have a lingering thought: when will the next anxiety attack happen. And personally, I think the worst out of effects, it makes me feel like I am drowning. Like I am suffocating under water, and I am so close to the surface I can see fresh air, but I’ll never get there. Stuck under water.
This feeling makes you paranoid about going out because you don’t want to cause a scene or become a burden to anyone. It stops you from doing things you love and are passionate about because it cripples you. It can scare your loved ones, watching you struggle but they cannot do anything. It stops you.
Here’s the thing anxiety and depression can go hand in hand, but let’s get this straight they are very different.
dictionary.com defines depression as:
- The state of being depressed
- Sadness; gloom; dejection.
- Psychiatry. A condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.
Sure these definitions are correct if you want the abbreviated and censored version of what depression is really like.
Depression is the numbness you feel. No pain. No happiness. No sadness. Just numb. Nothing fazes you, you feel like a shell of a human. You have gone into this state of absolute paralyzation of all emotions or physical feelings. It makes you want to try anything to feel something even if it’s just causing yourself pain.
With depression, you physically feel absolutely nothing, but man does depression know how to play with your brain. Hopelessness, worthless, meaningless. This is just the beginning of horrible feelings that cross your mind. Feeling like a waste of space and peoples time.
Depression is the big storm cloud following you even on your best days the littlest things will bring you down. And when you’re down, it’s miserable. Losing interest in everything that made you happy. Not caring enough to eat because you just aren’t hungry. Struggling to do even the most basic tasks, such as showering. You lay in bed but can’t sleep no matter how tired you are. You feel like you’re alive, but not living.
It can be challenging to see the difference or even to feel the difference between anxiety and depression, but some differences vary from person to person. Regardless of what the type of extent of illness, just know they are in pain and struggling. Remember everyone has a different story and is going through a different challenge in their life, so be kind and understanding.
Obviously, these are just SOME effects mental illness has explicitly had on me, but they can vary depending on the person, and they aren’t limited to these symptoms.
This is a safe environment, so feel free to share your experiences! Let me know if you relate to any of these emotions! Follow my blog to stay updated on new posts!