Saturday, May 21, 2016

ANXIETY

If you have an anxiety or depression disorder, you KNOW how horrible it is. If you don't?...well, you may think it's made-up. But for those who struggle with these issues everyday, we know it is far from fabricated...

I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder when I was still in high school. I was in class taking a test when all of a sudden this rush of panic came over me and I couldn't breathe. It was an easy test; I knew it was not the stress of the exam. And this had never happened to me before. I felt hot, I was dizzy, my palms were moist, and it felt like my heart was palpitating. I knew I couldn't ask to use the restroom until my test was finished, so I flew through the rest of it and immediately asked to be excused. From there, I paced the halls for what felt like forever trying to feel normal again. It was truly scary. 

From there, it happened quite frequently with no reason or pinpointed trigger. I could be completely fine one minute and then amidst a full-on panic attack the next. I finally told my dad that I needed to go to the doctor. After talking to myself and my father about myself and our family history, they put me on anti-depressants for anxiety.

I'll be the first to say that medications DO help. I strongly feel that anti-depressants can help in certain instances. At first, I didn't deal with a lot of the depression aspect of the disorder, so the meds I were given helped alleviate panic attacks for me. I was grateful for that. But as you age, your chemical make-up changes. Your energy level lowers. I can tell as a 29 year old adult that, medication or not, I do not feel anything like when I was 16...mentally or physically.

And even though I'm on medication to help with the attacks, it doesn't mean I don't deal with anxiety on a daily basis.

You know when you're in bed trying to sleep some nights but your mind wants to replay everything that happened that day? Try dealing with that from the moment you wake up until the moment you crawl into bed. It's absolutely exhausting.

I'm constantly worried. I feel an incessant need for people to like me and I am extremely hard on myself when I feel I've let someone down. I allow people to abuse their relationships with me because I'm too meek to stand up for myself or, in some sick way, feel I deserve it. I'm an introvert that would much prefer to sit at home in my pajamas watching Netflix than to go out and be around large groups of people. I have a constant fear of the rug being pulled from under my feet and being left completely blindsided by a job loss or death or fight with a friend or break up or any other life-altering disaster. And when you have anxiety, it's not something that you can just "turn off"...although, I often wish I could. 

Some may say that this disorder makes me "hard to love". My anxiety tells me that they are probably right. I seem rough around the edges because I guard myself when I'm really just shy. I'm socially awkward because I want so much for people to like me, even though most times I don't like most people. When I'm quiet, people automatically assume I'm mad or in a bad mood...but sometimes, I just like silence. It's an internal battle I deal with every. fucking. day. It's draining.

People who don't have mental health issues don't fully grasp the hold that it has on it's "victims". None of us ASKED to be depressed or anxious; unfortunately genetics just bestowed it upon us to deal with. Sometimes you don't want to get out of bed all day. Sometimes you don't have an appetite, or you have so much of one that you can't seem to suppress. One minute you could be totally excited to go out to dinner with friends but then the next, completely overwhelmed at the thought of having to leave the comfort of your home. I could have plans made a week in advance but when the day approaches, I simply don't have the energy to be "present". Optimism doesn't just happen when you have depression; you really have to work at it.

There's therapy. There's medications. Yoga. Exercise. Diet. So many remedies for these issues. But you cannot fully "cure" this mental state. Fake it til you make it will only work for so long. I have no issues with admitting that I have mental disorders that I struggle with daily and I'm not too proud to admit I need some assistance to help me get through the days. What I do have issues with is that people still think that mental illness is fictional or over-exaggerated, when it is indeed NOT. 



I guess I just wish people were a little more understanding of WHY people are the way that they are instead of just chalking it up to a certain label. I did not ask for this. I do not want this. But I have to live with it, and try to make the best out of it each day I wake up.