Depression and Anxiety

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What is it like to have depression and anxiety?

This is the first question I wish I could answer for people who don’t live with either depression or anxiety. And certainly not both. To be clear, I’m happy for those people. I wouldn’t wish any mental wellness challenge for anyone. Those who don’t understand, can’t understand because haven’t had to deal with it. For that – for them – I am happy.

That doesn’t change the fact that I would love for them to be able to understand. If we were all more capable of understanding what others feel and experience, we would all be more capable of compassion and empathy.

And I find myself writing, at midnight on a Friday night, because of some of the very things that come along with depression and anxiety. Something trivial, silly, not worth getting upset about is keeping me up. This thing, when looked at with a logical mind, shouldn’t cause these feelings. But it will, nonetheless, likely cost me a full nights sleep.

So here goes…

How on earth is it possible to have both depression and anxiety? How can two things that seem so different coexist and create such havoc? I’m afraid there’s not a simple answer. Instead, maybe there is a way to explain what it feels like. Can this allow those who don’t understand, but want to, a chance to step into someone else’s shoes?

  • Having depression and anxiety is like being scared and tired at the same time.
  • It is the fear of failure yet having no urge to be productive.
  • It is wanting friends but hating socializing.
  • It is wanting to be alone but not wanting to be lonely.
  • It is caring about everything and nothing at the same time.
  • Having depression and anxiety is feeling everything at once and then being completely paralyzed and numb.

You see tonight, at midnight, I am experiencing all of these things at the same time. I am completely terrified of nothing – really nothing that I can pinpoint – yet I am exhausted. I want to sleep, but there’s no way I will be able to. I can barely keep my eyes open. Still, my mind races, going over the same thoughts again, and again, and again, with no end in sight.

I am afraid of failing, at everything, for no reason. I’m afraid I already have, yet with no proof to back that claim. Ironically, I haven’t written in a long time, so in this case, I guess I felt the urge to be productive. But really, writing this was just an attempt to get the thoughts out of my head and share them in an attempt to make something good of it.

I am alone at the moment and I feel it. I know that being alone, especially right now, is the best thing, but I don’t want to be alone. More so, I don’t want to be lonely. Yet I am. I feel lonely most of the time, even when I’m not alone. And that isn’t a knock on the people I’m around. I have the most amazing people in my life. It’s a result of the depression. It’s a symptom and a horrible one at that.

Maybe it’s the caring about everything that has my mind racing. But, to my earlier point, it’s racing about nothing. It’s accomplishing nothing. It’s racing about a stupid, illogical point. It’s racing round and round, like a dog chasing its tail. So I’m caring about everything or little things, yet really, is obsessing over them caring at all?

And last, but certainly not least, I feel everything, at the same time. I feel scared, angry, humiliated, stupid, overwhelmed, exhausted, and I also feel none of these. It’s as though I’m watching myself feel these things. It’s as though I can both feel them, and feel the absence of them at the same time.

It’s all clear now, right? Probably not. But if you feel this way or have felt this way, know you’re not alone – even though you feel lonely.

If you haven’t felt this way, maybe reading this can help you empathize with someone you know who struggles with something similar.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

24 Points