Most people, if they’re lucky, never have to experience depression or anxiety. I bet you know someone who has one of them, even if you don’t know it… This is what it feels like for me…
When you have anxiety, you over think everything all the time. The things people say, everything that happens all the time, for days on end. There are sleepless nights, obsessing about things that shouldn’t matter and panic attacks! For me, a panic attack starts with sweating excessively, feeling my chest tighten up, feeling like I can’t breathe and temporary loss of vision. I feel like I am dying and have even gone to the hospital, before I knew that I had panic attacks. The meds for panic attacks make me very sleepy.
When you have depression, people ask what’s wrong, but there is no particular reason. I want to stay in bed, sleep all day, and find it impossible to leave the house or do anything at all. It’s not that I don’t want to, I just can’t. I might cry for days, feel worthless and believe everyone secretly hates me, or should hate me. I avoid seeing people, doing things I like to do, putting on makeup, or getting out of my pajamas. My own self loathing is like a heavy blanket I can’t get out of. Depression meds stop working and need to be changed or adjusted sometimes and the change is not immediate so I can be like that for weeks at a time. It’s frustrating for everyone around me, and that makes me feel even worse. It’s like the song Creep by radiohead..” But I’m a freak, I’m a loser, what the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here.”
When they both decide to show up at the same time, I can’t sleep because I can’t stop thinking about everything I should have done differently my entire life. In my head I yell and barrate myself for being the way I am. I then sleep all day for days because I am so tired. Panic about being depressed and thinking the whole world can just see it on me and thinks I’m crazy. I question every feeling I have, is it real, or made up in my head? Do I even know anything for sure? Can I trust my gut? I have awful nightmares every night that seem so very real.
Then, one day I wake up totally fine and am the happy, silly person everyone knows again. Like none of that was real… and I am totally okay for months at a time. All that is of course just my own personal experience, there are varying degrees of depression and anxiety and I assume that it is different for everyone who has it. If you know someone who suffers from depression, anxiety or both please understand that they did not choose it.