Living with depression and/or anxiety

What many people don’t know about me (yes I’m a pro at putting on a smile) is for a short while I used to suffer from really bad anxiety and I also suffer from what I believe to be depression. In my opinion depression is something that is very hard to define and it’s definitely not just as simple as “being sad”.

Anxiety:

Starting with the anxiety, I used to wake up every day and be physically sick just from waking up and having to face the day. At the time I had just been through a really bad break up and on top of this was going through a hard time at work. Having a full time job meant I had to be sick and continue with my day as normal. Sometimes I was even sick during work and in the evenings after, I really just couldn’t cope. Of course being sick meant that I couldn’t eat properly, I also didn’t want to eat much in case it increased the chances of me being sick and I lost A LOT of weight. At first I did go to the doctors, I wasn’t sure if it was some sort of virus in my stomach that was making me sick but then I realised the real reason behind it.

Options:

Once it was clear I didn’t have a stomach virus and I began to open up to the doctor about how low and ill I’d be feeling and what I’d been going through, she decided to give me some options. Prozac (an anti-depressant) being one and counselling being another. If I’m completely honest with you, neither of these options appealed to me, I’ve never been a fan of taking tablets and the thought of a tablet changing your state of mind scared me, particularly knowing that it can make you worse before it makes you better and counselling, well I’ve never been one to be able to talk about my problems. I knew I had to choose one of the options so I decided to go onto Prozac.

Prozac:

I was prescribed Prozac, one a day for a minimum of 6 months and warned that for the first few days I was likely to feel a million times worse and had to be very careful. They were right, the first few days I felt like utter crap but I was suffering more from anxiety than depression which I think made the whole thing a lot easier. They did help, I stopped being sick, I was able to eat again and my weight returned back to normal. I’m not sure if it was a mental thing, knowing that I was taking something which was meant to make me better and having that to rely on, who knows, but it worked and I felt a lot happier and a lot more positive and able to cope.

After nearly a year on Prozac both myself and my doctor decided it was time to come off. She said I seemed a million times happier and I felt ready to face the real world without the aid of tablets.

Depression:

Since coming off the Prozac I have noticed more of the depressive state of how I feel. I like to remain positive and I strive for happiness and some days like today I sit here feeling ok, not what I would describe as happy but as ok and I think to myself do I really suffer from depression? Maybe not but then there are days where I feel so low, so alone and it scares me. I know that the Prozac was just a disguise for the real problem that I suffer from, a short term fix for something that I’m probably going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. I’ve made a promise to myself, that if I ever have a day where I’m feeling so low to the point where it actually scares me, I’ll go and see a counsellor.

Something very personal:

The last time I felt extremely low was on my 21st birthday and I decided I’d write down how I felt. Here it is…..

“Do you know what it’s like to feel like giving up? You’ve always tried to be strong, but people hurt you and people let you down, even ones you thought never would. I know I’m not alone in the way I feel, I’m sure there are people out there who also seem to find it impossible to be happy, those who feel alone and unloved.

People like us, do you know what we are? We’re those who spend our lives punishing ourselves, clinging on to poisonous things purely because they give us that glimmer of happiness that we so desperately need.

Sometimes I’m afraid that one day it’ll win, I try so hard to stay afloat, to find new ways of thinking and to find the positive in every situation but days like this and I feel like I’m drowning, like there’s no way out. The worst thing? I rely on others to help me feel alive, to feel loved. That’s the worst thing you can ever do, put your happiness in someone, particularly a lover and it can be taken away in an instant and you’re left feeling as alone and unloved as ever.

I’m 21 today and my birthday cake said “Congratulations on your 21st” and to be honest, it really does feel like congratulations, congratulations that through everything I’ve still managed to cope and get to my 21st birthday. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up and I’ll feel different, I’ll feel more positive but it’s days like this that scare me. The fear of never being able to be happy again. I just want to be loved and happy and I don’t know what to do any more.”

I read that now and I think shit. Did I actually feel like that? Do things really get that bad for me? And I sit here and hope that I won’t ever have to feel like that again, that I can remain positive and do everything I can to be happy. I feel very exposed publically posting that but maybe there are people out there who will be able to relate and maybe this will help them to realise that they’re not alone and we can fight this. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life feeling like that or being unhappy. There are ways to cope and to deal with it, you don’t have to be unhappy for the rest of your life.

The Facts:

1 in 4 of us are affected by mental health every year and its nothing to be ashamed of. The symptoms of a physical health problem are a lot more obvious and can be noticed by others, mental health problems however are a lot harder to detect.

It’s time to start being more supportive of others. Next time you decide to pull someone down just remember they could already be going through hell and you wouldn’t even know it.

And for those suffering, please do not be afraid to ask for help. It’s so easy to shut down and block people out but force yourself to open up to people that care about you and love you and seek professional help, no one is judging you, if anything it just means you’re a brave, strong survivor for being able to face your problems head on.

Don’t let it win.

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14 thoughts on “Living with depression and/or anxiety

  1. Spirited away says:

    Your post really motivates me. Im suffering from depression, anxiety and self abuse and I know exactly how you feel. People don’t take mental illnesses seriously, they think you chose to be depressed or its just an emotional tantrum of sorts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sarahh0x says:

      Thank you, it means a lot to know that my post does that. Mental illness is kept on a major down low which is strange considering there are so many secret sufferers out there. x

      Like

  2. celtics345 says:

    Hi sorry to hear about your Anxiety and Depression. I can relate. I have Anxiety and Bipolar. I have won must of my battles with mental illness graduating colleges after Bipolar relapses and writing over 600 short stories to help me cope. Right now I struggle with sleep and living in an environment surrounded by negativity all my life. Things have been challenging but I just keep up the strength and trying to get better. Look forward to reading more of your posts you can read my short stories at http://www.curleymania.wordpress.com if interested.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cyndalmccarthy2113 says:

    I’m so sorry that you suffer from depression and anxiety as well… there’s so much work that goes along with trying to find the right method to treat just one, let alone two illnesses. And the sad part is that they feed each other. It’s obviously entirely your choice, but it’s not an easy process finding a counselor or psychiatrist. I’ve only found one that I truly liked in the past three years, and unfortunately she doesn’t specialize in PTSD, so I’m on the hunt again. I’ve only had one experience with a psychiatrist, and all he wanted to do was prescribe me medication – and a lot of them are like that. I can say however, that I have found one that I will be meeting with soon off of PsychologyToday.com and he claims to counsel and prescribe, but only suggesting meds if absolutely needed. It’s tough with primary care doctors, because their go to is Prozac. And if it helps, cool, but they play it off like there aren’t any side effects that go along with it. With my experience so far, and everyone is different, but it helps to put the effort in to find someone who you can trust and who is accessible to you for those down days. Because they’re not always just days, and it’s hard to cope with them if you don’t have the right tools to do so. For me, once I did have that counselor I knew I liked and even now if it’s not PTSD related, it relieves so much anxiety knowing that even if I barely make it through my depression, I could absolutely go to her and try and brainstorm how to prevent negative thoughts that make my depression worse, and same with anxiety. I hope that’s helpful! If you ever want to talk, feel free to keep in touch. In the meantime if you ever need to talk right away, 7cupsoftea is an amazing app and website where you can talk to strangers for free who are going through the same or similar things.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. wlloydjr says:

    I remember being in that place last year after I lost my job. My income had basically been cut in half and I was having a hard time supporting myself let alone my fiance. It scared me to think that each month I would have to figure out a way to make up the difference and be able to still have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on the table. After awhile, my relationship started to fall apart and I was the point of suicide. Eventually, a friend I hadn’t talked to in almost ten or twelve years found me on social media and said something pulled her to find me. I was shocked when she said that because she thought I was doing great with my book being published and my life appearing to be in order, but inside, I was slowly dying from depression. The pain that comes from that dark place is worst than any cut or bruise that could be inflicted on my body. How I survived through it? I don’t know, but I am happy someone stepped in to gradually pull me out of it. I still have small episodes that happen that trigger my anxiety and depression, but I think I realized talking and changing yourself is better than doing something permanent. By the way, check out the documentary the Secret or the book The Secret. I know it was a huge motivator booster when things are looking grim.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan Alatorre AUTHOR says:

    I have a friend who is currently killing herself with alcohol. As in, didn’t get out of bed for three days, laying in her own shit, bad. She got out of a rehab about 30 days before that little episode, and landed herself back in via a Baker Act.

    Blogs like this help because there’s stuff under why she drinks. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. celtics345 says:

    I was feeling depressed today. I have been taking a break from writing short stories and writing is my key way of coping that keeps me happy and stable. I am going to try getting back to writing. Sometimes we just got to find what makes us happy and stick to it.

    Like

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