When you live your life battling depression and anxiety you struggle with whether you should talk about it or simply keep your mouth shut. Or in this case, keep it off the blog.
Many bloggers have written about their struggles with depression and have done so well. I often try to not speak about my struggles out of fear of imposing my “issues” on others. Recently it became important for me to actually write about my struggles.
But my latest episode of anxiety and struggles with depression left me in a mental fog that I couldn’t escape. I wanted to write but couldn’t. How do you write when emotionally you feel overwhelmed? How do you write when you’re exhausted and suffering physical symptoms that make focusing on your work a challenge?
While I have multiple triggers that often result in these episodes, there are times where there is no trigger and I just feel mentally overwhelmed. I pick fights with my husband. I struggle to sleep, struggle to breathe. I walk around easily irritated and feeling like I could snap at any given moment.
This latest episode has been more of an emotional one and less of a physical. Emotionally I am simply worn out and often become easily irritated by the smallest things around me.
Physically I’ve struggled to breathe for days and have had a weak appetite. I finally resorted to taking my anti-anxiety medication hoping to ease my symptoms. As of this post I’m slowly coming out of it but this is an unusually long episode.
For those who have never struggled with depression and anxiety, these episodes are sometimes perceived as trivial and unimportant or just being negative. Sometimes they are perceived as a ploy for attention. At times I have heard some variation of, “Oh, just cheer up. Go for a walk. It’s not that bad.” Other times I’ve heard, “Just get over it.”
If only it were that simple.
Depression is very real. Anxiety is very real. To consider or perceive it as trivial or as an attention getter is not only showing a lack of empathy and compassion, it is also showing ignorance.
I encourage anyone who knows someone who suffers from depression and anxiety (or just one of the two), whether it is mild and easily treatable or severe, to become educated on the issue. I am fortunate that mine is usually mild and doesn’t have a major impact on my daily life but there millions who are not so fortunate.
When it comes to treatment I strive for natural options and make every attempt to avoid prescription medication unless it becomes necessary like this episode has. I currently take Lorazepam, a generic form of Ativan.
Natural options include exercise, changing my diet, taking vitamins, napping if necessary, and attempting to enjoy the things I normally enjoy even when I don’t want to.
I do know that over time I will be okay again and be able to enjoy life like I usually do. For now, I just have to ride it out and hope it doesn’t last much longer.
If you want to learn more about depression and anxiety I would recommend the National Institute for Mental Health. I’ve found it to be an excellent source of information.