SAD: My Struggle with Stress, Anxiety, & Depression
SAD: My Struggle with Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
This month in case you did not get the chance to read my May Differences Awareness post, is known to be Mental Health Awareness month. In honor of that, I wanted to talk about my own personal experiences with stress, anxiety, and depression. I was diagnosed with a general anxiety difference (disorder), when I was in the second grade. Anyone who deals with anxiety knows how frustrating and confusing it can be. It is certainly not always easy to deal with. Some days can be a lot harder than others. Situations that typically would not trigger anxiety for most, will and can for those with anxiety differences.
Within the last couple of years, we have started to break the surface on this topic. More and more people are trying to understand the complexity and concepts of mental health. However, there are still some who do not have an understanding of it, and that’s fine! What is not fine though, is the fact that some of these people choose a poor approach in how they respond to the topic of mental health. I think a lot of times it is due to a lack of understanding of the matter. I came into this world dealing with a lot of various health issues myself, and as a result, have been constantly in and out of doctors’ offices for various things. I have experienced things that a lot of people haven’t. Due to that, I think I should use my experiences to my advantage and help raise awareness on topics when I can. Both from utilizing research, and my own experiences. I have also fallen victim to not so great treatment due to others lack of understanding of certain differences. Hence, why I am making posts like this!
I do encourage you to read the differences awareness posts to see if they can help bring you a greater understanding of some various types of differences. Anxiety, stress, and depression, typically, are not major life-threatening differences. However, they are a set of differences that are and can be extremely difficult to deal with at times. All three of these differences can really make a lot of simple life things much more challenging than they need to be. When these will choose to strike, if you will, it can be difficult to know when and if they will get triggered in day to day life. Sometimes there is not a warning, and other times there can be.
I have struggled with anxiety to my knowledge my whole life. For me personally, I have a lot of trouble approaching change. Over time I have gotten better, and I am still working on how I approach it. For me, when it comes to change, something different, or anything it sends me into kind of a panic mode at times. Which, obviously, is not very healthy. Going to events with a lot of people, can really be difficult for me. Even family events can be anxiety and stress triggering for me. In those situations, I sometimes will feel like I can’t breathe normally, or my chest will feel super tight. I don’t think a lot of people notice, but I can get really fidgety when I am really nervous in those types of situations. And it is not that I don’t want to be there, but there are times where it is just really hard for me. I can feel out of place, and super self-conscious. In certain scenarios I will stress out about where I should even sit, or who to talk to. I get these fears of things possibly happening that are not likely to happen at all. Past experiences can cause me to have anxiety at certain times too. There are even nights where I will be lying in bed trying to go to sleep and randomly start to feel sick to my stomach and feel like I have done something wrong and get super anxious when I don’t have any reason to be. Storms for me will give me a lot of anxiety too. I have always had that issue, but I am not sure why. Not knowing what will or could happen in situations gives me anxiety sometimes. Those are just a few examples of things that can trigger my anxiety.
My stress, anxiety, and depression all kind of just come and go. I get stressed out about little things typically, and I have been trying to work on that as well. Regarding my depression, it just kind of hits in waves. All of these do, but my depression especially. I have days where I will wake up and just nothing in my body feels like it wants to move. Nothing in me feels like being productive, and even just getting out sounds awful. It is terrible to feel like that. It is sort of hard to describe. But there is this lack of motivation and energy to do things. It feels like you just want to stay in a cocoon all day sort of and not socialize. You feel down and sad and for no damn good reason. It is awful, and so frustrating. It makes it really hard to be social on those days too. You can forget about forcing happiness, because that is almost impossible sometimes.
For the most part, these are manageable, and I can eventually get through it. The worst I think it has ever been was during my senior year of high school. I was dealing with a lot of crappy things all at once. Bad stuff was happening at school, and then there was family stuff going on outside of school in addition to that. Everywhere I turned it felt as though there was something bad going on. I felt helpless at the time. I felt very alone. I had lost who I was. I did not want to go to school and face everything there. When I was there, I felt trapped. I didn’t feel safe at all. I mean it was awful. I was extremely depressed. Very stressed out, and extremely anxious and on edge. I was having anxiety/panic attacks within five minutes of getting in the car. I was overthinking. I couldn’t sleep. I was having suicidal ideation. I did not know this term until this past spring semester, but it basically means you think about what it would be like to commit suicide, and so on. But you don’t actually want to do any of it. Typically, I can use essential oils to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. But, it was so bad that those things weren’t helping much. I ended up going to my doctor and getting medication to help stop my overthinking. I also eventually got convinced by my mom to talk to a therapist, and that helped too. Initially, I did not want to, but I knew I needed to because it was starting to get too bad to deal with. I vividly remember one-night crying and looking at my reflection in my mirror and in my head saying I know that’s me, but I don’t recognize me. I was so lost, and in so much pain. At some point I felt like I wasn’t going to make it out. However, I did make it! And that is probably the worst it’s ever been.
While that is the worst it’s ever been in my opinion, I am very glad I am no longer having stress, anxiety, and depression to that extent anymore. I still have days that are hard and definitely not easy, but not to that extent anymore. I get through them though and use what I can find that works. I use music a lot to help relieve my anxiety, stress, and depression as much as I can. I want to also give some credit where it is due. My parents, siblings, some family, and a few friends were an immense help for me my senior year. It was a really difficult and scary time for me, and I am very fortunate to have had the right people by my side helping me find my way out. I am also grateful that there are natural resources like essential oils that can help with this too and not just chemically made medications. I would recommend trying essential oils and natural resources first before medications. I would like to add; I am by no means a doctor, and what has worked for me may not work for someone else. If you feel you struggle with any of these as well, and feel you need assistance with anything like this, please go and find someone who can help you! If you choose to try natural options first, such as, essential oils or even CBD to see if a non-medical treatment can help first that is great! But, do not cancel out looking into a therapist or medication if you need to. Please note, if you are someone who does take medications, please consult with your doctors before trying essential oils or CBD to make sure it is safe for you to try! Thousands of people struggle with these and we will all get through this together! I don’t always open up about things to others for my own reasons, but when you have people willing to listen and be there for you, talk to them! Our time is NOW! There is no point in wasting it in worry. Fight the fight, and don’t ever give up!
The Inspiring Hummingbird