Me, Myself and My Disorder

I care what people think and we all do, to some extent.

Honestly, if I didn’t care what people thought of me, I would wear baggy sweatpants every single day and wouldn’t check the mirror every morning, afternoon and evening. It’s part of my routine, and without that tiny bit of concern I would be the world’s biggest slob.

However, I care the most what people think about my mental state. As we’ve all heard and seen, there is a large stigma when it comes to a person’s mental health. We hide it because we are afraid of what they will think or most importantly, how they will treat us after they know.

There is nothing worse than letting someone in and then having to walk on eggshells for the remainder of that relationship.

People look at you different, they talk to you different and you’re no longer allowed to have a bad day. Instead, it turns into a huge ordeal of long talks and concerns about your mental health. You become the star in the Broadway production, “Pity Party.”

But, some days are better than others and that’s OK.

You don’t have to be happy every single hour of every single day, and I feel like that is a common misconception most people who have depression and anxiety have. It is completely OK to have days where you just aren’t feeling that great, but understand that nothing is permanent and what you are going through will pass.

In my case, I keep myself busy to avoid the long and intense periods of severe sadness. I may have too much on my plate, but I have learned that I work better and am happier when I have a lot going on. I am still trying to find the middle ground between being too busy and too lazy, but I am constantly striving to understand my depression, my anxiety and myself.

Anxiety creeps up on you, usually without any warning.

It feels like someone has shoved a large TV into my chest with the channel playing constant static. It doesn’t matter where you are, who you’re with or what you’re doing, all that matters is getting rid of the static. Your thoughts become grey and your limbs feel a constant need to move and escape. By the end of this attack you feel like you just got done running a 5k and want nothing more but to go to bed and be alone.

My brain takes over and convinces me I have illnesses or problems that I don’t have. Imagine the feeling you would get if you went to the doctor and they said you had cancer, or you called your mom and you found out someone you loved has died. That is what it feels like when you have anxiety and depression, but you feel crazy because you know none of it is your reality.

I promise this isn’t just a sad article, though. There are a ton of positives that have come from my anxiety and depression.

I have become a lot stronger than I ever thought possible. I know that I can get through whatever is thrown my way and I know I can do it with my head held high, even when my thoughts are low. I have become closer in my relationships because of my willingness to share what I am going through.

Talking about mental health disorders does not make you weak – it makes you brave. These disorders disguise themselves well. Don’t be fooled however, these disorders aren’t you, they don’t define you and they certainly don’t care about you.

So, turn to the people who care and don’t let the fear of judgment stop you from opening up to the people and the world around you.


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