Having to deal with two mental health disorders at the same time can be draining and challenging. You not only feel anxious during your daily routine, but you also feel sad on a daily basis as well. Huffington Post asked those struggling with anxiety and depression what it is like to gain a better understanding and know how serious it is to look for treatment for both disorders.
Constant Fight with Yourself
Having anxiety and depression can mean that one minute, you are experiencing racing thoughts and emotions only to experience nothingness the next minute. You may feel like two people are talking to you. Your anxious self is telling you that there is something wrong with you and to get help, but your depressed self is telling you not to make an effort to get help since you feel too numb to worry about it. With these two selves fighting with each other, no one is winning if you are constantly battling yourself on a daily basis.
Caring About Everything and Nothing
When you are trying to control your anxious self and your depressive self, you feel like you cannot get any peace within yourself. It feels hopeless to win. You are struggling with the battle to get yourself out of bed when your depression kicks in, but you are also battling with all of the worries that you have waiting for you that is keeping you up while in bed. While your depression is yelling at you that you are worthless and nothing matters, your anxiety is telling you that you are not keeping up with your responsibilities or that something bad will happen to you.
Anxiety and depression both come with their own physical symptoms. Sleep works differently with both mental disorders in that depression makes you feel more tired than normal, but your anxiety may cause you to always think, making it difficult to get any sleep. Anxiety can also lead you to experience chest tightness and stomach aches. The pains you are experiencing can also heighten your depression so it feels like these symptoms are never-ending.
Stuck in a Loop
Anxiety and depression together can also mean that the mental symptoms you experience are ongoing and you cannot shut them off. Anxiety is the constant feeling that everything has to go right. Depression is constantly feeling like you are always stuck. You know about everything that can go wrong and trying to make everything right, but you also feel like there is nothing that can be done so you have no choice but to feel stuck like this. With all of these constant thoughts, it is hard to tell if your anxiety came first or your depression. The point is that if you are battling both of these disorders, both of them need treatment.
Being both depressed and anxious can lead you to isolate yourself from the ones you love. For example, having social anxiety can cause you to avoid any events that lead to social interaction like clubs, parties, meetings, mixers, etc. They are too busy overthinking what to say or worrying what others will think of them if they say something wrong. By doing that, you are increasing your depression by feeling more lonely. People who are depressed also withdraw from others thinking that they are not good enough for them or better off without them. By knowing your worth and carrying yourself with more confidence, making new friends will decrease your anxiety and depression symptoms.
You spend your days feeling conflicted because you do not know if it is anxiety’s turn to make an appearance or depression. You want to spend hours sleeping in bed, but you also want to get up because you know you have important things that cannot afford to miss the deadline. There is a part of you that cares too much about what others think and another part of you that feels numb to the feelings of others. At parties, you may experience panic attacks when you are surrounded by a bunch of people you do not know, but also have no energy to attempt to socialize. This leaves you to deal with battling with two thoughts and you do not know which one to listen to.
Challenge of Accomplishment
It can be hard to get things done when you have two conflicting thoughts telling you how to go about it. Your anxious side is telling you that you have to get things done right now or something bad can happen. This can be something like a project, answering an email, getting together with someone, etc. Your depressive side, on the other hand, is telling you that you are a failure, a fraud, and that you will not get anything done. This can make it hard for you to get anything done when you cannot make up your mind of what to do.
Loss of Hope
You feel like not giving yourself the self-care that you know you should give yourself because your thoughts are telling you to do the exact opposite. You need to tell yourself first that it is okay to not feel okay. Acknowledge that you need to get yourself help so that you can feel good about yourself and your life. Treatment will teach you how much you matter and to be in control of your depression and anxiety symptoms.
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