Tuesday, November 26, 2013

30 Days of Mental Health Awareness: Intro and Day 1

I'm going to take part in the 30 Days of Mental Health Awareness Challenge. Every day I'll post in response to their prompts.

I will also use the tag "30 day mental health challenge" so you can follow the posts if you want.

Today is day 1.

Day 1: What is/are your mental illness(es)? Explain it a little.

 I have both depression and anxiety.

They manifest themselves individually a lot, though when I'm feeling one I often notice traces of the other, so maybe it's more that I feel each more strongly at different times.

If you haven't felt these things yourself, they're very hard to explain. Depression is beyond just feeling down in the dumps, or even an extended case of the blues. It's an all-consuming feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness, dread, etc. You can't get out of bed or eat or sleep. You can't control your reactions. Everything is foggy. There are periods of time I hardly remember because my depression was clouding me so much.

Similarly, anxiety is a lot more than just getting nervous or stressed. It's a constant sense of heightened awareness, coupled with feelings of dread and terror. A lot of my anxiety is social, which means for me that there is a block that goes up whenever social interaction happens, or could happen. Add romance into the mix and that block becomes three-foot-wide reinforced steel bank vault wall. It's double checking every last detail of an event over and over so I know exactly what to do so I don't look stupid. It's having fight or flight constantly activated and not knowing how to feel at ease.

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