Today (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day. Personally I think it should be World Mental Health Awareness Day every day.
For some, talking comes natural. Not for me though. I’ve always struggled with revealing my feelings and about how I feel. Even as a child a whenever I was asked “what’s wrong?” I would just fall apart. I kinda still do that now as an adult when I’m feeling really vulnerable.
But people ALWAYS want me to talk. (Quite frankly I get tired of talking at times because people don’t want to listen or refuse to believe me)
What do you want me to talk about? About the fact that I have G.A.D (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)? I have Social Anxiety and a touch of Agoraphobia (Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of anxiety in situations where the person perceives the environment to be unsafe with no easy way to get away. These situations can include open spaces, public transit, shopping malls, or simply being outside the home. Being in these situations may result in a panic attack. [Definition according to Wikipedia] ) Panic Attacks (as well as Social Anxiety attacks) I also think I may have a touch of depression, because I have come to know that anxiety and depression usually go hand in hand from what I’ve read.
As well as worrying about everything all the time, I’m also a sensitive person, more so a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and not to forget, I’m also an introvert.
I should probably say this now, that I have not sought any medical or professional help for these things, and to some, that would mean I don’t actually have any of these issues and therefore it’s just a figment of my imagination or whatever.
The thing with mental health is, is that it’s not always visible or noticeable, and that’s what makes it so difficult.
I know that “self –diagnosing” probably isn’t the best or wisest thing to do, but does that mean the symptoms I experience aren’t real? Is the anxiety I feel at certain times just me over-reacting? Is the social anxiety and agoraphobia just a “lazy” excuse for me to stay home? Are the spells of depression I have just me having a bad day?
I don’t think so.
Yes I have issues, this I know. Do I hate people? No? I just don’t always feel so comfortable around them at times. Large crowds, shopping centres crawling with people = nightmare for me at times. That kind of environment just makes me feel anxious and uncomfortable.
Like I said in the beginning, talking doesn’t come natural to me. Half the time I don’t even know what’s going on with me. How am I supposed to explain something to someone when I don’t really understand it myself?
Going through the motions of an attack, whether it be an anxiety or social one, is horrible. If I could try to explain it, it kinda feels like a tsunami wave of about 10 thousand emotions hitting you all at once. My heart rate increases rapidly, my head spins, I feel faint, I feel like I’m going to be sick (but so far never have been thankfully). I even begin to sweat a little. And then, after a few minutes (at times it’s been over half an hour or longer) I begin to calm down. I’m then left with this empty, low feeling. Like I’m in a trance and I’m there, but not really there if you get what I mean. This normally doesn’t last long. But in a strange way, the low (or calm after the storm) feels nice. Because I feel nothing. I’m just calm and relaxed. It’s weird.
As for feeling depressed and going through that whole emotional rollercoaster ride…it’s always a difficult time for me. I experience these bouts every few months or so, and I just have to shut myself off from the world till things settle. I hate the days where I feel so empty and so low, but at the same time, all I wanna do IS feel and let all the emotions out. I can’t really speak about depression much, but there are times when I feel really low, and that I can speak about. There are times when it feels like I’m drowning. There’s a quote I read… “You don’t need water to feel like you’re drowning, do you?” – Jodi Picoult. At times that’s exactly how I feel when things feel overwhelming. When I feel like things are getting too much and I just can’t cope with anything anymore. Makes me want to stop caring. Stop trying and just give up. But I don’t. Because I know that’s not really what I want. Giving up is way too easy. I don’t ever want to give in and give up and sink (I’m scared I won’t want to get back up). I’m a fighter (and have been fighting different things in different ways my whole life) and that’s what I’ll continue to do. You’re only as weak for as long as you feel. And I know I’m not a weak person. I am stronger, bigger and better than my weakness.
Sometimes I’m able to get things under control before the flood of tears start, other times, I’m not so lucky. Like this one time I had an interview for a work placement thing, boy was I nervous! After it ended, I had a panic attack, I thought to myself, I better get to the bathroom quickly before someone sees me in the state I’m in. The toilets were about a 5 minute walk, I didn’t make it. I got to the parking lot and just broke, and then went to the loo to calm down before heading home.
I should really start deploying some anxiety attack tactics.
More importantly, I should go get some help. Talk to my doctor about things. But I’m not brave enough nor do I have the courage to do so just yet. Honestly, I’m afraid to completely open myself and expose myself in that way. I’m also terrified that after I tell my all, I’ll be put on medication and It’ll change me, or worse, I become too reliant upon them (the meds) and end up addicted to whatever medication I’m prescribed.
That scares me a lot.
Sometime I really hate speaking the honest truth, but that’s why I started this blog, so I could talk about the things that are on my mind and going on in my life. I just find it easier to write than to verbally talk. I don’t know why, I just do.
Anyway, I know that one day I’ll have the strength and courage to get the help I need in the best form for me.
And even though I have a million and one thigs going on, I am still a person. I’m not a mess all the time, just some of the time. I fall but I always get back up, after a time out of course. I know that one day things will be easier to deal with.
It really means a lot to me that there are people in my life who honestly, genuinely care for me and who are always there for me and will support me in any way possible. They are patient and understanding of my needs and feelings, which is always nice. I appreciate them for this. I am and always will be forever grateful to those that are with me at my best and stick by me at my worst. I have amazing people in my life, and that’s all I need right now.
I hope I always have my support group around me.
The struggle is real, but I must always remind myself that even though at times I feel alone, I’m not.
To all those struggling with mental health, keep fighting. Stay strong. Be brave and never give up.
You are a warrior and always will be.
Take care all.