I’m writing here to hold myself accountable because, to be honest, I need all the help I can get. I’ve been battling with anxiety and depression for some time now.
You see, for as long as I can remember I’ve always been anxious. I remember when I was a child I’d be staying at a friend’s house while my parents went out for the evening. It would get late and they weren’t back yet. Next thing I knew all the possible things that could have happened to them would fill my mind and cause anxiety, when obviously nothing happened and they were just running late.
Not only would I get anxious in those situations, but I also would fret about what people thought of me. Though, I honestly don’t think this really started until 6th grade (that I remember) when my best friends at the time decided they didn’t like me anymore because of a trivial thing (having bangs, which they didn’t). Since then I’ve always worried about every little thing someone does around me. If someone says hello to someone else but not me, it must mean they don’t like me right? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve ended up crying because of my perception of what people do around me and the anxiety it causes due to feeling like I need to be liked.
I never really thought of myself having depression though. Growing up I saw myself as a happy person in general. Usually, I would have a cheerful disposition, but the older I get the more I’ve felt that persona drop and what’s inside is no longer able to be hidden. I would normally put on a happy face even when I was sad because it’s what I thought was expected of me. But now I’m coming to terms with having depression and anxiety, and know I need to get help.
But it’s not that easy I’ve found, as I’ve been putting off going to the doctor. What can I say, it gives me anxiety to work towards dealing with my anxiety and depression. I keep telling myself I will do it tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes and I just continue to procrastinate. Which by the way, I’ve been a procrastinator all my life, now I know why. What I thought was being lazy was me becoming a slave to my anxiety.
A few weeks ago, I lost a friend I was close to in high school to suicide. It was and is heartbreaking. I hadn’t talked to him in years and hadn’t seen him in even more. I got to thinking about when we were younger and decided I should read through my journals during that time of my life, especially hoping to find some happy memories between us.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have many stories about him, but I did talk about him a little. What was even more glaring was that I realized my anxiety was prevalent even then. Throughout my journal, over and over, I fretted about the way friends, boys, someone felt about me. Sure it’s normal for a teenager to worry about things like that, especially if their crush likes them, but my journal was filled with those worries in an obsessive way that I can only now realize was an anxious behavior.
After reading through my journals and thinking of my late friend, I decided that I needed to do something.
But why am I telling you all this? Well, it sadly gets in the way of my blogging. I love my blog, it is my virtual baby. But sometimes the anxiety gets to me so deeply and it puts me into such a depression that I have no motivation to work on it and I feel terrible for having you guys not hear from me. It almost feels like a chore and so I neglect it and put it off.
Another reason is I need to be held accountable, so what better way than putting it out there on the internet. I want to do better and feel better and hopefully live my life with my anxiety and depression in check so I can feel happier and be the mom that my daughter deserves and the wife my husband needs. I want to go to a Doctor. Like actually go. I want to be told that I’m not alone and that I can get through this, because anxiety and depression feels like a lonely battle when there actually are soldiers fighting by your side.
If you are like me, and you feel comfortable, please let me know in the comments or you can email me. I would love to know what stories my readers have of overcoming this to give me some hope.
Barbara Crofts says
Paxil saved my life. There’s no shame in needing some help. Your neurons just need a little help making the jump in your brain. It took a few weeks to kick in, but helps with my depression. It took a few tries to get me on the right med, so if one doesn’t work you can try another one. If you can, talk therapy is a good thing too. I love you.
Thanks Mom. I’m hoping that with a combination of therapy and meds I’ll be able to feel more “normal”. I do expect it to take time though.
Melissa Martin says
I wouldn’t say that I suffer from chronic depression or anxiety, but there are definitely times in my life where it’s been super pronounced. For me, preparing to go to the temple, and actually going through the temple, was a huge source of anxiety for me. Between feelings of not being good enough or worthy enough, to feeling like an idiot for not knowing enough, it was enough to make me feel like I should just not even go. My first time doing an endowment session, I broke into wailing tears when I got to the Celestial Room because I felt so overwhelmed and unworthy to be there. Being that it was the temple, I knew it couldn’t possibly be Satan influencing my thoughts in there, and I had to realize that I had psyched myself out. My anxiety had caused me to have a panic attack in one of the most peaceful places on Earth.
Since then, I’ve had to come to terms with myself and realize that perhaps I can’t just be Wonder Woman all the time. That I need to be honest with myself and realize when something is overwhelming me.
As far as the temple goes, I spent several weeks going with only very close friends or my mother so I could continue to face that stressful situation, so I could get over my feelings of being inadequate. Being married has helped me immensely to see my worth and value the person that I am. I have not felt the need to go to the doctor for these issues yet, but if they start rearing their angry heads again, I know that my husband will support me in getting the help I need.
Just remember that you have a family who loves you dearly, as well as a husband who is devoted to you. You don’t have to face these challenges alone, or pretend that they don’t exist.
I’m rooting for you!
Thank you so much for opening up to me about that experience! While I didn’t get anxiety over going through the temple, I can relate to not feeling worthy (even when you know you are) and being overwhelmed with information and a new experience. I’m actually an extrovert but I’ve become more reclusive as I get older. I get comfortable in my own set ways and while I do enjoy new experiences, sometimes the anxiety and nerves that come with them get the best of me and I’ll back out or doubt that I should even do it. I’m so glad to have you as a part of my family and I’ve loved getting to know you! Remember that I’m here for you if you do start to experience those feelings more often.
Alisa Carling says
Way to go Jess! I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression for a very long time and started getting help from my amazing therapist my last year of college (about 8 years ago, wow that makes me feel old. I did try going to a therapist when I was in 7th/8th grade for it but that didn’t work out for me so I figured therapy would never work – WRONG). I’ve gone back a few times when needed, especially when I’m going through something tough like my parents’
divorce or fertility treatments, and when we’re not trying to get pregnant and all that I’ve been on antidepressants. There is no shame in having it and your life gets so much better if you get help! I’m happy to talk to you anytime about it, and you can also read my blog thedarlingcarlings.blogspot.com (although I haven’t written in a long time). I had big problems with depression and anxiety back in high school and I’m not the same person I was back then. I didn’t realize how much it had infected every aspect of my life until I start seeing my therapist. It bled into everything I did, where I would go and the things I would say. My self worth and value was placed on things that really don’t matter, and the hypothetical and assumed opinions of strangers I had never and wouldn’t ever talk to. I honestly haven’t read my journals from high school in years because it’s so sad to me how little I thought of myself, but I am proud and happy with the progress I made and continue to make. I’m so glad that people are being more open about this because too many people just suffer in silence thinking that no one understands. You can do it! You’re on the right track in recognizing it’s a problem and that you want to get some help. 🙂 Please let me know if you ever want to talk or if I can do anything to help!
I’ve read some of your posts about therapy sessions! They were really insightful and helped me to feel a bit closer to you actually in the fact you were being so open about it. It was really difficult to read my journals, at least more difficult than I remembered them being and thought it would be. I would get frustrated with my young self at first but then grew more and more understanding of who I was back then and how there are many things that haven’t gone away, they’ve just evolved and it scared me. But I think it was a wake-up call for me of sorts.
Nicole Langston says
You are most definitely not alone. I’ve been struggling with anxiety and bouts of depression since I was a child. I’ve been taking a low dose of Zoloft for over a decade now and I’ve learned a lot of coping techniques for my anxiety. Sometimes it comes completely out of nowhere. But yes, you are not alone. ?
I would love to learn of some of your coping techniques to see if they could help me too!
I love what you said about having anxiety about working towards helping your anxiety, I’m the EXACT SAME. I’ve been procrastinating getting help forEVER and when I think about it, it makes no sense. But you totally explained exactly what I feel.
I’m glad I was able to explain it for you too! It’s very hard to explain it myself and I seriously read over this post so many times making sure I explained myself correctly. It’s my hope that while others help me (and I get help) that I can help others.
M Dub says
Hmmm, not sure what to say. I think you and Sean are both awesome! I feel like I disagree with everyone all the time though, so I’m probably wrong and you both actually suck. I still think you’re great though…for what my incorrect opinion is worth. Really thinking our way through things is the first step to knowing ourselves, and truly knowing ourselves is a necessary precursor to a personally rewarding and meaningful life. I say good for you for thinking your way through, and talking out loud about your crazy! After all, all the best people are…
Thank you! That gave me a good chuckle and I love the video! I agree that it is the first step to really connecting to myself and feeling more fulfilled!
Alyse Wilkins says
Jess I have awful anxiety too! And have had on/off depression (mostly post-partum) my best advice (and also the hardest thing to do) would be to ask for help. From family and friends. And just like this where you are asking for help from others experiences. Sadly I’ve found that even some family members haven’t been very kind or helpful because they don’t understand anxiety/depression so they push it aside as something trivial so find someone close who has gone though it too vent to and be support. I would do the same thing when my patents were gone as a child and even had a few panic attacks about it. My parents weren’t very understanding about my anxiety because they didn’t have it and made me feel stupid for having it which only made it worse and I learned to hold it in and not talk about it.
Also, for me, taking medicine causes me anxiety because I’m also a hypochondriac and I worry about all the side effects so I have a hard time taking anti-anxiety meds so I have found other mite natural was of coping. Exercise does help because it gets your endorphins up and regular exercise helps Keep it up. However when i feel like crap it’s hard to want to do anything like that and i often have times of skipping exercise for months which makes me feel even more like crap. Also, some more natural things you can take are magnesium and at john’s wort. Both are natural substances and both help naturally with anxiety and depression. Especially the magnesium because many people are deficient in it so taking it helps. But if you are taking anything else make sure you talk to a doctor first about mixing them with other meds. Then when I’m having a panic attack I’ve been told to think of your 5 senses ( touch sight smell hearing taste) and focus on 3 or more things you can do with them like playy some relaxing music, touch or hold something comforting (or have a husband hold you) look at or watch something to occupy your mind, smell something like Essential oils, or eat something nice like a piece of chocolate ( but that one could be dangerous to overdo if you’re a comfort eater like me so i stay a way from that one) hope some of that helps. Good luck
I’m the same way about exercise. I love the way it makes me feel and the theory of doing it gets me excited to be able to feel better, but I know that when I’m feeling down, tired, anxious, depressed, etc. exercise is the LAST thing I want to do. I agree that talking to someone who understands is detrimental. My husband does his best to try to understand but it’s difficult for him since he doesn’t have to deal with it for himself.