What To Do With Anxiety And Depression For Starters 

| “I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare. ” |
 ― Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story
 
 
Hey, precious!
Okay, so, quick questions and a quicker heads up first:

Question:
1. What’s your favourite thing to do?
Yeah. The answer to that came quite easily, yeah?
Okay.
2. Why do you think you/people battle with severe anxiety and depression — what exactly is the problem? 
Now you’re stuck there. Trying to reason out an answer.
Don’t bother really.That’s the thing about this thing.And don’t beat yourself up because you can’t seem to generate one specifically.

Like the awesome Stephen Fry said:
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. 
Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”

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Don’t ask for specifics. Just don’t.
 I can remember a time a friend of mine wanted to help a depressed friend and she started by asking: “what’s the cause of all this?”
Big mistake. So I won’t ask. And don’t bother your pretty head.
Anxiety disorder/Depression,be it one sort or another, is said to be too common a mental illness now.
Over 350 million people worldwide suffer from it.
It has become a leading source of disability. 
They say one in every four young adults would suffer from an episode of depression before turning 24.
Infact, the World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the 2nd highest medical cause of disability by the year 2030, 2nd only to HIV/AIDS.
In the United States a huge chunk of the Budget (Estimated in Billions) is said to go into handling Depression and Anxiety cases. 
It is ranked the 10th most common cause of death. 

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Yet,ever so few people actually get the attention they need. It is too often downplayed in too many parts of the world.
No, they aren’t throwing a tantrum.
No, they aren’t seeking attention.
No, they aren’t intentionally trying to be difficult to love.
It’s real, and it’s serious.
 
But still, anxiety and depression can be curbed.
There are aspects like clinical anxiety that turn out to be hereditary and so can be transferred through genes to a person,and then there is anxiety and depression from situations that one had little control over, like being a recipient of bullying,child abuse,product of a broken home. 
It can even be considered infectious,caught from our immediate surroundings and the people that make it up. (Nigerians living in Nigeria right now can relate.)
So how does one start?
  Here are some baby steps to begin with:
• Acknowledge The Problem Exists
Excluding people with Anosognosia,that is,unaware of their state of mental health as a result of psychological imbalance, too many anxiety/depression victims often choose to intentionally ignore their state.
We’d prefer to pick at the source of those pains consistently.
It’s like there’s some sort of satisfaction from basking in it.
You know that feeling? Where hugging those pains makes it more painful but you’re somehow okay with it?
But you know what we forget? You aren’t just choosing to sit there and wallow in this, it’s a quicksand — and it’s sucking you in, deeper and faster. 
So first things first, want to face it. And want to accept it for what it is — a silent killer.

• Want Help From The Source That Helps You Best
“Some friends don’t understand this. They don’t understand how desperate I am to have someone say, I love you and I support you just the way you are because you’re wonderful just the way you are. They don’t understand that I can’t remember anyone ever saying that to me. I am so demanding and difficult for my friends because I want to crumble and fall apart before them so that they will love me even though I am no fun, lying in bed, crying all the time, not moving. Depression is all about If you loved me you would.”

― Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
 

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The importance of therapy isn’t taken importantly. 
A majority of those who seek therapy or have to go into rehab, go long after getting stuck for a long time.
Why? Could be the general notion that “no one really gets it” or “they only just make you remember stuffs you’d rather forget”,but maybe that’s the point. 
Nothing kills fear faster than when it’s confronted. The situations faced head-on. And for most people, it is much more easier to open up to a therapist, a guidance counselor, an older individual, than even a friend!
 In most cases,you get triggered,not out of compulsion as the case could turn out to be with a friend,but the fact that you’re with someone you aren’t so familiar with, has been proven to naturally increase the urge to share where it hurts the most.

• Format And Restart Often. Viruses Are Everywhere.  
If I could sum up this part, it’ll be – Attempt to work towards a better life — consciously. 
“Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don’t believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.” 
― Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
 

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 Take the mind as a storage device,like,a Flash Drive. 

A Flash Drive that has been used for years,documents and media files piled in and  extracted from,inserted and ejected and tossed around from one external source to another. Sometimes it’s only natural to feel wearied and yup,even catch a virus or two that would attempt to crash your entire being down.
 It’s why a cleansing exercise every now and then never hurts. 
And what’s this cleansing exercise? 
When I personally feel overwhelmed, I usually enjoy turning off all links to the external world and reading my Bible. It gives me such serenity.
Some other times, what I need is a long, hard, painful, sweaty workout (five minutes of aerobic exercise consistently is enough as an anti-anxiety stimulant). Sometimes it’s music and a warm bath. Sometimes a change of environment. Sometimes a change of “friends”. Sometimes it’s breathing exercises. Sometimes it’s forgiving someone. Or forgiving myself.
So look around and be honest.
What cleansing do you need?
What needs to go and what needs to be let in?

• When Life Gives You Lemons Again (And It Sure Will), Too Bitter To Drink Alone, Refer To Step One Again
If you suffer from chronic anxiety often, chances are this post won’t set you free instantly.
It’ll come crawling back.
And it might try to convince you that you’d never find total freedom and it’s all a waste of time.
Now that part is a lie. Refuse it.
There used to be a time in the past I battled with a lot of personal demons I was sure would pull me totally down, but if you don’t stop fighting them, they can’t hold you down. 
If you don’t give up, they’ll have to.
Life cannot be held accountable for what it throws your way. 
It wants to see you fight. 
And so fight it.
 Choose happiness. Choose love, and choose friends that want to show you how beautiful true living looks and feels like.
You are not alone. I think that’s most important to remember. 
So choose to want to live.
They can’t hold you down if you don’t stop fighting — remember that.

Did that make any sense?

I’d love to hear all of your thoughts through the comments section!
Here’s to the weekend, darling!

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And one more thing:

If This Article Was Helpful, Please Share With Anyone You Think Needs To See This Too.
Pretty please?

Deliciously Yours To Savour,
LemonsLemonade.com.

More Juice?

  • You have my attention. Great read

  • I think you give great advice that I did not really contemplate before, to not ask “why?” Instead of asking a loved one WHY they are down, instead I am going to ask how I can help. I think that could be very powerful. My degree is in Psychology, but a loved one probably does not want a run down of my course work, they probably just want to know that I’m there and I care. Great post!

    • Yeah, that’s very true.
      They really just want someone that’ll be there, and overtime, they’d learn to open up unconsciously about it all.
      Thank you for reading Brittany, I’m super psyched my article made sense to a Psychologist! 🙂

  • Lara

    you’re the best baby… beautiful

    • Thank you so much, Lara!
      Here’s to my dedicated reader: <3 <3 <3

  • I’m going through this now. Thanks for the reminder about being gentle and letting the person, I’m here when they are ready. Sometime’s, it’s hard because you want to try to fix it for them. With depression, sometime’s they don’t see you as helping but actually trying to destroy them.

    • Yeah, I can understand.
      It is literally heartbreaking to see them in such circumstances that our desperation to need to help them badly often times shuts them down.
      Sometimes, like I explained to another reader, it’s simply just taking it little by little with them, respecting their space, listening when they are willing to talk, that eventually makes all the difference in a long run.
      Thank you so much for stopping by,Tamika! I am so glad this was helpful 🙂

  • This is really a great post! Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re very welcome, thank you for reading!

  • A

    I am not sure I’m totally sane…..im depressed most of the day within yet I’m fine….im a pretty pretty flower in a field of thorns I’m happy you know what to control

    A

    • Hi A.
      If you’d like to talk, please reach me at through my contact form below.
      I hope you pull through and I wish you better days ahead.
      Please contact me if you’d want some personal help and recommendations.

  • Thank you for this post! I really enjoyed reading it.

    • That’s so good to hear, and you’re welcome!

  • #preach! u are awesome

  • You did a great job with this post. I enjoys the GIFs too.

  • Anxiety and depression suck, something many I know struggle with this!

    • Yeah, rather sad.
      But still, it sure can be beaten!
      Thanks for reading Teresa

  • Truly an empowering post! I hope it can help a lot of people out there dealing with these illnesses

  • I can’t remember suffering from stuff like this…. However, you have help be become a better Counsellor and minister (somehow)
    God bless you richly Imaobong

    • Hehe
      Thank you so much Tunji 🙂
      God bless you plenty too!

  • I love the point about not asking them why. There literally is never an answer. I know they wish they knew why!!

    • So true! Most times, even they can’t place their fingers on it!

  • Ana Sanchez

    This is wonderful advice. I suffer from anxiety. I haven’t thought about some of this before.

    • Thank you Ana,and I truly hope this gives you some of the help that you need 🙂

  • Anxiety is really hard to live with, but couple that with depression and it is the worst. I had PPD and anxiety after having my baby last year. It was very challenging for me. So glad I am feeling better now!

    • Yeah, anxiety is definitely not easy, been there too.
      And I’m really glad you’re doing better now Jennifer — you’d be fine, stay strong!

  • DT

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this .. so many great things in this! People need to have more awareness and understanding around the challenges of people with anxiety and depression.

    — DT | Here I Scribble

    • Yeah, the more informed and empathetic we all are, the better we’re able to help them pull through.
      Thank you for reading, DT!

  • Everyone gets depressed at certain times in their lives, but we must learn to differentiate sadness from clinical depression. My niece went through clinical depression 3 years ago. It was brought about by the repeated hospital confinement due to a kidney ailment. It was a good thing she pulled through. We, as a family had to come together and support her by giving her lots of love and attention.

    • That’s true, there’s a massive difference there.
      Like an expert once explained to me, if it’s consistent and over a prolonged period of time, then it’s most likely clinical depression.
      It’s so good to know your niece was able to overcome that, I hope she’s doing great now.
      Thank you so much for reading 🙂

  • Katy

    Such great advice in this article. I’m definitely gonna share this with my friends and family.

    • Thank you, Katy!
      So glad you think so, I hope it’s helpful to them too 🙂

  • Elizabeth O.

    People don’t take mental issues seriously because they don’t see it. They think that most people are just exaggerating or causing drama but that’s not the real case. These people who are going trough depression and anxiety need encouragement and support and people who will try to at least understand what it’s like.

    • Exactly, that’s the biggest problem, we don’t take them seriously.
      It’s worse here in Africa unfortunately, and I do hope days like today, World Mental Health day, helps to create more awareness for everyone.

  • A very thought provoking post, great job! It’s a very misunderstood condition.

  • There is a lot of information in this post. As someone that suffers from depression and anxiety, I agree that the acknowledgement is the most important thing!

    • Yeah, it sure is Echo
      It always starts from there 🙂

  • Wow. I love this. Many Nigerians need to read this. Because we don’t even understand mental health issues yet.
    You have a way with words that’s very comforting.

    • Nigerians have very little understanding about this unfortunately
      I hope we get more awareness with time.
      Thank you for popping in, Hassey! So good to hear from you 🙂

  • Fisayo Bayo – Banjoko

    Fantastic article. I definitely learned a lot. Keep up the good work .

    • Thank you Fisayo
      Glad you did 🙂

      • Fisayo Bayo – Banjoko

        You’re most welcome.

  • I know someone who’s still living in anxiety. I could never give any good advice or tips to make this person feel happy or glad and I can definitely feel the frustration whenever people try to make you feel happy but you just can’t. Anyways, red wine works well. A lot.

    • Lol agreed
      And a really hot shower.
      At least, temporarily 🙂