| “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
Okay, so, quick questions and a quicker heads up first:
1. What’s your favourite thing to do?
Yeah. The answer to that came quite easily, yeah?
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.”
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.
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
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
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!
And one more thing:
If This Article Was Helpful, Please Share With Anyone You Think Needs To See This Too.
Deliciously Yours To Savour,