Today is Mental Health Day; a day to spread awareness about mental health and inform people about the issues that 1 in 4 people in the UK can experience each year.
I’m raising my hand to say that I am one of those people and I’m currently dealing with anxiety and depression. I’m not going to shy away from the taboo of mental illness. Why should I be embarrassed about something I can’t help? I wish every single day that this wasn’t happening to me, but it is and I’m pissed off about it. What do people do when they’re pissed off? They talk about the said thing that is pissing them off.
Anxiety makes me move out of the way of other people, even if I have right of way. If I see someone walking along with their nose in their phone, I’ll be the one to move, rather than them. If someone walks in front of me, I’ll let them past rather than stand my ground.
Anxiety makes me breathe like my lungs are about to explode whenever I feel I’m hindering someone, or I’m letting someone down. My head spins, my heart hurts, my sight goes flat and blurry at the same time, and my limbs tingle and fail to hold me. That’s a panic attack.
Anxiety causes the littlest things to overwhelm me, tipping me over the edge into the spiral of worry and stomach-clenching agony of self-doubt.
Anxiety means little noises and movements make me jump and twitch. The washing machine, the vacuum, phone notifications, someone dropping something, someone silently appearing… all of these cause me to jump or be on-edge until they’ve passed.
Anxiety means my body is ready to flee from the (non-existent) threats, leaving me constantly exhausted.
Anxiety means my concentration is shot and I can’t pay attention to things very easily. My job requires me to have high attention to detail, so you can imagine how not being able to concentrate makes me fret about doing my job, which then sets off anxiety again.
Anxiety means stress affects me more than when I wasn’t anxious, and stress makes my Endometriosis worse, which then causes more anxiety about the pain, the bleeding, and the potential operation to relieve some of the problems.
Depression means one minute I’m sat doing nothing and the next I’m in tears.
Depression leaves me sat doing nothing for hours on end, which then causes me to hate myself for not doing something to make myself better.
Depression means my body is so run down that I’ve gotten more ailments in the past 6-ish months than I have in the last few years.
Depression means no matter how much light you shine on things, the darkness is always more visible.
Depression means I have the answers to problems, but not the ability to follow through with the actions. I know what I need to do to “make myself better”, but you can be sure as shit that is harder than walking on the ceiling right now.
I’m worse now than I have been in a while and every day is difficult. It’s affecting my physical health, my relationships with other people, and my job. I’m lucky that I have support from friends, family, and the NHS. I’m thankful for everyone that has held me up through this and listened when I needed it and gently pushed me when I started to fall back. Some people don’t have these things available for them, so I ask you to make an effort to be understanding today and hold out a helping hand for someone who is drowning in their own mind.
Mental Health Information & Support UK | mind.org
Mental Health America | mentalhealthamerica.net