For those who suffer from depression or anxiety, life can be a constant battle; not only are you fighting against your own demons, but you are also fighting against the preconceptions that society holds regarding people with these mental health issues. Each battle is unique, as each person is unique. As someone who has not only been diagnosed with anxiety/panic attacks and depression, but also suffered a nervous breakdown at the tender age of 25, I have struggled for most of my life with these demons, to the point where at one particular point in time I attempted to take my own life. I am not trying to glamourise or glorify my struggles, but I hope that by posting this story, others may come to understand just how insidious these diseases are. I thought the below passage might help others understand just how life feels at times for someone like me, when I am having a depressive episode/anxiety attack.
“Screams dart and tumble around inside your head like bats on wing at night, feasting on despair and self-recriminations. You fight against them, using the light provided by love and happier memories, but they are too quick, twisting away, escaping only to come back again to attack you when you are unprepared. Your heart races, your stomach churns as fear turns to blind panic. You try to breathe, but are suffocated under the weight of the darkness. You struggle to find any handhold, to pull yourself out from under the crashing waves, but they pummel you down further into blackness. You flail about, surfacing briefly, before being dragged down by the weight of your fears. You feel your lungs burn as they try to drag in air, you struggle to find safe harbour. Miraculously, you find a rocky spur to cling to, your head barely above the crashing, sucking waves. You have been given a brief respite, but for how long?”
Depression and anxiety are diseases with no real physical signs. Unlike the flu or chickenpox, you can’t just look at a person and say “You’re ill. You have X disease!” Some of the most outwardly capable and composed people I know are shattered on the inside; with such stigma still attached to them, sufferers do not want their illnesses on display or broadcast to the general public.
I hope my ramblings do some good; either to educate those who are ignorant of what depression and anxiety are like for those who suffer them, or to let other sufferers know that they are not alone in their battles.
Posted by mindafaye, 27th April 2014