“Aggressively do your homework. […] Do your research and you’ll gain a better understanding of what is happening and you’ll know what to expect.”

“Seek professional help sooner rather than later. Anxiety is treatable and there is no need for extended struggling. And there is nothing to be ashamed of. It is as real as physical illnesses, even though we can’t see any of them on the surface.”

“And almost lastly this: People with anxiety are thinkers. We’re over-thinkers, actually. It makes us creative and compassionate, sensitive and caring. As odd as it is to say, it makes us good people.”

What You Need to Know If Your Child Is Diagnosed With Anxiety

I don’t want to to be here.

I want it to end.

I don’t want to kill myself. I don’t really want to die. I just don’t want to exist.

I’m so sick of feeling like shit all the time. I hate feeling like a failure at life, like I’ve never accomplished anything.

Whenever I feel like I’m making progress, something happens that sets me back and feels like the world is crashing down around me.

Continue reading

What we already feel in the midst of an anxiety attack is a loss of control of our emotions, our thoughts, our being. Every word that wants to come out cyclones into a monstrous torrent of incoherent thoughts. Only a few words ring clear through that garbled mess, and for me, they’re not pretty. Dramatic, stupid, monster, b*itch. Those are the only words I can make out when an attack comes on me.

It is not an understatement for me to say in those moments when my mind shuts down and my emotions break loose that I genuinely feel like I’d rather die than for the person on the receiving end of this meltdown to see me like this.

The other element to my panic is imagining situations that aren’t real. I mean, that is usually what causes the outburst in the first place, am I right fellow anxious friends? For me it is an imagined situation where I have disappointed someone again, and I am getting ready to receive an onslaught of hateful speech from a loved one for how insignificant I am and how I just can’t get anything right. They don’t love me anymore so what the heck, just leave already.

I did not wake up asking the universe to flip on its axis and catapult an ocean of emotions down my throat. I too am trying to figure out how to understand what is happening.

So what do you say to your loved one with anxiety when they scream, “I can’t take this anymore!” A hug. The best thing you can do is hold them in a tight embrace and say, “Everything is going to be OK. I am here for you. We will get through this.” Because really, the reason all of this is happening is because your loved one is feeling immense pressure to measure up. Whether it be your standards or ones they have placed upon themselves (usually the latter), all they need to hear from you is that they do measure up, there is nothing to worry about, and things are going to be just fine.

Read the full article: The One Word Your Partner With Anxiety Doesn’t Need to Hear by Sarah Wallace, Contributor, on The Mighty


This is something I can definitely relate to.

Growing up, I had meltdowns exactly like this at least once a week. They were less frequent during the summer, but during the school year it happened all the time. Thankfully, it was usually only at home and my parents, usually my dad, were on the other side of it. Because at that time we didn’t know I had anxiety, it was usually made worse by my dad’s agitated, angry response to my irrational thought processes.

The good news is, now that I know this is caused by my anxiety and depression, I am usually able to feel when it’s coming and can work my way out of it. Sometimes it does still get the better of me, but most of the time I can take control of it.

Why me? Why do I not want to be around anyone? Why does everyone annoy me? Why does everyone sound so loud? Why am I so stressed all the time? Why don’t I have patience anymore? Why am I going through all this? Why do I feel alone? Just why? Why?

This article expresses it so well! It’s long and a little scattered, but it’s perfect because it’s exactly how it is.

I go online, see posts about depression and anxiety. Maybe the more I post and share, the more they will understand this illness and then I will not have to explain it.

I did this, for almost two years straight. When I hit my worst, I realized no one was reading or responding to anything I shared. So I stopped. I weren’t I whole months without a single post. The last one being on World Shocks Prevention Day, talking about suicide. One person noticed. One.

I shared one blog post I wrote, a months later.

After another month, and some serious struggles, I posted that I was in my wrist depressive episode ever. There likes/reactions on Facebook. One private message. One text message (from one of the three people who liked the post). That’s all. And those responses were all from people I expected some sort of interaction with. It makes me feel like no one cares.

I learned years ago to not rely on Facebook as a source of support. The problem is, 99% of the communication I get from my family members happens through Facebook. Not because I want it to, but because they rely on it. I hate Facebook! But I can’t get rid of it (also partly because I’m a web developer and I use the API at work).

I do not want to have this illness. I know I am loved. But I feel so alone. I know other people struggle like I do, but I feel I am the only one. I know it’s an illness, but I feel like I am just crazy and fucked up. I know people are aware of mental illness, but they really do not understand the struggle and day-to-day challenges of this illness. It is real.

A Look Into the Head of Someone With Depression and Anxiety By Alana Willis, Contributor, The Mighty

I really connected with this article, so I wanted to share it. You can read the full post here.

I want to hang on, so I play my role. Inside, I am suffocating. I need support but don’t know how to ask, so I’m hanging on the best I know how.

If you care about someone struggling with anxiety or depression, please reach out. Don’t expect them to make the move, even if you think you have made it abundantly clear that you’re available to them. They might believe their problems are a burden. They can become so consumed that they don’t think you care anymore, and don’t take it personally. Please reach out. Worst-case scenario, you appear too concerned or caring. Best-case scenario, you save a life.

~ When You Spend All Day Pretending to Be OK
By Audra Bothers, Contributor, The Mighty

You don’t see the strain in my eyes every time I have to talk to a stranger. You don’t see me crawling underneath my covers because I don’t want to step outside my door and interact with anyone. You don’t see me struggling to post on social media because I’m afraid of harming someone or being hated for my opinions. You don’t see me staring at your texts and Facebook messages for hours before giving up on finding the right response.

What It’s Like to Have ‘High-Functioning’ Social Anxiety Disorder – Ahmad Abojaradeh, Contributor, The Mighty

Yesterday was an extremely stressful day. So stressful that I actually couldn’t go to work today.

The Stress Came First…

Yesterday, I had a performance review (they’re only just starting to do this, so it was more of a random 9 month review than the usual 30 days or 3 months or whatever). I knew about it since last week, and even though I knew nothing bad was going to happen, I was still extremely anxious about it. This is something I have always struggled with. I always think I’m in trouble and when it’s work related I always think I’m going to get fired.

Obviously, that wasn’t the case. It went really well. As I expected, but I was still terrified and was spending a lot of time in the bathroom beforehand.

However, that was not the worst part of my day and is not the reason I had to stay home today.

…Then The Phobia

I’ve had a weird phobia for as long as I can remember. I have absolutely no idea what caused it. There’s nothing I can remember that may have caused it, except for the fact that my imagination is excellent and it causes me to visualize things a little too well, so even someone mentioning something that seems harmless, it can make me cringe because I get a very vivid image in my head.

I’ve always been kind of hesitant to call it a phobia too because of the fact I didn’t have a good reason for it and it’s not even like a specific thing that I’m afraid of happening, it’s more that like a concept that gives me the heebie jeebies. That’s not even a strong enough phrase to describe it.

Continue reading

And I’m on to antidepressant number 4! Yes, four.

I’m probably a little too good at hiding my symptoms. Years of being made to feel like my feelings are irrational and overdramatic, or that I am way too sensitive have taught me to internalize everything.

Talking about it while I’m in the midst of is super uncomfortable. I don’t mind talking about it afterward the fact, because it’s in the past, but when I’m in it, I don’t know if I’ll get out, and that’s stressful on its own.

I know they say it gets better, but when you’re depression is chronic, rather than episodic, it’s a lot harder to believe.

It hasn’t been quite as bad as this time last year, but last year I had an emotionally traumatic event as a trigger. This time, everything is going excellent, which makes it far more difficult to deal with because there’s no logical reason for feeling like a worthless piece of shit.

This time last year, I was so overwhelmed with emotions and pain that I didn’t know how to deal. Now, it’s not like this:

  • lack of emotion, most of the time.
  • Inability to sleep, but not because I’m worrying about everything and it’s keeping me awake, more that I’m not drowsy when I should be, even though I’m physically exhausted and all o want to do is be curled up in bed.
  • Absolutely zero motivation to do anything, except to make sure no one notices, to I continue on as if everything is fine, waiting for it to go away.
  • Almost constant suicidal thoughts or wishing I was dead.

I feel lost in life. Like in just going through the motions. Simply existing, rather than actually living. I’ve felt like this before without a trigger, but that was before I understood what depression was, before I was diagnosed.

I talked to my doctor today because I’ve been on the same dosage of medication since January, and the fact I’m feeling this way indicates that it’s not helping as much as it should.

Because one of the meds I’m on had been making me tired, he decided it’s probably time to try something else.

Continue reading

I started seeing a new counselor recently, because I was getting fed up with not feeling like I’ve made any progress. Even though I have made progress, it doesn’t really feel like it, especially because I’ve been battling frequent suicidal thoughts again.

For a while, it was down to where it might pop into my head in the form of a Pure-O (OCD) intrusive thought, maybe once or twice a week, but I could brush it off with the simplest, even unintentional, of distractions. However, over the past month or so, it has gradually returned to the point of, almost daily, obsession.

There wasn’t any one specific trigger, but maybe a few small things happening in a short time span. I started feeling worthless again. Like a failure at everything. A waste of space. I began to spend hours thinking about it — and trying not to think about, which makes you think about it even more. For the first time, I actually started to become afraid a may act upon my thoughts. It’s never gotten to the point where I actually thought I might act upon them before. It usually just remains frequent obsession, but my anxiety would take over and give me all sorts of reasons not to actually try. Maybe my anxiety is getting better…? That’s scary.

Since I first met my new counselor a few weeks ago, it’s gotten a little less frequent. Not that we’ve actually talked about it. We’re still in the getting to know each other phase. But I think there was something reassuring about the fact that someone new was legitimizing my struggles. I think things had just gotten a little stale, and I needed a refreshing perspective.

That’s not too say my suicidal thoughts and feelings of worthlessness are gone, but I’ve managed to have a few days of peace, at least in that regard. The anxiety and depression are still alive and kicking. The social thoughts are a whole other beast.

Taking about this when I’m still kind of in the midst of it is really difficult. I don’t tend to do that. It’s easier to talk about it after its passed. Partially because I just don’t have the energy. I think I’m also afraid of letting anyone see truly hope much pain I’m in while in in it. Especially when I don’t feel there’s any good reason for it. And that’s basically depression in a nutshell.

Anyway, the reason I am talking about this right now is because it’s relevant to something else I wanted to talk about.

So, part of how I ended up seeing this counselor was because at my last doctor’s appointment, he asked when I was next seeing my social worker (who is part of the mental health team at my doctor’s clinic) and I mentioned that he’d been making it about 6 weeks between appointments. He asked if I was OK with that and I finally said what I’d been procrastinating saying for a while. I wanted something more regular, because I feel like I’m not dealing with things that well. Whether it was with my social worker or someone else didn’t matter, although I was beginning to feel he wasn’t equipped to provide the insight I needed. So my doctor offered to refer me to some psychologists/therapists/etc. to get a new perspective.

A few days ago, I had my second appointment. He’s still on the big lists of questions to sort of figure out what we need to work on. I don’t remember what I said or what he had asked me, but while we were getting into the anxiety questions, he suddenly said, “I wonder if you might have ADD.”

He picked up his phone (apparently he only came prepared to cover anxiety and depression) and said we were going to do the short list of questions to see if we should do the longer, more detailed one.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve done a lot of reading about mental illnesses. In doing so, it helps me sort of understand my mind a little better. It also makes it hard not to self-diagnose. The good thing is, my anxiety kind of prevents me from actually believing my self-diagnoses, until someone else actually legitimizes it. My short also prevents me from specifically bringing it up.

I’d been wondering, for several months now, if I may have ADD but it has never come up before.

So, it was about 20 questions, and to get a result of maybe having ADD, you had to answer ‘yes’ or ‘sometimes’ to I think not than half of them. Not including my sometimes, I was already up to about 15 or 16. I think I only said no to 1 or 2.

It’s not an official diagnosis yet, but he said he’s not ready to rule it out.

He also said that if I do have ADD, it may actually be there main issue that my anxiety stems from, which would explain why my anxiety hasn’t really gotten better. By only treating one of the symptoms, you’re not actually solving the problem. So even if my anxiety gets better, or goes away completely, it will probably keep coming back. If the main problem is ADD, and we treat that, it could potentially solve everything else.

I thought it was quite interesting and makes a lot of sense. We’ll see how it goes when we get into the detailed, 70 question version of the ADD stuff.


Anxiety & ADD Tip

Fidget toys are incredible! I’ve tried a few because I have a lot of nervous energy, so I’m always fidgety, but now knowing I might also have ADD, it makes even more sense. For smaller, more subtle fidgeting, I love these and these! I had heard of these first though, but never knew where to buy then till a few weeks ago. This one is my favourite. I absolutely love them!

I turned to pull the covers back over my head and give up for the day. What I always did. That’s when I came face to face with Buddy.

Buddy started jumping all over me, kissing my face, letting me know that it was time to go outside. It was as if he was saying, “It’s no time to be sad, the world is awesome!”

Dogs are amazing creatures! This is what it was like for me with Mosley.

Difference being, I hadn’t been diagnosed yet when I got Mosley. I also didn’t get to my lowest point until a couple years later.

When I was in my deepest, darkest depression, Mosley was the reason I got up every morning when I had no motivation to, he was the reason why I smiled when I didn’t want to, laughed when I didn’t think I could. Most importantly, he kept me alive when I wanted to die.

All the time, you hear people say things like that they are “so OCD” because they are picky about things being super organized and tidy. That is not what OCD is. That can be one symptom of OCD, but it definitely doesn’t need to be present for someone to have OCD.

One of the other more commonly known symptoms of OCD is fear of contamination, leaving to the compulsion to watch one’s hands a lot and/or avoid touching certain things. This is something I struggle with. It’s always been minor, but I’ve noticed it getting increasingly worse over the past couple years.

But again, that is only one symptom of OCD.

OCD is much more complicated than most people realize.

Take a look at this article (or at least the video): Pure OCD: When logic is overthrown by nightmare-like thoughts

I can’t remember how I found IntrusiveThoughts.org but that’s the reason I came across the article.

** Trigger Warning: Suicide, self harm, violence **Continue reading

I love hearing inspiring stories like this. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel at least a small amount of hope. But each time I hear one, it also hurts a little bit. I feel a little bit jealous.

It sounds crazy to say I’m jealous, but when I’ve felt so shitty for so long, I just want it to all go away.

Then, at the exact same time it makes me feel even worse because I don’t know who I am. I am 28 years old and I have no idea who I am. I’ve been depressed and anxious for basically my entire life and I don’t know who I am without that in my life.

I’ve been struggling lately feeling like I have no place in this world. I want to feel like I have some sort of purpose, a reason why I’m here, but I don’t have a single clue what it is, or if a reason even exists. I feel like I have accomplished nothing of significance in my life so far, and I don’t see anything on the horizon, except more pain.

All I want is for my purpose to become clear so I feel like I actually have something to fight for.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 – The first day in months where I’ve made it a full 8 hours straight off awake time, without yawning or struggling to focus on my work.

That night, sleep refused to come.

Even with the aid of a sleeping pill, the third prescription I’ve had to try and help me sleep, and the first one to actually give me a full day of wakefulness, I could not fall asleep. I was too awake.

I felt like I was going insane. I should be tired. I should be drowsy. I didn’t want to take a pill two nights in a row, but I just could not feel tired, so I did. It was another two and a half hours before I did actually fall asleep. That little pull usually makes me sleepy within minutes and I’m out soon after. Not this time.

It was a restless sleep. Covers thrown all over the bed. I couldn’t get comfortable.

My dog couldn’t handle it and ended up on the recliner chair that is on my room. Most nights he stays on my bed all night, unless he doesn’t start out there, which does happen. But every once in a while, on a night where I don’t get a good enough sleep, he ends up off the bed. My theory is that I must be kicking in the little bits of sleep I do get, or simply riding and turning so much that his side of the mattress is bouncing too much for him to sleep. I’ll never know did sure. He is a dog. A friggen cute one who loves unconditionally!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 – It’s morning now. I’m exhausted. Both physically and mentally. I’m not sure what today is going to bring.