As we all begin to figure out how to manage things in these *insert cliche phrase about the pandemic* times, one thing that I’ve been struggling with is my mental health.
Now, these are not new things I’ve been facing. I’ve been dealing with anxiety, depression, and ADHD throughout my life, even prior to getting a formal diagnosis. This means I’ve developed a lot of not so good ways of managing the feelings these bring up, often times thinking it is helping (reader, they did not).
Through a mix of some life changes, medication, and therapy, I’ve gotten things into a pretty manageable place. I don’t want to act like this was easy, it wasn’t. And I don’t want to act like it’s something that you do and then voila, everything is ok. It’s an on-going process. Something, quite frankly, is something I deal with each and every day.
My goal with this something new is to start posting more regularly here on my blog about the various aspects of my own specific issues – to normalize talking about them, and also help give insights to others what it is like to deal with these chronic illnesses.
Not only will I give insights as to what my specific issues are – anxiety, depression, ADHD, and PMDD – but also how it manifests in me and impacts my daily life. I hope that this will allow people to understand a bit more about me, and maybe learn some strategies for how to deal with stress and other pressures of their life, even if they aren’t to the level of a diagnosis.
Maybe that is what I’ll start with a bit here – diving into the idea that “everyone worries” or “everyone gets sad at times” and that mental health stuff isn’t real or serious. Well, it is. There’s a big difference between being sad and being depressed. There’s a big different between having general worries and having anxeity. I hope to, as I write more, explain or show how this is the case. I’ll share some of the clinical language, but also the real life reflections on how even I, a person with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, experiences general worries and anxiety, and how different factors can turn a general worry into anxiety whether I want it to or not.
I want this to be a safe space to share. A place for me to get these thoughts out of my head (because as I dive into at some point the anxiety + adhd combo is the literal worst at times), and writing has become helpful for me over the last few weeks. It will not be a place of judgement or for people to jump into the comments to tell me to “stop taking meds because they are the real problem” or “you’re a weak or bad person because of this”. Because, unless you are my therapist, my prescribing provider, or my primary care doc, I’m not really here for your hot takes.
I may, at times, as for suggestions on how to deal with specific things – but let me just say this – hopping into my comments to tell me to just walk more or eat veggies is not helpful. Because trust me, if either of those things would ease my symptoms, I would be doing them and feeling better.
So this is the start of something new I’m going to try. I appreciate feedback and questions as I write more. I want to offer advice or insights when I can to share from my life experiences in the hopes it can help someone else.
I will end with this: anxiety lies. you are not alone. (and at some point I’ll truly interalize this)
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
- The TrevorProject – https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now/
- TrevorLifeline – 1-866-488-7386.
- Our trained counselors are here to support you 24/7. If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline.
- TrevorText – Text START to 678-678
- Confidential text messaging with a counselor availabe 24/7
- TrevorLifeline – 1-866-488-7386.
- RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline – 800.656.HOPE (4673)
- You will be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
- This is a 24/7 service.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Thank you! I applaud your bravery! I have just recently begun talking completely openly with some of my friends about the depth of my anxiety and the lies it tells me and just how insidious that inner voice can be at times. I look forward to reading about your journey and having a safe place to have an open discourse!!! Much Love ❤️
It takes courage to talk about this. Thank you for sharing. I have had anxiety attacks since I was 9. I never knew what they were. With professional help in the last ten years I have begun to understand.
Sharing your journey, your experiences is not easy, for sadly there are those who will judge you. They don’t understand the challenges of managing anxiety, depression, stress, etc. I deal with anxiety, depression and PTSD. Most days I manage it fairly well, others are a lot harder. People tell me that they would never guess that I have depression, I hide it well. Not such a good thing to do. For me, learning to be more open and sharing my journey in one of my management tools. I look forward to joining your journey in some small way. Perhaps together, we will find a small tool to help us manage our mental health in a positive way.
I love you to Venus and back!!!
Love, support, and solidarity to you, Jammy. I empathize with so much of what you said. It’s an ongoing process, and can be very streaky at times. My anxiety and depression have had WILD swings during the pandemic. All we can do is be gentle with ourselves <3