I have been holding off positing this for a while now, however you know what, I think its important (well it is to me). Whether or not you’ve noticed its mental health awareness week. I’ve been seeing many Facebook posts about mental health during the week. Mental health is a major issue that impacts many people’s lives. I’ll let you into a secret. I myself have been dealing with Depression and Anxiety. It hardest and the worst time of my life. Heres some figures for you, approximately 10% of teenagers will suffer from Depression or Anxiety and 40% of adults suffer from Depression or Anxiety. This percentage keeps rising each and every year. When you think about it, it’s a huge amount of the population who go through the same thing as you at some point in their lives. You can put 10 people in a room and odds are that half of them will have at some point been touched my depression or anxiety. It doesn’t just mean that they have had it themselves but they would have experienced it.
I think it’s about time that I told my story as well. Only recently have I been able to acknowledge and talk about what I’ve been going through.
I’ve always been seen as a strong-minded, independent person – Well this is how people perceive me to be. In some ways they are right however that is what they see on the outside. Imagine an ice burg, what you see is the small tip of it however underneath the water it expands miles wide and goes as deep as you can imagine. This is what people are also like. Whilst people see me as a ‘confident’ person this is what I choose to show them. They only see the tip of how I’m feeling. What people don’t know about me is that for the last 3 months I have been struggling and dealing with Depression and Anxiety. – You have no idea the shame and embarrassment that I feel by just saying that. (I’m learning to deal with it though). I need to remind myself its nothing to feel ashamed of or embarrassed about, I’m not alone – Even though I feel isolated at times. I felt as though I was dragging my family into this deep pit. To be fair, this is partly true. Yes, I’m the one that has all of the negative emotions however my mum, dad, boyfriend, friends are all going through it as well. They needed to try to cope with me being the way that I am. – I know its hard on them, especially my mum. I know for parents/partners its hard, as they can’t fix it.
When I would tell my closet of friends about what I was going through, asking them for my forgiveness for the odd ways that I react to things. The shock on their faces, the pain in their eyes, the puzzlement of it. Everyone that I felt secure enough to tell about it, always say ‘Wow, you come across so confident, you hide it so well’ – This is important. No matter how strong, loud or confident someone is you have no idea the monsters they are battling inside.
Below are only a few things in which I can say to try to explain how I feel (when I say few – I promise you I mean this doesn’t even touch upon how I feel):
1. I bury my emotions deep down – I have to constantly tell myself that I’m fine when the actual fact is that I’m only fooling myself. Trying to convince myself on a daily basis that I’m completely fine, but inside I’m drained and utterly lost. Mentally telling myself not to break down and cry, telling myself that people aren’t talking about me, telling myself that I’m good enough, constantly reassuring myself that I AM FINE. – This is the biggest mental strain I’ve ever been put through. At the end of the day I’m exhausted and to other people I can’t explain why.
2. I get irritated VERY easily – I start to lash out at the people who I love the most in the world. I lash out at the most stupid of things. Things that to other people might seem small. For example, not being
able to find something to wear in the mornings. My mum would come in and help me find something, I would get annoyed at her for trying to help. Nothing that she does is wrong or horrible. I just flip and get annoyed and angry.
3. I self medicate – I realised that I was drinking almost every night, I know that this is a problem… However I feel that this is the only way to calm myself down sometimes. We all know that alcohol is a depressant, I don’t drink it to feel good or anything like that. I drink because it knocks me out. I’m able to sleep, it stops my brain from over thinking. Stops me working myself up over nothing. Stops me feeling the way that I do. – Please don’t take that the wrong way, Im not an alcoholic, I’m not addicted in any way shape or form! I am NOT reliant on it.
4. I eat almost everything that I see – I do this because it’s a way to hide and swallow all the unhappiness that I feel within myself, along with the food. We all know that saying ‘eating your feelings away’ – Yeah I fall into that category. This can lead to physical health issues, such as high blood pressure, obesity ect. This also keep the cycle going. eating to feel better, then feeling guilty because you’ve eaten so much, then you eat more…. ect ect.
5. I cry at anything and everything for no reason – People will say that you’re being emotional, its nothing to cry over. ‘Your making a big deal out of nothing’ – This makes me feel worse. I have to keep telling myself that I’m not a cry baby, it is due to the CHEMICAL IMBALANCE in my brain.
I couldn’t, no WOULDN’T say the words that I’m Depressed or have Anxiety. In my eyes I don’t have a reason to feel this way. I had an amazing childhood, great family, I had everything I could ever have wanted or needed. Nothing in life justified me feeling the way that I do. The one thing that I have been able realise whilst going through this, is that I’m not the only one going through it. – I’m not alone. No matter what my head says.
Through counselling, medication and the strength of my family and friends I am now able to say ‘YES I am Depressed, YES I do suffer with anxiety but it does NOT define who I am.
I truly believe, that people who are dealing with or have ever suffered from any form of mental health needs not to be ashamed of it and should speak out. SPEAK OUT about what you’ve experienced, tell others. You have no idea how much help this could be to someone who feels like no one understands.
With the right treatment and support you CAN and WILL bounce back from this.
YOU ARE STRONG AND YOUR ARE BEAUTIFUL!
The Insider x
P.S – Thank you to my family and friends for all the support you give me! I love you x