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Anxiety and Depression


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  • Administrator

This is definitely one of these big social issues prevalent in our world today (and always really), and often one that is terribly misunderstood by people who don't have anxiety or depression. Often, I feel like it's a mental health issue that people kinda make fun of because they don't truly understand how people can be 'like this'. 'Just be happy" some people say but it's not something that's so simple to overcome.

So. I thought a thread could be made about it - the other one is about dealing with it, but doesn't necessarily address mental health. There's so many self-help books out there, resources etc etc yet thousands of people continue to fight a losing battle with their mind and it often seems like the world around you abandoned you to your fate. It's something that certainly can't be compared between individuals as every person experiences emotions in different ways - what makes you sad might not make someone else but that doesn't mean the person feeling is weak and vice versa.

I'm a person who has a mind that often jumps to the worst-case scenario. It leads to a lot of self-reflection time and thinking about stuff. I do over-analyze a lot and start to think about the things that could go wrong. For example, friends didn't invite me out somewhere then I will think 'they must hate me' (which let's be real, if you're friends are going out without you there's probably a negative reason for it...). Anyways. Anxiety is very much 'the devil on my shoulder' so to speak. It rears it's ugly head every now and then and questions everything I do. Sometimes, I convince myself my 'friends' are also thinking negative thoughts towards me and this vicious little cycle begins of overanalyzing and thinking the worst. 

What about you? How do you deal with it? 

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By some miracle I don't have it. But I have a very negative experience of dealing with a person who claimed her depression to be an excuse to act as a complete shit towards her friends (I told about this person a lot in other threads). Which, in my opinion, is unacceptable. My bestie struggles with depression too but she does not act this way, hey! And I'll always be there for her, just as she is always there for me.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Administrator

I wouldn't ever call myself someone who has depression (I don't fit the definition), but I've certainly had my slumps. They flare up every now and then, triggered by some event (usually someone has said something unkind to me or I find myself in a situation where I'm made to feel 'inferior' and 'dumb'). Anxiety for sure over certain things - but depression no. I've definitely had a few people say to me, "You sound really depressed!" and "Go see a therapist" which only makes me more agitated (mostly because a therapy doesn't always solve everything, b it costs a lot of money and c a lot of people see a therapist and still have the same issues so please don't tell me therapy is my best course of action to take). I guess I just strongly believe in creating my own happiness and not something obtained through medication. That's not to entirely dismiss therapy altogether - I'm sure it works for some people and that's great, but it's not the end all solution for every single people and shouldn't be treated as such.

I generally think I'm about 90% percent happy. Yes, there are moments when I fall into a slump and my mind becomes very unkind to myself - but it's usually over in a day or two, and then I'm fine again. I'm not afraid to admit that sometimes I can be pretty melodramatic at times - sometimes I scare myself when those thoughts turn very dark - but I do believe in that light at the end of the tunnel and I'm able to climb out of the abyss. I know I've had moments when maybe I get to stuck expressing myself in a pretty extreme manner that makes other people uncomfortable, but bottling things inside isn't good and only makes that itch worse.

I'm very passionate about mental health in general though, and it really irks me when people act like jerks towards people who are having a bad day or more than just a bad day. I know I've shared my thoughts in online places before and got shut down for 'venting' and been told I was being too annoying and whiny. I've had people abandon me because they 'were tired of listening to my shit'. I've been banned in a discord server before for talking about mental health because it was 'too triggering'. I've had people tell me how to live my life in a way that worked for them when all I wanted was for someone just to listen and not advise. I'm a very feely person (not in the touchy way though), but in a 'if someone is sad, I am as well' sorta way if that makes any sense (especially if that person is part of my inner social circle). Music. Stories. I guess that's why I've always been so heavily attracted to the arts because of the power of language. Topics about mental health in music, stories, movies and so on really resonate with me because it's such an important problem. It annoys me when people are so... dismissive about it.

Anyways, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think a lot of people have a severe lack of genuine empathy. There's still this stigma about mental health. There are still labels thrown around. People with anxiety and depression are sometimes seen as 'crybabies' or 'weak' and that annoys me greatly. People commit suicide because they feel they've been abandoned and death is the only way out. That's just incredibly sad to me and hits so close to home. We had a family friend who killed himself and his son found him dead on the living room floor. My uncle tried to kill himself by crashing his car. One of my cousins suffered depression for a long time. Heck, I had a good friend who considered ending his life because of the poison in his body (cancer). I did a placement at a school where two students killed themselves in their bedrooms ( a few weeks before I started) because no one cared enough to help. I could certainly rant more about this but I think I've said enough for now.

But yeah, I will never turn my back on someone because they have anxiety/depression and I always strive to be a good listener - I may fail at words sometimes, but I do genuinely care. 

 

 

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I have severe anxiety, and I guess by proxy of another mental health disorder, I have some symptoms of depression? I get stressed super easily, I am super jumpy and get overwhelmed/overstimulated by just too many feelings. My emotions range from running high to almost completely numb, I can either cry my eyes out at nothing or be completely unable to and wondering why I can't make myself cry, until it all crashes down months later. I have so little hope in people sometimes, it's genuinely stressful and I wonder what's the point. I hop between interests and struggle to focus, and sometimes just lose interest completely temporarily. 

Worse of all? The anxiety physically hurts. It tenses my body, it makes me feel dizzy, and it aggravates my already shitty stomach. The cramps

I'm still struggling with coping myself but distraction helps a lot. I put on my favourite movie or series, play a game, I just keep to myself.

 

I've been taught a lot of coping mechanisms for anxiety, but not all of them are good XD 

Look around the room and count n of x. Aka there are posters in the room. How many posters? Count. There's 5. 

Use something as a fidget. Play with your pen. Do something repetitive but not boring. This one is oddly helpful. 

If you like soft textures and have one handy, pick up a plush toy and stroke it. Hug it. This helps if when you get anxious you kind of mentally regress, or even if you just need the comfort. 

Bad one? Flick your wrist with an elastic band each thing you feel anxious. I did this one because a teaching aide recommended it to me. It very much does not help. I got anxious a lot, I pinged my wrist a lot, and it got marked up. It's basically a 'lighter' form of self harm. Do not recommend

There's always medication, but like anything, it doesn't work for everyone. It might be worth giving it a try, but taking medication (in tablet/capsule form) tends to give me more anxiety. So mileage might vary. Just have a look, check the effects, dosage, how it's helped others, and see if you wanna give it a whirl. 

Talking to people, venting to people, that can help. For some people, they might be reluctant to do that because they're worried about worrying them, or feel ashamed. I don't always like talking to my mum about my problems. But I can talk to my brother, talk to internet friends, and I find talking to strangers you'll never meet again can be liberating too XD Sometimes you just need to let it out for that moment. 

Then there are basic breathing experiences. Breath in, hold your breath for a few seconds, let out. Rinse, repeat. Don't do it fast, even if it feels like you're out of breath, it does help. You might feel exhausted after a panic attack, and that's pretty natural. Sometimes it can turn into a full hyperventilation, hands numb and shaking thing. That can be horrifying in the moment, and it's absolutely shattering afterwards, but it doesn't last, you'll be okay afterwards. In that case for me it happens from too much tension and stress building up, and I just have to let go. I usually actually feel better afterwards. It's interesting when you're reflecting on it. 

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • Administrator

Taking deep breaths doesn't help me. I've tried, but my mind can be very unkind and nothing works. I'll just have this random super embarrassing mini-meltdown (usually happens at least three times a year so not all that bad I guess). It's like I've locked away all this negativity and frustration and it all comes out in one go. Literally had such a mini-meltdown yesterday after work. My 7s were being feral and I felt like a student teacher again reliving that moment where I had lost control. My mentor teacher finally had a chance to observe me (after trying for a year) and it was an absolute disaster. Nothing went right that lesson and I felt super incompetent as if I didn't deserve to have a job. I hate feeling incompetent. It's that one thing that's always eaten away at me - that feeling of failure and that whole 'imposter syndrome' sensation. 

When I'm upset about something, this frustration just builds towards an eruption (usually tears sadly). I don't consider myself someone who cries a lot - less than five times a year that's for sure and it's always related to that very unkind voice that becomes dominant in moments of peak frustration (always linked to me failing at something I feel I should be succeeding at). It becomes the loudest voice in my head and everything else kinda 'drowns out'. All I can hear is how much of a useless tool I am. When I'm in a low point, no complimenting will work - I'll turn everything into something negative and damaging because unfortunately, that's how my mind works. It's a very bad place when it has the opportunity to become mean to self. Some of the stuff that I can come up with can be quite scary honestly. I'll start conjuring up scenarios in my head - hey, what if I jumped in front of that train? What if I just took this pill and didn't wake up? Not that I would ever make such a drastic action (I'm a wimp), but those scenarios do pop up in dark moments.

Fortunately, these moments of low points are short-lived. They typically don't last longer than two days and then I'm back to being the usual 'I got this' self. It's more about coming to terms that there's a dark place inside everyone and accepting that part of me will always exist. It's then about how do I find a balance and not let this other side take full control? I cling onto that small lining of hope and know the good moments will come again - that there is a reason to smile and laugh. Shit days days will happen and it's a test of willpower on overcoming the dark days. I'm far from perfect, and there's a lot about me not to like, but everyone is perfectly flawed and that's totally a-ok. 

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  • 1 month later...

My anxiety comes and goes although my depression constantly lingers in the background, waiting to jump out at the opportune moment. I've been a lot better at managing it since I tell myself not to focus on them and focus on things that matter, things that I'd like to see. However, it's always not the case and it's not as easy as it seems. It's a constant battle with the mind, trying to console it, smothering the harmful thoughts even if I seem very content on the outside. I often put on a brave face while I'm crumbling inside.

My anxiety comes from work. I hate it so much. I put in a lot of effort into my work, sometimes, I put in my heart and soul because it's what I like to do and to see it flourish is the best feeling of all. However, it's always not the case when the other party deems it unworthy despite my efforts or despite following their instructions down to the T. The cracks appear, then the feeling of hopelessness rolls through, putting doubt onto skills I've honed. It makes me feel unworthy and incompetent. It's a horrible feeling and I hate feeling incompetent; feeling like a waste of space and air. Sometimes I think that other people can do so much better than I which is true but my work is stuck with me coz I'm cheap (to hire). Without them, I'd be jobless and more depressed. That's a guarantee. 

When I get like this, I stay like this for 3 days but it's only the really bad ones that stay for a week and nothing will cheer me up. I become detached and purposely stay away from everyone until I can get my head straight. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone experience depression at a fixed time every year? It hits me hard during November and December months due to trauma experienced many years ago. Whenever these months roll in, my mood tanks and everything I do seems futile. There's a clear lack of energy and effort into things I want to do. I begin to distance myself from people become extra silent.

Right now, I'm trying to keep it at bay and doing my utmost best to never have it overtake me as it's done before. Surely, easier said than done. Yet, there are times where I want to toss in the towel and be done with it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

These past few days have been a struggle without rhyme or reason and it drives me nuts. A couple days ago I felt I was on top of the world and now I have crushing anxiety which causes a flurry of issues. Believe me, I'm desperately trying to shelve these feelings but it's easier said than done when the mind is a washing machine of toxic thoughts and dampening emotions. 

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  • 11 months later...
  • Administrator

I've never officially been diagnosed with anything, but I've been in that headspace. Anxiety is that "devil on my shoulder" that remains a part of me. It's not as bad as it used to be though fortunately, but I can still easily be triggered by situations usually out of my control that get the thoughts rolling: "Why did I do that?" "I could've done this better" "They're probably thinking I'm a moron right now" etc etc. Sometimes, I just have to stop and draw in a few deep breaths and attempt to do some form of 'meditation' to calm the mind before I drive myself crazy.

Depression wise, I've definitely been in that mindset and it sucks majorly. For a vast majority of my high school years and university life, I always felt extremely subpar - people around me were working towards something and I was struggling to have something. Probably why I've always been single - didn't have anything to offer they couldn't get from someone else in a better position. My uncle had it. My cousin did too. Hell, there's been times all I wanted was to actually die and I'd come up with plans for it too. Obviously, never followed through with any of it, but those moments were terrifying. 

These days, I consider myself reasonably happy most of the time. I still have slumps and they can be pretty extreme, but those moments are few and usually triggered by some factor I have no control over. I guess I just try to focus on people and things that give me joy. It's how I get through the day.

 

 

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  • 7 months later...

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