According to the National Institution Of Mental Health, the definition of anxiety says that "occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.”
The definition of depression is “a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.”
These definitions are what these two illnesses are in a text, but not what they do to people in everyday life. One in four Americans aged 18 or older suffers from some form of mental illness. More than 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a mental illness. Yet, we as a society seem to not want to take the time to become educated on these illnesses. It is the modern age and people still believe these disorders are made up in some people’s heads. It's 2017 and we still don’t discuss these disorders in schools.
People think that having a bad day means that they're “depressed.” They think that when life gets rough and they get down and out that they have depression. Too many people do not realize that depression is not what you call your bad day. Stop using this disease as a way to bring in likes on social media. Stop announcing to everyone that you are “depressed” when really, it’s just been a bad week.
We as a society need to start taking the time to realize what depression and anxiety really is. What it does to its victims. What it means to feel like this. We need to take the time to make the people suffering feel less alone. We need to make sure that we are taking the time to learn and love the people who suffer. We need to learn what these illnesses are really like.
Anxiety tells you everyday that you are doing something wrong. It tells you that the perfectly sunny day is going to crash down around you. That the work you are doing isn’t right or isn’t enough. It tells you that going to class is too much to handle. It tells you that sitting in a room full of people is a good reason for your breathing to go shallow and make your hands start to sweat. Anxiety reminds you everyday that you are not in control of everything and that is just something you can’t seem to handle. Anxiety is the nervous twitching in your right leg that you can’t stop. Anxiety is the fear that something terrible is going to happen to you and you won’t be able to do anything about it. It stays in your head to remind you that you didn’t do something right. That you are not perfect. You know you can’t be perfect, but you try your best to be and fear what will happen if you are not.
Depression keeps you in bed with the thought that you aren’t worth it. It keeps you curled up with the idea that you will never be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Depression covers you in a heavy blanket of sadness that holds you down so tightly that you can’t break free. Depression tells you that you are a bother to everyone around you. That the people you love don’t deserve to have to deal with you. Depression whispers in your ear that you are not good enough or strong enough to get out of bed. Depression edges you on to go out and do something, but then makes it impossible for you to get out of bed. It makes you feel everything and nothing all at once. Depression reminds you that the world is continuing to go on around you, while you are just stuck.
Mental illness is different for everyone. Everyone suffers differently, but sadly one thing is the same in many cases: everyone feels alone. Mental Illness is sadly stigmatized to the point where no one wants to ask for help, but what they don’t realize is that the help they receive could save them. You wouldn’t ask someone with a broken arm why they want a cast, would you? So don’t ask people who are trying to get help why they are doing. We are all trying to find ourselves and save ourselves in a world of stigma and lack of options. We are all trying to figure this out.
Please, if you need help, do not be afraid to go. Do not be afraid to talk about this. If someone tells you that they don’t care, go find someone else. I promise you this, you are not alone. You do not have to battle this on your own. There are millions of people fighting the same fighting as you and I promise, if you just open your eyes, you will realize you have an entire army fighting behind you. Never feel alone. Never stop trying. Never give up.
The number for the suicide prevention hotline is1-800-273-8255 and here is the link to the website where they also provide online chats for anyone in need of help.“You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” - Unknown