Anxiety and depression are two very different things, although they tend to have symptoms that overlap. Both of these mental illnesses have a huge impact not only on individuals but on society as well. Anxiety affects over 40 million adults ages 18 and over in America alone. Depression affects over 17.3 million people in the United States. Just from statistics it is quite clear that a good amount of the population is affected by these two mental illnesses, but the question is what goes through a person's mind and how does it really affect their lives, even from day to day. In an article written by Harvard Health Publishing it is explained that depression is caused by various things including medications, medical issues, chemical imbalances, genetics, and just stressful day-to-day lifestyles. Even though there are various reasons to be depressed, everyone with depression can tell you their experiences are different from the next person. As for anxiety it is a "fight or flight" response that stays for longer than needed or is triggered by events and thoughts that should not trigger that response.
What causes depression? - Harvard Health
What causes depression? - Harvard Health www.health.harvard.edu
It's often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn't capture how complex the disease is. Research suggests that depression doesn't spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemi...
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance www.dbsalliance.org
Who Is Affected by Depression? Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year. (National … Continued
I won't try to say that everyone is the same, because no one will ever be and these mental illnesses affect every person in completely different ways. However, I can tell my story and try to explain how anxiety and depression sometimes make the world seem as if it's ending.
I've never really had the childhood I've hoped for. When I was 8 I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, and since that day my life has been forever changed, like these mental illnesses I have good and bad days. Around 9 years old I saw my first therapists to try to help me control both my emotions and Diabetes, but a strong hatred for therapist sprouted deep in my veins and it would take until the end of my senior year of high school for me to actually try to get help.
For the last 10 years I have battled both anxiety and depression, and let me tell you, the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows can really take a toll on everything else going on in life. In fifth grade I was professionally diagnosed with both depression and anxiety, as a 12 year old I was more confused on how someone so young could have these mental diseases and where they could even come from. For the following three to four years I struggled with school and finding good friends to trust, only causing me to become more and more closed and less and less trusting. Once I got to high school I said I wanted to become happier and more outgoing, however I found myself becoming more depressed and anxious for the smallest things. It didn't help that my family moved almost yearly, so finding friends became more difficult since everyone had already formed tight bonds, but I did my best.
This last year (my senior year) I truly had found some great friends and an amazing boyfriend who understood me as they were also struggling with their own mental illnesses and medical conditions. As I became closer to these people I tried to understand how they could control and understand their conditions so much better than I could. I found out pretty quickly that they were on medications and had been seeing therapists on and off to try to understand themselves better. My entire senior year my depression and anxiety grew and got worse, until my parents considered hospitalizing me to get me better. It was at that point where I realized if I didn't work to get better, it just simply would never happen. So I gave up on my grudge with therapists and convinced my parents to let me at least try medication.
I have also realized that both anxiety and depression are every day battles, and as much as medications and confiding in friends and family helps I tend to deal with it a lot on my own, hiding how I feel and what I am thinking. I am working on it, but for so long I believed that I had to do it all on my own and that no one was trust-worthy enough to tell anything to that I have had to retrain my brain into thinking that it is okay to trust people.
There are still days I cannot get out of bed because I am just consumed by this heavy cloud and terrible thought leaving me immobile. And although my medication and talking it out helps a lot, I still feel as if I'm carrying around a 50 pound bag of bricks, and I have accepted it and tried to focus on the positive, even on the bad days. Like I said it is an everyday battle that so many have to go through and I truly I would not wish either of these things on my worst enemy, but for those out there who relate stay strong, you can do it and it does get better. For those who know someone struggling, let them you are there and you can be trusted, because sometimes that's really all we need to hear. As for the bad days (from either perspective) take it slow and remember this feeling will not be forever, so stay calm and know you are loved, needed and admired for your strength.