But You Don't Look Depressed - What It's Like Having Depression & Anxiety

The stigma surrounding mental health is a joke, because how do we know if a person has depression, anxiety and many other mental health disorders? Are you expecting a depressed person to be walking around with a dark cloud above their head or someone with anxiety to be an crippling mess of anxiousness? Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean its not there. It's invisible. No one wears a sign around their neck saying 'i have depression & anxiety' 

Everyday is different, i can either wake up feeling on top of the world, like superwoman and then other days i feel trapped on a never ending roller coaster of emotions, trapped in a dark place where no one can hear you screaming for help. When I'm having those days i just prefer to be on my own, which isn't always a good idea because who knows what i could be feeling. The happiest of people are always fighting their darkest battles - everyone is. I've never wanted pity, i wanted understanding, people to be educated on the struggles of mental health issues like depression, anxiety and of course many others

Baring in mind depression & anxiety are two different things yet they collide. One of the things that frustrates me most about living with depression is being told, “But you don’t look depressed.” Just because someone isn’t lying in bed sobbing, doesn’t mean they’re not battling depression. Functionality varies from person to person, and many sufferers can have periods of time (be it a few hours or a few months) where their symptoms aren’t quite so severe and they feel more able to do “normal” things like exercising, shopping or being sociable. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re “better”, and it definitely doesn’t mean they’re “faking” if and when their symptoms start to incapacitate them again. If a person with a debilitating mental health condition manages to get up, shower, put on clothes and go to the supermarket, they should be praised, not questioned or judged. 
Depression is often a feeling of total emptiness - it sucks the meaning out of everything, even the things you love most. It drains your energy and weighs you down like lead, It makes you feel frustrated.

When i was diagnosed with depression soon after leaving school at school and entering college, i felt relieve and confused - although it was an answer for my struggles during high school but i didn't know how to feel. I had people telling me 'what do you have to depressed about?' and to be honest that hurt. It affects all kinds of people no matter what age, lifestyle, class and genders. What people need to do is not judge, we should try harder to acknowledge and treat their illness, because studies show that people with objectively “good” lives are more likely to suffer depression in silence and eventually commit suicide and that's the heartbreaking side of mental health.

Anxiety affects different people in different ways, and like all mental illnesses - society is really making progress in its understanding, acceptance and treatment of poor mental health. And as long as we keep working to further this progress, everybody - whether they suffer from anxiety disorders, a different mental illness, or no mental illness at all - will benefit. I find the simple everyday things like answering the phone, being in social situations, ordering things in shops etc, genuinely being in big crowds. I'd like to think I've gotten better other the years but that doesn't mean it doesn't have it's days of making appearances and that goes for confidence too. You have to think of healthy ways to combat anxiety and depression, this doesn't mean it's gonna disappear but at least be at bay.

I am by no means telling you how you should deal with it, just giving you some sort of guide because hey even i'm still learning how to combat this. I wanted to leave you with ways to help lift your spirits

#1 watch a favourite tv series or movie.
#2 maybe journal your thoughts on some paper.
#3 listen to a playlist, something calming or something of your choice.
#4 open up to family members (i tend to talk to my sister & my mum whenever i feel low)
#5 give yourself some TLC, you deserve to have some time to yourself.
#6 Do whatever it is that helps you express who you are individually, something like blogging, writing, music something that makes you feel good. This will help you feel more confident and happy about yourself and your life.
#7 take a hot bath, fill it with your favourite bath scent.
#8 journal the things you like about yourself and why.
#9 watch youtube videos.
#10 colour, it has been said that it helps with destressing.
#11 take a mental health day.
#12 have a good cry, it will release all that anger and hurt.
#13 have a cuddle with your pet, animals have ways of making you feel better.
#14 read your favourite blogs or even create your own blog.
#15 have a browse through your tumblr and pinterest feed, this somehow makes me feel better.

Please remember: you are not alone, you are worthy and you are more than enough - be kind to yourself, you are awesome. What are your self care tips & ideas?

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