The Thing About Having Depression & Anxiety That No One Seems To Understand

I have mental illness, namely anxiety and depression. I fight a near constant battle with it; I have accepted it as part of my life, but it isn’t easy. We're not lazy. We're not being silly. Our mental illness is very real, it can be and is debilitating on a daily basis. So many people struggle with some form of mental illness, just as so many struggle with some form of physical illness. Why do we so often hide and pretend the issue doesn’t exist?

TV shows seem to romanticise depression, anxiety or any other mental illnesses as to say "damsel in distress". There is nothing romantic about mental illnesses, it's dark, it's ugly and it's exhausting. Mental illness is not only what’s portrayed in the media. It’s hard to choose just one thing to highlight because so much of mental illness is never talked about and what is talked about is often portrayed in a very stigmatising way. It's hurtful. It's isolating. Mental illness' affect people differently, how they deal with everyday tasks and that's something i think people don't quite understand.

It's something many people are struggling with on a daily basis while being called lazy because we haven't had fresh air since a couple days ago or we're lacking on motivation for the day. 
Do you realise how difficult it is to get out of bed sometimes, have a shower, to put our makeup on and walk out the door. To go to classes and put on an act, just so people don't bother you. When you want to do something productive but lack motivation. When you've had a good night sleep but still feel exhausted.

 That is what it's like for those who suffer from depression and anxiety, i mean i can't speak for everyone but these just happen to be the things i struggle with doing on a daily basis while i have people saying 'do this, do that, this and that'. I hope to enlighten other people on the struggles that is mental health. Hence why i share some of my thoughts on social media and of course here, on my blog. I go through periods where i don't want to exist, there is nothing glamorous about mental illness'

Depression is not a blue mood, it's the constant feeling of worthlessness. Depression is like a sinkhole. One minute you’re standing on firm ground, and the next minute you’re falling into a pit of darkness. Anxiety is worrying too much about things we have no control over. Anxiety is like a river. It never stops flowing. Sometimes, anxiety skyrockets and we end up feeling too much, but it can also dry out. 
I constantly have to tell myself that I should not be ashamed for being depressed and I think if I do raise a bit of awareness to my situation, then I will no longer carry the burden of quiet.

Just because you saw me on a good mental health day, doesn't mean I'm cured, it just means I'm having a good day without my inner demons over taking my thoughts. And on the bad days, you may have seen me crying, lying in bed just being alone in my thoughts, that being said I like my own company and of course there are days where i don't like my own company. I think we should be more comfortable being with ourselves before anything else, even when things get difficult - we're by ourselves.

I am exhausted of constantly contemplating the correct way to phrase my feelings so that you might understand. I am exhausted of searching within myself to find words that accurately explain how I am feeling.
I am exhausted because my life is messy: It involves sentences that are broken from my sobbing. It involves me screaming into my pillow because I am afraid and tired. It involves sitting in my bedroom in silence for hours, feeling numb.

You are tired, you're fighting a war inside your head. Everyday tasks can be overwhelming. You have good days and bad days. Waking up every day is a struggle. It’s like waking up with an elephant on your chest and having to move around and act normal with that extra weight on your back.
How can you describe what it's like to live with a mental illness when you know its frowned upon? You are alienated because of the lack of empathy when you tell people you take an antidepressant and it's followed by a nervous laugh with a remark like "you don't look mentally ill" or "you look too happy to be depressed" I take anti-depressants to make every day tasks easier, that's not something to be ashamed of.

You are constantly exhausted. Who cares if you didn't do anything that day but lay in bed? You still feel like you have walked up a hill both ways with an anchor dragging through. You have no motivation to do anything, you want to succeed, and sometimes i just tell myself to give up because I'm not good enough at what i want to do. Getting good marks on papers, presentations doesn't come as easily for me as a lot of people.

The feeling like you have a great life, you still feel empty. I know I have people that love me and I love them. But I can't help that I still feel empty sometimes.
Depression and Anxiety is a vicious cycle, it feels never ending. "I'm just tired."
Tired of feeling tired. Tired of being this way. Tired of having to act like I'm fine when I'm not.
You find comfort in music, characters, TV shows, books, name it.
There's always that one character we can relate to, that one song that gives us goosebumps, that one feel-good comedy that we know can cheer us up, or that one movie you just can't stop watching. Fangirling distracts you, even just a little bit. 

Mental illness is uncomfortable and challenging and intolerable. No one wants to be that way. But you have to remember that someone with a mental illness is not their disorder. I have to remember that I am not my disorder. I am 21 years old. I am caring, and loyal, artistic and creative, that's how i see myself. I have dreams and aspirations of what i want to do with my life even when i struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel, i want to study Multimedia Journalism and Creative Writing, that's what I'm aiming for,  thinking about the future scares me so i try to think of the things i want to do and achieve the next year - this just gives me something to try and aim for.

Depression and anxiety do not define me, and raising awareness to my illnesses helps people understand why I act the way I do. If I wash my hair, I have to acknowledge that I did a good thing for the day, and if I left the house — even better. Even writing blog posts and planning posts is a major thing for me.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that being me is OK. It’s more than OK. Everyone is here for a reason. It's time for the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health ends. More empathy than judgement. Everyone has a story and mental health happens to be part of mine and many others. It's not to say everyday will be easy but it's something I'm fighting for because I'm strong enough to keep going and worthy of a happy life.

Oops this turned into a rambling post, but it feels good to get it out of my system. People need to stop criticising mental illnesses, it just makes you look like an asshole and you clearly need to educate yourself more on how mental illnesses affect people around you.  What do you think needs to change about mental health?

A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. The author is you and the semicolon is your life. Your story isn't over.

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