Let’s get straight to the point; Depression is real, Anxiety is real. As a struggler of both, my first instinct is to tell non-believers to stay quiet on the topic. I mean, how ignorant is it to speak about something if you don’t know what you’re talking about or never experienced it? Then again, I get it to an extent. As long as I can remember I’ve had both. For as long as I can remember as well, I’ve had a problem articulating what it feels like when I’m in either mental state. The easiest way I’ve found is to call them ‘the rude neighbors’. Why? They ‘live’ closely by so I know that from time to time they will pop up unannounced; sometimes I can sense when they’re about to show up and I avoid them and sometimes when they rudely appear at my doorstep I entertain them for a little while until they leave. Sometimes they ‘show up’ more than once a month and sometimes they stay away for months.
Viewing them as these ‘uninvited guests’ has helped me tremendously in coping with these mental disorders. Yes, I said mental disorders. It sounds a bit harsh doesn’t it? I think a lot of people have a problem talking about depression and anxiety because if they tell someone that they have a mental illness (which is what depression and anxiety are) they think people will place them in the same category as the ‘mad man’ that chases cars on the highway. As I’ve gotten older I’ve tend to care less about how people think about me but how I think about myself. Making my mental health a priority has not only made me more at peace with myself but it has made me realize how much control I have in the way I feel.
For a big chunk of my life my depression and anxiety made me very angry but more so confused. I’m one of those people that get classified as having everything and in most ways that’s not an incorrect statement. I had a happy childhood, I have great parents who had always taken a liberal stance in my upbringing, good schooling and I’ve never been without a roof over my head, food or good friends. So when I found myself feeling sad or having panic attacks for no good reason, you can only imagine the guilt I felt. How dare I feel like this? There are people who are actually suffering, who have way less than I have and are smiling so why was I being ungrateful for all that I was given? This type of mentality can destroy you. Trust me.
The most positive step I’ve made in my mental health journey has been changing my outlook on my depression and anxiety. Ironically enough, it wasn’t until my hormone issues were in full swing that this shift happened. In fact, I hadn’t realized till then how much balanced hormones affected your mental and physical health until my ‘hormone drama’ began. When I started taking my vitamins and got back into exercising often I realized not only was my skin clearing up but I felt better mentally. The ‘mental fog’ came less and I had more energy than I ever had before. This is when my ‘research fingers’ got busy and I came upon the term ‘chemical imbalance’.
What if I wasn’t a spoiled ingrate but something was ‘chemically imbalanced’ in my brain? Research shows that there is a reduction in the amount of neurotransmitters found (like serotonin for eg) in depressed people. Depression, anxiety and insomnia are the main symptoms of low serotonin. I am not in the medical field and I’m sure that many people would have a lot of different theories about this but I can tell you for me personally that taking my vitamins, exercising often and eating healthier has made the world of a difference not only in my acne journey but more importantly in my mental health one. I honestly can’t recall the last time my anxiety level rose to full panic attack level and if I fall into a ‘depression pit’ for a day or two it’s usually because my stress levels were at a high due to work stress or too much happening in my personal life; chronic stress can lead to reduced serotonin I might add.
So enough with the medical terms; my message to you is this: TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE!
Do not let anyone tell you that you’re crazy for the way you feel or that you’re weak for having anxiety or depression or both, like me. People who know me very well know that I am extremely strong willed and that I’ve been through some stuff that others would have not have been able to bounce back from as easily as I have. I am certain that there are many of you out there like me that refuse to be taken down by anything but when we do fall short we need to remember that we are HUMAN and we do have our ‘moments’. RESPECT to you all, regardless.
My advice for taking control of your life and having a happy body and brain is simple – TAKE YOUR VITAMINS, EXERCISE OFTEN, EAT YOUR VEGETABLES AND TRY TO GET ENOUGH REST. When you do all these things, trust me; YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Gustav Jung