Mental illness isn’t a joke, a trend, a meme, or cool. It is real.
It isn’t something that is pleasant to have, and I feel that sometimes when I will voice my own feelings towards anxiety and depression, others go “oh yeah, I’m the same”. But here’s the thing, it isn’t.
I spend most of my time inside my room, I’m lucky to get out of the house. The only times you will see me outside of my safety zone, is when I’m at the doctor’s getting my weekly check-in, or waiting for my appointment with my psychologist. And the chances are that I am fidgeting with a zipper, as I’m told that it helps distract the mind, but for me, it doesn’t work, my anxiety still wins. And why am I anxious for this? I’m not sure either. I have visited my doctor and psychologist numerous times, but I will be more worried than a 3-year-old going to the dentist for the first time.
My anxiety and depression also affect my ability to go to university lectures and classes, and complete assignments. It takes over an hour and a half of travel to get to campus, enough time for my mind to run through all the possible encounters I could face while I’m there. Will I trip while walking? Will I appear anxious to others? Will I go through another panic attack? I can’t even go to any lectures as it is a waste of time and only aggravates my anxiety even more. I can’t concentrate on the presentation as my anxiety is checking that I’m sitting ‘correctly’, my hand is placed ‘normal’ on the desk and not showing any signs of distress while doing this.
And then there’s depression, it creeps in and makes me disinterested in learning and doing assessments. It gets to the point where I won’t have assignments to hand in, and no it’s not because I choose the wrong degree. I love media, obviously, I’m here writing my life on the internet, but when one is depressed, they lose interest in the things they like. Probably a reason why I don’t regularly update my blog too. All of this has forced me to move a majority of my studies to online just so one part of me can somewhat continue a normal life.
My anxiety and depression make it extremely difficult to do the easy everyday tasks. There are not just single days, but multiple days that sometimes turn into weeks and months where I haven’t brushed my hair, had a shower, brushed my teeth, changed my clothes, paid bills, did laundry, made a meal, and cleaned my room.
Now for my mental illnesses entirely interfering with my life, I am in this process of finding the right medication and dosage to help control it. Unfortunately, it isn’t just one tablet that makes you better, it isn’t an instant fix, and isn’t guaranteed to help. It takes at least 8 weeks to see any result, and in those weeks your brain is freaking out. You get headaches, migraines, nauseous, dizziness, lose appetite, gain appetite, lose weight, gain weight, no sleep, too much sleep and the worst part is that your emotions that you’re already experiencing get a lot worse. And after all that you will find out if the medication is right for you or not, and if not you get a higher dose which makes you go through that phase again.
Right now I have doctors and psychologists stating I’m suffering from major depression and anxiety, there are still the people who say that it’s all in my head, that I’m over dramatic, people are dying, there are worst things in life, and the good old one that I need to get over it. I have a hard enough time coping with it all as it is, that I don’t need people diminishing my emotions and making myself feel guilty. I know it’s in my head, that’s where my brain is, I’m not overdramatic that’s the mental illness talking, I’m aware that others are sick, dying and are much worse, and if it was so easy to get over it don’t you think I would of already?
This is what having a mental illness is, not just seeing a meme and going #relateable #feels #same.