The media has been glamorizing anxiety and depress quite a bit lately. There is nothing beautiful about my battle against my mental illnesses. Imagine waking up everyday; knowing that getting out of bed is an accomplishment itself. Imagine being numb to all emotions. What is happiness? What is sadness? This barely creates a dent in the battles I fight everyday. It is not beautiful. It is disgusting.
Most people are not capable of understanding mental illnesses, and anxiety and depression are often the topic people discuss. Depression does not come from a breakup, a bad grade, or getting fired from your job. These are all triggers that affect a chemical imbalance in your brain. They are not the cause of depression. There are some instances that result in the development of depression, but most of the time you are born with it.
I want to break the stereotype of people suffering from depression are sad. They are, in fact, far from it. Some days are better than others, but I feel numb on the bad days. You are not hungry. You are not emotional. You are numb; living on autopilot. You just go through the motions when this mental illness attacks you. I do not sit in my room or the bathtub crying with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I just sit there with a blank mind. This is why we isolate ourselves without noticing our actions.
It is important to remember that feeling anxious is natural. People like me live with anxiety in an extreme level. There are situations that always result in an anxiety attack for me. Time and commitment play a large factor for me. If someone does not follow through with their plans, or if you do not do something when you say you will I have an anxiety attack. I am shaking, hyperventilating, and on the verge of tears. I do not have the mental capability to handle change.
Does it sound glamorous now?
Every case is different, so you cannot compare one story to another. My depression and anxiety has led me to feel the need to escape reality. My drug of choice? Narcotics. If I was feeling down, I would pop a pill knowing it would soon put me to sleep while giving me a short high. This started when I was sixteen. All is fun and games until your are laying in a hospital bed having your stomach pumped because you have overdosed.
Why do we allow ourselves to view mental illnesses this way, and why do we continue to diagnose ourselves with them? It is offensive and disrespectful for people like myself. People who have officially been diagnosed with these illnesses by a doctor. Mental illnesses are disgusting. Most of the time, there is no physical proof of them. I cannot place a band aid over my wounds and expect it to heal on its own. Depression and anxiety do not go away. Knowing you will live with something so terrible is a daunting thought. Please stop making depression and anxiety out to what it will never be.