Living with depression and/or anxiety is a struggle. When you live with both you get double the struggle. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out which one is the hardest on any give day. Every day is different. I may be at a 5 or 6 in terms of depression, but an 8 or 9 for anxiety. Maybe my anxiety isn’t as bad that day, but the depression is through the roof.
Depression isn’t just “being sad”. Anxiety isn’t just “being nervous”. For me, life with depression and anxiety looks like:
- Uncontrollable sobbing when you read an article about someone suffering, losing a child, losing a parent, losing a home, etc. Or cute animals. Or happy people. Sad people. Natural disasters. Violence. People having babies. A community supporting its’ members. Basically anything, really.
- Physical aches and pains — headaches, body aches, muscle tension, upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea.
- Wanting to get a ton of stuff accomplished but physically/mentally not being able to. I. Just. Can’t. I want to, but I can’t. There is no other way to describe it.
- Feeling like your friends and family secretly hate you and talk about you behind your back.
- Not wanting to go hang out with friends because you aren’t sure if you can park in their driveway or not.
- Avoiding crowded places because there are just too many people and you feel overloaded.
- Not having the mental or physical energy to get out of bed and start your day.
- Always assuming the worst case scenario. Someone is late? They probably got in a car accident. Or they don’t want to actually hang out with you and are just going to blow you off. They’re cheating on you.
- Needing space at the same time that you don’t want to be alone.
- Uncontrollable emotional outbursts.
- Constantly feeling like you aren’t good enough and are letting the people around you down.
- Sitting on the couch staring blankly into space because you have no interest in doing anything.
- Not enjoying any of the hobbies and activities that you used to like, or know that you like, or think that maybe you like but you can’t remember because it’s been so long.
- Avoiding social activities because there may be someone there that you don’t know.
- Calling people, businesses, etc after they are closed because you don’t actually want them to answer. Hoping for voicemail every time you call someone.
- Constantly cancelling plans with people because you just can’t do it. It’s not the same reason every time, but it seems like there’s always something.
- Not being able to focus on tasks, or starting new tasks before finishing others.
That is certainly not an all-inclusive list, but it does touch on what I experience on a daily basis. What does depression and/or anxiety look like for you? What techniques do you use to manage day-to-day activities?