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For those of us who deal with both depression and anxiety on a daily basis, it can be hard for us but even harder to describe it to other people. These two things often feed off of each other, or one contributes to the other, but they are also total opposites. I know that I personally feel conflicted, or even frozen with overwhelm on an almost daily basis. It is hard to take action or make decisions when your mind is at war with itself. On the one hand, depression makes me feel sad, unmotivated, uninspired, and hopeless. On the other, anxiety makes me feel scared, overwhelmed, stressed, and frantic or panicky. Both depression and anxiety are things that I have dealt with most of my life, at least since I was a teenager when I first noticed them. It wasn’t until much later that I realized what they meant. To learn more about my story of learning what depression and anxiety mean to me, you can read my previous post on the subject: What Depression and Anxiety Mean to Me.

If you deal with either, or both, please check out Depression Proof, a course full of information and steps that you can take to minimize or overcome your depression. Ironically, even though they can be complete opposites, some of the things we do to treat our depression can work for our anxiety as well. Part of that is because they feed off of each other, like I mentioned above, but it’s also because both are mental issues that we deal with.

We worry about not living up to our own dreams.

Oftentimes, we are so overwhelmed and stressed out that we worry if we’ll ever be able to go after our own dreams and achieve a life we have so desperately wanted for as long as we can remember. We are so frozen in place, working to feel some kind of hope, motivation, and calmness that will allow us to do something productive with our lives. I spent many years in this endless cycle, just keeping to myself and not trying, because everything else was just too hard.

We worry about looking lazy to other people, while a battle rages on in our minds.

We see it, that others think we are lazy, unmotivated, and choosing to live like we do. However, they can’t possibly see the battle that is raging in our minds. Our depression and anxiety is silent, invisible from the outside. No one can understand what we go through in our own minds. Even those of us who are inflicted with both depression and anxiety don’t fully understand what one another go through. I know that I personally feel so stressed sometimes that I’m frozen in place by my own feelings of overwhelm, unable to break through that barrier and actually do what I need to do.

We worry about not being able to control our own actions.

Sometimes we can’t control our own actions. You might be wondering how that is even possible because if anyone has control over our own actions, it’s us. Right? Well, when we deal with depression and anxiety, we don’t have full control over our own actions. An anxiety attack can happen at any moment, and no matter how small that attack is, we might flail around or look like a deer caught in the headlights because we simply can’t function. Bigger anxiety attacks reduce our control even more. Fortunately, I’ve only dealt with anxiety attacks a few times. However, sometimes even when I am just feeling super anxious, I do not feel as if I have full control over my actions. I may make involuntary movements or say things I wouldn’t have otherwise, or I may yell when I normally don’t like to yell.

We feel too much, yet nothing at all, at the same time.

With anxiety, we feel way too much at once. We get overwhelmed and overstimulated. On the flip side, with depression, we don’t feel enough or anything at all. We are sunk into a pit of despair and hopelessness that we don’t know how to get out of. I have tactics that help me get out of my depression, but if I don’t notice how fast I’m slipping or how far I’ve slipped into depression, it is that much harder to work my way out of it. I liken the experience to digging myself out of quicksand. Each step in the right direction could be taken away by one misstep, and send me deeper into the pit, causing me to start all over again. Same with anxiety, I have ways to deal with it, to help me feel less anxious in some situations. However, both depression and anxiety can appear out of nowhere or become a problem without me realizing that they have appeared until it’s too late.

We may view sleeping as the only escape we have, if we can even sleep.

Sleep is the greatest escape we have, but sometimes we suffer from insomnia when we are dealing with depression or anxiety, or both. Then even if we do fall asleep, we may suffer from bad dreams or nightmares. When I’m feeling anxious, I deal most with having trouble falling asleep, having bad dreams, and just simply being very restless. Sleep should be restful and invigorating, but instead it can be a means of escape or a torturous experience, depending on the person and their experiences.

This is only a glimpse into what it is like to deal with both depression and anxiety. The point is these issues hit us all differently. Those who don’t battle with both depression and anxiety may never understand what we go through. That’s okay, but we can spread awareness and hope that more people begin to understand what these issues do to us and screw with our life.

If someone you know suffers from depression and anxiety, please let them know that they are not alone and that there is always help and hope for them! If you are the one who suffers from depression and anxiety, I want you to know this too. There are so many of us that deal with one or the other, or both. Please remember that you are not alone and there are always options to find help and improve.

Depression Proof is one of the best resources that you can have to help you with your depression, and maybe even your anxiety, because it will walk you through what you need to know and do to help yourself. You will learn more about what depression is, in general as well as what it means for you. You will learn ways to deal with your depression and how to put them into practice. It is important to take a peek at the course because you don’t have to suffer in silence!

 

 

 

 

~Bonnie~

 

7 comments on “Dealing with Depression and Anxiety at the Same Time”

  1. Great post. Many years ago, I struggled with panic attacks. It was a dark time in my life that lead to depression. But by the grace of God, I’ve been healed and now I have a testimony to share. Thank you for this.

  2. Shared, Tweeted, and Pinned. I write about mental health somewhat frequently, also, and it’s a huge passion of mine to get the word out there. #SuicidePrevention is huge to me. HUGE. I also have a child who struggles. Blessings, Bonnie!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. As someone who deals with depressive episodes and anxiety, I feel like you described it really well. The losing control of actions was something that I experienced and was the biggest thing I had to overcome. It was hard for my husband (then boyfriend) to understand why I was “freaking out” to the extent I was. I appreciate that you acknowledged that not everyone experiences the same things, too.

    The other thing I think that is important to remember is that though God can help us through mental health issues, mental health issues are not a reflection of the strength of our faith life. I think as Christians we can sometimes feel guilty for needing to talk to a counselor or taking an antidepressant, but God provides us these tools to help us manage these things. For me specifically, turning to God has certainly helped me manage my anxiety and work through my depressive episodes in a healthy way, but I know that if I miss taking my antidepressant, I sometimes get so wrapped up in those feelings (or lack thereof) that it doesn’t even process that I should turn to God.

    Thank you for sharing this informative and honest post!

  4. You’ve captured the whirlwind of depression and anxiety perfectly. I haven’t had a panic attack since I was around 10 years old, but I still have to face the everyday battle of paranoid thoughts and a lack of motivation. Writing has always been the best therapy for me.

  5. This post really hit home. I’m so afraid of looking lazy to others because I am self-employed that I never give myself a break and then end up speaking for like 14 hours, which then makes me think I look lazy to others and the cycle begins again…Ugh, this post was so true overall. You nailed it.

  6. THIS! You have literally taken my thoughts and feelings and placed them on ‘paper.’ My anxiety has definitely gotten worse over the last few years, and then depression set in after my miscarriage. It sucks feeling the constant pull between my anxiety and depression. Although, the depression is far less of an issue for me (aside from the motivation aspect) than the anxiety.

    One of my biggest worries at the moment is, as you mentioned, not living up to my own dreams and being perceived as lazy to others. It sucks, it really does.

  7. Thank you for sharing your experience of how multiple mental health concerns can impact on a persons life. I am also very interested in the course on depression and feel that it may benefit my own readers. I also really like your message that others don’t have to suffer in silence. Finding support or ways to cope with symptoms can really help, and also reduce any stigma around how a person is feeling. Thanks again!

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