Friday, 13 May 2016

Mental Health: Depression and Anxiety


I've never spoken about this on here; I've literally posted so much about every other aspect of my health but hardly anything regarding my mental health. I've touched on it but never gone into detail because it's something I've been struggling with and find difficult to talk about. But here we go.

Please respect my candour, I'm really nervous about posting this.

When I was eighteen I started taking anti-depressants, my mood was variable and my anxiety was sky high. I could barely leave the house, I freaked out if I did, I had horrific panic attacks and I'd cry. I was going through a very difficult period of my life; I was in a lot of pain and nobody knew why. My friends were going off to uni and living fulfilling lives, whilst I was unable to wash my own hair without help and hated who I was becoming. It was traumatic to say the least. I'd stay up late, writing and crying, tears staining every page of my notebook. And then I'd sleep, hoping to wake up and be a newer, better version of myself.

I had counselling and anxiety management, I wore an elastic band around my wrist for as long as I can remember, and after about four years I came off the meds. It was weird, I still felt down but I dealt with it much better, and it was my decision to cut out the medication. I took a hell of a lot of pills for my crappy physical health so coming off the anti-depressants was one less tablet to swallow.

Just over two years ago I went to see my GP and we decided it was time I get back on the drugs (prescription of course). I was prescribed 20 mg of Citalopram and unable to take a higher dose as it would interfere too much with tablets I take of an evening.

I'm a pretty hard person, anyone who knows me would tell you I'm outspoken, aggressive, opinionated and talkative, but that's only one side to me. Much like my physical disability and hiding pain, I hide the shy, vulnerable, paranoid side of me. I consider this part of me weak, helpless, annoying, I hate talking about it, I hate the thought of being seen as a lesser being. I cry after midnight when I'm alone in my room, when my demons scratch at my head and scar my insides. I cry thinking of the life I could have had if things were different, if I was different. I sometimes just cry and there's no reason behind it, and then I become angry. It's all-consuming and I don't like how it can rip away an okay day and make it horrendous in the blink of an eye.

Then there's the anxiety; the heart-racing, body shaking anxiety that cripples me. Confrontation is my worst enemy, with paranoia coming in second place. I can't stand it, I don't just over-think, I dwell, I'm bathed in it, drowning, there's no lifeguard in sight. Confrontation literally terrifies me, my whole body becomes racked with nervous energy, shuddering. You wouldn't think I was the type of person to suffer with this because I'm hard, right? Wrong, I'm scared. I'm scared I'll piss someone off and it'll lead to a massive argument, and I won't be able to defend myself because I can't think quick enough and my responses are always wrong, thus leading to something so much worse. My brain doesn't compute as fast as I'd like it to, brain fog and confrontation is a thing of nightmares. Even thinking about a possible confrontation is making my heart race. I'm fucking ridiculous. 

Having a chronic condition and suffering with mental illness is tough, I'm isolated, I shut myself off, I end up cancelling plans, and sometimes I just can't deal with people. Don't get me wrong I like my alone time, I'm friends with solitude, I just don't like to be lonely. You know that saying 'feeling alone in a crowded room,' it's easy to relate to and it's horrible, especially when that room is full of people that love you.

Anyway, I have my first CBT session next week. I'm not nervous about it, I'm just really hoping it will help. Wish me luck. I'll keep you updated.

20 comments:

  1. Ohhh I'm so sorry about this dear! But again, I'm happy because you spoke out about this and I think this was a big relief for you. I wish you all the best!x


    Vildana from Living Like V & Stalia Is BAE

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    1. It was very cathartic indeed, thanks xo

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  2. I relate to all of this. I have had horrible anxiety my whole life and struggled off and on with anorexia/bipolar depression since I was 12. Having chronic health issues/limited ability to be social and get outside your head can make everything SO much worse. CBT really does work wonders especially for anxiety. It is incredibly empowering when you can find the roots to your anxiety and find ways to reframe thoughts and behavioral patterns. Theres a fantastic book on mindfulness and anxiety you may also find helpful? http://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Acceptance-Workbook-Anxiety-Commitment/dp/1572244992

    www.shipwitnosails.com

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    1. So sorry to hear that Genevieve. I'll take a look at that book, thank you xo

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  3. You should be so proud of yourself for writing this :) You are so brave, I can tell it was really hard for you to write but thankyou for sharing your mental health story.

    I can relate so much to what you've written. Confrontation absolutely terrifies me :( I let people walk all over me for years and allowed friends treat me badly because I was too anxious to say anything. I also worry so much that I will annoy people so I usually don't say when things are bothering me.

    I have had depression coming and going since I was my early teens but since my IBS and fibromyalgia came along, it has gotten so much worse. I developed severe anxiety disorder because of it :( it is really hard to deal with mental illness when you have chronic illnesses too.

    I'm glad that you are going to try CBT. Good luck :) x

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    1. Thank you, sweeties. It's a vicious cycle with physical and mental illness, for sure. Sending you all the hugs xo

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  4. I'm so sorry. It's incredibly hard to deal with. I am on citalopram also, so far I've done well on it but there are still really bad days. Keep your head up.

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  5. Hey Sarah!

    I've been watching the movie "Food Matters" a few days ago - maybe that movie will give you a new idea of medicine (vitamins).

    Greetings from an austrian wheelchair-blogger www.lauraimrolli.com

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  6. Very brave of you to write this. For some, it can be really difficult to open up vulnerabilities like this.

    I've just come off my antidepressants and I haven't noticed a difference in my behaviour (which I think is probably a good thing).

    Good luck with your CBT!

    eleanor
    elleanorwears.com

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    1. That's so good to hear. Thank you :) x

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  7. Very moving, well done for finding the strength to write this, I can feel how hard it was to write and how hard your struggle is from your passionate words. I know it doesn't help at 1am to hear 'you're not alone' because you feel utterly alone! But maybe the comments you read on here might help you take the edge off a little bit, just sometimes. You're helping people by sharing this and you're very brave. X

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    1. Thank you. The comments have been so lovely, I'll definitely revisit xo

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  8. Thanks for sharing. You are very brave and reading this makes me feel less alone in suffering with my own demons. I was on psychotropics for years, but they've never worked well enough for me so I've taken to some unconventional therapies to deal with my demons which worked much better. Finding something that works for you is so important. The CBT techniques are interesting and I love reading about your experience with it! I hope some of your suffering is relieved knowing your writings help others with their pain. Many hearts and spoons 2U!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, that really means a lot x

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  9. I relate to this so hard... sadly! The whole path of confusion when my chronic illness began to the cycle of hate/acceptance i'm in now has made my already fragile mental health worse. We are strong as hell though and we carry on...

    Wish you luck with your CBT!

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