According to news sites, today, October 10th is considered to be "World Mental Health Day".
This year's theme is: "Depression: A Global Crisis".
They describe depression as:
"Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration. Depression can be long-lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing an individual’s ability to function at work or school or cope with daily life."
You can visit the World Health Organization's site for more details.
Why am I breaking my usual mold of posts with this? Well, like many bloggers, I have a confession to make. I suffer from depression. Quite possibly chronic depression. I also suffer from mild anxiety attacks. Okay sort of medium-mild sometimes (I have been known to hide under my artist's table at conventions before).
I'm not going to go into full detail the how and the why, I just know that it's really built up over the years. It probably started unknowingly near end of high school, built up over college, and burst after I graduated.
I've finally been on the "recovery" (as best as one can be) because Dave is awesome and listens to me, and understands that I get frustrated when I can't control my own thoughts about myself. This is why he's never allowed to leave. :)
So this post is to all of you out there who suffer from some sort of depression or anxiety! We're in this together, and we can OVERCOME.
I may write about what it's like to be depressed but until I get strong enough for that, here's some stuff I've found on the internet in regards to Depression (often time they're a lot better at describing that I can do).
WARNING: These could all trigger some sort of depression in those who suffer from it. For those who happen to be super sensitive (moreso than I am).
Adventures in Depression: Hyperbole & A Half - quite possibly one of the greatest visual depictions of Depression I've seen.
The Fight Goes On: The Bloggess - she's got a whole menu of problems, but is one of the most wonderful funny writers I have had the joy of reading and buying her book. She's got a lot of inspirational stuff like the Traveling Red Dress, Furiously Happy, and "Depression Lies".
The Enduring Hope of "Someday": EPBOT - Anxiety causes all sorts of issues, and unfortunately often appears out of nowhere. The EPBOT's writer talks about her dealing with this type of situation and how she's slowly succeeding over it.
Quotes from Tumblr:
My personal favorite:
Depression is like trying to peel a potato with another potato its not fun it doesnt work and you just wanna cry.
#and then people are like#God! Why don’t you just get a peeler!?#and then they HAND YOU ANOTHER FUCKING POTATO
and eventually you lay on the floor consumed by a pile of potatoes constantly reminded that they all still have their skin and god you suck at life.
and you go to stand up, but you trip on potatoes.
“The worst part about anxiety attacks, is that you’re aware it’s irrational and sometimes unexplainable, but knowing that gives no aid what so ever. In most cases it deepens the anxiety as you realise “if I know it’s irrational, why can’t I stop it… Oh god I can’t stop it” you begin to believe you are no longer in control of your mind. That. That is fear.” - Amy Desu
For the more visual:
My personal favorite as of most recently:
And last but not least - Tips on Handling people with Anxiety:
things we are trying to do all the time:
- be safe
- second-guess ourselves
- behave impulsively and reactively
- take everything personally
- have difficulty accepting compliments
- have difficulty reciprocating friendly gestures
- have difficulty finding the courage to respond
- have difficulty not being suspicious of others’ intentions
- make a huge deal out of the smallest thing
- we’re scared of everything
- pretty much all of the time
- it’s an actual disorder
- it manifests as impulsive behavior
- you can’t fix us with words
- telling us “worrying is silly” won’t make us stop worrying
- it’ll only make us feel silly
- and then we’ll worry even more
- “oh god, am i worrying too much? what if they call me silly again?”
- like that
- also, we wear a lot of armor
- cold, heavy, affection-proof armor with spikes
- we constructed this armor as children
- we’re fairly certain you will never be able to pry it apart
- but there is a nice person under there, we promise
- stick around
- ask them if they’re comfortable in a place or situation
- be willing to change the place or situation if not
- activities that help them take their mind off of things are good!
- talk to them even when they might not talk back
- (they’re probably too afraid to say the wrong thing)
- try not to take their reactions (or lack thereof) personally
- (the way they expresses themself is distorted and bent because of their constant fear)
- (and they knows this)
- give them time to respond to you
- they will obsess over how they are being interpreted
- they will anticipate being judged
- it took me four hours just to type this much
- even though i sound casual
- that’s because i have an anxiety disorder
- tell us not to worry
- tell us we’ll be fine
- mistake praise for comfort
- ask us if we are “getting help”
- force us to be social
- force us to do things that trigger us
- “face your fears” doesn’t always work
- because—remember—scared of everything
- in fact, it would be more accurate to say we are scared of the fear itself
- be calm
- be patient
- don’t be condescending
- remind us that we’re not “crazy”
- sit with us
- ask us to tighten and relax our muscles one by one
- remind us that we are breathing
- engage us in a discussion (if we can talk, then we can breathe)
- if we are having trouble breathing, try getting us to exhale slowly
- or breathe through our nose
- or have us put our hands on our stomach to feel each breath
- ask us what needs to change in our environment in order for us to feel safe
- help us change it
- usually, just knowing that we have someone on our side willing to fight our scary monsters with us is enough to calm us down
- it’s okay.
- even if you worry that it’s not okay.
- it’s still okay. it’s okay to be scared. it’s okay to be scared of being scared.
- you are not crazy. you are not a freak.
- i know there’s a person under all that armor.
- and i know you feel isolated because of it.
- i won’t make you take it off.
- but know that you are not alone.
I'll be back tomorrow with some new writing. I got a new how to draw book, and I REALLY want to share it with you guys. I just have to do a couple more tests with the style they have in the book. :)
I think its so awesome that you're willing to share this. I have depression that got me fired from a job (luckily I was going to quit anyway but still) and a phobia of crowds that causes anxiety-like symptoms (I was never so glad that your booth at Shutocon was near the doors so it was more open!) I'm also blessed to have someone who understands the depression. My husband has dealt with it for years so I have a great teammate in this. He also will put himself between me and the crowds and helps me move when I'm panic-frozen, deer-in-the-headlights style.ReplyDelete
The potato quote and the comic sum it up nicely.
I'll be rooting for your "recovery", you can count on that!
Awwww thank you. I've been wrestling with posting about it for quite some time now, but I figured the world health day was a good opportunity to talk frankly about a lot of this stuff.Delete
Hahaha, I was glad I was near the doors too. I much prefer the convention halls with tall ceilings and wide walkways (I can't tell you how often I got claustrophobia at the old Youmacon AAs).
There's nothing more valuable than having somebody who understands and can help. That seems to be a common thread in all the other bloggers I read.
Thanks for the supportive comments! :)