To some who may know me in real life as the bright, bubbly, hyper saxophone player who looks after those she cares about, it may come as a shock that I've suffered with social anxiety all of my life. Recently I've experienced my own form of depression/anxiety, even though my life right now is the best it's ever been. And I hardly talked about it with anyone because I hate talking about my problems with people. But I feel as if I've been brought to this world to help others as best as I can so if you're going through a similar situation, hopefully my perspective on this important issue can be taken with a pinch of salt and possibly help you to fight against the demons that haunt you. If you need someone to talk to, contact me, send me an email, talk to me on Twitter, anything, don't fight this alone like I did.
I made a list of notes on notepad, mainly as short points for what I was going to talk about in a video, most stuff has been taken from Wikipedia, NHS and other websites on mental health. So here we go.
Definition from Google: feelings of severe despondency and dejection. "self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression"
Definition from NHS: The symptoms of depression can be complex and vary widely between people. But as a general rule, if you are depressed, you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy.
Postnatal Depression: a type of clinical depression which can affect women after childbirth
Bipolar Disorder: two extremes of depression and mania (high mood).
Seasonal Affective Disorder: winter depression
Definition from Google: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. "he felt a surge of anxiety"
Definition from NHS: Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. However, some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily life.
Social Anxiety: a discomfort or a fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves a concern of being judged or evaluated by others. Social anxiety involves an intense feeling of fear in social situations and especially situations that are unfamiliar or in which one will be watched or evaluated by others.
Stage Fright: anxiety in terms of performing or preparing for a main event
Angst: an intense feeling of apprehension, anxiety, or inner turmoil
Existential Crisis: the feeling that is experienced when thinking about life itself being without any meaning at all.
My notes on Depression/Anxiety, like I said take them with a pinch of salt.
First thing I would say is this, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
Self-Doubt is a killer, chances are you'll accept criticism more than compliments.
Depression can hit you like a ton of bricks, even when it seems like your life is going well. It doesn't just occur when you lose a loved one or when your life goes to shit. The happiest people on the outside can be hiding so many demons on the inside.
You lose faith in yourself and even those around you to help you when you need it most.
Anyone can get depression or anxiety, some more than others.
Anxiety is often linked to depression even though it may seem like the other side of the coin.
The pressure of everyday life is a lot to handle, especially if you have a busy schedule or feel pressured to do well in life.
When you experience a panic attack: you're not able to breathe, your whole body hurts, you feel sick, almost as if you're going to spew, you can't physically move, you're terrified, claustrophobic, lost.
Anxiety and depression can make you lose or gain weight that you can't seem to control. You can make yourself ill, you attack yourself on the inside and cry to sleep every night because it feels like no-one can help you. You get more emotional. You shut yourself from friends and family. You can't fully socialise with those you love as you get angry or upset with them for no real reason.
You feel so alone. And it hurts.
What I've learnt is, no matter how hard it is, don't let these horrible thoughts control your life.
Life is hard but the rewards will come to those who work hard for them.
Have some time off to be able to breathe, spend time with the people you love, visit places you've always wanted to go to. Get away from work for 5 minutes and accept the fact that it's the smaller things in life that makes it great and worthwhile, that first cup of tea in the morning or that song you like playing through your speakers, the one that makes you grab your hairbrush and sing so loudly that your neighbours complain you're a terrible singer.
Do whatever works for you, take advice from others in anyway you want, you're an individual and your life should live through your own rules. One method that may work for one person may not work with you, if that's the case, don't lose hope. Keep fighting and stay strong.
Even if you feel a burden and hate talking about your problems, talk to someone you trust, whether that be a friend, family member, partner, councillor, or someone online.
One of the best ways of getting over your depression/anxiety is helping others that are going through similar situations.
When you get upset, get your playlist of sad songs, open your jotter or word document and write down how you feel. Let all the tension out, scream, yell, cry your eyes out if it helps all the built up weight ease off your shoulders. It's ok to not be ok all the time. It's when it impacts your life in ways you didn't expect it would, that's when something has to be done.
Your depression/anxiety will never go away completely because it's part of normal human reaction but you can learn to control it. Your worst enemy at times is yourself so tell them who's boss.
Be proud that you're still living your life, be proud of where you are and what you have achieved.
But also don't feel restrained to be someone you're not ready to be, you still have time.
You are not alone.
There's always someone out there who loves you. ❤