// On Depression and Anxiety
May is mental health awareness month, and considering my past with depression and anxiety (amongst other mental illnesses) I figured I would write a little something about the issues I’ve dealt with, what they feel like, and some links if you need help as keeping silent about depression, or any issue, it will never get better.
I have depression and it doesn’t define me. It can get better. sometimes its dark. Life is a mystery. Depression is sort of a mystery, too. And I’m not ashamed. Sometimes it even feels like a gift that has forced me to be more realistic, self aware, self analytic, and honest. It forced me to live in truth, and be vulnerable because hiding from it will only make it grow. I’m no expert, nor do I claim to be. I can only share my own experiences and hope it helps someone else start the journey to feel better.
However, I would never wish depression on anyone. It lingers around and makes you think you can’t do anything well, makes you doubt yourself, robs you of feeling much anything except for nothing. You feel nothing a lot. You start to ignore everything, feel pessimistic, hopeless, and sort of like everything is going bad and won’t get better. Depression also made me sleep all the time. Always sleeping, and annoyed about something and everything. You lose interest in things you once liked, and your appetite can change. You can’t focus, you have low energy…depression really isn’t fun.
Anxiety is just as crippling. In high school, it was about panic attacks, and this feeling of a total loss of control, I had worry every day. Now it’s more about when I’m stuck places, in crowds, and other places that are overwhelming and overly stimulating. My heart races, I can’t breathe, and I feel like I can’t stop it. I can’t stop the noise. I can’t stop the shit caving in on me.
As some of you know, and some don’t, yoga saved me. Or maybe it gave me the tools to save myself. Yoga gave me the life changing benefits of conscious breathing, moving meditation, mantras, and how to truly relax into being. No matter how dark things get, I can always come back to yoga. I can take it with me, and I can come back any time I need to.
I learned that life is bigger than me, and it exists outside of me as much as it does inside of me. I can find environments that support healing and health, and a sound body and mind. I believe we can all find light in the dark. Maybe you use yoga. Maybe you use therapy. Maybe you try acupuncture or any of the other things, including medication, that might help you. Trying to learn more about yourself, how you feel, and working through things to feel better is never bad.
I hope mental health month helps us all to value our mental state. Our mind is one of the most important parts of your body; all things flow through that and from that.
Let us take care of the mind, and be kinder to ourselves and others.
Watch a longer video about my own eating disorder, in patient treatment, depression, and anxiety here.
Here are some resources if you need //