This time of year can be magical and joyous and sparkly and happy but for a lot of people, including myself in the past, it can also be miserable and depressing and sad. Literally SAD. I’m talking about Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a very real condition which can affect anyone in the Winter months, when daylight is shorter, darkness creeps in at 4 p.m and ultimately can leave people feeling, well, miserable.
When I started private counselling for my anxiety, I was in the midst of one of the worst periods my mental health has ever seen. I barely left the house. My thoughts were so irrational. The thought of going anywhere left me in a state of dread and that first therapy appointment? My gosh, I thought I was going to die. But starting private therapy was invaluable for me; my counsellor and I got along really well, I trusted her and felt I could fully open up to her. She really did help me in so many ways and I often wonder where I would be today had I not gone to see her in that time when I was so desperate for anything to help numb these unbearable feelings of constant dread, anxiety and fear over everything and nothing all at once.
I know this sound like a really childish thing to say but since being active on Twitter and open about my mental illness, I’ve seen people talk about things like this more and more. It’s not an embarrassing thing to worry about nor is it uncommon. When I was first diagnosed with anxiety, during my worst period, I was terrified of being in the house by myself. Absolutely, completely and utterly terrified. I couldn’t function and would literally spend the day counting down the minutes until someone was going to be home. It can be a real debilitating problem and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed about.
In order to get to the main chunk of this post, we’re going to have to embark on a little story time. So grab a cuppa, a bar of choccie, a pizza, a roast dinner – whatever your vice is and join me in story time with Jenny on why you shouldn’t feel bad for expressing your emotions on social media.
I’m loving my week of guest posts so far because I love the range of topics we’re covering! We’ve done Disney and what it’s like being a Disney cast member and how to take care of your dogs in the summer heat and today we’re going to be talking about something a little more serious: depression. I have a really great post from Courtney from Courton Blue today so enjoy and be supportive!
The world has been taken by storm with the new season, “13 Reasons Why” which was released on Netflix earlier this month. Based on the book by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why is about Hannah, who has committed suicide and has left behind tape recordings for her old friend, Clay, with the 13 reasons why she did it. In these tapes, she opens up to Clay about what was going on in her life, the people that have wronged her and the events which ultimately led up to her taking her own life. But it’s not all as it seems as these tapes have a far more profound effect on not just Clay but a whole group of kids from their school. Sounds good right? Sounds gripping and shocking? It is. It’s also the most important show I’ve ever watched in my life.
As I’m walking through the crowd, I can feel my body starting to react; my heart is in my throat, my skin is crawling, my mouth is dry, my head is spinning and all I can think about is running, running, running away. But I can’t. I’m frozen to my place, terrified that one wrong move will draw attention. My eyes are darting from here to there, looking for threats. There are people all around me; laughing, talking, looking. Rationally, I know my reaction doesn’t make any sense. Rationally, I know there aren’t any real threats around. Rationally, I know it’s my anxiety acting up. Rationally, I know I need to calm down. But I also know that rationality and logic are useless against it. They do their best, but they never win. I put my hands in my pockets. With my shoulders bent and my head low, I walk away. I don’t look back.
I have never been a huge fan of therapy. Please do not be offended but I never really understood how I could benefit from telling a complete stranger about my problems while lying on his couch, that is what friends are for right?
Depression touches 350 million of the world population but somehow is still a taboo. Like any other mental illness, there are a lot of stigma attached to it. Now it’s time to debunk them.
Starting of I am not here to tell you this, this and this. I just want to share with you my experience on opening up to people especially when it comes to your mental health. Over the years I have dealt with anxiety but I never dealt with the way I should have. If there is one thing I have learnt over the years is how to open up to people in general, but it’s only been this past year that I have spoken out about my anxiety. Which has been a big help.