Today is World Mental Health Day, and I've decided that I'm going to share with you all more about my personal experience with anxiety and depression. I'm really appreciating the work being done by so many charities and organisations to help with ending the stigma surrounding mental health, by spreading awareness and encouraging more people to speak about it. As many as 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health problems every year and being able to talk about their struggles and find a community of people who understand could really help. Although, I'm a big supporter of people of being able to speak openly without judgement, when it comes to speaking about my own mental health I am nervous, so I'm going to take a step in the right direction towards recovery and be more open about it.
Please forgive me if I start rambling... I don't really know where to start.
Having depression is extremely tiring. It's waking up and having no motivation to start your day, even if the weather is perfect and you've got lots of fun things planned. You have to use all the energy in you to pull yourself out of bed... sometimes you can't and end up sleeping in all day. It's emotionally draining, every task seems impossible and every little thing you manage to do takes away some of your energy. On bad days, it's like being in a state of constant stress accompanied by a deep sadness. Small things will irritate or upset you, and you will find it difficult to do the things you used to love doing. You will start leaving everything until the last minute and will cancel plans you've made with your friends. You struggle to find the motivation to look after yourself. You can go from being in a really happy, energetic mood to suddenly feeling gloomy and overwhelmed, and there is often no reasons for this mood change.
Sometimes, thoughts of sad things you've had to go through in your life will pop into your mind at the most inappropriate of times and ruin your day, and once you start thinking about one stressful thing you can't stop overthinking and overanalysing lots of different things. This can make it difficult for you to concentrate, to fall asleep at night, to do all the things you need to. There's also physical symptoms of depression that are not mentioned a lot. Depression takes its toll on your body, making you get aches and pains. You feel lethargic all the time and can't relax easily. Sleeping becomes difficult, because you either can't fall asleep and stay up for hours at night, you want to sleep all day and it feels like you have no strength to move from your bed, or you manage to fall asleep but constantly wake up and end up feeling like you've had no sleep at all.
One of the most difficult things is having one of those bad days but still having to go somewhere, having to try and perk yourself up the best you can to go out and face the world, to put on a brave face. Attending my lectures at university became a real challenge for me, especially in my final year, because most of the time I didn't feel like I could face people and I knew I would not be able to concentrate in class. It became difficult to keep up with the lecture notes and everything I was missing by not going, and it meant I had to work really hard to get the grade I wanted. Your depression can go away for a long time and then all of a sudden hit you again. It can constantly be there in the background, ready to hit you hard whenever something stressful happens. It will make you feel alone and like you are not strong enough, but remember... you are strong and you are not alone! There are many ways to reach out and get help... there is some useful information such as helplines here.
The lovely message below is for everyone of my readers :) I hope you're all okay, and remember you are wonderful!
How gorgeous is this artwork? ♥ its by Lolitazlover
I've decided to separate this post into two parts, because I've written so much! Oops :)
Thankyou for reading!