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Dealing with depression and anxiety

charlietheowl

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I've only been a member of this forum for about three months, but if there's one thing that I've noticed it's that everyone here is supportive of their fellow posters and willing to hand out advice and sympathy. I thought, then, that this would be a place to discuss an issue that affects unfortunately more people than it should, and share stories and provide advice and support for each other.

A few months ago, I found myself dealing with the long-term effects of trying to suppress an anxiety problem and increasingly dissatisfied feelings about myself and my family situation. Everything worried me; interactions with my friends, the actions of my parents, even insignificant things at my summer job. However, I thought that if I ignored my problems, placed them out of mind, distracted myself with whatever, then that they wouldn't be problems. If I just didn't think about the things that worried me, pushed those feelings to the back of my mind, then everything would be all right. Acknowledge no evil, feel no evil. Didn't work. Finally, about four months ago, I reached a breaking point. Anxiety about an unstable family situation, fear of falling behind my friends in the academic world, fear of losing my friends after college, and confusion about my sexuality created a truly potent cocktail of depression. Going through everyday life began to hurt. I found myself putting on an act throughout my classes, my work, my social interactions, when all I wanted to do was pull away and hide in my bedroom. I thought that it was a sign of weakness to have these problems, and that everyone else dealt with their emotional problems on their own. No one could know I was hurting. What made me any different, I told myself. Why can't I handle my own business like everybody else? I began beating myself up over all of this, and consequently everything hurt more and more.

Eventually, I reached a breaking point, and began contemplating suicide. But since I had to live up to my classification as a Dean's List student, suicide was something I had to research first. What would be the best way to go about it? Couldn't half-bake it. So in something that seems wholly awful and terrifying now, I set out to Wikipedia, because where else do you go when you need information? Staring at a computer screen filled with information about suicide methods did end up giving the shock to the system that I needed to finally seek out help, because all of a sudden everything seemed more tangible. Gunshot wound, hanging, overdose, hypothermia, etc. If I did any of these things, it would all be over, finished, done, and all that lasts for a long time, which scared me. I realized that suicide wouldn't solve my problems, it would have merely shown that I couldn't adjust, that I couldn't deal with them. Plus, if I did kill myself, there would have been so much that I missed. Concerts, basketball games, parties, graduations, weddings, holidays, all that stuff. My friends and family would be devastated and I couldn't bear to be the reason for their pain and suffering. So I found myself with a renewed desire to live, but with the knowledge that I needed to get help for my issues. Despite my change of heart, I still needed the courage to talk to somebody, and it took a couple of days until I could even broach the subject that I needed help with my friends. I was afraid they would look at me funny, that they would find me a loon, a crazy they wouldn't want to associate with. But talking to them was one of the best things I've ever done. They gave me the support I needed and provided a sympathetic shoulder to lean on. I was able to express my fears, my worries, my pains on a level of complete trust and support where I knew I wasn't going to be judged at all. They also essentially forced me to go to the school's counseling center, which scared the bejeezus out of me at first.

I had visions of telling them I was thinking of killing myself, and then being taken out of the office by white-coated men and shoved into the back of a padded ambulance. But my ignorant notions of therapy and the counseling center proved to be untrue, as therapy proved to be a big help. I learned that it wasn't wrong, or weak, to not be able to solve your own problems, or to need a little help dealing with life. It didn't mean that I was any less of a person than I was before, or that I was somehow going to be marked as different. Through the help of my therapist, and the medication prescribed to me (which did not turn me into a zombie like I feared), I started on the path to recovery. I've realized that it's okay that I may not be going on the same path as all my friends; success has many different paths and I don't need to compare myself. I didn't need to be afraid to express my worries, because I discovered that a lot of people are going through the same anxieties and problems, even the friends who I thought had everything so perfectly together. Keeping everything hidden inside only causes more pain and anguish.

My battle with depression and anxiety has come with a price; I find my capacity for concentration on work to be much lower than before my problems cropped up, I find myself lacking self-confidence in many aspects of my life where I was once confident, and I'm a much needier person than before. However wounded I may be by this, I haven't lost the fight, and I'm not going to lose because I don't want to lose. That's why I started this thread, so that anyone on this forum who is dealing with the problems of depression and anxiety can have a place to share their fears, their worries, their struggles, and their good days and good moments as well, and can get friendly and sympathetic advice and encouragement in return. It's not easy; I've had many days where I feel just as lousy as I did before, but I've also had great moments, where all my worries and fears are gone and I can feel my smiles all the way down to the pit of my stomach. I wish that everyone dealing with this problem can have those tiny moments of relief and happiness, and I hope that we all can help each other in our own small ways.

Thank you for reading; I'm going to bed.

With regards and love,
your friend,
charlietheowl aka christopher
 

Gonzo's Hobbit

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Thanks for sharing Christopher (can I call you that). Glad to know you can share stuff like that with us here. I'm also glad for the moments where things are going alright, I hope those become more abundant.
I will definately be praying for you.
 

Puckrox

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I'm so glad you were able to get help and talk to people about all of your depression/anxiety issues. Talking is always the best solution, in my opinion. Your story hits a bit close to home, since I can relate on varying levels, and while I've never gone to therapy I do know that talking with friends is always a great cure, especially when your friends are kind and listen to what you have to say and are there for you. :smile:
 

RedPiggy

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I'm glad to see you found support. Not everyone does. I wish I could help my mother, but she has a lot of the same fears you did about therapy and medication and such. As I'm not the Power of Attorney, I have no legal recourse. It sucks. I've also battled these issues myself, and I'm slowly recovering as well. It's just a process and not an overnight fix.
 

Bannanasketch

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Thanks for posting! I really appreciate the fact that you're able to come here and talk to us about this. It takes a lot to admit and be open with that. I'm really glad you found the support you need and I hope you can still have people that will support you after therapy. I say, I find a friend that you can trust and talk to. Every time, you're at a low point, you need to talk to this friend and they can help you. You really put it well about suicide. I've never had suicidal thoughts myself because I've always had this outlook that however low my life got, it's not worth dying for. Christopher, continue to realize that your life is worth something. However depressing life gets, you always have to remember that you're worth more and that others will be affected by your death.

I hope you can continually find support form friends and family and even right here on the forums. If you ever need anything, you can also message me on here. Stay strong. You'll be in my prayers.
 

CensoredAlso

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But my ignorant notions of therapy and the counseling center proved to be untrue, as therapy proved to be a big help.
I'm really glad you decided to accept counseling and that it's helped you. I know it can seem off putting at first, but it's no different than going to the doctor for any other aliment. Sometimes we need that extra help. Good luck to you! :smile:

I set out to Wikipedia, because where else do you go when you need information?
This I would dispute, lol, but I get what you mean. :wink:
 

charlietheowl

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Thank you all very much for your support. I appreciate being able to know that I can count on people here to join my network of support with my friends and therapist. I would like to be able to help anyone on here who feels that they don't have anyone to talk to or share with. Feel free to inbox me if you need advice or just want someone to listen to.

I think that society unfortunately has a bit of a stigma against talking about these kinds of things because nobody wants to appear different or not in control of their own issues. I've always been the type of person who wants to act like they don't need help or guidance, and that's not something that is reasonable to expect. It's sometimes hard to tell myself that the recovery process is going to be a long one, but as long as something positive happens each day, then it's okay.
 

bazooka_beak

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It takes guts to share a story like this, so thank you for allowing us to read your words!

I deal with severe depression and anxiety issues myself. I'm currently on medication, and it really helps. I also call my dad, who I am very close to, when I'm at the end of my rope. If you need somebody to talk to, feel free to message me :smile:
 

newsmanfan

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Bravo, Charlie! VERY glad you were able to find a way to deal with your depression...and you're right, actually taking the step of finding help is very difficult. Been there, done that, it sucked. Hypothermia or OD would have been my weapons of choice, just in terms of lack of real pain or gory remains, but like you, I finally realized there was so much I'd miss. I was selfish enough not to care about the hurt friends or family would feel -- what the hey, they'll move on, que sera, right? But eventually I understood people did like me more than that and would miss me as much as I miss a good friend from high school who committed suicide in college. Seems like there's something about the 20s that prompts these feelings in some of us, who knows, weird brain chemistry maybe. But get through it however you can, and it does pass, and people DO care.

Bravo for you for seeking help. I never did, and somehow got through it anyway. Am still VERY diffident about sharing my problems with anyone, as it's been my experience that many people will use your weaknesses against you, even those you thought loved you. However, gradually I'm learning to share a little more, and yes, people around here are good peeps. It's why I've stayed. I'm not a joiner. But frog knows there are few enough really caring people left in the world, and a nice concentration of them seem to be here. :smile:

Good to hear someone has the kind of friends who can be relied on. :smile: Hope you stick around a long long time, Charlie!
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We Got Us

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I understand what you went through: because I've gone (and am going) through anxiety. Not suicide bad...I've never considered it at all and hopefully never will, but I have horrible moments of focused fear, and then (like recently) times where I just have the sneaking suspicion that everything in life is wrong and scary and I'm going to die at any moment. Mainly I am afraid of storms: ridiculous, I know, but I was living in Georgia when the April 27'th tornadoes came through. Many things and places I knew were destroyed, including a restaurant that was the place me and my friend had hung out in for years. It's crazy, but now I swear I'm terrified of storms, wind, rain, cloudy weather even...I am really not even looking forward to Spring for that reason alone. I've even begged my Dad to move us somewhere else.I hate hearing people talk about tornadoes, reading about them terrifies me. Basically, I'm Boober most days, only entirely serious in my fear and belief that anything that can go wrong will. Irrational fear in it's finest form. :frown:
While I'm dealing with pressure to take care of my sisters now that my Mom is gone, pressure to find a boyfriend now that I'm 16, pressure to become a good writer and build a career, pressure to grow in my Christian life: things that shouldn't be pressure but that I make pressure for some reason.
Anyway, that's whats goin' on with me. Muppets always help, Muppet Central helps (mostly) and so does just...talking about it, which is what I used to do with my Mom, and another reason I miss her so much. But you guys are great with your support!
 
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