12 Nov Anxiety and Depression: Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage
“It’s deep down in the earth, not on its surface, that we find diamonds and oil. Ergo, it’s when we are in the deepest darkness that we find enlightenment.” #susankorwin
Anxiety and Depression usually go hand in hand, and living with both can be torture.
Let’s start with anxiety:
With anxiety, you can’t stop worrying. You worry about your health, you worry about your kids, you worry about your spouse, you worry about the future. Actually anxiety is worrying on steroids! It’s the constant fear that anything and everything in your life that could go wrong, WILL go wrong. People with anxiety you can’t just “calm down”, and telling someone with anxiety to get over it and calm down is like telling someone in a room with a T-Rex not to worry. It’s the constant “what ifs”, the constant knot in the stomach of impending doom when, in reality, there is no impending doom. People with anxiety tend to feel depressed because they can’t control their thoughts, ergo……depression and hopelessness set in.
It’s like a black hole. Depression sucks in all the negativity and forces you to focus on that. It alters your reality to make life seem worthless. The black hole, so capable of drawing in every bad word, bad moment, bad action and bad event, seems to effortlessly repel anything even slightly positive or hopeful. As you can already imagine, having both anxiety and depression is torturous.
The most important thing to realize if you suffer from this is that you are not alone. More than 50% of the population deals with some form of anxiety and depression. Is it a new phenomenon? Is it because of social media? I don’t really think so. I think certain people are wired to feel more anxious and depressed. It’s in our genes. But that doesn’t mean we can’t handle it with certain tricks and tools, one of which being something called grounding, which forces one to state facts about their immediate surroundings: The clouds are white and moving quickly, I hear the wind blowing, My seat is soft. This, as opposed to listening to irrational thoughts: I feel ill, I can’t breathe. I’m stuck. I’ll never get better. Grounding reinforces reality, and sometimes that’s what the brain needs. Second, exercise, in any form (I love to dance) channels energy into something positive and helps distract one from all the tedious worrying. Exercise isn’t just beneficial physically: It’s crucial to eradicating stressful thoughts and feelings. And every night before bed, focus on three good things that happened, no matter how minuscule. We’re not all born with coping skills, and many people live in survival mode instead of really living. It’s not always so easy to redirect stressful thoughts. When we are in the throes of panic, it’s an impossibility! But don’t lose hope, and if one thing doesn’t work, try another.
If you’re reading this and can relate, trust me, you’re not alone. More people than you think are suffering as you are. We are all on the same team, “Team Human”, and let’s be honest, it’s a difficult team to be on. It’s stressful, difficult and worrying, but at the same time, there are those moments that are bright and beautiful. We all must communicate, because talking about our feelings is the first step to helping ourselves, whether it be a therapist, a coach or your spouse or partner. Depression and anxiety have many solutions, so get ready to wear your camo, tell yourself the enemy won’t defeat you, and that, my friend will get you through this!