I have been living with chronic depression and anxiety disorder for the past 5 years. I remember before I ever dealt with this myself, I did not understand others dealing with these same things. I tended to stereotype people as just crazy, or not strong. I firmly believed that they were not strong enough to deal with problems in everyday life and that they just needed to suck it up and get over it. Little did I know that this was much easier said than done. I never realized the impact these things have on people until I found myself walking in their shoes. I didn’t wanna get out of bed, I would have panic attacks at random moments when there seemed to be no trigger at all. I would just wanna run away and crawl in a dark hole. Then I moved into the phase that I like to call despair. I was completely convinced that no one loved or cared about me. I felt that I had spent my entire life trying to please others and take care of others but had left nothing for myself. I began to think that everyone owed me something, I couldn’t keep healthy relationships because the demands that I put on friends and family were so unrealistic. No one could live up to what I needed them to be, I was looking for all my happiness in other people, never realizing that I could make my own happiness and get control of my life.

My biggest problem was the fact that I refused to seek help. I had so many stereotypes and heard what others had to say about people on medications with mental illness. I also came from a religious background and felt that I just didn’t have enough faith to move past this. Finally a friend convinced me to go see my doctor and get some counseling. I was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety with some bipolar tendencies. Also ADD. Through medication and counseling I have been able to live my life while dealing  with these things. It wasn’t instant, it takes trial and error with the medications, don’t get discouraged if the first thing doesn’t work. Just keep trying and you will find something that works and you will feel so much better. One thing I will say from experience is that medications without therapy or counseling will not be near as effective. I made the mistake of doing counseling until I felt better and then I quit, which was a bad mistake. It’s during the times I was feeling good that we were really able to work on things. I wasn’t getting any better for a  while because I was only going to counseling for damage control when I was in a really bad state. I would tell anyone dealing with this to go to counseling or therapy consistently for at least 6 months. It will help you more than you realize. I hope this helps someone know that  you can and will make it. You are not alone, we’re all in this together.

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