Anxiety can make me become completely paranoid. I imagine the very worst is going to happen and it’s going to be my fault. This normally happens when I begin to feel anxious about talking to somebody about something that has been bothering me.
My imagination and paranoia are so strong, such a powerful team, that I can begin to feel anger, hurt and sadness from conversations that haven’t even happened. The anxiety can build and I can become breathless, panicked and almost paralysed.
My depression hits me in different ways. I am less likely to leave the house, less likely to care what I look like, and less likely to do anything other than binge-watch on my laptop. I avoid my phone, my emails. I cancel any plans I may have had because I simply do not feel worthy enough to be around other people. I stay in bed for longer because I need the covers to hide me away from everything.
If depression begins to really set in, I will cry until I can’t anymore. I will begin to believe that I’m a terrible person, a burden to anyone who knows me, a person with no future. I will think about suicide.
These are some of the behaviours that I recognise as a bad mental health day. Sometimes they become worse as the day goes on, the depression and anxiety soaking into my mindset and not budging for several days. Sometimes I’m able to get the comfort and support I need, and can begin to enjoy the day.
What I’ve learnt recently is that taking note of how I’m feeling and what I’m doing is helping me to combat my anxiety and depression.
Of course, it’s not easy. Some days I can become completely overwhelmed with mental illness and it seems impossible to feel normal again. Happiness and contentment seem like things I’ll never feel again. Everything feels like a battle.
However, if I can overpower some of the earlier signs, tell myself that those imaginary conversations are just that – imaginary, then I can avoid that overpowering anxiety that’ll ruin my day. If I can recognise that I’m struggling to get out of bed that morning because of depression, I can try to talk through my thoughts and feelings with my SO, who will be there for me as long as I need, and more often than not, begin to make me feel better.
Managing mental illness is really difficult. Mental illness is something that tries its very best to take over your life. Just like a physical illness, it takes a lot of care and some days are worse than others. But maybe, by being able to recognise those earlier symptoms when possible, we can begin to have more good days than bad.
This is a sponsored post for PostMood.com. PostMood is a free app on Facebook that enables you to track your mental health by analysing your Facebook posts, in order to calculate your sentiment and mood score.