Behind Closed Doors
For my first chapter, I am going to be exploring six mental health disorders which will consist of: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, PTSD, Anorexia nervosa and SAD. You may or may not have heard of them, or perhaps you have but don’t understand what living with a mental disorder means; therefore, I have created this chapter to raise awareness on what day to day life is like and how it feels to live in the shoes of someone going through it.
Although, I have used some of my personal experiences in certain places. I have not studied at any level regarding mental health; therefore, because of the importance of the difficulties I am going to be writing about I will be researching into them and reading up on people’s experiences to try and provide the most detailed piece I can. I aim to be able to open people's eyes to the problems people have to face and how it is possible to live with it and have a good life.
‘I can’t sleep, can’t eat, and I still don’t feel comfortable’ *sighs, looks at HIMSELF puts on whatever he can find* because he’s drained, drained from the zero to none sleep and little but irregular food he’s been forcing for the last few months. While no one has properly noticed yet he’s cried himself to sleep. The negative thoughts in his head going round and round he’s mind like a broken record. ‘You aren’t good enough, you will never be good enough, look at yourself!’
This is just one example of what Depression can be like. To define it, Depression is a disorder that causes life to go from simple to really bloody hard: taking away your interest and pleasure in some of the things you love, messing up your sleeping pattern, ruining your appetite and draining your energy and let’s not forget the way it makes you feel guilty about what you do and feeling overall low about yourself. The intensity of the actions that it creates can vary depending on the person and the scale of their depression (I realise that not everyone who has depression will go through all of these, the above symptoms our just what is common amongst people who have depression.) I say, people because there is no age or gender barrier anyone can have depression because it doesn’t care!
By now you’re probably realising that it isn’t easy to live with it. On a day to day basis, it makes what would seem to be a simple day complicated by how it can affect relationships, physical well being and work to name a few examples. The reason for this being is depression can lead to clouded judgement, make it hard to be around people, cause 'a lack of sexual desire, performance and sleep’ as well as possibly minimising your productivity. Considering, these factors sometimes depression can lead people to drink and/or do drugs to numb the pain it causes. Other unfortunate actions people have done are committing suicide and self-harm. However, before victims of depression get to that point you can try and prevent it. If you are self-harming or considering suicide I URGE YOU please just GO & TALK to someone you are close to.
If your someone who has depression knows that your doing great, you can get through this battle, take time for you, relax, do something YOU enjoy. Depression may not care about its actions, but, the people around you who love you do. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and you can and are going to see it. No matter how hard it is you’ve got this! If you’re finding general life hard, maybe try getting into a routine (this is suggested by Ian Cook M.D.) If you self-harm, you can stop you’ve got the power to, the wounds you have are the battle you’re going to win! Last but not least, if you’re considering suicide look around you at your loved ones and your personal and professional life. Whether you’re in or out of work/education you can build the best possible life for yourself. Set goals and tell depression to F**K O*F because you can be happy and you deserve to be with no strings attached. You can access support whether it be family, friends or your GP. They will be there. Trust me. Someone who is close to you will remain by your side. It can be hard I’m not going to lie. But, knowing that they’re stuck by side, remained supportive and just been there is what will help you to get through and finally feel wanted like you are. You can take control back and the people you rely on in the meantime will be ok because as soon as they see how you've got your new found positive attitude back they will realise they've got you back.
Depression can only win if we let it.
GENERALISED ANXIETY DISORDER
The bell rings and just like that she knows it’s time. It’s time for lunch, most people enjoy this bit of the day, not her though. Now, she has to walk past them *she looks at the group of girls who have been bullying her for the past few months*. Suddenly, her heart rate raises, taking a deep breath she says to herself ‘I can do this, I’ll be ok’ except she won’t because before she knows it the anxiousness captivates her mind. Now she’s at back at square one yet she still doesn’t fully understand. She thinks she knows the reason why but yet she doesn’t. She has a generalised anxiety disorder, GAD for short.
GAD is a disorder that makes you worry and feel like you’re on edge all the time, having to be one step ahead of everyone else. Triggered by a particular phobia or panic disorder. It makes day to day life harder it’s as if you’re continuous, on overtime affecting your sleep, feelings and physical state. One moment you could feel ok and the next you could be losing concentration, feeling on edge, irritable and worrying about what’s going to happen in the next mini-second and that’s without the other symptoms. Other symptoms include: feeling sick, pins and needles, stomach ache, shaking, feeling dizzy or tired and possibly, preventing you from sleeping. However, depending on the person the symptoms can vary on what and how they are perceived. That being said, there is different kinds of treatment and ways to cope so no matter the situation people who are affected by anxiety will and can cope.
If your someone with GAD, the National Health Service recommends exercise, avoiding caffeine, drinking alcohol and smoking. However, I realise depending on you as a person some or all of these options aren’t an option. Therefore, you could contact support groups (ask your GP or web search for local groups as they will vary depending on location etc.) Perhaps, that will help you with getting one step closer to your goal of being able to go somewhere or do something. You can reach anything if you put your mind to it. Also, if you are offered treatment the three options that I became aware of are medication, cognitive behaviour therapy, and mindfulness and applied relaxation. Medication will obviously, depend on you and what you can take and what you would like to take. Whereas, CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) and Mindfulness and applied relaxation are to help you understand and learn to deal with how to control it. For example, CBT is understanding how problems, thoughts, feelings, and behaviour affects you and Mindfulness and applied relaxation is to focus on current feelings and learn how to relax muscles. Therefore, this could maybe help you to learn to deal with underlining issues and deal as best as you can with them. All of the above, are just options, I’m not saying to them. However, I am saying maybe try them. See what’s best for you.
Only you can take control back, it’s ok to get support.