It’s Tuesday, y’all! (And it really is Tuesday this time – would you believe that?!)
As I told you last week, I got really sick during Spring Break and am still in the process of recovering. My body had apparently finally taken enough of me pushing so hard and being so busy and forced me to rest. Even some of my old health issues that hadn’t given me trouble in a few years popped back up. It’s definitely frustrating, but I’m taking it slow and trying to get enough sleep and eat properly again. Whatever it takes, right? We’ll see.
I’ve noticed increasingly in the past few weeks that so many people seem to be either misinformed or completely oblivious when it comes to mental health issues. I don’t say this to lump people into categories, but rather to point out what I have been seeing personally in my day to day life, which is that the general public knowledge is not always where it needs to be.
Too many people still equate anxiety with a fear that needs to be faced, or depression with a rough patch. And while on the surface, they may appear the same, they are in fact, not at all alike. Yes, when someone tries to be encouraging and maybe help out, it is with good intentions (usually) but when it comes right down to it – those with mental health issues are fighting a silent battle with their own mind, thoughts, and subconscious. While someone else’s encouraging words will certainly be appreciated, the mind will still try and twist things in unimaginable ways.
I personally struggle with both anxiety and depression, but far too many people don’t realize that both of those illnesses can take on multiple forms and are almost never the same for each person.
For me, on the depression spectrum, I typically experience persistent low-grade depression, most commonly brought on my various triggers. It’s not a constant battle, but rather one that I have to watch for and deal with accordingly. On the other hand, my anxiety expresses itself most commonly in social phobia/anxiety and moderate panic disorder. Depending on circumstances, I also experience some OCD thoughts and behaviors and generalized anxiety.
Sometimes, when we start to label these things like that, it kind of shocks us. If someone who didn’t really know me read the above paragraph, it would sound like I’m a disaster and that my life is a complete mess. But in reality, that is not the case at all, because I have learned coping mechanisms, ways to get my mind back into safer territory, and various other strategies. For me, anxiety and depression is a very silent problem, but that does not make it any less real. In the past I would not readily share these issues with others, but in recent months I’ve become more open about my own battles in an effort to perhaps help some other people around me because I am certainly not the only one struggling. Many, many people around us have these same problems, and many of them are much more severe than what I face.
Some people that I talk to are shocked when I mention that I’ve started going to therapy, wondering why I would need to, maybe even judging me because it makes me sound broken. But therapy is another tool for me that helps to stabilize my mind and live my life to the best of my abilities (subject for another post!).
All of that to say, don’t be quiet about mental health issues. ALL health is important, but so many people, particularly young adults could be saved if everyone was more open, accepting and knowledgeable about these issues.
Soapbox moment aside… I’m having fun this week. Maybe I just made an awful test grade, and I need to get started on my multiple research papers that are due in the next few weeks, but none of that matters because it rained! Twice in one week, in West Texas! This is completely unheard of, and I always enjoy it.
I’ve been settling into a few new ideas in my head, and will hopefully have two or three new projects starting by the end of the week. One of them you’ll get to hear more about on Friday for sure, and possibly a second one as well. It’s a challenge grasping ideas and concepts out of the air and making sense of them sometimes.
So anyways, have a wonderfully fantastic week and keep smiling!