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What NOT to say to someone who suffers from Anxiety.

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UPDATE:

I have written about Anxiety a while back, but lately I haven’t because I was feeling better. My anxiety wasn’t as bad anymore and I was sleeping more, and my panic attacks stopped. I finally talked to my doctor about my anxiety and she prescribed me something for it that also helps me sleep. Well… that all lasted a month. I am not sleeping again which is causing issues in my work life. Since I sleep so little because I cannot get to bed any earlier, I stopped taking my anxiety sleeping pills because they make me groggy the next morning which makes it impossible to get up at 3am and be able to do my job. I am exhausted all the time, mentally and physically. My anxiety lately has been brutal.

Anyways…

Since I suffer from anxiety, I decided to do this post about what not to say to some who suffers. Unfortunately, all of these have been said to me… multiple times… during panic attacks when I am at my lowest.

 

ONE: You are just doing this for attention.

This is just a heartless thing to say. If I could just cue anxiety whenever I wanted, I would never have it. I would never have panic attacks. I would never cry on the bathroom in the dark at 2am. I would never cue any of those things. I would never feel like I belong nowhere. I would never feel like I have no meaning in life. I most certainly wouldn’t choose to feel this constant worry… about everything.

 

TWO: You’re only crying to try to make me feel bad.

I wish I could just not cry. I wish I wouldn’t feel anything sometimes. I wish sometimes I didn’t have any feelings at all. Having this many feelings all at once, all the time is torture. Utter torture. I cry because I don’t feel like I can do anything else to get my feelings out. I cry because I feel broken all the time. I feel alone even though I am surrounded by people. I don’t cry because I want to make anyone feel bad. I don’t want anyone to feel bad. Especially the kind of bad that I feel, because the kind of bad I feel is just so lonely. I would never wish this on anyone, ever.

 

THREE: Just knock it off, just stop.

This is one of the most hurtful things to be told. If I could just knock it off, I would. I totally would. I’m sure most people who suffer would. This isn’t easy to deal with as it is, and hearing “knock it off” makes it even harder to deal with. At times, it makes it unbearable. So unbearable that I just want to disappear. It makes me feel like my being is irrelevant. No human being should feel this way, but most importantly, no human being should make another human being feel this way.

 

FOUR: I can’t deal with this.

You can’t deal with this? How the hell do you think I feel? I HAVE to deal with this everyday because it’s a part of me. Hearing someone say that they can’t deal with what you are going though, someone who is supposed to be there for you and support you is devastating. It’s the worst thing to hear. As if I don’t already feel the worst about myself. I have a hard enough time dealing with as it is and it really breaks me to hear that you can’t deal with me because of something I can’t control, something that is ruining me and my life. Sorry that you are having such a rough time with me suffering.

 

FIVE: You need help.

Thank you for stating something I already know. I know I need help. I know what I need to do. Not feeling like I have the support to do it makes it seem impossible accomplish. This phrase can be said in two different ways, but the way I am talking about it the belittling, I’m annoyed with you kind of way which is how I have been told numerous times. When this is said in this manner, it makes us who suffer feel like we are an inconvenience. I feel like that 99% of the time anyways.

 

SIX: Just relax and lighten up.

This phrase. I wish it were as to do this as it is to say it. I wish I could just not worry about anything the way that I do. I wish I didn’t stress over everything. I wish that I didn’t get physically sick from worrying all the time. I wasn’t more than anything to just relax. I want all the feelings and negative thoughts that stick to me with unbreakable force to disappear more than anything. I want to feel like I am okay for once. I want to live carefree for once… but I can’t. My anxiety won’t allow me to. It’s like a demon who is constantly with me and tells me how insignificant and meaningless I am. It tells me how irrelevant I am. Tell me, can you relax and lighten up when you worry about literally everything against your own will?

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This was about a month ago when I had a really bad panic attack. I still remember the feeling I had during this panic attack. You can see the emotional pain I went though and the physical effect it had.

Mental health is a really thing. Anxiety is a real thing. I’ve dealt with a lot in my life, but dealing with anxiety has been the most difficult and most exhausting. If you know someone is suffering, help them. Encourage them and make it be known that you are there for them to support them. Don’t dismiss their feelings.

 

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Things you should never say to someone with OCD.

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I thought I’d do another mental health post, because I suffer from this as well as anxiety and depression. Triple whammy, right? A lot of people don’t think of the severity of mental illness and will say things that definitely doesn’t need to be said. Hurtful things. I’ve heard a lot of hurtful things about my mental illnesses, so I’ve decided to do this post.

 ONE: “You need to relax”

First of all, don’t you think we would if we honestly could?! OCD can’t just be cured by freaking yoga or at a spa. It just doesn’t work that was.

TWO: “Are you sure you’re OCD? You’re not as organized as I thought you’d be.”

Okay… Do you even know what OCDD is?! Just because someone is OCD doesn’t mean they are organized all the time or even at all. OCD manifests in different ways for different people.

THREE: “Can’t you just stop?”

Um…No…We can’t just stop. If people could just stop preforming these actions, they wouldn’t be suffering from OCD, now would they? OCD means they have to do the task. Not like we want to; we need to. That’s where compulsion comes from.

FOUR: “I do that and I don’t have OCD.”

You organizing your socks in color order may be your preference, but for someone with OCD, it’s not just a preference, they have to do it. In their mind, it’s necessary. When you make comments like this, it diminishes a very real problem for someone who truly does suffer from OCD.

FIVE: “That makes no sense.”

DUH! Those with OCD already know that what they do has no logical reasoning behind it. Hence why it’s called compulsion… Trying to convince someone with OCD that what they do makes no sense is just going to make matters worse and hurt their feelings.

SIX: “It’s all in your head.”

No shit, Sherlock. People with OCD know it’s in their head. That doesn’t make it any less real or easier to overcome. Comments like this hurt the most and shouldn’t be said to anyone. Dismissal is extremely hurtful.

 

OCD: [Obsessive compulsive disorder]
A disorder in which a person feels compelled to preform certain stereotyped actions repeatedly to alleviate persistent fears or intense thoughts, typically resulting in severe disruption of daily life.

OCD is a REAL illness. Don’t treat it like it’s not or just dismiss it.

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Friendships & Anxiety; Dear best friend

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In a previous post, I talked about what it’s like for me as a mom to have anxiety… Well, anxiety affects more than just my life as a mom… it affects my friendships and the ability to make friends as well. Anxiety has the power to kill friendships… It can make you distant from your friends to the point where you can feel that friendship slowly slipping away.

 

Dear Best friend,

Yes, I’m alive. No, I’m not alright. I know I haven’t called you in a while. I know it seems like I’m letting our friendship expire, and I know I haven’t really been a good friend to you lately, but please know, I’m trying. I’m trying to function in everyday life with the anxiety that I carry. I’m trying to keep myself together when all I want to do is disappear. I’m trying to keep that connection with you and I even when my anxiety tells me over and over that you’ve already given up me. I’m trying to control my anxiety and when it tells me that you have no genuine interest in me or my life. I have to battle my own brain everyday just to get out of bed, so be patient with me and understand that this battle of mine is one unlike any I’ve ever had.

Trust me when I say this… I have not forgotten about you. In fact, I think about you and our friendship daily. You mean a great deal to me even thought my anxiety makes it seem like the opposite.

Sincerely,

    Your friend who is battling
         a mental illness that is
         trying to break her.

 

I’m a pretty outgoing person and can strike up a conversation with just about anyone… but the chances of it going further than just a conversation, you know, a friendship, are slim. I have an ongoing thing where I tell everyone ” I hate people”, and that’s why I don’t have friends, when really, anxiety hates people and doesn’t want me to have any friends. My anxiety tells me that new friends won’t understand you, won’t want to deal with the baggage that you carry, and will just end up walking away anyways. Obviously this has a huge negative impact on my social life.

If you know someone or are friends with someone who suffers from anxiety, please, reach out to them. Call them. Invite them out. Let them know that you aren’t going anywhere, but most importantly, be understanding of the battle they are fighting, because it’s a difficult one.
Thank you to those of you have done this for me. it means a lot. 

 

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Motherhood & Anxiety, My struggle Part: 2

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About a month ago, I shared my struggle with depression. Today I am going to talk about another difficult struggle of mine that really affects my life and every aspect of it.  ANXIETY. I know I had problems with depression at a younger age, but I didn’t know I had anxiety until just a few years ago when I had a full blown anxiety attack for the first time, which by the way are horrible and nothing like I’ve ever felt before… I’ve had many panic attacks since my first one.

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What I struggle with:

Constant worry.
I constantly worry about everything. I will literally make myself sick over something that I think needs to be solved right now. I worry about problems and things that happened in the past. I also worry about what my future will be like (More than a normal person should), to the point where I start to degrade my present self and life for not being further I guess you would say.
Insomnia.
I get maybe at most, 5 hours of sleep a night. I am always exhausted and always want to sleep, but can’t. My mind just races a million miles an hour when it’s time to go to bed. When I finally do get to sleep, I wake up every couple of hours or so with a racing heart. Not being able to sleep has really worsened my depression.
Anxiety attacks.
These are the worst! The best way I can describe what one of these feels like is, it’s like you’ve lost all control of your emotions… it feels like you’re so overloaded  with emotions that you become numb and would do anything to feel something.
During an anxiety attack, you hyperventilate… Not being able to breathe when you are freaking the hell out is terrifying! Trying to catch your breath when you are balling your eyes out seems impossible. You can’t think past the sadness or wrong that got you to this point in the first place.

imageedit_11_3821388956Last week, I was upset about something and I was driving on the freeway… I kept thinking that nothing was going to change (The thing I was upset about) and that I was going to live with this sadness forever…Which sent me into an anxiety attack WHILE ON THE FREEWAY DRIVING. That was horrible.

Trembling & racing heart.
Sometimes my anxiety will come out of no where for no obvious reason… One day I was sitting outside at work and out of no where, I started to feel really anxious… I started shaking and my heart started racing and I was having a hard time breathing. 

Nothing is more terrifying than battling with your own mind everyday. – UNKNOWN

You know, I’ve been told by multiple people including family, to “Just control my emotions… get a grip… lighten up and to control what bothers me…” I’ve had people tell me that I’m overreacting and that I’m acting crazy. First of all, these things are really, REALLY hard to hear. Second, Yes, I know this seems crazy, but I’m not acting and third, if I could just get a grip and control my emotions, don’t you think I totally would?! You think I like feeling this way?! You think I like constantly worrying about everything?! HELL NO. I’m having anxiety just writing this right now.

imageedit_16_4140208702This affects my daily life and those who are in my life. It affects the things I do and how I react to things. It’s even worse when you have kids. Moms are paranoid about their kids right off the bat but having anxiety makes us 10 times more paranoid. Trust me when I say, if I could just turn this off and act normal, I would, in a heartbeat. I don’t understand why anyone would think people with anxiety would just act like this for fun. This is a miserable way to live. I never understood anxiety really until I knew what it truly felt like and now, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

You cannot recover from anxiety by just staying calm. You cannot recover from depression by just being positive. You cannot recover from anorexia nervosa by just eating more.

If mental illnesses were that simple, we wouldn’t be struggling in the first place.  – UNKOWN

 

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Motherhood and depression, my struggle.

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My regular followers may have noticed that I don’t post as nearly as often as I use to… There’s a reason for that. This reason isn’t an easy thing to talk about let alone blog about for everyone to read, but I have decided that I should in fact blog about it because I want my blog to be an honest one. You know, un-sugar coated like how life really is.

My depression has been such a struggle for me lately. I’ve struggled with depression since my early teen years and it’s gotten worse over the years, but I’ve managed to handle it and keep it under control… until recently… My depression has been so significant that most the time I feel like I lose who I am.

Here’s what I struggle with.

Loss of appetite: This is the number one sign that everyone recognizes when they know something is wrong with me. Everyone that truly knows me, knows my love of food. I hardly eat one full meal a day anymore, and the things I really love to eat, I don’t have a taste for anymore.

No motivation: Literally, I have little to no motivation to even shower, let alone be the mom I know I have to be. I’ve been putting everything off, which is not something I normally do. I am normally an organized, on time type of person.

Exhaustion: Every form that exhaustion comes in, I have it. Physically, mentally and emotionally. No matter what I do, I feel like this. Even if I slept a decent amount, I still feel like this. This affects every aspect of my life.

Always wanting to sleep: I know I can’t sleep as much as I want because I’m a mom, but the WANT for sleep is heavy. I feel as though sleeping is a temporary escape from constant sadness that I carry.

But not being able to sleep: It doesn’t matter how exhausted I am, how drained in every way possible that I am or how much I just wan to sleep, come night time, I can’t. This probably has to do with my anxiety.My brain’s shut off switch is non existent at night, I guess.

Loss of contact with everyone: This is probably  the worst one for me, honestly. I know I have people who understand what I’m struggling with and who are 100% there for me, but it just seems better and easier to not burden anyone, so I just push everyone away. Once I do this, I feel alone and it’s the worst feeling ever when struggling with depression.

Loss of interest in things I love: I stopped doing the two things that I absolutely loved doing. I use to feel a sense of accomplishment when I would take photography or sew. I haven’t sewn in about 8 months and haven’t done photography in about 6 months. This goes along with the whole no motivation thing.

Effortless things seem difficult: Just getting out of bed is hard. Picking out something to wear is hard. Simple things that are easy, feel hard to me.

Depression is being color blind and constantly told how colorful the world is.

These are just some of the things that I struggle with on a daily basis. Being a mom with depression like this is hard and really devastating. I don’t have motivation most the time to even chase my toddler around. I use sit in Averie’s room, in her little chair and play with her and I’ve found myself doing that less and less. The worst part is that my sweet 2 year old recognizes that something’s wrong with me and tries to make it better.

My depression affects everyone around me, not just me. It’s devastating to see my loved ones affected by something I am struggling with.

If any of you are feeling this way on a daily basis and you feel like it’s getting worse, please, seek professional help. This is something I’ll be doing this week.

 

This was a very hard post for me to write. It took days to write and then days more to actually post.

jessie

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11 ways you can help someone with Anxiety.

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and it has a lot to do with what has happened in my life lately as well as my anxiety. Just my anxiety alone will prevent me from doing something I absolutely love. I decided to do an Anxiety awareness post since this month is mental health awareness month. A lot of people don’t fully understand what Anxiety really is and what it feels like for those who suffer from it. So, I am going to shed some light on that and hopefully give those who don’t suffer from anxiety a better understanding of what it is and how to help someone who suffers from it.

1. Anxiety isn’t something a person can just Snap out of .
Anxiety is caused by behavior. Because of this, it takes the right information, help, support and hard work to overcome issues with anxiety.
2. Reassure them that they are going to be okay.
Anxiety can create one of the strongest reactions the body can experience. This strong reaction can create intense emotions, feelings, sensations, and symptoms.
3. Stay calm and help them to calm down.
Anxiety is predicated on fear. This fear can be rational or irrational. Encourage them to calm down or settle down. They will feel better once they do but it can take some time for them to actually calm down.
4. Be available.
Let them know that you are there for them. Let them know that they can talk to you without fear of judgment. Also let them know that you aren’t going to change the way you think of them because they are dealing with anxiety issues.
5. Be patient.
Anxiety can sound like a broken record – replaying the same topics and fears over and over again. While you might understand the nature of their struggle and see it clearly, the sufferer doesn’t. Replaying the same issues is their way of trying to come to terms with their fears.
6. Learn everything you can about anxiety.
Knowledge is power, right? If you want to help someone with their anxiety, become an expert on it. The more you know, they better. You can provide ongoing information, support and reassurance to them.
7. Empathize, don’t patronize.
Sufferers typically feel bad enough about what is going on in their life. They don’t They don’t want sympathy, but they do appreciate your compassion and understanding.
8. Celebrate the small victories.
Overcoming anxiety takes a lot of hard work. On the way to lasting success, there are often a great many little steps and victories. Celebrate them. Doing so can be very encouraging to the sufferer.
9. Affirm Them.
Encourage them to feel better about themselves. Low self-esteem is often associated with the struggle of anxiety. Your positivity and encouragement can help them see themselves more positively.
10. Take their anxiety issues seriously always.
Never joke about their anxiety. It’s not a joke to them. It’s a serious issue that they wish they didn’t have to deal with. The minute you make one joke, they’ll probably never trust you again.
11. Continually offer hope.
Your continued hope and reassurance can help them get through the drudge of recovery. Once they have recovered, you’ll recognize the true value of the hope you provided.

Anxiety sucks totally. It makes you over think everything and think the worst in pretty much any situation that has even the littlest bit of stress. Anxiety gives you major self-image problems. Anxiety can cause those who suffer from it, to push those who care away. This is my biggest issue. Luckily, the people I have in my life who understand my anxiety, push back harder to stay in my life. One of my friends noticed that I was hardly contacting her anymore and when she said something about it, she said,I know it’s your anxiety doing this, but just know that the more your anxiety says to push me out, the harder I’m going to push to be in your life.” I honestly don’t think she knows how much this meant to me.

Jessie