Trying to reorganize my life around anxiety/depression

I'm 22 years old and have been dealing with anxiety/depression since I was 17 years old. Every couple of years I seem to have a major episode where I can't sleep because my thoughts and worries are flooding me and/or I don't want to get out of bed. My last episode was very bad. I couldn't sleep for three days and eventually had thoughts of suicide as well as hurting others, which I had never had before. This episode forced me to withdraw from a program that involved traveling around the country for a year different helping communities. After this third episode I have become really worried about how my anxiety and depression will alter the course of my life. I have always dreamed of being able to move out of my mom's house and live on my own, but now I'm afraid that I will be robbed of this opportunity. Even thinking about moving out in the future stirs up my anxiety because I'm afraid I'll have some type of mental brake from the stress and crash and burn. I have an older sister who also suffers from mental illness and doesn't work and will probably live with my mom for the rest of her life.

I guess my question to you guys is how has anxiety or depression altered your plans for life? Were there things that you felt like you would never be able to do but still magaged too somehow? And what were the things that you had to concede to? Any advice or experience would be helpful.

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  • I think about this all the time. I want to move forward in life, however changes give me major anxiety. I have learned that avoiding things that give you anxiety completely only makes your anxiety stronger. However, with anxiety we may have to approach life events differently than other people. We may need to really evaluate if it is something worth feeling anxious about, take baby steps, and use coping skills before and during anxiety-provoking situations to make it through. I know that I cannot completely get rid of my anxiety, however, I am in the process of learning how to cope with it. Hope this is helpful!

  • The only thing I have given up is being a missionary with a group like Doctors Without Borders since I am medication dependent and electricity dependent for my sleep apnea. And really, I may have been able to join them and just bring my medication and CPAP but I've had children to raise and simply didn't check on the missionary work.

    I have an anxiety disorder and depression but I am on medication for both so I don't live with anxiety or depression so those problems wouldn't get in my way. I'm just a normal person and could do just about anything. There are times I have my meds adjusted but those are brief. I recommend to anyone who has my problems that they get treated like I have so their problems don't limit them. Go ahead and be free to do what you want with your life!

  • Hi Jh

    Seeing the subject of your post peaked my interest and I have to tell you depression and anxiety have definitely altered the course of my life too. This post, while I wish I could say will be inspirational and give you some tips, instead its purpose is to just let you know you are not alone. I'm there, been there before, and am there now. Here's a couple ways its impacted my life.

    My depression/anxiety issues (now diagnosed as bipolar 2) started around same age, when I was 17/18. I missed half my senior year of high school because I was that sick. I had to get put on a medical 504 to graduate on time. I applied to local colleges because the thought of going away for college was just not even a remote possibility. I had no idea what mental state I would be in and didn't feel comfortable. In college, I was also in and out of episodes, like you said, it comes and goes.

    And at one point when I was doing really well for an extended period of time I was supposed to do a study abroad with Semester at Sea. It was super exciting opportunity. Well I got on the ship, a few days in, in the middle of the ocean had a complete mental breakdown, full blown episode. My mom had to fly to Spain to meet me at the ship to bring me back home. That's how severe I was. It broke my heart.

    I missed a year of college trying to get myself straightened back out and stable.

    And currently, years later, as now I am age 28, I did move out into my own apartment. Was doing really well, and felt like wow I have really come so far. And now, I have been at my moms for the last month due to an episode I did not see coming. And theres no way I could be at my apartment taking care of myself and my dog right now, its all way too severe. And it kills me, its very painful.

    So yes its definitely altered my life, over and over again. And I am trying to figure out how I am going to live like this. Its like this great unknown, and once I feel like ok I've made progress, I get smacked in the face. I really would love to be working for a nonprofit with dogs or a dog rescue, helping, I am a super caring, just want to make the world a better place person, and my illness seems to stop me from even doing that. And its painful.

    I am working through it. And if I should come up with any tips or advice on how to manage it and not feel like its running my life, I will definitely share with you. Its a day to day thing for me right now, certain things I feel I will have to just let go of and I'm not sure where I'm going to end up.

    Wishing you best of luck and hopefully some others on here will be able to help you on the other end. But just know your post really spoke to me as thats exactly how I'm feeling in the moment.

  • Thanks for sharing your story. Are you on any medications? I know people have different feelings and experiences about meds..

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