Anxiety and Depression Support

On the outside

Hello everyone, I am currently a nursing student and in the past I have had many people around me, Friends and family, who suffer from Depression and anxiety. Even though I am not completely knowledgeable on Depression and Anxiety not dealing with it first hand, I always find ways to support others and learn about it to better understand what they experience.

If anyone is willing to share, I would like to know:

What helps you to cope on a day to day basis?

If you take any medications, do they help or worsen how you feel?

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I do take meds and for a while it seemed like every time I went they were adding a new one. I went in an inpatient facility so they could see each Med and raise and lower them as needed once and for all. I take klonopin, Effexor, Meloxicam, trazadone and Atarax as needed or Valium as needed. Some of these also help my chronic pain. I still have bad anxiety. It’s worse situationally but very small unimportant situations are blown way up for me. I can’t cope. I’m so numb all I do is sit in my chair and watch tv. My mind never stops but my body won’t move. I’m in the process of trying to wean off my meds so I can think straight when faced with challenging situations. I feel like the meds may have helped at first but now they are making me more crazy! I feel like the anxiety is easier than the side effects of pills but it can numb you. I want to focus on a much more natural way of coping. My mom has been through so much and she takes a walk. Stays busy. That helps her. A lot. She has a bad heart and her doctor told her stress and anxiety are worse on her heart than smoking. I think anxiety is all about retraining your brain to see things in a different way. If you don’t fix the underlying cause it is hard to heal. My underlying causes have not been dealt with. Exercise, diet, breathing techniques, hot baths, essential oils, accupuncture meditation have all worked as needed for me to calm down at times. I am a Christian and my faith is very important to me. I find that when things get bad if I pray and trust God I can overcome. Weaning off meds is a long process. I’m just getting started. I also have my therapy dog. No she is not certified anywhere except in my heart. I believe we are surrounded by energy all around us and that energy is contagious. If I am around someone with anxiety I can tel the minute I’m around them. I feel it. With my dog she is so sweet. She teaches me kindness. Yet if you tried to hurt her or her family she will stand up for herself quickly. She teaches me courage. She sits in my lap and sleeps and I feed off that calmness. Then I get her a treat or take out her leash for a walk and she jumps as high as my head standing and gets so excited and silly. I feed off of that happy energy. I think my dog is the best medicine for me aside from God. I will say she is 14 and starting to show signs of age and heart trouble which can also be so sad to me. I don’t know how I’ll live without her. In that the only thing I have is my proof journal. I look back on the proof that I have lost dogs before and I’m still here to tell about it. So I think for me the benefits outweighed the loss. Let’s face it all dogs go to heaven. If it gets that bad I won’t want her to suffer. I can’t. I’ll suffer but not her. Not that way. Obviously I don’t want to get to the end. I’m actually having panic episodes thinking about it. When I cry she puts her face against mine and looks at me with those eyes that can’t quite see like they used to but are filled with so much love. She is with me when I feel lonely. I just love her so much. I was in a very bad way when I started on medicine and they kept giving them and I kept hoping...Meds are nothing more than a bandaid while therapy and learning to change the behavior and the way you react to and perceive things is worked on. Doctors and psychiatrist patch you (with pills) while psychologists and therapists help you heal. There is no one magic answer and everyone responds differently to different things. The best answer is knowledge. “Life’s a dance, you learn as you go” I personally think there is no cure. You may go into remission for years and something will trigger it and bam. There it is. It helps going to a therapist to help you recognize triggers and learn coping skills to help you get through it or even avoid it. Then work on getting to the root of it and changing the way you perceive things and cope with things. I personally think anxiety as horrible as it feels is a positive trait when I meet someone. Not always for the one suffering. In my case I wouldn’t change the fact if I had the chance. I just want to better cope. When I meet someone who has it my first thought is what a kind caring compassionate person they must be. If they didn’t care they wouldn’t worry. Does that sound like a negative trait to you? I think some people just have very sensitive nerves and they are born with it. They may not be sensitive or compassionate. I think some people can just naturally want to watch people suffer like they do. To me that just seems evil in nature. Look at this group for example. Pretty much all of us have or are dealing with anxiety, depression etc. Yet here we are quick to try to help someone else. Many counselors, life coaches etc have suffered themselves which has lead them to help others. We are a very loving, caring group of people that just happen to suffer from what can be a very debilitating disease. I suffered for most of my life. It got worse the older I got and in my mind looking back the severity of my problems got worse. That’s not to say that my problems aren’t any more painful to me than someone else’s is to them. I think anxiety itself is just very painful. I refer to myself as the unintentional hypocrite. I truly believe in everything I offer to people as advice in the hopes of helping them. I just can’t apply it to my own life. I may be sitting here crying but giving other people advice. I personally feel like I am so drugged it is prohibiting me from functioning proper. I say fake it til you make it! I truly believe though that one day.....I will.

This is my views I have learned from personal experience and education, therapy, psychologists, being inpatient in a mental health facility, etc. Mostly just years of dealing with it. I’m no spring chicken as my 7 year old grandson will tell you. I hope I have helped you just a small bit in helping to see into the mind of someone with debilitating depression, General anxiety, social anxiety, health anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, OCD, PTSD, personality disorder etc. Those are some of the many diagnosis I’ve been given. Personally I think mental illness covers it. Anxiety covers it. Sometimes people get too hung up on a specific diagnosis in my opinion. I know sometimes meds are better for different things. Usually people don’t just suffer with one. Best of luck on your nursing career. I truly feel like we need a better u derstanding and opinion towards mental health in this world so I had to share.

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Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions that I may be able to help with unfortunately I am quite knowledgeable on the subject even know I can’t always apply it

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Thank you so much Shawny89 I appreciate it, how are you feeling today?

One thing I want to ask is how do you feel knowing there is a support group for people who suffer from depression? and how does it help you cope personally?

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I’m much better. The other night I was in a panic. I went to my once a week job got out and got active. Exercise is the best medicine! I also got treated to dinner and went shopping with my mom. My husband is out of town as well. We struggle so him being gone gives me some time to relax and reflect. I am very happy to have found this group. It is a Godsend. Putting your self out of the situation and giving someone advice I’ve learned even though I may not be applying it allows me to look at myself from a different perspective because we are so much alike. Every time I read someone’s story I feel like I’m reading my own but I give them things I’ve learned and then it is like looking at myself from the outside. Talking to someone who has gone through it to me is way more valuable than talking to someone who has read about it. Although they can see things with a different perspective as well. I take any advice I can get. Sometimes just an “I understand” or “you can do it” might be just as comforting. If someone says to me that I have helped them with their panic etc that also helps me. I think that’s true with everyone. It feels good to help someone. I love knowing there are groups like this out there for people. There is anonymity in it. Some people are shy. It’s free. Some people don’t have insurance etc. it’s a blessing for sure. To me it’s easier to talk on here than in person sometimes. Some people are embarrassed or ashamed not that they should be. I think way more needs to be done to destigmatize mental health problems and spread awareness. I also think we need a whole lot more resources. I hear people say they called psychiatrists or therapists and can’t find any taking new patients or their insurance or they don’t have insurance and it’s too expensive or the doctor/therapist that will see them has a several month waiting list. If you’re in crisis we’ll thats just not very helpful. Those are some of the reasons as well that people go without the proper care for mental health issues. I’m in the US. Virginia specifically and we need way more resources! We are constantly having mass killings from people that have mental illness but did not receive the proper care. I’m exhausted. I had a busy 2 days but it has helped my mental state once I got going. It’s the getting going that is so hard. I don’t think you are ever completely free. I think our nerves are just more sensitive, levels are out of whack. Everyone has struggles. Some people cope better. It never truly goes away it just gets better as you retrain your brain to perceive things differently. Some people have a true chemical balance and have to have medicine to fix it. Either way if you are doing well for a while even years something can always trigger it and bam. You may have learned better coping skills and handle it better so that you control it and it doesn’t control you but it’s there.

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I commend you for your strength and I can only imagine what you have to tackle on a day to day basis. I rely on my faith as well as a way to cope with hard times. You made a really important point about underlying issues that can cause chronic depression and anxiety. I hope one day you will be able to find the strength to address those issues and be free from the cycle even if a little bit. Thank you again for responding and I pray that you have a bright prosperous future ahead of you

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