Depression & Anxiety - Female
Updated: Mar 27
Thank you to our first contributor to the Happy Thoughts Academy Blog.
It's a brave and courageous act to open up, this will hopefully help your journey and so many others. Thank You from the Happy Thoughts Academy Team.
What is the mental illness that you have or are suffering from?
Anxiety and depression
Do you know where or how this started?
I can’t really pinpoint exactly when it started. If I’m honest I feel like I’ve always been prone to bouts of depression. Even from very early teens I remember sometimes just feeling so sad I didn’t know what to do with myself. The anxiety seemed to come much later - maybe in my mid 20s. There have been triggers over the years that have made both of these worse. The main one being work. I have a highly stressful job - which I don’t enjoy but I’m not trained to do anything else so I’m stuck really. But sometimes I just feel so sad without there needing to be a reason. I think I build things up in my head to be much bigger than they really are - I seem to be able to do this about even the most insignificant things!
How does it affect your day to day life, including your relationships?
Some days it doesn’t affect me at all - other days I feel so detached and like I’m in a world of my own. I have 2 children and as earlier mentioned a stressful job so I can’t afford to have a meltdown or just stay in bed even though I want to sometimes! The anxiety makes me feel physically very unwell when it’s bad. I get palpitations, tremors, stomach cramps and nausea. During a very bad patch a couple of years ago my hair was falling out and my periods stopped - I’m told this was purely down to stress and anxiety which is crazy to think your mental health can affect your physical health so drastically.It affects my relationships because if I’m feeling bad I tend to withdraw, I don’t want to socialise or talk to people. It’s almost like I lose the ability to have a normal conversation with people - my mind just goes blank and I don’t know what to say, so I just avoid seeing people. I’m also very snappy with my partner which I then feel really guilty about afterwards! I can’t be the easiest person to live with!
Do you feel you can be open with everyone with what you are going through?
The short answer to this is no! It’s ironic that I have a job where I assess and talk to people about their mental health daily but I very rarely open up about my own. I suppose I feel embarrassed. I have a brilliant partner who I can talk to, but a lot of the time I don’t because I don’t want to worry him.
Do you have any tips or tricks to stay on top of your mental health?
Something that definitely helps me is exercise. I like to keep fit when I have time and always feel better mentally when I’ve been able to do some sort of physical activity. Also being a mum of 2 I feel I really need time with friends to just be me sometimes. It’s easy to lose your identity when you’ve got little ones to look after - obviously they will always come first but I’ve learnt it’s also OK to take time out for myself.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with everyone. Please check out our resources and external links pages to see if there is anything that may help you.