I sometimes suffer from depression and/or anxiety. Although I now believe that I have had this even as a child, I was not diagnosed until 25 years of age.
It is an invisible illness. Most people would not be able to see that you have it even while in the midst of the worst of it.
But it can be just as debilitating as any other illness.
And too many people suffer in silence because it is such a misunderstood illness. People that do not have it many times cannot understand that it is a physical illness as well as affecting you mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.
It wears you out physically. You really get fatigued while going through it. A lot of the time you won't eat or you don't eat right so your immune system fails and you get sick.
I do not know what causes it, but I have learned some of the things that could trigger it in me. There are many medicines that can help. Talking with a therapist can also help. There are coping skills.
It usually affects smart people and influential people, people most others would consider strong, but it knows no social or economic or cultural barriers. Here is a list of some of the symptoms that I get.
Heart feels strange, like to close the speaker at a concert
Ears throb, like hearing a heartbeat
Creeping up my neck
Function normally, but no recollection of performing tasks
Extreme lack of patience with others
Desire to be normal to the point of OCD
No excitement or interest in anything
Doesn't want to be alone
Feels alone in crowds
Panics in stores or theaters or restaurants (cannot stand or wait in lines)
Loses confidence in your abilities
No sexual desire
Hates loud noises
Does not want to be touched
Does not want anyone too close to you
It is very hard and embarrassing to admit to and I usually don't ever want to talk about or even want people to know that I have it. That is because of the reactions and comments by those that don't understand it.
I once had a very well known and highly respected evangelist tell me to "quit ruining things for your family." Other well meaning but ignorant people will say things like,
Just get over it!
Why don't you pray about it?
Well, what's bothering you?
It's all in your mind, Quit thinking that way!
Really?!? Does anyone think that I want to bring affliction to my family? And nobody wants it to end as much as I do, but I can't just "turn it off" or I surely would. And I have spent more time in prayer over this than any can imagine.
I honestly am not just trying to get attention. I could think of more creative and less painful ways to do that.
Look, I don't want your pity. I don't know why I am writing this and putting it out there. I guess I just want you to know me and understand me better. I am not using it as an excuse to get out of doing things, Or to manipulate anyone else. The guilt of that would make the anxiety worse for me. Maybe I just want everyone to know and understand that we all have burdens, we all have issues, we all have needs, we all have concerns. Each of us have loads that we must carry through this life.
Even the people that seem the strongest, even the people that appear the happiest, even the people that look like they have it all, we all have our burdens and problems.
We need each other. We need The Lord.
Pray for me, please. I am praying for you.