a monthly Mental Health Awareness feature
by Maddie M. White
Can’t Control Me, Must Control It
What mental illness do you suffer from?
Anxiety and Depression
When was the first time you noticed it and how?
I always had anxiety all through my younger and teenage years, but it got worse as I got older. Throughout school, I would always get test anxiety to the point that I was getting sick and had to go the nurse several times a week. Now, it comes more in being paranoid, constantly worrying about things or if I made someone mad or upset. My chest will break out in hives and I pick at my fingernails more lately. I noticed my depression more around the age of 19 to now. Some days are better than other but sometimes I have absolutely no interest in do anything nor talking to anyone. My anxiety seems to be worse when my depression is higher some days too.
How does it affect your life as a whole?
There’s days I can’t go out and just enjoy things like a normal person does because I am constantly questioning every little thing I do. If someone says something to me in a different tone, I automatically think that they are mad at me or I done something to them. I live in constant worry and fear that I do something wrong to people or mess things up.
How does it affect your day-to-day?
Everything I do is second guessed. I can’t do anything without thinking about if I said or done something to wrong way. I’ll spend all day dwelling on if I made the right decisions or if I done something at work.
What have you learned about it?
The number one thing that I have learned with dealing with this is that I cannot let it control me, I must control it. I have to stop letting my mind control so much and to stop getting myself worked up about everything.
What has it taught you about yourself?
I have learned so much about myself during this time. I know that I enjoy more things now, things I never imagined myself doing. It has also taught me that I am such a stronger person than I have ever given myself credit for.
Have you found anything helpful in coping with it?
I find comfort in my friends and family and also in music. When I’m feeling like I’m about have my anxiety act up, I just sit and take a deep breath to calm down and tell myself that these things are not worth getting so worked up about.