The Fine Line Between Feelings of Sadness & Diagnosed Anxiety or Depression & Why Your Voice Is Worth More Than You Think.
Have you ever caught yourself saying “Oh my god, I’m so depressed” or “That gives me so much anxiety“? I’ve done it too. I think it’s safe to say those sayings are common in mainstream vocabulary, but what do they really mean? Have they lost their true significance?
I think so & let me tell you why.
Mental illnesses are far too often undermined, left in the dark & not talked about. They’re also often frowned upon, denied & their severity & impact on physical health is underestimated. As a result, we learn to use those words loosely. We give them less meaning than they actually deserve.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to feel sad, stressed out, anxious & even so down that all you went to do is stay in bed. Sadness is part of the normal spectrum of human emotion.
But there’s a difference between those feelings & actual diagnoses of depression & anxiety & that’s where the issue lies.
Someone who is diagnosed with anxiety or depression experiences an abnormal emotional state, a real mental illness that affects the way they think, their perceptions, the intensity with which realities & emotions are faced & felt & alters behaviour chronically in a way that hinders day-to-day activities.
Depression & anxiety don’t follow any “normal” emotional rules & impact the body & mind in ways that prevent the individual from enjoying any & everything they once got pleasure from. It’s more than just a feeling of sadness that comes & goes or is felt at different levels of intensity in one day or hour, it’s a chronic state of mind that’s so overwhelming, it seems like there’s no way out.
This is one of the many reasons I believe raising mental health awareness is so important.
Awareness is the first step in recognizing behaviours & taking active roles to alter them based on what we learned.
Life is a constant learning experience & I speak out about my journey towards stable mental health in hopes that I could raise just a bit of awareness in one of your minds.
It has to start somewhere & we can all play our part.
If you suffer from a mental illness, please don’t be ashamed to speak up about it.
You have a voice & it’s more valuable than you think.