Mental illness is a lot of different things. The most common ones are clinical depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, dementia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder. What I am going to talk to you about are the ones that I deal with and how I semi manages to get out of them.
What is Depressive Disorder or better known as depression?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, it is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch.Which means you have been like this for a while and you can’t get back up on your feet per se. Currently, I am in a depression and I have been since the end of August. I am barely making it, but I am trying my best to do so. On September 27, 2018, I had a major break down. Yesterday, I thought I was coming out of it but that was just one of those random bursts of extreme happiness for no reason. I have been dealing with depression since last year since I was diagnosed with it. But I am sure that I have had for years now. With depression comes anxiety…
What is Anxiety Disorder?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a person with anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. Anxiety can affect everyday task. There are several types of anxiety. There are generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and specific phobia. According to, Freud "anxiety is caused by unwanted content approaching consciousness.
The type of anxiety that I have is called Panic Disorder. I have been dealing with this since high school but never knew what it was until the end of my junior year in college. I experience an anxiety attack more often now due to the fact that my depression is an all-time high.
Anxiety isn't a joke I know I finally got a hold on mines and I know how to treat it when it comes about it. Some of the things that I do are counting down from 100, the 5 senses test, and just managing my breathing and make sure that I am breathing. My attacks can go from small minor ones to extremely panic to where I can't breathe and cry nonstop. If that happens I try to remove myself out of the area that I am in and do one of the things that normally helps me calm down.
I started writing this blog on September 27, it is now November 23. I chose not to start this blog over because of the first two paragraphs (the ones in purple) were me during an episode so it’s me at my rarest form. Today, I realized that I’ve been fighting myself to not be in another depression. It didn’t work. Depression is a bitch. I hate it with a passion. I don’t want to be on my meds so I try other outlets instead of doping myself up on medication. I’ve finally realized a few triggers of mines. The biggest triggers that I’ve realized are my desire to drink more often than usual and the unknownness that comes within my living situation. I don’t drink per se I use to drink every day but then I turned into a social drinker. So I would only drink when I’m getting ready for a party or an event. But for the past few weeks, I have just been craving it just to have it and I would fight myself not to have one because I wouldn’t need it. The unknownness is a big one because before I moved back home 4 days ago I was going couch to couch trying to figure out where I was going to sleep. Who I pissed off and who I didn’t so I’ll know where I’m going to lay my head that night. It was a lot due to the fact that I am a full-time student, worked 3 jobs, active on campus, and maintaining a healthy relationship. I work best under pressure but I knew something was going to slip up and let alone it did. Not only did I lose my job, but I almost lost somebody who I deeply cared about because of my depression.
Schell's intake on her Mental Illness:
Diagnosis: mood disorder- bipolar II disorder, alcohol dependent, generalized anxiety disorder Bipolar II disorder is characterized as cycles of fluctuating moods between high (hypomania) and low(depression), unlike bipolar I disorder I don’t reach full-blown mania.
Symptoms I personally experience on the high end: racing thoughts, carelessness, I feel like I’m in a frenzy, I start on hella new things, which usually don’t get finished, I feel like I have surges of creative and productive energy, I like to make commitments to hella task, impulsive, annoyingly talkative, extremely sexually driven, less need for sleep, super happy high
Symptoms I personally experience on the low end: extreme fatigue, irritability, socially withdrawn, pessimistic, unattractive, idk why but cold lol, loss or gain in appetite, weight fluctuation, hair shedding, desire and plan to end my life, nightmares, loss of interest in everything, excessive need to sleep
Anxiety symptoms: I’m always in crisis mode, preparing for the worst possible things to happen, unloved, paranoid about everyone's intentions, irritability, constant internal back and forth, racing thoughts, sweating, itching, shaking, fast beating heart, trouble breathing, trembling voice, stuttering.
"When I list everything out it seems horrible, which some days it can be. I feel at war with myself frequently, but then I think so do most people. Everybody has things they struggle and deal with. The universe isn’t out to get me I’m just a combination of very poor genetics and traumatic life experiences. Lol Experiencing some of the above does not mean you have a diagnosis like myself. Many of those things are very common and apart of life, mine just happen to impede of my everyday functioning and take place in very repetitive cycles. If you feel like you recognize some of these things within yourself I recommend seeing someone, but I honestly recommend EVERYONE to see a counselor. We all have trauma and baggage we need to sift through. As blacks, we talk about improving our community, but it starts with us. Take that step for yourself and for others around you."
Schell also wrote a blog back on April 30, 2017, titled Fighting Depression to Live, to Love, to Hope, to Prosper. I highly suggest reading it. The thing that helped me the most is when she said this, "It’s always not about the win for the day, but the push. If you win the battle with depression on a certain day that’s just icing on the cake. On days you feel like you lost the fight remember there are small wins even in losses, so it’s never truly a loss. You may not have made it to the class that day, but you put in the effort to get up, check your email, maintain your hygiene, respond to important notifications. Those small wins add up to big ones. It’s just all about how you look at those wins. If you can recognize the wins as such your life will eventually begin to change for the better because a large part of depression is feeling worthless and self-loathing. Changing your mindset in the smallest ways can make all the difference. Of course, the advice is always easier said than done, but we’re in this together !" Michelle Davis
Not everyone is able to handle mental illness and not everyone understands it. But it’s never the person with it a fault for going through what they are going through. With my depression, I’ve lost damn near everything and everyone. In the early part of the year, I tried to send back all relationships some worked others did not. It’s an ongoing battle with emotions because there could be nothing wrong with me and then boom every emotion would hit me all at once. So if I ever affected you while dealing with this bullshit I’m sorry it was NEVER my intention on doing so and I would NEVER want to hurt the people around me or the ones who care for me.
You are NOT alone if you have a mental illness there is help for you. Seek counseling I know most black households do not believe in that and say you should run to God with your problems. True but God put counselors and therapist on this earth to help us! So seek the help that you need and do not let it go on to where you cannot get hold of it.
Crisis intervention: Link Below
Suicide prevention hotline: 800-273-8255
Text home in the US to 741741 for cross text line