Anxiety or Depression?

I would like to preface this entire post by saying that I do not think that anxiety or depression are things to be joked about or to be taken lightly.  Doing so can lead to disastrous results.  That being said, maybe I look at these two things differently than a lot of people – even a good majority of the people in my family.

I am fairly certain that there have been numerous times in my life when I could have been diagnosed with depression.  And anxiety is something that I suffer with often.  But apparently, I have given myself coping mechanisms that other people have not been afforded or cannot put into place, or they are not as bad as I thought.

I would probably assign my anxiety and depression as times when they should have and would have come out.  When I went away to school.  When I was in the throws of my first real crush and didn’t think that he knew I existed.  When I was trying to figure out who I was and lost friends because of it.  When I lost a friend over something that seemed incomprehensible to me.  And then there were the times when it didn’t need to come out.  When I was so anxious and nervous about my admittance into NHS that I was shaking and crying before I opened the letter (that said I was accepted).  When I was out of school for a month in middle school because every day led to more fear and anxiety about what I had missed and catching up.

I have never been to a psychologist, although I’m sure that it would help me sort through some of these things.  I have never been to a psychiatrist, although I’m sure that would also help.  I have never (except once or twice) wanted to self-medicate or take any type of medication to deal with these issues – and that includes alcohol or drugs.  I have never been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, although I can imagine that it would be easy to have done so, especially at the times of my life that I have just mentioned.

I bring this topic up because family members of mine have been getting medication for anxiety lately.  And I have a theory about it.  I’ve always been high strung – always (that story about NHS, that was the norm for me in high school and I still get that way sometimes, often when I am stressed).  So, I’ve always thought that it was normal.  Maybe some people haven’t always felt the stress (or feel it more compounded and intensely than I do – which I can’t really imagine because it has crippled me at times) and when they do, they feel like they need to medicate for it.

I don’t know if I have ever had an anxiety attack.  I don’t know if any of my feelings have ever been deep enough to be depression.  I imagine that it’s very possible.  But I also know that I want to fight against these feelings in a way that doesn’t use medication.  I want to exercise.  I want to start doing yoga.  I want to write again.  I have so many goals and so many things that I want to accomplish.  And I can’t let my feelings of depression and anxiety effect me.

There are many ways to deal with these feelings.  If medication is what is needed for you (or people you know), there is nothing wrong with that.  But remember there might be other ways to conquer these feelings as well.

Thoughts on this?  Are you a high strung person?  Do you ever suffer from anxiety or depression?

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