"Some days" - a quick thought from a high functioning anxious depressive.
From time to time we ask our community for their stories, thoughts, and/or concerns. And you are in for a treat! We bring you the following note from a beloved member of the Break the Stigma Community entitled "Some days.”
The hardest part of high-functioning depression and anxiety is that no one notices. Even worse, when you are struggling, you feel too embarrassed to mention it to anyone. It is an endless cycle of feeling sh*tty and then feeling sh*tty about feeling shitty.
As a young professional, I find it difficult to talk about my mental health because I am usually able to hide it from my colleagues. As a result, I must exaggerate my symptoms to be validated. If I am feeling lethargic and fatigued, I say I have a cold. If I have been crying because I had a panic attack, I say my allergies flared to explain away the puffiness. If I am snappish and short-tempered because of sensory overload, I say that I am stretched thin between work projects. I find it difficult to just say “I’m sad. I’m lethargic. I have sensory overload. I struggle with mental illness.” Part of the reason is because people like to say they are understanding and are flexible with mental illness, but what they really mean is that they are understanding and flexible outside of work hours.
As we all know, mental illness has no schedule; it strikes at the least convenient times. It happens during work meetings or calls, presentations, in the middle of an important deadline, in an interview, on the commute to work, etc. Worst of all, being high functioning with mental illness is misunderstood. It doesn’t mean I barely struggle with it; it means that I can fulfill some basic needs while experiencing it. Some days, it is all I am capable of. Some days, it takes everything I have to wake up, brush my teeth, change clothes, and eat a meal. Some days, I wish that my illness was taken seriously and not brushed off at work. Some days, I wish saying I am so anxious I can’t eat or sleep and I am so depressed I can’t leave my bed or even imagine working was enough.
A high functioning anxious depressive.