As I sat down to write this article I felt this intense anxiety. I am a very open person but when it comes to speaking about my anxiety and depression I get nervous. In fact, I had to breathe deeply a few times while writing this to prevent me from having a panic attack. I have a constant fight with anxiety and depression. Some days I feel that it runs my life to the point that I just want to give up.
Anxiety and Depression presents itself differently in each person. For me, I experience negative thoughts, feeling excessively sad, excessive worrying and fear, irritability and rage, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, weight gain, and nightmares. Every day is a battle and some days I feel I have already lost. There are days I wish I could die in my sleep because dealing with anxiety and depression daily is too much to bare.
I remember one time, I was alone when suddenly I felt this intense fear and began to hear all these negative thoughts ringing in my head. They became gradually louder until it seemed the thoughts were shouting at me. They were saying awful things to me that caused me to bang my head against the wall. Everything in my head was so loud. I just wanted so badly for them to stop.
Thankfully, now I am seeing a wonderful doctor that not only listens intently to me, but also sympathizes and understands what I am going through. I see him once a month and I seem to be becoming stable. There is still that nagging anxiety and depression that causes me to have rage, to cry uncontrollably and to wish death upon myself. But, with the help of my family and my doctor, I am realizing that I can cope with anxiety and depression.
Sadly, according to NAMI African-American & Hispanic Americans use mental health services at about half the rate of others. This stigma about mental illness leaves so many people in harm’s way. If you think you might be suffering from a mental illness such as; anxiety and depression, please visit www.nami.org. There you will find helpful information on how you can seek help or how you can get involved to end the stigma around mental illness.
Find help in a crisis by calling the NAMI helpline at 800-950-NAMI or text NAMI to 741741.
Please don’t try to go this fight alone. Reach out to a family member or friend, and most importantly, seek help from a professional. I hope that by sharing my story with you all today that it will help someone who may be in the same situation. Please take care of yourself and remember that having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. I am still learning this but with the help of others you will be able to cope and maybe someday share your story.