Anxiety & Depression- Don't Suffer in Silence

Don’t suffer in silence or shame if you or a loved one are dealing with anxiety and depression. These two conditions oftentimes go hand-in-hand.

There is no shame in suffering from anxiety and/or depression. Speak up and ask for help! Please do not feel that you need to suffer in silence! You are not alone.

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Don’t Suffer in Silence

No one, not one single person, who has ever suffered from any mental illness should feel shame or the need to suffer in silence!

Feeling anxiety and even depression is normal to some degree in almost everyone. Some cope with it better than others. When actually some are just better at hiding it. Until they can’t any longer.

Society has caused a very negative attitude toward mental health in the recent past. Every school shooting or mass shooting is blamed on some kind of mental health issue.

While it may be true that the shooters could have suffered with some mental health issues, I believe their turning to violence came more from their suffering in silence until their proverbial “pot boiled over”.

Either way, rather the shooters had mental issues, or if they just had violent death wishes and need for attention, mental health was instantly blamed.

Therefore causing more people feeling shameful and needing to suffer in silence about their own mental issues.

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Facts about Anxiety and Depression

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America had the following things to say about anxiety disorders and depression.

The term “anxiety disorder” refers to specific psychiatric disorders that involve extreme fear or worry, and includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD),  panic disorder and panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety, and specific phobias. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are closely related to anxiety disorders, which some may experience at the same time as depression.1

The same article went on to describe depression in the following way: Depression is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general for more than two weeks and when the feelings interfere with daily activities.

Statistics show that about 40 million people in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year with only 1/3 of them getting treatment. You are not alone!

Why Do We Feel We Must Suffer in Silence?

Many people are afraid to admit to others that they suffer from anxiety or especially depression for fear that it makes them appear weak.

Perhaps they fear their boss or co-workers will think they aren’t capable of doing their jobs. Sometimes people feel they need to be strong for other family members or friends. So they hide what they feel are their own weaknesses.

We don’t need to suffer in silence

There is no need to suffer in silence! Suffering from anxiety and/or depression does not mean something is defective with you. It does not mean you are bad or have done something wrong.

Anxiety causes feelings of worry, fear and nervousness. All common and natural feelings. But when someone has an anxiety disorder these feelings become overwhelming. You simply need help finding ways to control those feelings.

Same with depression. The feelings of depression are also common and natural feelings that become overwhelming. You just can’t pull yourself up out of the funk without help. Nothing wrong with that! Ask for help!

Ways to get help

If you are feeling overly anxious or you have suffered from depression for an extended period of time, you should first speak with your doctor.

There are medications that can help with both anxiety and depression.

Also, do not be ashamed for seeking counseling or therapy. Sometimes talking to a non-biased person that is not involved in your life is extremely helpful. You really might be amazed at how much it can help.

Whatever course you choose, please do not isolate yourself, this will only strengthen the hold that anxiety and depression already has on you. Reach out to family and close friends. They love you and want to help. Believe me, they can already sense that something is changing in you. Let them help you.

I Suffered in Silence for Years

I first started suffering from depression in 1995 after I lost my Mom to colon cancer. I’ve spoken about this several times before in my blog posts.

My mom was truly my best friend. We spent a lot of time together as she helped me with my young daughter and even younger set of twins. My daughter was 13, and my twins were 8 when we lost mom.

This was devastating for my kids, as well as for me. Also, my dad was not coping well with learning to live without his teenage sweetheart and soul mate.

So I felt that I needed to be strong for my kids and for my dad. I somehow convinced myself that they were suffering more of a loss than I was, and I shouldn’t be depressed.

Continuing to Suffer from Depression in Silence

Life moved forward as I forced myself to continue to be strong for my family. For a long time I wouldn’t even admit to myself that I was actually depressed.

Not until a close friend mentioned to me that 10 years after losing mom, I still couldn’t mention her without crying. Not just misty eyed, but earnestly crying at the mention of her name. I started to consider the possibility of being depressed.

However, I was working, being social, and functioning fine in daily life. So I continued to move forward without any treatment.

Finally seeking treatment

In November of 2007, my brother (my only sibling) lost his only child to leukemia. My gorgeous, vibrant niece gone too soon at age 21. This was truly a life-shattering, traumatic event for our entire family.

Trying to help my brother and his wife muddle through the tasks at hand, planning the funeral, going through the motions of living the next few months barely putting one foot in front of the other, I would find myself suddenly without warning starting to hyperventilate.

I did not recognize it for what it was at the time, but later realized I was having panic attacks.

I felt my depression sucking me further down, yet I refused to admit it. I had 3 beautiful, healthy children and my brother just lost his only one! What right did I have to be depressed? Lord knows I did NOT want to lose one of my children, but I actually felt guilty that I had 3 and they lost their only one!

This depressed me even more, and the panic attacks grew more severe. I finally had to seek help through my doctor.

I’m so thankful that I did so, because just 6 short months later, we lost my dad suddenly to a heart attack.

I No Longer Suffer in Silence

I know I’ve mentioned these losses before in other blog posts. I really do not mean to repeat myself.

However, I do not know if all readers happen to read all my posts. I feel Anxiety and Depression as well as many other mental health issues need all the awareness possible.

Suicides are more prevalent, especially in children and young adults. We need to be aware. We also need to set examples for younger people, and show them it is ok to speak out. Everyone needs to know it is ok to ask for help!

Now it’s your turn

If this post has helped you in anyway, please leave me a comment and please SHARE it on social media! Help spread awareness every way you can. Help others speak out!

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