How I've Coped with Depression and Social Anxiety Disorder for Over a Decade

just_tired

Living with a mentally ill mind

I've been dealing with depression since I was in secondary school and social anxiety disorder even longer and I think I've done a relatively good job. I did finally reach a breaking point, but not counting my love life I'm quite well off on most areas in my life. Great relation to my family, lots of friends, lots of hobbies, bachelor's degree, voluntary work, fitness etc.

How I've coped with depression and social anxiety disorder for over a decade

1. Hiding

I hid it. I hid it for very long time and I hid it well. At first it was harder and I would "break character" more often, but after a while the fake smile, fake laugh and acting positive and confident became more and more natural for me. It would become a natural reaction for me and it even affected my personality.

...after a while the fake smile, fake laugh and acting positive and confident became more and more natural for me.

2. Keeping myself and my mind busy

Can't think about sad thoughts when you're too busy with other things. Escapism.. Video games was at first the biggest thing for me. I would just immerse myself in them and you could say at worst it was an addiction for me. I also watched a lot of TV and spent as much time with friends as I possibly could (though the anxiety would start hampering that eventually). Then came masturbating, anime, manga, alcohol, partying... When I started university I immersed myself in it and my student guild and it's activities and voluntary work. My schedule was full months on end, I drank way too much alcohol.. You might already guess why I reached a breaking point, huh?

How I've Coped with Depression and Social Anxiety Disorder for Over a Decade

3. Pushing my boundaries

Around the time I started upper secondary school I started pushing through my comfort zone mostly with the help of my friends, they really pushed me to do it. I started a band, started drinking, going to parties, started talking to girls.. I felt anxious 24/7, but school was so easy for me it didn't really hinder me. After some time I got used to being anxious all the time and it didn't feel as bad anymore. I coped with it and keeping busy helped.

After some time I got used to being anxious all the time and it didn't feel as bad anymore.

4. Taking one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time..

The shitty feeling was easier to take in smaller portions so I just had small goals through out the day, week and month. Getting through a hard day or week really felt like an accomplishment and it kept me going. I was always chasing that feeling that all my responsibilities are done and I don't have stress for a bit. The feeling wouldn't last long, but it was the best feeling I had (only thing I had..).

How I've Coped with Depression and Social Anxiety Disorder for Over a Decade

5. Finding things that calm me down and release my feelings

First thing that I found to do the trick was walking, aimless walking. I loved doing it in the middle of night often listening to music and sometimes smoking cigarettes (not much really anymore though..). It's the only time I could get my thoughts in any order. Then I found talking to a certain person that would help and finally crying, which was a great release (though I can't do it anymore). That was it for the longest time until recently when I've found that writing and ASMR do the trick.

So did I do things right or wrong?

Results weren't that bad.. I've done fairly OK in life so far.. Well, it's a little bit of both. Faking till you make it, is not really that bad advice, but taking it too far is. Faking a smile does actually help you be more happy, but completely hiding your feelings is very unhealthy. Pushing my boundaries, faking happy, confident and social did help me become more of those things, but I did loose a bit of myself along the way. Keeping myself busy did help me live my life, but it also kept me from dealing with my problems and resulted in a mental breakdown.

I guess the take away is, that you should do many of the things mentioned above, but in moderation and you should not hide. The worst mistake I made was hiding my problems and my feelings. There's a time to hide them, but it's not all the time. We all need to get in touch with our feelings and I'm still working on it.

There's a time to hide them, but it's not all the time. We all need to get in touch with our feelings

The most important way too deal with a mental illness is to tell someone about it, get in touch with a medical professional and start the healing process.

How I've Coped with Depression and Social Anxiety Disorder for Over a Decade

Have a good day..

How I've Coped with Depression and Social Anxiety Disorder for Over a Decade
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Most Helpful Guy

  • freakyzeaky
    Thank you for this Take! I have struggled with generalized anxiety and depression for most of my childhood and adult life. It is one of the most common mental health issues and more people need to be made aware of it. Many people are chastised and dehumanized for these conditions. We are no less than anyone else for having anxiety or depression.

    Therapy and medications are highly recommended and I feel that going to effective mental health practitioners are important for everyone, not just those who have a diagnosable mental illness or mental disorders.
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girl

  • Plumy
    "Faking a smile does actually help you be more happy, but completely hiding your feelings is very unhealthy."
    "There's a time to hide them, but it's not all the time. We all need to get in touch with our feelings"
    I feel similarly... It is hard to always make fake smiles, luckily can find who really understands you even if anyway it takes quite a bit of courage to open up and talk about things...
    Is this still revelant?
    • just_tired

      Yeah.. opening up makes you vulnerable, but it helps.

    • Plumy

      Little bit conundrum-like matter... by the way thank you ! ✌️

    • just_tired

      Yeah kinda, you're welcome :)

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What Girls & Guys Said

815
  • martsa
    I have few friends who also suffer from social anxiety and depression. They often come to talk to me about it. Sometimes I feel helpless even thought they talk to me a lot about it and I try to help as much I can. How I can support more/better a person who suffers social anxiety?
    • just_tired

      Umm.. well it did really help me when my friends pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but I don't know how other people with anxiety will react to it. It's a fine line when the pushing might end up making them withdraw more. It's good to go baby steps. It ended up making me very social person.. only the symptoms never went away.

      Overall it's good to try and be understanding and not get too frustrated. We already feel bad enough when we cancel meetings and such.

  • DizzyDesii
    This did help. I still can't stop cryin. But i’ll try harder to stop
    • just_tired

      Crying isn't necessarily bad, it's a release of feelings and those feelings have a reason. This might sound a little crazy, but you should give yourself the permission to cry. Do it because you need to and then try to search where those feelings come from and try and fix it.

  • Courtneybrown91184
    I to have anxiety and depression over the years now my panic attack come out of nowhere and hit me there's no fighting having one because without any working sign I start having a full
    Blowen panic attack it hits m
    • just_tired

      That's unfortunate.. I've only had a few panic attacks in my life.

  • Fauzillic_Bolt
    There's no need to cope with it. Start seeking professionals in which can help aid you in curing this. Why settle for coping when you can get rid of it?
    • just_tired

      I am, I'm on medication and going to psychotherapy. I'm not hiding it anymore. That was the takeaway.

  • JustGiveMeAUsername
    i've had a few minor depression in my life, but i have a friend who's much worse off, luckily last year we finally started talking about it and so far it has really helped me feel better and i hope it's doing the same for him.

    much love for this mytake <3
  • Rainychoc
    I had it since school. Now i got over it from last year when i was 23 years old. No longer have all those by doing what fear me. And got a job that just against to my fear like I was scared of people so I requested and work as salesperson which need me to meet new people everyday and talk and communicate. It forced to socialise when I just was not.
  • CheekyPaws
    Nice post and well done!
    Just a few words to say that I definitely find that writing helps me, I don't write for anyone at all and what I write is not intended to ever be read, doing so would put too much pressure on writing in an acceptable manner and would cause me to start to apply censorship to my words. I just write anything and everything that pops into my mind at the time, even if it's a bit jumbled, I write it down best I can. It's the simple act of converting thoughts into sentences on paper or screen that seem to help release pressure and bring a little bit of peace within and allow me to relax a little.
    • just_tired

      I do both kinds of writing. The kind only I get to read and not even I can always make sense of it and the kind I share.

    • CheekyPaws

      I've not tried the writing for others yet, I don't feel I'm at the point where I can feel confident enough to do that, although I'm trying to push those boundaries (by never posting anonymously on G@G for example and assuming responsibility for what I say), as for the other texts, well I've never read them, not sure I ever will, maybe in a few years time?

    • just_tired

      They're not necessarily meant for reading, but they can be fun..

  • JimRSmith
    Great Take, and I'm glad you're making progress.

    There's a lot of valuable advice in there.
  • Cool. I dealt with depression still. Been depressed since a teen. What help me is working out. Not at the moment of running but it feels better.
  • NineBreaker
    Great take on this! I would like to note that I imagine that some hide their mental state for fear of stigma. Too often, people get responses like "Get over it!". Sometimes illnesses don't go away easily if at all. It's true for depression and anxiety as much as it is for asthma and high blood pressure.

    A better response for someone who tells you that they have depression or anxiety should be more positive, and being supportive. Instead of saying "Get over it!" people should try, "Don't give up! I believe in you even if you don't believe in yourself right now."
  • Other_Tommy_Wiseau
    the talking about it thing is really the biggest thing. the problem is, however, that's also the hardest, especially coupled with the anxiety thing... actually, it's probably the 2nd hardest. the hardest, at least for me, was figuring out that my ruminations and anxieties weren't normal. considering no one picked up on it in my life despite having panic attacks, being a selective mute until i was like 10, being a picky eater who panicked when trying new foods. i also burned out at a very specific point, so i figured it was an extended burnout that would pass. it lasted years to decades before i realize it wasn't exactly normal. granted, looking back, i can see why it would be hard to detect. like you said, you learn to hide it pretty well, and by nature, besides my shyness and social anxiety, i did/do have a lot of friends, take chances, willing to do things like travel by myself, etc. anywell, good take.
  • Good_Behavior
    Don't they make drugs for this?
    • just_tired

      Yeah, I'm taking them, but drugs are just a temporary solution. Psychotherapy is the only actual cure.

  • ovi2boss
    I had 2 decades I wonder how much it goes on?
    • just_tired

      Depends how long you wait to ask help.. Have you talked to a doctor and/or a therapist?

    • ovi2boss

      No you know why, they want money and I want money if I have a lot of money I would be happy

    • just_tired

      Yeah.. surprisingly people want to get paid for doing their job.. Money has an effect on happiness, but if you're really depressed (if that even is what you have), it will not make you happy by itself..

    • Show All
  • SaskiaBlueRaySoul
    hey hey p. m you xx
  • omgjassy
    Yes. Talking about it helps
  • Kitty369
    Cool
  • CT_CD
    Nice myTake
  • fredrick89
    Great take
  • DanFlingwing
    good take
  • Anonymous
    Good for you, buddy.
  • Anonymous
    But how do you talk to those people, if they don't have no responses for you? Even the girls, when you try to initiate convos, they laugh, don't talk much or have much of response where you can go off of? How do you find things to do when there's not so much to do so your mind wanders? Also, what if the people you usually talk to don't answer you much, like don't answer you for days or something?
    • just_tired

      Oh.. a lot of questions, let's see..
      "But how do you talk to those people, if they don't have no responses for you?" Depends.. if I'm feeling chatty and have things to say, I'll fill the silence with my on stuff. If I don't have anything to say, I'll leave the convo. If they can't respond to anything with anything at all, why should I?

      "Even the girls, when you try to initiate convos, they laugh, don't talk much or have much of response where you can go off of?" Laugh isn't necessarily a bad thing. Approaching someone is almost always an awkward situation (though I don't do it much). If they don't respond much they might not be interested or they're really shy so the same advice as before.

      "How do you find things to do when there's not so much to do so your mind wanders?" There's millions of hobbies in this world. Choose a few. There's always something to do.

    • just_tired

      "Also, what if the people you usually talk to don't answer you much, like don't answer you for days or something?" I don't know, they might be busy or not that good friends or... hard to say..

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for this man. I appreciate it a lot

    • Show All
  • Anonymous
    great mytake!
  • Anonymous
    I don't see why you had to write a myTake for your personal problem.

    And are you sure this myTake belongs in "sexual behaviour " and not in "health and fitness " or "sexual health " ?
    • just_tired

      Because I wanted to and it's helpful for others with similar problems. What's it to you?

      And I don't why the topic changed, I did choose Health and Fitness...

    • Anonymous

      Its nice but it should be in "health and fitness ".

    • just_tired

      Yeah, I already commented on that... the admins will probably change it once they read it.

      .. but thank you for the compliment

    • Show All
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