Monday, October 3, 2011

Information: Depression and Anxiety

Many times I sit here and I wonder how much I should tell and how much I should keep in myself… this morning is one of them. Yesterday I hit the worse headache that I have had in a long long time. It literally had me down for the count. I couldn’t do anything, this morning I am still having a hard time but I am hanging in.

I have been trying to figure out what to type and I thought this is Moody Tales, and I have been quite moody lately. With emotions being so up and down, with not knowing what to say and who to say it to, when to be okay with things and when to speak up and say it isn’t okay. So I keep thinking what do I want people to get out of this blog, mostly I want people to realize that it is okay to be honest, real, transparent, and whatever emotion is going on.

I would love to talk about depression and anxiety. I have learned that many people understand 1 of them but they don’t understand the other even more apparent is that having them both is so misunderstood. So I wanted to tell you a bit about what I have learned.

1st both of these conditions are ones that can bring a ton of emotions, the person effected can feel quite ashamed or have a ton of emotions behind letting others know that they are being effected by depression or anxiety. Many people feel like Christians in particular can’t have them, or both of them, most feel if you pray enough, believed enough or trusted God enough that you won’t have them. Well, that simply isn’t the case, many Christians, even strong Christians have been affected by one or both at some point in their lives.

So Here is Jen, just a normal person telling you about the two things that are effecting me that I want to keep hidden but that God is telling me to tell, to share because I am NOT the only one dealing with these things.

These two excepts are taken from a website (Mayo clinic):

Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It's more than just a feeling of being "down in the dumps" or "blue" for a few days. If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include

• Sadness

• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy

• Change in weight

• Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping

• Energy loss

• Feelings of worthlessness

• Thoughts of death or suicide

Anxiety is a normal part of life. It can even be useful when it alerts us to danger. But for some people, anxiety is a persistent problem that interferes with daily activities such as work, school or sleep. This type of anxiety can disrupt relationships and enjoyment of life, and over time it can lead to health concerns and other problems.

In some cases, anxiety is a diagnosable mental health condition that requires treatment. Generalized anxiety disorder, for example, is characterized by persistent worry about major or minor concerns. Other anxiety disorders — such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — have more specific triggers and symptoms. In some cases, anxiety is caused by a medical condition that needs treatment.

Whatever form of anxiety you have, medications, counseling or lifestyle changes can generally help.Common anxiety symptoms include:

• Feeling apprehensive

• Feeling powerless

• Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom

• Having an increased heart rate

• Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)

• Sweating

• Trembling

• Feeling weak or fatigued

Specific anxiety disorders are broken down into several diagnosable mental health conditions:

• Panic attacks can start suddenly and cause apprehension, fear or terror. You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, heart palpitations or chest pain. You may feel as if you're choking, being smothered or that you're "going crazy."

• Agoraphobia is anxiety about, or avoidance of, places or situations where you might feel trapped or embarrassed to leave if you start to feel panicky.

• Specific phobias are characterized by significant anxiety when you're exposed to a specific object or situation and a desire to avoid it. Phobias provoke panic attacks in some people.

• Social phobias are characterized by significant anxiety provoked by exposure to certain types of social or performance situations and a desire to avoid them.

• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by persistent, recurring thoughts, images or impulses (obsessions) or an irresistible desire to perform irrational or seemingly purposeless acts or rituals (compulsions). Often it involves both obsessive and compulsive behavior.

• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by the feeling that you are re-experiencing an extremely traumatic event. It causes intense emotions and physical reactions along with a desire to avoid anything that might remind you of the event.

• Acute stress disorder is characterized by symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder that occur immediately after an extremely traumatic event.

• Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by at least six months of persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about small or large concerns. This type of anxiety disorder often begins at an early age. It frequently occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.

• Anxiety disorder due to a medical condition is characterized by prominent symptoms of anxiety that are directly caused by a physical health problem.

• Substance-induced anxiety disorder is characterized by prominent symptoms of anxiety that are a direct result of abusing drugs, taking medications or being exposed to a toxic substance.

• Separation anxiety disorder is a childhood disorder characterized by anxiety related to separation from parents or others who have parental roles.

• Anxiety disorder not otherwise specified is a term for prominent anxiety or phobias that do not meet the exact criteria for any of the other anxiety disorders but are significant enough to be distressing and disruptive.

So yes, a ton of information but why am I writing this… 1. You are not alone 2. Please be willing to get help, there is help. There are people that will be able to help you 3. If you need someone to help you get help, let someone help you, I am sure that you have friends that will walk with you, go with you, pray with you, be there for you.  I will be willing to go with you 4. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed.

Now I struggle with not feeling embarrassed or ashamed, mostly because I suffer from severe depression and anxiety right now. While people might look and say I have every right to have them I feel like I am failing. It is something that I knew depression was hard to deal with, I could imagine that anxiety was bad however, I can tell you know that having both of them are HORRIBLE, they can feed off of each other and they are things that sometimes you can’t control and can’t make better.

Please feel free to contact me if you need to talk or know something.


  1. Dealing with both of those at the moment. Love you tons Jen! Thanks for sharing.

  2. My counselor actually made the comment in the thick of it that he didn't think I was depressed. I just laughed at the irony. I have wondered where the line is between clinical and situational depression, if there even is one. Rather than anxiety I swung to fatalism and cynicism, not pretty either but perhaps easier to live with for a season. Hugs to you!