I was washing a car the other day at work and got to thinking about my mental illnesses. In my psych classes in college we discussed comorbidity quite a lot. Comorbidity is the presence of two chronic diseases or illnesses in a person at the same time. It is quite common for people who have anxiety to simultaneously have depression or vice versa.
I am one of those people….if you hadn’t already guessed. I have anxiety with depression as my comorbid illness.
Comorbidity sucks fucking balls. If one starts up the other is sure to follow. Those scary little monsters feed off each other and encourage the other to grow bigger. They whisper to each other. They plan and scheme. They poke and prod my mind and heart. They snicker and smile. Anything to try to bring me down.
But I fight. Tooth and nail, I fight.
I was reading an article a while ago on having anxiety and depression. It gave a list of things that happen when someone has this comorbidity. I wanted to share some of these and a few of my own. I will include the link at the bottom so you can view the entire thing.
- It’s having to stay in bed because you don’t have the will to move, but unraveling at the thought of what will happen if you miss school or work.
- It’s making six million to-do lists just to untangle your thoughts, but knowing you’ll never actually cross anything off.
- It’s the constant fear of winding up alone, but accidentally isolating yourself because you sometimes just need to hide from it all.
- It’s alternating between feeling paralyzed in the present and scared shitless about the future.
- It’s sleeping too much or not at all.
- It’s needing a break from your racing thoughts, but not being able to climb out of the pit of yourself.
- It’s needing to do everything, but wanting to do nothing at all.
- It’s worrying about losing all your friends, but not having to energy or motivation to hang out or talk.
- It’s being so depressed that your mind wants to shut off, but your anxiety never allows it.
- It’s stressing over a first date, but canceling in the end because you know deep down it won’t work out.
There is so much more that I could list. It’s not fun. It’s a tug of war between two monsters. It’s exhausting and never ends. Fighting against those intrusive thoughts and finding the strength to get up and move are taxing, but necessary. I found myself getting lost in my depression for a long time and took even longer to crawl my way out.
I wish more people could understand this entangled dynamic. This twisted relationship between two painful illnesses. I have to mask the pain and torment because I don’t want pity or questions. How can I possibly explain something that often times doesn’t make sense in my won head? How can I explain something that only exists in my head and is a complete fabrication but feels and seems real?
If you’re interested in the whole list, please follow the link: https://www.buzzfeed.com/annaborges/20-feelings-that-sum-up-having-both-depression-and-anxiety?utm_term=.ctjN4A2eo#.tq4xOMn0v