“Sometimes we get sad about things and we don’t like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes, we are sad but we really don’t know why we are sad, so we say we aren’t sad but we really are.”
- Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
Affects millions of people worldwide and the depth of ones depression can vary significantly. When im depressed I feel very lethargic, Iack motivation and energy. I think very negatively. I feel like I'm swamped in darkness and suffocated with too much emotion or none at all. I may feel tearful or I may feel like I cannot cry or express emotion at all. I will feel lost, isolated and alone and I will withdraw from everyone and everything and retreat into my hermit like state where I feel safe. I just feel like I want to totally numb out or forget my emotional and psychological pain and distress.
Anxiety is variable and comes in many forms. It often accompanies an eating disorder as anxiety will often come hand in hand with food, the action of eating and the fears and distress afterwards. Other anxiety provoking situations may include, but are not limited to, social situations, solo speaking, crowds etc...Feelings may include; a knotted stomach (butterflies in stomach), sweaty palms, nausea or sickness, rapid breathing, difficulty catching your breath, panic attacks etc...
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is often accompanied by an ED (but not always) it is categorised as having intrusive negative and distorted thoughts about your physical appearance and its size. Being over critical and obsessing over what you hate or want to change about your body.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - OCD
OCD effects people differently. The three elements of the disorder are;
Obsessions – repeated unwelcome, distressing thoughts, worries, doubts, images etc...
Emotions – the "obsession" causes an intense feeling of anxiety and distress.
Compulsions – the neutralising behaviours or "repetitions' the person has to perform to relieve the distress the obsession has caused.
Then a temporary relief is achieved but it is an ongoing cycle.
Some compulsive behaviours include;
Bipolar disorder or any other associated mood disorder is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain resulting in uncontrollable extremes in mood, from episodes of depression and mania or hypomania and even mixed episodes.
Bipolar Mania Symptoms;
Bipolar Depression Symptoms;
Patterns of depression and mania
If you have bipolar disorder, you may have episodes of depression more regularly than episodes of mania, or vice versa.
Between episodes of depression and mania, you may sometimes have periods where you have a "normal" mood.
The patterns are not always the same and some people may experience:
If your mood swings last a long time but are not severe enough to be classed as bipolar disorder, you may be diagnosed with a mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia.
Borderline Personality Disorder
BPD symptoms include;
Difficulty forming and maintaining relationships
Distorted perception of oneself and the people and the world around them
Severe mood swings
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can develop and stem from many catalysts, such as, intense anxiety, stressful/damaging/painful experiences, such as varying forms of abuse, violent crimes, life threatening or dangerous experiences, bullying etc....
PTSD will often vary in symptoms and severity and may produce flashbacks, nightmares, painful intrusive stressful memories and changes in your reactions and response to certain things...
Self-harm can take many forms and there may not always be a trigger or a specific reason as to why one may self-harm. Your reasoning for self-harming may change over time and evolve with your circumstances e.g. personally, emotionally, your mental/physical health.
Reasons for self-harm could include;
Other Co-Occurring complications include;
- Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Alcohol and / or substance abuse
My scars are faint but I see them. I look at them sometimes and see the emotional pain behind each one. I feel those feelings all over again. I never felt the physical pain with each cut for I found the emotional torment harder to bear, it numbed out the rest. I felt the release with every cut as the blood ran down my arm it was like a pressure lifting and all the bad and emotional feelings were disappearing as the blood left my body.
When I was numb, I couldn’t cry.
When I cried, it was because I couldn’t speak.
Other Emotional Challenges include;
“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey
You know my name
Not my story
You see me smile
Not my pain
You may notice my cuts
Not my scars
You can read my lips
Not my mind