National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week – Ellie’s journey

Leading a great life with anxiety

It is Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week in the United States, and we got this beautiful post by Ellie. Check out what her advice is to all those who need to live with it every day and lead a happy life. Make sure you leave a comment below in case you have questions for her.

I was diagnosed with anxiety three years ago and have been living with it every day since.

Before I was diagnosed, I wasn’t really sure what was wrong with me. I had been struggling with going to college and talking to anyone but I thought it was because I just got out of my first relationship.

But it was much more than that.

Living with anxiety daily is definitely a struggle, but despite what people may think, there are days where you don’t notice it and you can be genuinely happy.

But there are days when you get so low and sometimes there’s not even an actual reason for you to feel that way.

Other times there can be a trigger, whether it be something small like seeing an advert or something big like an argument with someone.

For me personally, I get very anxious at night and find it hard to sleep. Other people suffer more during the day or throughout the day.

But despite the struggles that I face, there’s a lot I have learnt from having anxiety.

  • I’ve learnt that putting on a brave face is sometimes not always the best thing to do because talking to people about what you’re going through is very important. Even if they don’t quite understand, it can be very therapeutic.
  • Although, if you feel as though no one in your family or friendship group will understand, then talking to a professional is very important.

My counsellors helped me so much and taught me meditation routines:

  • Breathing in through your nose for seven seconds then breathing out of your mouth for eleven seconds.
  • If you practice these at a time such as when you wake up (or whenever you’re not feeling anxious/as anxious) then these will help for when you do get anxious and feel yourself panicking.

Surrounding yourself with negative people has an effect on your mental health, so toxic relationships/friendships can make your anxiety flare up.

But whatever the case, if you feel as though you do have anxiety, then please see a doctor. It is my advice to you.

I hope this can shed some light one what this issue really 

– Ellie

Ellie is one of the Original 10 of Ugly Ducklings Inc, and is our guest blogger for National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week. She lives in the UK, and is currently studying college. If you think you suffer from anxiety or depression, and need to talk to a professional, check our Resources page to contact someone that can help you.

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5 thoughts on “National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week – Ellie’s journey

  1. Yeah being positive is a big help. I’m actually not as positive as I would like to be, but I’m getting there!
    Yes, like I said, my anxiety hits me really hard at night time, so I do try to get an early night (which is sometimes difficult being a student and whatnot!) But yeah it is really important to feel in control of it. You don’t want it to take over your life (I went through a stage where it did take over my life and it was a very dark time) but you need to accept that it is a part of you and that (in my experience) helps with the control

  2. Hi Ellie,

    I’d second all your advice here! I was diagnosed over ten years ago and have mild anxiety and OCD (my symptoms peak in the moderate range), although I spent a long time trying to pretend I didn’t have an anxiety disorder. It wasn’t until I had my first full-blown panic attack (although I was, and still am, very familiar with limited symptom attacks) that I finally came to terms with it and began admitting to myself and others that this was a part of my life. I’ve since become very adept at managing it, so much so that most people don’t know I have it unless I tell them. I like that you’ve made a point of saying we can still be happy, indeed very happy! (But yes, I also have days where I simply can’t leave the house, they’re rare, but they happen)

    For me, managing my anxiety and OCD is about maintaining patterns and balance. I have to live with it every day, but I have routines that minimise its impact on my day-to-day life. New experiences and big changes are weighed up, I don’t take uncalculated risks, and make sure to thoroughly enjoy my life, despite the limitations my anxiety places on me. I know there are experiences I will likely never have, so I wholeheartedly embrace the ones I can.

    All best,
    Catherine

    • Thank you for this reply Catherine! I really wanted to be positive and let people know that you can have anxiety AND be happy. Of course there are struggles and I’m not going to deny that it’s difficult but there are ways to work through it. Developing a routine is actually a really good idea too!

      • You’re welcome! The two are definitely not mutually exclusive! I’m generally quite a positive person, my anxiety may throw up roadblocks, but I always try to find a detour I can take cheerfully.

        Routine is very important for me, it soothes the anxiety and OCD because there are fewer surprises and more feeling like I’m in control. The things I can keep to comfortable patterns become anxiety-reduced (or, hopefully, free) and then I have more energy to deal with the variations I can’t control. I’ve found that the lower I can keep my anxiety baseline the lower and easier to manage the spikes become.

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