[Editor’s note: Anxiety and depression affect everyone differently — but dealing with both is extremely common. Nearly one-half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety and depression are deeply personal, and although this list represents only one experience, we hope you find some solace in knowing others might be going through what you are.]
1. It’s freaking out at the idea of getting anything less than a stellar score on a test, but not having the energy to study.
2. 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.
3. It’s feeling more tired the less you move, but your heart racing at the thought of taking the first step.
4. It’s getting more tightly wound the more mess piles up, but only staring at it and thinking, I’ll clean tomorrow.
5. It’s making six million to-do lists just to untangle your thoughts, but knowing you’ll never actually cross anything off.
6. It’s believing that every canceled plan will end your friendships, but not having it in you to follow through.
7. It’s feeling hopelessly low that you’re still goddamn single, but canceling every first date because the thought of going through with it gives you heart palpitations.
8. It’s fearing every day that your partner will get fed up and leave, but your anxiety whispering in your ear that they deserve better and should.
9. It’s ignoring texts and turning down invitations, and it’s aching when the texts and invitations stop.
10. It’s the constant fear of winding up alone, but accidentally isolating yourself because you sometimes just need to hide from it all.
11. It’s wanting nothing more than to crawl home and sleep at 2 p.m., but your skittering, panicked pulse keeping you awake at 2 a.m.
12. It’s alternating between feeling paralyzed in the present and scared shitless about the future.
13. It’s not enjoying the good days because you’re too gripped by the anxiety that the next low is around the corner.
14. It’s sleeping too much or not at all.
15. It’s needing a break from your racing thoughts, but not being able to climb out of the pit of yourself.
16. It’s needing to do everything, but wanting to do nothing at all.
17. It’s coping mechanisms and escapism, because when you’re not trying to hide from one part of your brain, you’re hiding from the other.
18. It’s wondering if the things that are making your heart feel heavy are things your anxious mind just made up.
19. It’s sitting awake at 3 a.m. worrying about a future you’re not even sure you want to have.
20. It’s feeling too much and nothing at all at the same time, which means feeling like you can never win.
But you can. And you will. You’re not alone.
To learn more about depression and anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here and here.
If you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can speak to someone immediately here or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which you can reach at 1-800-273-8255.
If you want to speak with someone anonymously, go here for additional help.