This is from a woman with anxiety and depression who says she feels better now during this crisis than she has in years.
My mood has stabilized after years of oscillating between paralyzing anxiety and debilitating, at times suicidal, depression. Despite everything, I realize, I am OK. More OK than I have been in years.
That’s a strange thing to admit. But evidently I’m not alone.
Elizabeth Cohen, who has practiced psychology for 15 years with a specialty in anxiety, estimates that 20 percent of her clients have actually seen their symptoms alleviate in recent weeks. Roughly the same portion have seen their symptoms worsen, she says, while the remainder have seen little change.
(cont. Daily Beast)
I’m part of the fraction of people with depression and anxiety who has seen their symptoms alleviate during this crisis. I’ve been off my meds since September and hit my lowest point in February. I honestly haven’t felt this calm or slept this well since last summer.
A lot has gone wrong. I landed my dream job at the beginning of March, worked for two weeks, and then got let go. I haven’t qualified for unemployment and can’t get through to discuss my appeals. I screwed up my back and couldn’t walk for a week.
But I’m not sad or anxious.
And the article doesn’t touch on it, but I’m less anxious because there’s nothing I could be doing to fix my life. Everything is always falling apart and I never feel like I’m doing enough. My depression and anxiety are usually compounded by feelings of inadequacy for not being able to find a job, not being able to find a date, for not having money and being unable to afford to do fun stuff with friends, for being depressed and unable to shake it.
I don’t feel any of that right now. It’s not quite “misery loves company” but there’s some comfort in not being the only person you know whose life is a mess. The very real prospect of running out of money next month if I can’t get my unemployment denial overturned doesn’t really phase me…because so many other people are also gonna run out of money. Not being able to go out for an indefinite amount of time doesn’t really phase me…because I was declining things anyway, but now there’s no guilt or anxiety about not being able to do something.
And because I’ve spent so much time avoiding people out of fear that nobody will like me because I’m depressed, I’m very adept at spending weeks by myself. When I’m having an episode, I don’t talk to anybody, because why would anybody want to hang around the person who’s always sad or bringing them down with their problems? So dealing with anxiety or feelings of unease all by myself is something I’m equipped to do anyway, but now the load is so much lighter. I don’t feel stressed when I wake up. My sleep is restful. I look forward to all my little activities I have planned.
I feel totally fine. Thank you to everyone who is always reaching out to check on me, but I really am completely fine and we should be focusing more of our energy on healthy extroverts who are really suffering.
The only thing that has stressed me out since this started is grocery shopping.
I couldn’t find scallions today.