Do you have signs which you rely on to tell you when your Mental Health is in decline. For me the signs are:
- Change in thought patterns.
- Feeling like I am different to everyone around me or that I don’t fit in.
- Isolating myself and Avoiding people.
- Feeling like I’m a burden.
- Wanting to escape.
- Events which don’t normally upset me, start to influence my mood.
Once I notice one or more of these signs, I know I have to do something about it and that I have a very small window to turn things around. Before Depression takes hold.
Sometimes though, there is no slowing it down or stopping it in its tracks, sometimes Depression will let itself in regardless.
Change In Thought Patterns
I find that a change in the way I think is an important sign to a decrease in Mental health. Overthinking about situations and obsessing about the past takes over. I start to Overanalyse conversation on a more frequent basis. I overthink and overanalyse due to Anxiety anyway, but when Depression rears its head they step up a gear and change to a more negative view point.
The way I think about myself and my abilities also change, I stop trusting my own judgement and stop trusting other people. Unless I am able to nip it in the bud quite quickly, it will spiral out of control and difficult to reign back in.
Focusing on tasks and daily activities becomes difficult, because the thoughts and fears take all my attention.
Feeling Different to Others
Often, I find that I feel different to the people around me, I feel inadequate and worthless compared to them. They seem to have it all together and appear to cope with situations much better than I do.
I begin to compare my parenting skills to other mums and feel like I am failing my daughter. I can’t give my daughter some of the things that her friends get, I can’t take her to the places her friends get to go and I end up feeling intense guilt that eats away at me.
There are times when I feel like I don’t fit in with the other mums, which is when I start to pull away. I stop going to school events and try to get away from school as quickly as possible.
It’s not just school I isolate myself from, I start to pull away from friends and family. I feel I let them down, or that they don’t really want to spend time with me, all I will do is drag them down.
Isolating Myself and Avoiding People
Depression and Anxiety thrive on isolation, at least that’s how it feels. It needs us to lose our sense of connection to the the people around us.
When my thoughts begin to change, I start cancelling social engagements with friends and family. I leave the house less than I was before, only going out for essentials or for my daughters needs. I try my hardest not to let my Anxiety and Depression impact on her life.
The fact that I always have to contact people first to hear from them starts to bug me, it feels like they don’t really want me around, so I stop messaging or ringing people. Hoping they will contact, but when they don’t it really hurts and feels like a rejection. When I am feeling ok, this doesn’t really bother me, I can think rationally and understand how busy they are. But, when low mood creeps in, this has a huge impact on my own Self-Worth.
It’s the same when I do reach out to people, if I know they have read my message and haven’t replied, it hurts deeply. I take it as a sign that they don’t really want me around. Again, when my mood ok this doesn’t bother me, but when I have Depression it is another piece of proof to the belief I hold about myself.
Feeling Like I am a burden
I hate being a burden or an inconvenience to people, low mood makes me feel that that is what I am. A Burden.
So, I stop asking for help or asking to meet up. I stop opening up to people and keep my distance.
I try and cope alone, but it is difficult and it drags me deeper into Depression.
Wanting to Escape
It has to be said, I think I have wanted to run away more times as an adult than I ever did as a kid.
I have lost jobs through the need to escape, the need to get away from the triggers from my Anxiety and Depression. I have walked out of Job’s and not returned, starting a fresh somewhere else, until that too becomes to overwhelming.
There have been many times over the years where I have wanted to move away, move somewhere no-one knows me, where no-one has any expectations of me. I used to think it was people I was trying to get away from, but I now realise that actually it was myself that I wanted to get away from, and my Anxiety. That’s not really possible is it.
The urge to run away can be so strong at times, yet I have never plucked up the courage to move away. I know that eventually it will pass, as will the Depression, it’s never permanent. It just takes time to work through it.
When I start to notice these signs, I know it’s now that I need to reach out the most, I need the support from the people around me and I need the connection. I have to remind myself that I am not alone, I have people around me. I am not the only one that feels this way.
Its now that I need to ask for help from professionals.
Even though I have asked for help recently, that support wasn’t there. So, what now?