I am so grateful for Tiffany and this post. I saw a therapist while I was in college and today I still use the same coping techniques she taught me. This is an incredible piece for anyone looking to heal. – Amanda
This semester in my studio class I got a project where I decided to focus on mental health. I myself suffer from a mental illness but I was actually surprised so many others all over the world suffer from the same thing. I had been scrolling twitter one evening and noticed a thread on what it feels like when you have anxiety and noticed I was subconsciously coping the way others do.
In about March of this year, I suffered from one of my worst mental breaks that caused me to finally seek professional help for my problems. I’ve tried visiting my regular doctor in the past to receive medication for my anxiety and depression but was denied. This time I decided to go to a therapist. What I want you to understand is that I’ve made an appointment with a therapist 2 times before going to a doctor. However, both times the therapist canceled due to emergencies.
How this made me feel
I’m not sure how others would feel about this but for me it made me feel unimportant. This was a driving factor in why I didn’t really and may still be resistant to my therapist. However, the day I had my break and anxiety attack on campus I rushed to the counseling center because I knew I needed help or I was going to end up being suicidal again.
When did my mental health begin to deteriorate?
My depression began in 2013 and I have been very good at keeping it to myself and trying my hardest not to let it affect my normal everyday life. Fake it till you make it they would say. However, in 2016 I slowly went into a decline and I wasn’t able to hide it anymore. My family especially was starting to notice and had been urging me to seek professional help but I didn’t see the need to.
In my mind, I had been dealing with it for so long on my own and I was aware of what was wrong there’s nothing new that my therapist can do for me. Every day I would mentally get myself up and try my hardest to push through the day and for a while, this worked. Unfortunately 2017 and I’ve lost all interest in life. I knew exactly what was happening, I knew I was falling. I lost interest in sex. Felt like a constant failure even when I had successes. Nothing interested me anymore and I was beyond miserable at home. My suicidal thoughts were at an all-time high. Almost every day I was having an internal battle with myself trying to be my angel and demon. It was time for me to get the help I needed a new perspective.
What did I think about therapy?
Going into therapy I was very skeptical as I know many others have felt. Like I said before what could they tell me that I didn’t know? What are they going to be able to do for me? Am I going to get medication?
Let me tell you this. Don’t wait! I knew I was suffering for years I knew I wasn’t really coping and maybe if I had gone sooner I wouldn’t have sunken the way I had. Therapy has made me realize that:
- There is always something that can be done.
- I was linking every problem to one route issue.
- Sometimes distancing yourself is not a bad thing it helps you heal.
My biggest issue centered on my family. My parents divorced in 2012 and ever since it’s been bad for me. All these things were slowly taking a toll on my health mentally and physically and I needed to distance myself from all that stress. I distance myself from my family not being home or limiting interaction. I know there are going to be people who are like don’t distance from family. However, you need to understand that sometimes the stress your family brings is the reason you can’t heal. You have to be able to let go of certain things in order to move forward.
Techniques to help you cope
A few things I started doing to help me cope with my depression are:
- Daily Deep breathing. My therapist made me start doing this where for 10 minutes a day I just sit still in silence and clear my mind by deep breathing. So far this hasn’t been working well for me but you, of course, are welcome to try.
- Daily exercise. 30 minutes of every day I do either a light or intense exercise routine. I use the Nike Training app to help set a plan and I make it my duty to get outside and do my routine. This method has helped to make me feel a lot better in the days I do get around to do it. It also has made me feel a lot more productive.
- To help with my productivity I have gotten back into my planning and make daily checklists of things to do. Checking off a task each time has given me a sense of accomplishment and has helped my productivity and lessen my anxiety of not getting things done.
- Tapping technique. This is also one I got from my therapist. It is a Chinese technique where you tap points on your body while chanting a mantra that helps you calm down and breathe. This has helped in times of high anxiety. You can research this method online.
There’s nothing wrong with seeking help for your anxiety or depression. Save yourself and try to be there for yourself. No one is going to care for you the way you should be always remember that. Your never alone there’s a huge community of people on social media who will encourage you. They will also give you tips on dealing so try reaching out.
Until next time! See you later lovelies! Muah! xoxo
Tiffany Crosdale, more known as Tiffany August, is a student and blogger living in Kingston, Jamaica. Recently she has been focusing on becoming a girl boss and furthering her media career. She also freelance writes on Freelancer.com. You can contact her at TiffanyAugust@hotmail.com.