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Nowhere to Turn
By Marie Miguel, BetterHelp
I have been where you are. Looking for someone to talk to and not being able to find anyone you can trust. You want to scream and tell people “I am not okay”, but you are afraid to draw attention to yourself. Because then you may have to explain what you mean by that and you don’t know what you mean. You just know that something is missing, you feel “off” or just sad for no reason whatsoever. Everyone says “you have everything, how can you be sad?” but they don’t know. Just because it looks like everything is okay in your life does not mean it is. You can pretend to be happy so you don’t have to explain to people how you feel. You don’t even know how you feel! How can you explain it to anyone else? One minute you are fine, then you are sad, and the next thing you know your heart is racing and you feel like you are going to die. Is it depression? Anxiety? Both?
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world and affects almost 17 million adults in the United States and 300 million all over the world! That is close to 7% of the population. And that is just the ones who have reported these feelings. The actual numbers are probably much higher. Many people with depression tend to not get help. In fact, two thirds of people with depression do not get treatment, which is a shame because of those who do, 80% report a significant improvement in their lives. But, it is not just adults who get depression. Children and teens are also susceptible to depression. How do you know if you are depressed or just feeling down? Here are some of the symptoms:
- Chronic pain
- Inability to concentrate
- Lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy
- Extreme fatigue
- Constant feeling of something missing
- Changes in sleep (sleeping less or more than usual)
- Memory loss
- Eating more or less than usual
- Weight gain or loss
- Feeling angry or irritable
- Guilt or hopelessness
- Thoughts of death
Anxiety disorders are the number one most common mental disorder in the United States and it affects about 40 million people aged 18 and older. That is more than 18% of the population! This does not mean that if you feel anxious for some reason that you have an anxiety disorder. Everyone feels anxious once in awhile so that is normal. Anxiety disorders are persistent and uncontrollable feelings of dread and fear of everyday, normal situations. It is when you are so afraid of being judged that you are unable to get up and walk to the restroom when you have to go. Being paralyzed with fear if someone asks you a simple question. Some of the symptoms are:
- Feeling constantly on edge
- Heart racing
- Inability to sleep or stay asleep
- Irrational fear of talking to people
- Extreme fatigue but unable to relax
- Fear of people looking at you or judging you
- Avoiding public places
- Sweating or shaking uncontrollably
- Feeling nauseous or ill when in public
- Racing thoughts in your head
What Are the Causes?
The cause of depression or anxiety disorders are still mostly a mystery although many experts believe depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Some other common causes include:
- Environmental (abuse, neglect, poverty)
- Physical Conditions such as cancer and heart disease
- Brain trauma/damage
What You Can Do
One of the easiest things you can do to help is to talk to someone. But, what if you cannot find someone to talk to? There are people online who are trained to listen and help you with what you are going through. They are licensed and actually care about how you feel. Not because it is their job, but because they have been through it themselves or seen someone else go through it. You can call, text, go online, Facetime, Skype, whatever you feel comfortable with. Reach out now and start feeling better today.