STRUGGLING with DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, or BIPOLARITY? LEARNING can really HELP. Start with ARTICLES above or Topics below. Ty! Bill

Anxiety is depression is anxiety. Lessons from a mighty email…

I don’t want to say much here because what you’re about to read says it all. Yes, anxiety is depression is anxiety. And we need each other so much. Here’s an email exchange I had with Joanie…

Hello, I was wondering if you could help me…I am 21 years old. I suffer from an extreme case of depersonalization and panic…my whole life I have. I remember when I was 5 years old dealing with it…it feels like you’re not really living. It is triggered by thought because suddenly my mind will repeat…I’m not here…why on earth would I ever conjure up that idea? Then I will have almost a panic attack and will be bad for a while. For a long time I have been trying to ignore my mind…but it becomes exhausting, having to fight to feel alive. Recently I have given into it. I am just too physically and emotionally exhausted and depressed. Also were you introverted as a child…feeling dizzy a lot and not able to think clearly. I have felt in a fog for many years. This started as a child so there has to be something chemical going on here…I think that it may be some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder. It is the scariest thing in the world…how extreme were your symptoms? Like a tingly feeling goes up my neck and a heat wave…and I get really dizzy. Has that ever happened to you? College was a really hard time for me. People don’t understand our battles…well, because we usually don’t tell them. My junior year of college I had to come home because of what other people thought was depression. I wish it was simply depression…I could handle that. I cannot handle these feelings of disconnection from body…yikes! Please write back…I would love to talk to you. Tell me if your experience is similar. Thanks, Joanie :)

After responding to her email, Joanie replied…

Reading your post just made me cry…I am so happy that someone has gone through a similar experience!!! Looking back…I have always felt like an outsider at every important event in my life…desperately wanting to jump in and just experience the moments as a normal person. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. This past year a series of events have happened that were the main cause of my leaving school. I had an accident…my father left home. I couldn’t understand why, when I finally had good friends and was happy at school, I was forced to leave. I am starting to realize now that it was to deal with this large, main issue that has been affecting my life. Did you ever sit by yourself and just scare yourself with thoughts that you would never feel normal? What is it that causes this? Perhaps something in the brain that isn’t connected right?  What medication do you recommend? I pray to God everyday that I will find help. I think that there is a reason for all of this and that somehow I am here to get through this and help other people through their life. This age is terrifyingly hard. I hope to grow stronger in this experience. Any advice you could give me would be so appreciated. Thanks again and I’m glad you got through this. Joanie.

I’m very grateful for people like Joanie. And I’m very grateful that I get to do what I do. We need each other.

We’d  sure like you to share what’s on your mind and in your heart. A comment or two would do nicely.

  • bucky4

    What was your response to Joanie?

  • Well, I first re-emphasized that I'd experienced all of her symptoms, and made sure she knew they were either gone altogether or well-managed. I gave the most emphasis to the depersonalization thing because I know from personal experience just how horrible both derealization and depersonalization truly are. And I shared the fact that my disorder presented in childhood and it also got way out of hand during my junior year of college. Really, my bottle line was (and is) you're not a freak, I've been there, I'm well now, and I care. Oh, I hope you can deal with the fact that I'm an MSU Spartan ; ) Bill

  • klv

    oh, Joanie, you have no idea who good it felt to read your post and realize it's just not me. I don't feel dizzy so much, but like i am outside of my body, i can't breathe right, and nothing is real. It will and does get better, at least for today. and right now, that is enough. thank you for sharing

  • Thanks for your comment Karen. We're all in this together, and the more we can help each other the better. Bill

  • Denise

    Hey joanie.
    I can’t drive much anymore cuz when I am driving I start to feel disconected and then I think I am not really here at all but already dead…I get so freaked out I have to pull over to cry and all someone or pet my dog…I can’t go anywhere without him cuz he makes me feel safe…it is like I know hw sees me so I am still here…I am 48 and have lived this way since I was a teen…I hate to say it feels good to know I am not alone in this cuz nobody should have to go through this hell, but reading your post was like a gift…I didn’t feel so insane…Thankyou

    • Bill

      Well, hi Denise. Glad you stopped by and shared. No doubt, you aren’t alone and you aren’t insane. You’re human like the rest of us and you’re hurting. I think we can help you here, so don’t be a stranger, okay? Bill

  • Pingback: – Changing the Conversations » Blog Archive » I Love January and February. “Yeah, okay…”()

    • Bill

      Thanks for the mention, Lisa. Folks, if alcohol is impacting your life, whether or not you’re the drinker, check out Lisa’s blog at Bill