This is for the people who start to write an honest Facebook status… and then delete it at the last second, afraid they would be oversharing. As much as we want to be more authentic online, it’s tempting to make our online world match how we want others to see us. This means for people with anxiety and depression, much of our inner world isn’t shared online, and is instead kept hidden.
To see what people with anxiety and depression would post on Facebook if they could post anything, we asked people in our mental health community to share brutally honest Facebook statuses. Because although we don’t have to share everything on Facebook, it’s still important to share — you may just find you’re not alone.
Here’s what they shared with us:
1. “People think I’m happy and outgoing and pleasant all of the time. Especially at my job. But to be honest most days I could break down and cry at any second. My anxiety makes me feel like everyone hates me and is judging me constantly. And most days I believe it with all of my heart. Most days, I feel like no one is ever going to understand.”
2. “I can’t put into words what I’m feeling. How can I explain to you how I’m feeling when I don’t even understand it myself? Pretty accurate for many of my days with anxiety and depression.”
3. “It sucks the life out of me. It makes me a person I don’t like. It makes me a bad mom. It makes me feel completely useless on this planet. I always thought I would get better. Twenty years later I’m not. I don’t believe I ever will be, and it’s a scary thought to live with.”
4. “Very simple: I hate having anxiety and depression, but what I hate the most is that family and many people don’t take it as seriously. That makes me feel lonely many times. No one seems to care, or they think it is not a big deal.”
5. “More often than not, I feel that way too. I get annoyed at me. I get frustrated with me. I get angry with me. Believe it or not, I get tired of me, too. Tired of the anxiety. Tired of the sadness. Tired of the stress. Sometimes when I’m alone, in my dark, lonely mind, even I hate me too.”
6. “It’s very lonely to have the constant companions of depression and anxiety because only I hear the critics’ words in my brain. Both have caused me to miss out on some of my life’s most precious moments (bonding with my children, enjoying time with my spouse, having friends, just being in a moment). I feel like a failure as a mom, a wife, a friend and a human being. They turn me into a crappy friend who flakes on commitments. They stop me from reaching out to support my friends and family when they need me. Generally… life with anxiety and depression is exhausting and disappointing.”
7. “Having them both tears me apart. I worry about every little thing, from not getting out of bed to not replying to people’s texts. But then depression makes me feel so sad, tired and deflated that I don’t have the energy to do anything. It’s like a war against yourself.”
8. “Am I crazy? Is everyone looking at me? What are they saying about me? Do my clothes look all right? Maybe I need a shave? Shall I go gym? If I go gym will it be OK? What will I do? Who will be there? I can always go tomorrow! Maybe a run instead? It’s too cold for that and plus I have no headphones for music. I should be doing more than this. But you climbed a mountain last year. Yeah I did, didn’t I, why no plans for this year? Shall I plan something? Let’s plan something. But you can’t do it then, you don’t have the right equipment. I need some money. Money isn’t everything! Yeah but you only get one life, live it to the max. Be happy. Am I happy? I don’t seem happy! Sometimes I am. I need to clean the front room and wash my car. Can do it tomorrow. But you always say that! Do it today! I don’t have the energy! Get off your arse! I need to eat healthy. What is healthy? Got nothing in and I am not going shop looking like this! Will just chuck a pizza in! Pizza tastes good, but have I eaten too much? I need the gym tomorrow now definitely. God, I am tired. You won’t sleep though. I will if I try. What am I thinking that for? It makes no sense. Oh, it’s 2 a.m. I need to be up early. I need to sleep. Shall I meditate? Still thinking! Goodnight!”
9. “I’m so lonely. I can’t tell anyone how I’m actually feeling because it just makes things worse, so I lie to everyone about it. I feel so isolated and exhausted. I smile and pretend everything’s OK, when I just wish there was someone close who could listen, understand and not make me feel like I’m crazy.”
10. “I’m exhausted! And no I don’t need sleep. I’m emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted. And it’s the same thing day in and day out. Just some days, I’m better at hiding it.”
11. “I may seem like I have it together, but I don’t. Inside I’m in a million pieces and I’m trying to glue them together, but my anxiety and depression keeps pulling me apart over and over again.”
12. “I don’t know why I feel anxious, I can’t give you a reason or explanation. Damn, I wish I had one myself! All I know is it feels like everyone is staring at me and judging me and any second now I’m gonna get a call telling me my fiance/daughter/son/any other person I care about is injured/hurt/dead, and I can’t stop thinking about it.”
13. “I often feel so lost in my own mind that this life is no longer my reality. The thoughts in my head, the demons that strike — they are my reality. Like a wave crashing into me, I can’t breathe, the water is slowly filling my lungs and I’m so afraid that I’m not going to make it out…”
14. “I’m so tired of wearing my mask in public. To the outside world, I look like I’ve got my shit together, but I’d be so embarrassed if anyone walked into my house.”
15. “Sorry if I message you too much. Sorry if I don’t message you enough. I spend all day thinking every action I take has to be the wrong one, so sometimes that means I don’t take any action. And I know that’s wrong too.”
16. “I don’t plan to get out of bed, let alone leave the house this weekend, but when you ask about my plans I can spin a good story even though it’s exhausting.”
17. “Even though I’m laughing, sometimes I’m still hurting on the inside. I keep waiting for someone to look into my eyes and see the pain, but it remains hidden behind the mask I wear. Social situations wear me down. I feel like I have two different people inside of me: one wants nothing more than to enjoy your company, and the other believes she’s not worthy of your love and would like nothing more than to hide under the covers and sleep all day.”
18. “Behind my smile is too much, and it would scare anyone who saw.”
What would you add?