21 People Share the Worst Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
When we think of depression and anxiety, we often think of sadness and stress — respectively. While those definitions aren’t necessarily “wrong,” they can fail to take into account the real pain people with both depression and anxiety experience. The truth is, when it comes to anxiety and depression, there are a lot of symptoms we simply don’t talk about.
Because of this, we asked our Mighty community to share the worst symptoms of their anxiety and depression people don’t talk about. By opening this discussion and putting words to these symptoms, we can deepen our understanding of these conditions and have more compassion for the people who experience them.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. “The depression tells me I cannot get anything done because I’m a lazy person but the anxiety tells me I need to get stuff done at the exact moment I think about it.” — Tatiana H.
2. “Anxiety and depression make me self-isolate. When it’s really bad, all I want to do is lie under the covers and sleep. I don’t respond to texts well, and avoid face-to-face contact with other people, which in turn only reinforces the anxiety and depression. I lose friends and don’t make new ones, leaving me more alone than ever.” — Jessica C.
3. “I become completely apathetic and unable to produce the motivation to do anything, all the while my anxiety is telling me how worthless I am that I can’t just ‘snap out of it’ and make life better. Truth is, that’s not how mental illness works at all. When you’re sick, you’re sick. You’re not worthless. You just need help getting better. Hold on.” — Keri Z.
4. “My anxiety gives me diarrhea. Like if I wake up a few minutes before my alarm clock goes off, the anxiety of waiting for it to go off will make my stomach churn and I know I’m going to be late because my whole morning will be spent on the toilet.” — Katy H.
5. “The first thing that comes to mind is the constant war inside my head. Depression takes away my motivation to do things while anxiety makes me freak out that I’m not doing enough. These things can range from daily chores to putting in effort with relationships.” — Brittani B.
6. “Well, I have OCD as well. It’s hard being productive. I waste time, I can’t get things done quickly, I don’t sleep enough hours. I hate getting out of bed and attempting to face the day. Washing myself, washing clothes, going out, locking doors is a challenge.” — Franco P.
7. “I would have to say battling with these two things I struggle with, just getting a job and keeping it. The anxiety is so severe. I also have issues with having desire to go hang with people, but then feel the need to cancel when it’s time to go. It’s really stressful.” — Rosemarie G.
8. “Feeling like you can’t do anything at all. Being stuck in a mode like you’re frozen and everything around you is badgering you to perform, but you are a block of ice with your mind moving at a million miles an hour. Like you’re in a state of [being immobilized]. It’s overwhelming.” — Ka R.
9. “Depersonalization. I’ve seen no one else mention it. It needs more spotlight. Hands down the worst symptom you can get.” — Dawn K.
10. “The worst symptom I get is cabin fever. It can really affect how difficult it is to leave the home, but how much I go ‘stir crazy’ for not going out as much as I should.” — Tatauq M.
11. “The creeping dread and horror that makes me feel miserable and terrified. The constant fear I’m a bad person and no one loves me makes me feel like nothing matters. It’s a crushing horrible feeling that’s so tangible it’s physically painful to be that sad and afraid.” — Sunshine M.
12. My conscience telling me I’m not good enough. That I’m worthless and [am] never going to amount to anything. Or that I’m a bad mom because I [struggle with] depression and anxiety.” — Miranda L.
13. “My depression makes me neglect my hygiene. I always change my clothes and wear deodorant, but my hair is often matted. When I go out somewhere, I experience terrible anxiety about people being able to tell I have gone days without showering, weeks without brushing my hair. I wish the anxiety alone was enough to give me the energy to take better care of myself.” — Coutney W.
14. “I call it ‘mental pain’ and it’s when my head is so full of thoughts and feelings that come with anxiety and depression that make my brain feel like it’s aching. I picture it as my brain being squashed and broken. Of course I don’t feel actual pain, I feel a huge empty hole in my head and chest.” — Amy J.
15. “The insomnia. The anxiety giving [me] racing thoughts all night and the depression counting down the hours of sleep [I’m] going to get.” — Nancy S.
16. “The loud voices telling me I’m not good enough, I can’t do things right, people hate me, etc. Out of all my symptoms, my suicidal tendencies are the main thing that doesn’t get talked about. I think because people don’t actually take it seriously enough.” — Geriann C.
17. “The ridiculous cycle of nausea. I’ll get nauseous because of my anxiety so I won’t eat and then my blood sugar will crash causing me to get more nauseous and the cycle of anxiety starts all over. The depression just makes it all worse because I’ll have no motivation to eat in the first place.” — Sabrina O.
18. “I just ignore everything around me. With my depression, I lack any kind of motivation to do anything. And with my anxiety, I end up getting so overwhelmed by the things I haven’t done (because of depression), I just pretend like my problems aren’t there as a coping mechanism.” — Caitlin G.
19. “Waking up sweating and crying from anxiety-induced nightmares and wanting to get out of bed because I’m so terrified. But my depression tells me, ‘Let it consume you because you deserve it.’” — Victoria S.
20. “Eagerness to please others, to avoid adding the stress/depression feeling. Wanting to go out with friends and always having deep thoughts when alone. Pressuring myself to get things done.” — She R.
21. “Sometimes I feel like I am the worst mother in the world because I can’t keep my house clean and schedule routine. I see now I am not alone. Hugs to all on here voicing their struggles. Thank you. You are not alone.” — Sandra V.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
Thinkstock photo via Anna_Isaeva.