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An Internal Morning Dialogue of a High School Student Living With Anxiety and Depression

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Anxiety and depression can often go hand-in-hand. What a lot of (healthy) people often don’t realize is how much they aggravate each other. This is a glimpse of what every morning is like for me as I struggle with anxiety and depression.

*Scene: Lying in bed, immediately after waking up in the morning.*

It’s not like you have anything worth getting up for this morning,”

Anxiety: “Wait, you have stuff going on today! You have math class! You know, the one where everyone hates you and you always get terrible grades. You remember, right? That last test totally crashed your GPA. You don’t even have a chance of passing now.”

Me: “C’mon, homies, can you guys please at least let me get breakfast before you start with this again?

Anxiety: “But the freaking sky is falling today, you need to know!”

Depression: “I just thought you should know there’s no point in anything before you get up and have to put forth so much effort in getting ready because there’s really no reason for you to go through so much trouble.”

Me: “Guys, please… I, I, I need to get up. I can do this. Let me at least try, OK?”

Depression: “No, no really… you’ve done enough already. All you ever do is mess things up anyway. There’s no point in trying.”

Anxiety: “Guys? Did you hear me? The world is going to end! Everything is doomed!”

Depression: “Yeah, listen to that guy, he’s right… nothing ever works out well for you.”

Me: “No, no… I’m not listening to you guys. I had a hard time with that last test, but if I make it to class and study I’ll at least have a chance at passing… I’m going to class… I’m getting up now.”

Depression: “Do what you want… I just thought you should know. You’re horrible at this stuff. Your grades are always going to stink.”

Anxiety: “You’re going to fail out of this class. Next comes failing out of high school, which means you’ll never get into college, so you won’t be able to get a good job and you have no chance at a future.”

Me: “OK, OK, I heard you guys… but I have to try this one more time… I’m going to do it.”

*In class, later that day…*

Teacher: “x = negative b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4ac over 2a…”

Anxiety: What in the world are all those letters for? This is math class. It’s supposed to be numbers, not letters. I told you. Look. What is this world coming to?

Me: “I’m not sure what she’s talking about… I should raise my hand and ask her…”

Depression: “Dude… why? It’s not like you have any chance at understanding this better… There’s no point in trying. The only thing you’ll accomplish by putting your hand up is giving all those other kids another thing to use to laugh at you. You’re never going to have any friends or pass this class.”

Anxiety: “Your life is over.”

Me: “OK, OK… I’ll just look at the book when I get home… I don’t need anything else to deal with in this class…. I’m trying to find some friends…”

Depression: “Why’d you come anyway you idiot? You got up and spent all that time getting ready, never mind the waste of gas money driving over here. You’re a waste of everything, space, time, energy, money, oxygen…. You’re worthless.”

Anxiety: “Your life is so doomed. You never had a chance.”

Depression: “Why do you even bother trying? The world would be better off without you.”

Me: “I… I… I’m just…”

Anxiety: “Just doomed… You’re just doomed.”

Depression: “Don’t forget worthless.”

Me: “Can you guys please just give me a break already?”

Depression and anxiety (in sync): “Sure! You’ll just feel nothing for a couple hours. Complete emotional numbness. You can feel like an empty piece of skin.”

Me: “Not again… I don’t know why I keep trying… Maybe they’re right…”

This can be every moment of every day for me. It’s not a choice. There is help, but it can be hard to find, and when you’re having that much trouble already, it often can feel extremely overwhelming and hopeless.

So, if you’re reading this and you’re living with unmanaged anxiety and/or depression, I know it’s hard and I’m so sorry. But keep fighting and looking for help. I promise it is out there.

If you’re reading this because you know someone struggling with anxiety and/or depression, please encourage him or her to keep fighting and help them find the support they need. Without realizing it, you might just save a life.

Editor’s note: Not everyone experiences anxiety in the same way. This is one individual’s experience.

Originally published: April 24, 2016
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