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Depression and Anxiety: How These Opposite Illnesses Can Fight Together

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You wake up feeling like you have already lost a battle that hasn’t even begun — a battle in your own head, unseen to those around you. Your heart becomes so heavy it sinks directly to the bottom of your stomach. There is a gaping hole in your chest that you long to fill, but can’t seem to find the pieces. You so desperately want something, anything, to take this overwhelming sadness away. You lose all feeling; both physically and emotionally. You are numb, sedated, but consciously aware of every emotion coursing through your body.

And it hurts. It hurts in a way you have never hurt before.


An invisible beast that thrives on your overactive imagination and weakness. Lies are screamed over and over again until you are unwillingly forced into believing them. The ability to twist words and actions into a mold that so perfectly fits its destructive agenda. There’s an attack looming around every mental corner you face. You can’t sleep for fear of how your brain will taunt you while at your most vulnerable. You can’t eat because it has thrown up your appetite. You feel as though your heart is going to explode right out of your chest; sometimes you wish it would.

All control seems lost.

One tells you not to fight, to lie down and quit trying. The other tells you that you’re not fighting well enough — that you’re a failure, and should do better.

One tells you that you’re a burden, that no one should have to deal with you, and it would be better if you were gone. The other tells you everyone will leave you, that they aren’t going to stick around until this trying season is over, and it’s too much for them to handle.

One tells you to crawl into the darkness surrounding you, to fall asleep in its presence, ending your search for the light. The other tells you the darkness is full of the unknown; don’t let it get too close.

Two polar opposite illnesses that thrive on each other. Co-morbid diagnoses that have the ability to fight together, against you. And having both is heartbreaking.

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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Getty Imaged photo via fizkes

Originally published: December 12, 2017
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