The Mighty Logo

When Your Answer to ‘How Are You Feeling?’ Is ‘I Don’t Know’

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

It’s OK to say, “I don’t know.”

I was diagnosed with postpartum depression after my son was born almost 10 years ago. From there I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, multiple anxiety disorders, panic disorder and bipolar with psychosis. And most days I don’t know how I feel.

If you ask me at 9 a.m., I might feel sad and depressed. At 1 p.m., I might feel content. At 6 p.m., I might feel agitated. At 2 a.m., I might feel extremely anxious. Between all that, I have probably laughed, and I’ve probably had a panic attack.

I don’t know how I feel.

Friends usually do not understand that, especially after so many years have passed. They seem to think I should have figured it out. I seem to think I should have figured it out by now.

I have had therapists and psychologists who have seemed puzzled when they ask how I feel and I say I don’t know. They have questioned my answer. I’m puzzled by them. In the five minutes I’ve been sitting in their office, I have felt so many different emotions, and my racing thoughts have given me what seems to be a million different thoughts. I really don’t know what I’m feeling.

But it’s different now. I started seeing a new therapist this year. And when she asks me how I’m doing, I can say I don’t know. She’ll smile at me and say that’s fair enough. She knows so much is going on in my head, I don’t have just one answer. I can feel happy, sad, anxious, irritable, hopeless and hopeful all at the same time. And that is OK.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock Images

Originally published: December 6, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home