Coming In Late! (Depression and Anxiety Advise)

The picture might be crueler than I intend, but there are times when I feel that way.  So, I’ve been down a lot over the summer because of the stress.  Being exhausted means my thoughts get the best of me and then I post about it because this is an outlet.  On these posts, I see a few people show up and try to cheer me up (I think) with flowery, positive language. Some appear on all my posts, but others only on the downers. Thank you for the attention, but a strange thought hit my mind when it comes to this action.  Where are these types of people when things are going well?

I’m reminded of when I read about Tzedakah, which is Jewish charity.  As kids, we have a Tzedakah box where we put loose change. In my Hebrew School, there was a poster about it and I decided to read it one day while I was left waiting for someone.  There’s a hierarchy and the top is to provide help to prevent a person from falling on hard times.  You aren’t overbearing, but you give help when it is needed to keep this person away from the brink of disaster.  So, why don’t people do this with mental health?

I know it’s harder to tell when depression and anxiety are going on within another person’s mind.  Social media has made it even more difficult with people using the words interchangeably with sadness and nervousness.  You also have those who claim mental illness for attention or as a way to get out of criticism.  Can’t tell you how many people I’ve run into who say ‘That’s just my OCD’ when they’re really just trying to get their way with something.  I’m sorry, but wanting pepperoni on all of the pizza instead of half when you need to share isn’t cool, especially when you were fine with it last weekend.  All of this brings up a challenge where it’s simply easier to heal the wound after the fact than prevent the injury from happening in the first place.

Still, I find it odd how people can see signs of a person suffering, but ignore it until it’s a full on issue.  I don’t hide when I’m down and some people are silent here, but they’ll appear when I’m downright shattered.  Not only online too.  For most of my life, the majority of people around me have chalked up my comments about being tired or my anxious ramblings to me being annoying.  Yet, I don’t only mean physical exhaustion with the fatigue, so telling me that you’re tired too or I should sleep more isn’t helping.  My anxiety rants seem to get worse when I’m told to be quiet or that I’m being ridiculous.  It’s not helping when I’m already in the throes of a bad moment and I hear words that come off as minimizing what I’m going through.

I think I’m getting off topic here, but it’s a tough one.  Some people genuinely miss the signs, which I understand.  Those that talk to me are trying to help, which I get and appreciate.  Still, I do wonder why humans wait until it’s really too late to throw their positivity into the ring.  That can come off as patronizing and even insulting since many attacks come with a side of paranoia.  You’re in this state partially because you think nobody understands you, so this fuels that belief.  How dare someone tell you that this will pass when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel?  If you don’t understand how a person can think that question then you need to consider what they are going through.  A happy song might work for sadness or mild worrying, but it won’t make a dent in true depression and anxiety.

Just a few thoughts.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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35 Responses to Coming In Late! (Depression and Anxiety Advise)

  1. Darlene says:

    I don’t consider myself qualified to give advice to someone who is depressed or feeling anxious. I think that should be left to professionals. It must be good to know your blogging friends care though. xo

    Like

    • Thanks. The thing is that advice doesn’t always have to be given. Sometimes listening or just spending time with the person can help. This is kind of part of the topic. Some people seem to stay out of a situation until advice can be given.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have nothing to offer, but I read all your posts. Life has thrown some crap at you, so I understand how the scene was set.

    Like

  3. You have had a rough time. I show up daily to check-in and sincerely wish a better tomorrow for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on adaratrosclair and commented:
    Straight real talk. I love Charles’ blog. He often has the most relatable content, hilarious memes, and I’ve learned a lot following him. He’s someone I’d like to get to know face-to-face, but for now this will have to do. Here’s a great snippet from his latest blog post on depression and anxiety: “You also have those who claim mental illness for attention or as a way to get out of criticism. Can’t tell you how many people I’ve run into who say ‘That’s just my OCD’ when they’re really just trying to get their way with something. I’m sorry, but wanting pepperoni on all of the pizza instead of half when you need to share isn’t cool, especially when you were fine with it last weekend. All of this brings up a challenge where it’s simply easier to heal the wound after the fact than prevent the injury from happening in the first place.”

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing. Glad that analogy didn’t fall flat. Can never tell if those make sense outside of my head.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re most welcome. I admire your bravery to say what others would shy away from. I’m not into misery mills. What you said regarding people popping up on your blog when you post your pain or “bad moments” in life resonated with me. I noticed that happens to me. I don’t know if these people are shocked when I’m having a bad time in life because of the dangerous and hurtful stereotype that I’m a “strong black woman” or that they are misery voyeurs. And there could be a third reason, maybe they care? Yet, you would think that if these very same group of people want to sympathize (or ideally to empathize) then they should pop up to celebrate with you during your good times. I was recently diagnosed with PTSD and major depressive disorder. I wish I had received the memo years ago. Lol.

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      • I think it might be a fourth type at times. People who stay in the background and figure they aren’t needed upfront when times are good. Maybe a cheer or two, but nothing more. They don’t really notice the good too because it’s as things should be to them. It’s like a machine that you never notice when it runs smoothly, but you suddenly are aware of its existence once it breaks. When things go south, they step up with good intentions to help because they notice a situation that they might not have seen brewing.

        Sorry about that hurtful stereotype. The ‘men never cry or feel’ one causes me weekly grief. As a man who shows his emotions, people are very quick to tell me to hide them or ‘man up’. Hate that phrase.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Man up”. Ugh, I hate that phrase, too, Charles. My husband is a very passionate and caring man. He also can sew. 🙂 I think he’s beautiful, even when he cries.

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      • I never figured out sewing. I got laundry, cooking, and cleaning down though.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. V.M.Sang says:

    I listen, Charles, if reading your posts counts as listening. I’m glad you can vent some of what you are going through this way. You know you have many people who care, but may not say much.

    Like

  6. Rachel says:

    I know exactly what you mean. My anxiety got so bad to the point that I even shunned blogging for a few months. I’m still getting back into the routine. But during that time, my real-life friends didn’t seem to notice anything was going on. In fact, they had troubles of their own so I was helping them through that all the while trying to make myself feel better. I distanced myself and one friend got annoyed with me because I hadn’t reached out to her in a while. It makes you wonder, why are you here when you need me, but when I need you, it doesn’t seem to matter? And, as I’m sure you know, it’s difficult to ask for help. I hope things get better for you soon, Charles.

    Like

    • Asking for help really is tough. Even harder when you’re the type to see if someone needs help without being asked. So, it makes one wonder why nobody can see what’s going on. It creates an invisibility sensation that feeds the anxiety and depression. I’ve had a few friends like the one who got annoyed. I can think of one who I’d seen through a lot of physical and mental pain over the years. Once I became the sufferer, they lost patience and walked away. It hurts, but I guess that’s their true face.

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      • Rachel says:

        You’re right. It does hurt. My friend was the one who helped me the most when I first started having my issues. Once I got over that hump, it went away. I don’t know if she thought I was “cured” after that or what. But it sucks regardless. Still, there are people out there who do care and want to do what they can. I think it’s hard for people to offer help too. Like, they’re not sure if they can help or what to do, so they don’t.

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      • Guess our darkest times shows who our real friends are. I think some people consider small things unhelpful too. Listening is a big one that gets overlooked.

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      • Rachel says:

        Yes, most people tend to think listening isn’t enough or doesn’t help at all.

        Like

  7. Jennie says:

    Spot on, Charles. Your blogging friends do care. It doesn’t help at all to tell someone with anxiety how they should feel or what they should do. My best to you. How is the pneumonia?

    Like

  8. From the outside, it’s hard to know how people want you to respond to such a disclosure. Will your sympathies be helpful, or annoying? So I stick with supportive comments as much as I can.

    See? NOW FEEL SUPPORTED, CHARLES!

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    • The thing is that most supportive comments have been says before. So, they don’t have the same impact. They can even do the opposite because the person thinks the supporter didn’t really listen. Especially on a blog, this can be a conclusion that one jumps to since most supportive comments are made in general.

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  9. When others don’t respond with what we ask for in the moment, we become even more hesitant to share.

    Like

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