Getting Through a Day Paralyzed by Anxiety and Depression
Living with mental health issues means there will be days where you feel paralyzed by anxiety and depression. Because comorbid depression and anxiety are so common with different mental illnesses, nearly everyone who struggles with mental health will have to get through a day feeling paralyzed by anxiety and depression. I had one today, and man, it was rough. But, the good news is, I got through it.
I'm pretty good at planning my day with anxiety disorder, but today was exceptionally hard. I felt utterly paralyzed, like I couldn't even move. I felt wired and tired. The combination of being wired from anxiety, and tired because I just wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear created an awful push-pull feeling throughout mind and body. I wanted to move, but I couldn't. I didn't want to move, but I had to.
My Day Was Paralyzed by Depression and Anxiety, but I Got Through It
So, how did I do it? It took pretty much everything I had, but I was successful because I achieved two main goals: I didn't beat myself up over it, and I was at least minimally productive. I kept pushing forward despite how I felt.
I have low self-esteem, like almost everyone with depression. One of the things I have to do to keep it at bay is to be productive every day in some fashion. Of course, productivity is a relative thing. I had 10 things on my to-do list today, but I only accomplished two of them (writing this blog post was one). So, my productivity was only 20 percent of what I had planned, but at least I did something. Doing something -- even doing it badly -- is always better than sitting paralyzed and doing nothing.
The other thing I did right was to not attack myself for having a bad day. (We all know that beating yourself up when you already feel bad makes everything so much better, right?)
Everyone has bad days. There will be some days when I'm too overwhelmed to function very well. That's just reality, and accepting that and getting on with life anyway is a big part of me living successfully with anxiety and depression.
Tomorrow is another day, and that means I get to start over. Even though getting through a day paralyzed by anxiety and depression is not a pleasant experience, I'm grateful that I was able to practice my skills. The fact that I got through it without harming myself shows me how far I've come. I'm much stronger and more skillful than I generally give myself credit for, and my guess is that you are, too.
Weber, G. (2015, August 12). Getting Through a Day Paralyzed by Anxiety and Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2015/08/getting-through-a-day-paralyzed-by-anxiety-and-depression
Author: Greg Weber
"Something did happen to me somewhere that robbed me of confidence and courage and left me with a fear of discovery and change and a positive dread of everything unknown that may occur.” ―Joseph Heller
I'm a stepmom, the kids mom is also a narcissist and with one special needs kid who isn't getting what he needs-the opposite-Imy heart breaks for the kids.
I've become more and more isolated and getting to meetings is so important, yet so hard....
The scariest is waking repeatedly at night in such a state I really think I'm losing it and literally need to go somewhere.
I have a chronic illness and react badly to many medications; I've had horrible reactions to a couple of aniti depressants (and many meds) Id love the help, but really fear their side effects. I've been hospitalized for the side effects...
I'm searching for anything from acupuncture to therapy to sayings that will help with the deep anger and resentment I have that is poisoning me with my father. II was passive aggressive w my husband yesterday; I know he is upset and will talk to me when he gets home.
I want to be a good wife. I want to be a good mother. I want to be a good grandmother. But I can only operate spontaneously or if someone else NEEDS help.
It is somewhat comforting that I am not alone.
I hear your frustration and despair through your words. I'm sorry you are experiencing such a rough time that you seem to feel is not changing. Finding our way back or even initially to ourselves can feel so daunting when we're in such a challenging mental space. So, I hear you. You mention that you rarely leave your home. I wonder if you might look into online therapy as a way of receiving support in the comfort of your home. You may find some relief with some of the cognitive behavioral therapies and mindfulness. Mindfulness practices can be invaluable when it comes to managing pain. Seeking professional help would be a good place to begin.
I'm grateful for your kind and experienced response. I've not familiarized myself with the avenue of online therapy. However, I remain open to options of any source offering hopes of improvement. Therapists office visits which I've experienced in the past while not a total loss offered very little in the way of noticeable progress of which I appreciate the tiniest. Many of my pain physician specialists have been forthcoming in explaining of how long term chronic pain can actually remap the brain as pain travels the very same biological pathway links that anxiety, depression, etc. utilize triggering either or. I understand it to simply mean that all are competing for intricate neurological circuitry space and the synapses firing becomes a bit (or much more in some cases) misguided and perhaps even congestively exhausted. Throw into the mix the unwelcomed visitor known as insomnia and the snowball effect provides even more ammunition to the enemies. How I wish I could improve upon my own condition and find some way, if but only a small one to help (even if only one) of the many other(s) who feel parked on a treadmill in an isolated space with no off switch. I've so many years of physical therapy, specialists, multiple surgeries, hypnosis, psychological tests & exams (to convince myself that "I" wasn't becoming part of the problem), and all both in & out of state. I very much appreciate your input Melissa and I'll make special effort to locate a hopefully tried & true reputable source for further exploration of online therapy.
*Wishing well to all that are affected by anxiety, chronic pain or any other debilitating condition or disorder.
One trick I make myself do is write an 'At least I' list before bed.In it I list every small thing I actually did do, from getting showered and dressed to cleaning a washbasin or emailing a client. Once you make the list of the tiny movements forward that you made on a bad day, it's easier to be kinder to yourself for having spent most of the day asleep or online.
Logically I know its ok to feel like a failure sometimes but when your at the bottom its harder to spot the sun.
Thank you for being brave enough to show us its ok.
I have just been verbally abused by someone who is a hypocrite who insulted me about the state of the house while she added to the squalor. It makes me so angry. She is such a nasty person and I think this has de-motivated me. I hate being alive but I will try to battle on for the sake of my pets.
God Bless you all that are struggling with this! ?
I noticed that you didn't reply to the messages and replies from other people. How are you today? Did you manage to get through since you wrote that blog? If so, how?
I've lived with depression and anxiety for most of my life, but still managed to have a fairly good life anyway. Was happily married for 13 years, had a successful career and did well in general despite the fact that I've been thinking of death and suicide every day of my life, since 5 years old. I did try once and failed and as a consequence, I've been angry at myself for failing and being a coward and angry at the Universe for not allowing me to go. At 38 years, I've deliberately put my life in danger so many times before and still get out of it alive.
I am sitting in the stairs in my house, paralysed with fear and anxiety... that the great speakers and philosophers keep saying is created by my mind, memory and imagination. Although, for me it is quite real. I've been divorced for 5 years now, lost my job 3 months ago, started a company and business is close to non-existing, and obviously money is running out. I have enough to live off and pay my bond and bills for one more month and then... that's it. If I don't get any business or income soon, I can loose my house and livelihood... which was all I had left. In the divorce, I left everything behind for my husband, because I still love him dearly and didn't want to cause him further hardship. I managed on my own to get back on my feet, to buy my little house, to give me some sense of security... and did well until I lost my job.... in which I was happy but had no life, lived off stress and alcohol and money. So loosibg my job wasn't the worst thing to happen as it was slowly killing me anyway, loosing my security, and everything else I had left is getting to me.
As I mentioned, I've lived with this fear, anxiety and depression all my life and somehow, my work or my husband or my siblings managed to motivate me to get up and get through the day and then to get through the bext day and the next after that... but right now, I have no motivation and no reason to get through the day.... as you mentioned, even taking a shower is an achievement.... I got that done, and brushed my teath and put on some make-up... and don't feel like i've achieved anything and feel as if i'm slipping deeper and deeper into that black hole with tears and metal spikes at the bottom.
Again comes the anger when I realise that the Universe will again today, as with yesterday and the day before, not allow me to just die and be done with it.... which reminds me of what you said when you mentioned that those motivational messages and memes just don't apply to you... They sure don't apply to me either.... because who wants to be grateful for "still being alive" when you feel like this. Who cares if a guy with no arms or legs made a success of his life and is happily married... he surely had financial support, emotional support and the food must have come from somewhere?! With those few things, I can make a huge success of my life... with or without arms.
Stephan Hawking was a major success, but he surely didn't do it alone... practically, left alone without someone to feed him, he would've been dead a long time ago... So, I guess this is what I fear... dying because no one can "see" my disability and therefor no one can help me. Is that it? Talking about this, we only get the answer "get up and do something, try, stop feeling sorry for yourself" so no more talking about it, right?
Well, doing some laundry is something... it won't pay my bond next month, and whatever's going to happen, I can't stop it... I'll just try to survive it... so I'll do some laundry now and maybe some dishes later... and if not... then... well, nothing.
Thank you, for telling your story, and allowing me to tell mine, without judgement (hopefully)
I truly hope you are okay and doing much better by now and hope I will too.