To wish everyone knew how hard having anxiety/OCD/depression is?

(109 Posts)
LittleMissGerardButlersMinion Tue 28-Jan-14 09:52:43

I have suffered from anxiety and OCD for about 25 years now and it's utterly exhausting.

I wouldn't wish it on anyone else, but I wish people could walk in my shoes for a day just to see how crippling it is.

One of my friends has openly admitted that before she suffered from anxiety and depression that she thought it was 'made up'.

I'm not saying everyone is ignorant, and some people are more understanding than others, but some people just don't get it.

My very helpful OH just tells me to relax and stop worrying, if only it was that simple. sad

I just think its a shame at this day in age that its still so taboo and misunderstood.

If anyone wants to add their experiences or ask any questions go ahead.

I won't be online for a couple of hours now, but will come back later.

PurpleRayne Tue 28-Jan-14 09:58:59
ateddybearfromdelaware1 Tue 28-Jan-14 10:04:46

Yanbu. I've suffered from them all including a phobia since I was a little child.

It's bloody exhausting.

Sometimes I look forward to being old and the end being near as it'll be peaceful, no more worrying sad

IneedAwittierNickname Tue 28-Jan-14 10:17:11

Yanbu. When my depression was at its worst I could get the dc up, washed, dressed, fed and to school. Then I'd go back to bed because I was too exhausted to do anuthing else.
My friends who had suffered with depression were fab, offering practical support and keeping me busy so I wouldn't sleep all day.
The friends who hadn't, including my dm offered up advice such as "oh just get over it" "how about a nice cup of tea?" and the forever hated "what have you got to be depressed about?" confused angry

I was talking about depression recently with a couple of friends, and one of them said she had decided to leave a bigish gap between her dc (she has about 5 years between each) because she had noticed that nearly all her friends who had them closer together had suffered from PMD in varying degrees.

I said tha was an interesting observation, and that I had had pnd, with a 26 month gap.

The other friend piped in that it couldn't be true because she had gaps of 2 years between dc1 and 2. and 2 and 3. And that she had 4dc in total, one of whom is asd, yet she never had pnd.

Hmm great, I'm pleased for her, and friend 1s observations were just that. Not a scientifically proven study.

Anyway, she finished it up with "well. I.didn't have time to have depression anyway, I just had to get on with it"

I pointed out that no one has 'time' to be depressed, but that's the thing. That's not how 'depression' works. She didn't seem.to understand my point and is convinced that she's just some kind of super mum because she hasnt suffered.

IneedAwittierNickname Tue 28-Jan-14 10:17:41

Oops that was rather long!

OP yanbu

ateddybearfromdelaware1 Tue 28-Jan-14 10:20:02

Anyway, she finished it up with "well. I.didn't have time to have depression anyway, I just had to get on with it

What an ignorant thing to say. Would someone not have time to have heart disease either? They're both illnesses.

I hate how mental illness is seen as martyrdom, especially when women suffer from it

Cranky01 Tue 28-Jan-14 10:36:47

I've a friend f who says she has OCD, maybe she has, but when I talk to her about it she says she likes get cushions straight and to match, but it doesn't matter that much when they don't and she doesn't worry about it.

She couldn't understand how sometimes it used to take over an hour to leave my house because I have to check to taps are off a lot or get half way down the road and go back, and how it would intrude on my thoughts.

I think OCD is such a strange disorder it's very hard to explain and understand.

Are you getting any help?

marzipanned Tue 28-Jan-14 10:52:42

I haven't suffered from any of these, but have seen members of my family go through depression so understand somewhat how debilitating that is.

This article about anxiety was a real eye opener for me: www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/01/surviving_anxiety/355741/

ebwy Tue 28-Jan-14 10:56:01

YANBU at all.

"just decide to be happy"

ha. very ha.

daiseehope Tue 28-Jan-14 11:16:00

YANBU. IF they had been where we have been........

HoratiaDrelincourt Tue 28-Jan-14 11:18:08

On the fence.

"Just chill out", "Just try not to think about it" "it really doesn't matter" and so on are absolutely fucking infuriating, not to mention the fact that they compound the anxiety by reminding you that "normal" people don't feel like this - another thing to worry about.

But on the other hand I'm glad most people don't understand.

I guess I wish they did not understand but were willing to take our word for it and STFU occasionally.

TawdryTatou Tue 28-Jan-14 11:26:02

I hear you all.

Anxiety has more or less dominated my life and now I'm watching it wreck the life of a young relative.

'Just try not to worry' these days is met with a hearty, 'Oh yes! You're right! I hadn't thought of that! I will then!'

It's worse when 'encouragement' comes from people who have suffered/are suffering themselves. They still can't resist the platitudes.

Then again, I fail to see what anyone could say to help. You just have to wait it out.

It's a total bastard.

cls77 Tue 28-Jan-14 11:43:24

Ive suffered with OCD, eating disorders and anxiety for the past 25 years too OP, and agree its exhausting. Ive lost count of the number of "friends" ive lost since my weird habits and behaviours took their toll. It affected my marriage which ended last year (although I know not totally my fault as he was an EA, but I was "so hard to live with")
I just get told Im too sensitive if I try and explain something, I know its not reasonable behaviour, but that doesnt stop me from not being able to do it - check locks, food phobia etc.
I am a professional in my work, and according to my best friend and colleague, you wouldnt know what I was really like if I hadnt told her.
Trouble is, too tired to fight most days and get through them in a daze sad

yoshipoppet Tue 28-Jan-14 11:49:26

I've had a bout with depression that lasted for a few years. I'm coming out the other side of it now for which I am truly grateful and glad. But I am also glad that I have experienced this as now I can understand just how bloody awful it is. I hadn't realised how bad the physical effects can be, until I felt them for myself.
I told everyone I work with about it, managers included, as I was determined that it would be treated by me & others as the illness it is, and I was amazed at how many other people had been, or were, in the same boat. Fortunately I only got one person saying 'what have you got to be depressed about' and I ignored her thereafter on the grounds that if I listened to her ignorance I'd be forced to do violence.

Aroundtheworldandback Tue 28-Jan-14 11:52:12

I read an article recently that if women are anxious in pregnancy, the child is more likely to suffer anxiety as an adult. This haunts me as my ds suffers from it and I was most certainly anxious at that time. Whatever the cause, it is overwhelmingly debilitating. As with most things though, unless you have first hand knowledge of it you remain blissfully ignorant.

FloweryFeatureWall Tue 28-Jan-14 11:55:25

Yanbu. My bugbear is "can't you do it just this once?" about something the OCD prevents me doing. I feel like saying "if I could do it this once, I'd do it all those just onces (aka everytime) and wouldn't have fucking OCD!"

I've very tired of people pointing out how stupid something I do is, however politely they do it. I know it's stupid, I know I shouldn't need to do it, I don't have a choice unless I want to cope with the physical and mental distress of not doing it.

NinjaPenguin Tue 28-Jan-14 12:09:24

YANBU. One of my neihbours told me, 'look, you have to face it (true) and deal with it (true), not just be a coward and run away from all your problems. Have you actually tried to do anything?' At that time, just not throwing myself in front of cars and stopping myself overdosing again was taking most of my energy, and I was damn happy that I'd managed to get up, dressed and had fed my child, because that was my idea of trying.

I have PTSD, and depression and anxiety caused by that- was previously misdiagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder. As a child, I had RAD (reactive attachment disorder).

Also, when I was a suicidal, a friend told me to be positive, think positive, and consider how lucky I was compared to most people. And why would I waste my life, I had a whole future ahead of me? Yeah, the reason I was suicidal was because I hated the thought of the future in front of me. hmm

Anxiety took over my life, and to some extent, it still rules me. I remember as a teen when I was terrified of school, my foster parent went through a worry tree with me. So -can you do anything about the problem now?- if the answer was no, it told you to stop worrying and distract yourself. If the answer was yes, it always managed to get you back to telling you to stop worrying. Because it's that easy. I mean, I'd never tried to distract myself and to stop worrying, obviously...

Entrapped Tue 28-Jan-14 12:23:17

YANBU. I have had OCD since childhood going through counting/checking/cleaning periods. I have what I think is the worst type at the moment. The intrusive thoughts/images around my children. I have suffered (and I mean really suffered) for 8 years now. I have been close to suicide because of it and I really understand how people can do that sad. It is purely the thought that my DC may think I didn't love them that I keeps me going. I think 'normal' people totally underestimate the impact of an 'anxiety disorder. My brain is in absolute hell most days and my life career-wise and financially has been totally ruined. I have spent thousands on therapies, books and DVDs.

My OCD was so bad at one point that we had to come back to the UK after immigrating abroad and finally getting our 'dream life' losing our home and all our savings in the process. I had an abortion because of it FFS.

I have often wished I had cancer rather than OCD as ridiculous as that sounds.

Nodney Tue 28-Jan-14 12:33:47

Love that article marzipanned - thanks for sharing!

BearsInMotion Tue 28-Jan-14 12:47:27

In defence of OP's OH, it is difficult living with someone with OCD too. Sometimes I have to explain to DP what it's like to not have OCD, when he has a go at me for not doing things "properly". And when he gets down, what else can I say except to try and help him relax? It's really hard to help someone with OCD when you know they are suffering.

Regarding the general population though, YANBU. I'm physically disabled but do the lion's share of the house work, as DP can't, because of his OCD. I'm on high rate DLA (can only walk a few steps), he gets nothing, but his condition is far more disabling than mine on a day to day basis. I think it's unlikely we'll have DC2, because of how difficult it has been with DC1 sad He's a great dad, but just finds it so stressful and exhaustin.

Objection Tue 28-Jan-14 12:51:51

YANBU. I've suffered from crippling anxiety for years and it has only been recently (think, the last few months) that I realised what it was - I had always thought it was just part of my personality!
I thought this because of the way people reacted and just the general social understanding of anxiety.
I study psychology, work in a psychological field and STILL only realised that it was an illness i suffered a few months back.

I'm finally getting treatment and learning how to manage it but I wish I had been given support or the situation had been recognised earlier.

I've been seeing doctors for depression for about 8 years and it was never picked up.

I had a doctors appointment yesterday which highlighted (IMO) the general opinion of GPs on Mental Health. She made me list (not explain, list) my symptoms and then interupted me half-way through to immediately prescribe me drugs. She didn't look at me once.

She basically ticked some boxes in her head, threw pills at me and sent me on my way. (Despite it being highlighted on my record that I'm frequently suicidal and the pills commonly making people "worse" for the first two weeks). She clearly didn't give a shit.

JackNoneReacher Tue 28-Jan-14 12:53:22

You're not wrong but many people feel like this about 'their' conditions.

For eg people who suffer with constant, debilitating back pain (or similar) feel like they aren't believed because no one can 'see' their pain. They get comments about 'just getting on with it'.

But yes it would be nice if people could at least try a little empathy sometimes. Rather than assuming that if they've not got it/had it, its not real.

grumpyoldbat Tue 28-Jan-14 12:56:39

YANBU. I too wouldn't want someone else to suffer but I really wish that DH at least try and understand what stresses me. If he did then perhaps he'd listen to me (nobody listening to me then blaming me when it goes wrong due to no one listening is one of my stressors). I need to do things in a system so I wish he understood that shouting"why haven't you..." constantly and pressurising me into jumping between tasks isn't helpful.

The thing I most would like him to understand is my nervous tic (for want of a better description). I feel the need to perform this action when the stress is piling on. Although I can see how people would find it annoying it's my coping mechanism and helps me fend off the urge to self harm, it only takes a second and helps me to continue to try and meet my responsibilities. DH however gets so irate that he screams at me calls me things like a "fucking spas" which leads to a massive argument,me cutting myself as punishment for upsetting him and me falling behind with meeting my responsibilities and hence more stress. Vicious circle.

Steffanoid Tue 28-Jan-14 13:03:41

yanbu, my dp is amazing but sometimes he does get fustrated and want me to be better when I am down or when something throws me off. the amount of times I have had to explain that im not just going to wake and be better....
I'm quite open in telling people that im living with depression and the first comment I get is oh but you cant be your so happy they dont understand that a. youre not always down 24/7 and b. The tablets help to put you on a bit more of an even keel than life without them.

SamU2 Tue 28-Jan-14 13:12:48

I have had OCD since I was 6 years old

Off and on depression throughout my life

I also have severe health anxiety.

The other day a person I know who doesn't know my history said that she has never had any anxiety of depression issues because she is a strong person [mad] I am a bloody strong person too!

The last few years I have lived with crippling health anxiety to the point I no longer wanted to go out because I saw little point in living when I was basically living in fear of dying.

I am making good steps now, didn't help that my ex husband died leaving three of our kids behind 6 weeks ago of cancer. That put me back a little but I am getting there again. My worst fear is leaving my kids behind while they are young then I had to see my worst fear play out. I had to watch someone dying and then go view his body with the children sobbing and I am still dealing with their raw grief. That was some exposure therapy right there! All my fears that have crippled me at times played out in front of my very eyes.

My husband tries really hard. He has a mental illness himself but can't quite understand mine. He often feels the strain of mine like I do his but at times he gets inpatient but I completely understand because his makes me inpatient at times too.

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