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To point out you can have a diagnosis of severe depression and anxiety

120 replies

LunchpackOfNotreDame · 12/08/2015 12:42

And still function

Because some helpful 'friends' are trying to undermine me by saying I cant possibly have that diagnosis because I'm not in hospital and I still work (albeit on reduced hours)

Hold on while I ring my cpn, Dr and crisis team then and ask them to reevaluate my diagnosis based on what some lay people think.

OP posts:

jeanmiguelfangio · 12/08/2015 12:45

I feel you. Heres another with both diagnoses and still functioning, looking after my 2 year old and running a business and my home.
I honestly think we need to talk more about mental health. It has such a stigma, and functioning adults such as you and me can still have mental illness. Its easy to be ok for an hour with friends and they dont seem to understand


laffymeal · 12/08/2015 12:49

Lol, I was you 15 years ago. A stupid cunt of a colleague who did a cod psychology night class wisely informed me I couldn't possibly have a diagnosis of panic and anxiety disorder because I wore make up and dressed well. I feel your pain op.


GobblersKnob · 12/08/2015 12:55

Haha sadly that's such a commonly held opinion.

Have just got me a first class degree while suffering badly with both, though admittedly not quite as severely as it has been at some points in the last 20+ years since diagnosis.

You can function very highly, it doesn't mean you don't have a mental illness.

I have however been massively helped by ACT which encourages you to no longer see yourself as broken or needing to be fixed by treatment, but instead to accept your illness as part of your unique self, you are simply a product of your experiences and programming.

You stop focussing on trying to get 'better; and instead make useful steps to start moving forward through your life dragging carrying your illness with you.


YetAnotherUserName · 12/08/2015 12:57

Chronic depression here, but still functioning! Maybe your friends mean well and are trying to "encourage" you? Flowers


Lottapianos · 12/08/2015 13:03

Its true OP. Lots of people think that if you're working, functioning, coping and looking good then all must be well and they won't be told otherwise. I have both diagnoses too and I worked full time through even the worst periods, with only about 5 days off in total. It feels horrible - one of the worst parts of depression for me is the loneliness and the feeling that no-one understands


TenForward82 · 12/08/2015 13:03

My mum tried that when I was diagnosed with agoraphobia at 16: "you can't be agoraphobic because you still leave the house!"

Basically I think it just comes down to ignorance and maybe a misguided attempt to reassure.


Gottagetmoving · 12/08/2015 13:09

I had clinical depression and severe anxiety many years ago. I was not able to function at all and was in hospital for 3 weeks. My panic attacks were constant 24/7.
Even after that I was on so many medications that I could just about look after myself.
It took me months to be able to get a part time job and 2 years before I felt anything like ok.

I am not saying no one can work with that diagnosis but I don't know how bad it has to be before you get the diagnosis you describe.


TychosNose · 12/08/2015 13:14

This is one reason I don't discuss my mh issues with many people. Some of us are extremely effective at covering up.

I hope you feel better soon x


Lottapianos · 12/08/2015 13:20

Same here TychosNose - very few people know about my MH issues. The unhelpful or idiotic responses are just too hard to deal with


LazyLohan · 12/08/2015 13:24

No, I have the same. I have always worked and just taken the odd bit of time off here and there. I find it's better for my health to keep busy and occupied, I don't like to be at a loose end, gives me too much time to dwell on things.

Actually, from posting on various boards and going to support groups, I've tended to find that people with genuine depression overwhelmingly do work and try to manage their mental health as much as they can to live constructive lives apart from a very, very small group who are too ill to work. I have though, IMO, come across quite a few people who had been signed off for depression who had fuck all wrong with them apart from lazyitis and permanent hangovers.


nixnjj · 12/08/2015 13:24

This has given me both hope and a feeling a failure. I'm barely functioning other than have to as I'm a single parent and have recently lost my job due to diagnosis. Medication not suitable so am waiting for referral to psychiatrist. If anyone has any advise how to deal with this would be appreciated


DurhamDurham · 12/08/2015 13:31

When I was diagnosed with depression I didn't tell anyone. No-one at all. I have a husband and two teen girls and I kept it a secret. I still went to work, although I used to go in late and finish early if I could get away with it. I used to avoid going upstairs because if I did I saw my bed and had an overpowering need to get in it and go to sleep. I'm still not entirely sure why I didn't tell anyone at all but I really didn't want any well intentioned help and 'advice' from work colleagues and friends. It was a few years ago now, I was medicated and had counselling sessions. I don't know if I would handle it the same way again but I'm hoping I don't have to find out.

It's such a personal experience no-one knows exactly how they would cope or behave or make assumptions about how other people should behave.


BoskyCat · 12/08/2015 13:31

Well said OP.

For myself (and some others I know), work and "functioning" generally, making an effort with what I wear etc. actually help me to feel calmer and more positive. I've had severe anxiety, and occasionally depression, for a long time but I function with them.

I've had moments where I really wasn't coping (usually panic attacks) and that can be part of it too, but not always.

People need to understand that mental health issues come in many forms and degrees of severity and are different for different people. Much like physical health issues – some put you in a hospital bed, some you can manage and still get on with everyday life.


ProudAS · 12/08/2015 13:37

I have both anxiety and depression (not sure that I'd describe them as severe) plus Aspergers and function well most of the time.

It's down to medication and my knowing what I need to function and looking after myself. It doesn't always work but on a good day you could see me and have no idea.


jeanmiguelfangio · 12/08/2015 13:47

Nixnjj you arent a failure, you are functioning just as we are!! We are all frankly just coping the best we can. We are still getting up, looking after our children and sometimes I just want to sleep for hours and forget I exist, but its very hard. I do what i have to to get through the day. To watch me and see me, you would think I have it all together. When the doors are closed, and my daughter is in bed, that can be another story.


AliceScarlett · 12/08/2015 13:52

Tell me about it. A cpn once told me I can't have mh problems because I wear make up :/

I function well, but have DID. Would say I'm just lucky but maybe it's the also the decade of hard work and therapy.


Lottapianos · 12/08/2015 13:53

Nixnjj, please go easy on yourself. You are doing the very best you can. This is incredibly painful and exhausting stuff to deal with Flowers


Backforthis · 12/08/2015 14:02

They don't understand or don't want to understand.



LunchpackOfNotreDame · 12/08/2015 15:01

Thank you for your kind words and sorry to see so many others are going through this.

nixnjj you aren't a failure. We all function at different levels. When I get home from work I simply cannot do anything. I have chronic health issues which is why I also have developed depression and anxiety. I can't do what you do and that's look after my dc and home. I also have very strong suicidal thoughts that exhaust me trying to beat them.

We are all different.

It just frustrates me when people can't see it.

OP posts:

Feline9 · 12/08/2015 15:04

I agree with you. I have a diagnosis of "mood disorder of a depressive nature (querying whether it's unipolar or bipolar, most likely bipolar) and generalised anxiety. Been told many times I "don't look depressed" Hmm


paulapompom · 12/08/2015 15:42

It's upsetting that some people come out with this wisdom op. I have had severe depression and anxiety and missed very little work, never been admitted although I have had to attend as a day patient before. Sometimes acting 'normal' wearing make up, going to work etc is what keeps us going x


BeyondTheWall · 12/08/2015 15:50

There was a big long conversation about this a while back. I said then, I do wonder if the focus of campaigns on people functioning fine with mild mh issues, makes people automatically think of them if you outwardly appear to be functioning?

Sort of forgetting that severe mh problems still exist outside of hospitals, iyswim?


BeyondTheWall · 12/08/2015 15:52

Like they are almost a bit blasé about it... "oh yes you have depression, so do lots of people. Youre coping therefore it must be mild, shut up about it"


TheoriginalLEM · 12/08/2015 15:54

there are stupid people everywhere.


Dawndonnaagain · 12/08/2015 15:56

Been there too.

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