Hmmm … It isn’t a competition lol. The use of ‘v’ is hyperbole I think. However, I have been processing the differences between the two over the last little bit of time.
As far as I can tell, the only real similarity is the impact both exert on your ability to function day to day. How it impacts is vastly different. From my experience.
Prior to March I thought I understood anxiety, and I had been giving advice to sufferers like I understood it. I was so wrong. But I thought I understood it because I have suffered from depression in the past. I thought they were two sides of the same coin. But I haven’t experienced them that way.
When I was depressed I didn’t feel sick. The anxiety is causing a sick belly for me most of the time (the last week was good but it’s back as return to work approaches). It forces me to second guess everything that I think, feel and say. Before, during and after. It is insane. And as a result, it is hard to commit to anything and everything. Even communicating with other people is too much.
I am better than I was. Significantly. I can now believe that this is temporary and that it will pass. Then I will rebuild myself. I think committing to an alternate plan has helped with this, ie. removing the source of the anxiety from my life. My strategies are in place. And I am willing to put myself first and if something feels too much I am postponing it.
Depression was different. I just wanted to die. I was able to function in public and in my roles but could only perform for short periods of time. And I had a desire to keep it hidden. And did, generally speaking. This might just be my experience though. I think everyone’s is different.
What I understand about anxiety now is:
* as well intentioned as other people are, tough love does not work for anxious people.
* very small steps are required and only in the sufferer’s time; rigid commitment is impossible.
* suggestions are great, especially if they are strategic, but the sufferer only wants to hear them once, and will probably feel very vulnerable and incompetent as the strategies are given.
* telling yourself it is a temporary situation does not alleviate any anxiety. The sufferer knows it is temporary.
What has helped me work through it and be a little resilient over time:
* focusing on breath.
* planning forward after some time.
* time out.
* not being there as much for other people, ie. putting myself first.
Two different mental health experiences. Anxiety impacts life but I refuse to let it destroy my life long term.