As some of you may know, I have depression and anxiety. Back in April, I started to notice that my mental health issues began to affect different aspects my life. Depression and anxiety can leave you feeling sad, anxious, afraid, tired, and alone...or at least those are some of the things I feel.
After trying to cope with my feelings on my own, I recently decided to go back into counseling. I also went to counseling during my Junior and Senior year in college. I'm all for getting treatment for mental health, but I realized I wasn't taking my own advice. Having a B.A. in Psychology, you would think I would have sought out treatment before now. I think it was hard admitting myself that It's ok not to be ok.
Like so many people, I was in denial that I was finding it hard to cope with depression and anxiety. Depression can be hard. Anxiety can be hard as well. I used to feel life was so unfair that I struggle with both, sometimes at the same time. I felt like I was putting on a brave face for the world, but I felt like my world was slowly falling apart.
After going to my first therapy session in years, I started to feel some relief when I talked about some of the things bothering me. For those of you that have never been in counseling, your first visit is typically an intake and plan for treatment.
By the end of my first session, my counselor asked me how did I feel, and I answered hopeful. Hopeful is a word I haven't used in so long regarding my anxiety and depression issues. I feel hopeful that with therapy, working on my treatment plan, lifestyle changes, and medication that I can begin my journey on feeling better again.
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Pilar, first of all, I'm so sorry you suffer with this, dear. But you are on the right track and it's good that you are getting the help that is needed. I love your "strength" and "wisdom" bracelets. I'm glad that you felt relief just by talking with someone on your first visit. And "Hopeful" is a perfect word. Always remain in hope. Have you ever thought of journaling? It's a hobby of mine, and it really makes one feel better writing down all the little things that we go through in life. And what's cool about it is that we can go back and read it any time.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today, and I guess your blog is somewhat of a journal, isn't it? You are a wonderful and caring person, Pilar.
Pilar, thank you so much for sharing this! You are courageous and beautiful and it takes strength to admit when you need help. This really hits home for me because I also suffer from anxiety and I’ve experienced depression before. I’ve had counseling before and it has truly helped. I find that prayer is very helpful. I also find that when my stress is low my anxiety is too...I do things like coloring, journaling, scrapbooking, planning and walking to relieve stress and anxiety. I talk to my husband too and he’s really supportive. Mental health is so important and there is still such a stigma attached but I’m glad that you are brave enough to face this head on. You’re amazing hun and I know that you will get through this! ~~~Nicole
What a great idea. Look so good. xx
Wow, these bracelets are so pretty. I don't know about your anxiety problem. It's great that you are getting better now.
Have a great day 😘
Pilar, you are such a brave and beautiful lady, and I know that you will get through this. Depression and anxiety can be tough to deal with, but you're headed in the right direction seeking treatment. So many people keep quiet about their mental health issues because of the stigma attached with mental health. You're right, it's ok not to be ok. There's treatment available for people to feel better. I wish you all the best!
Im glad you are brave and smart enough to seek help and know when your falling. I have never suffered the type of depression or anxiety that takes over my world but I think everyone has experienced the feeling at some point in their life. Stay strong and keep doing what works for you. You are beautiful and smart. You will overcome this. I will keep you in my prayers.
You're helping people by sharing your story. Stay strong!
I'm sorry to hear you're going through this Pilar. It's good that you're getting help and that your first therapy session left you feeling hopeful. Stay strong sweet lady! We're all pulling for you :)
Pilar, I wish I could give you a big hug right now. Sweetheart, be kind and gentle to yourself. It is okay to not be "ok". :) Dang we all have bead days...but since you are having more than a bad day , please take care of yourself. Treat yourself with care and love. Going to therapy will help you...and if it takes a while, let it take as long as you need. Why would you not treat yourself as well as you would treat anyone else. Bless you honey, we care. xoxo, Susie
Pilar, you are so courage for sharing this.
Stay strong dear.
YAY ....good for you in taking that step and going to there to work on you. I suffered depression in the past that put me in the looney part of the hospital for seven days in 06 for thinking, mind you just thinking of offing myself. I am a firm believer that you have to work on you and if it takes drugs to get through that part then go for it. I don't mean DRUGS in DRUGS, I mean meds. I have also found that laughing out loud, several times a day, every day is great meds. Hang in there.....it will get better.
You are a strong Person Pilar ♡
The Bracelet looks beautiful, it is perfect for you. :)
Stay strong Pilar, you're so brave!
I wish you all the best!
Mental illnesses are so vicious and sneaky, I think the worst thing about them is that they convince the brain not to do what is best, and that is look for help. Admitting we need help doesn't make us weak, it makes us strong. It takes strength to admit there is a problem.
We're raised in a society that teaches us that it is not o.k to feel bad, and this something we need to work it...to teach ourselves it is o.k not to be o.k. Sometimes it is so hard to break through social programming, but there is certainly nothing wrong in seeking help. I have a lot of health problem and sometimes I feel very down about it...but I realized that we don't owe it to anyone to be happy all the time.
While I was in hospital last week I read this article about mental health where it says that it was actually proven that people in bad mood can be more compassionate and productive. That article (and the psychologist) who wrote it says we shouldn't divide emotions on positive and negative. They're just feelings, nothing to be ashamed of. In other words, we shouldn't feel ashamed if we feel down. Sometimes 'dark' emotions can make us more understanding and better persons. You're brave to speak about it and I wish you all the best.
sorry for the typos (I meant we need to work on, not we need to work it), I was typing a bit too quickly.
Asking for help is such a brave and important first step, Pilar. Be proud you did it. There is a history of depression in my family, so I know the struggle very well. Wishing you strength and wisdom.
Anne - Linda, Libra, Loca
Thanks Sheri. I appreciate your kind words and support. I got those bracelets as a birthday gift to myself last year. I've been down this road before, and I'm hopeful that I can cope with my depression and anxiety issues with the help of counseling and medication.
My blog is a form of journaling. I used to keep a journal when I was in middle and high school. I might start back writing in a journal again.
Thanks Nicole for your kind words, and you're welcome. It took a lot for me to get to this point and seek treatment, but I want to feel better. It's so important to have a good support system. I'm grateful for my loved ones who are there for me and all of you that have left such kind and encouraging comments, sms, and emails. I hate that mental health is still stigmatized. It's no shame in getting help to cope with mental health issues. I haven't colored in my coloring based Bible in some time, but I have been taking morning walks for the past two weeks. I have faith that I will get through this.
Thanks Rakhshanda. I'm glad I decided to take the steps to get better. You have a great day as well.
Thanks Marie. I wanted to share my story to let people they're not alone. Dealing with mental health issues isn't always easy and these can be hard to discuss. The conversation for mental health is long overdue. Keeping quiet wasn't helping me, but I decided to change that. Talking to a counselor, and following my treatment plan does help me feel better.
Thanks Lisa. Your encouragement is appreciated. I knew my depression and anxiety issues became a problem when my bad days started to outweigh my good days. Now that I'm getting treatment I'm looking forward to having better days again. It's a process, but I have faith I'll overcome this.
Thanks for your kind words and support Rowena.
Thanks Susie. You're always so kind and supportive. Self care is very important when dealing with mental health issues. My mom has always instilled those qualities of self love and self care while I was growing up. I'm learning to be kinder to myself. I've been in counseling before, and I realized it's ok that I'm going again.
Thanks Pam. I've never been in a psychiatric care in a hospital, but I have been on an antidepressant for my depression in the past. I'm currently taking meds for anxiety and depression. I know sometimes people use drugs and alcohol to cope. I only take medication that has been prescribed to me to manage and ease my symptoms. Laughing does help. I try to laugh each day. I'm hopeful that I will feel better. It just takes time. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad you're feeling better.
Sorry you have to go through this a least you are doing the first step in acknowledge and getting help. I hope to god you will conquer it and be at peace.
Thanks Ivana for your encouraging words and support. For the longest time I thought that I had my depression and anxiety under control, but I didn't. Finding peace and coping became very challenging. You're right it does take strength to admit there's a problem and take steps to get help. While being happy is an amazing feeling, there will be moments of sadness. The article that your read sounds very informative and insighful.
I'm sorry to hear about your health problems. I wish you all the best as well.
Thanks Anne. I'm proud of myself for seeking treatment.
Have a very happy Monday 😘
Thanks Rakhshanda. You have a happy Monday as well.
Pilar, I'm so proud of you for going forward to get help. I understand. When we are in the black hole of depression everything seems hopeless. I'm so glad you are now feeling hopeful. Life is hard and it's not always a bed of roses. I try to remember that. I truly feel most of us would do well to go to counseling. If you don't find what you need in a counselor, find another one until the right one is selected. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure it has helped someone. Take care of yourself. ♥
Thanks Martha Ellen. I've been in counseling before, and I found it very helpful. You're right life is hard, but I try to remember that life is also filled with good things too. I know I only had one counseling session so far, but I think that I'll be able to work with this counselor. I find him to be very helpful on my road healthier mental health.
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