As I’ve said in previous posts similar to this one, no two people will experience a mental illness exactly the same. I speak solely from the experiences I’ve had with my own mental illness.
Mental illnesses are things that change a person’s life. And they’re things that can make life much harder for the person who has to carry them.
I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) almost four (4) years ago. And it has definitely affected my life in ways that I wish it wouldn’t. But, I’ve had to learn how to manage and cope.
And learning to live despite a mental illness can be a terrifying thing to face. So below are five things I wish I had known when I was diagnosed with GAD. Maybe these things will/can help anyone who’s starting to face a mental illness (or has faced one for years).
- There will be people who don’t quite understand. This can be hard. Mental illness still has a certain stigma. And this will hurt. But we have to keep moving. Just because someone doesn’t understand our pain doesn’t make it any less real.
- But there will also be people who will be there for support. No matter what. Some of my very best friends are incredibly understanding of my GAD and how it affects me. And they try to help me get through. And they make my life easier and more enjoyable to live.
- The illness can (and probably will) change over time. While there are still elements of GAD from when I was diagnosed, it has also changed over the years. As I’ve developed as a person, it’s developed as well. This can be scary. But as time goes by and I’ve gotten more comfortable with how my brain works, I’ve gotten better at recognizing when my brain starts going down the anxiety rabbit holes. And there might be a chance that not 100% of mental illnesses will change over time. Just keep an eye on it.
- It may not always look exactly the same. Over the years, I’ve been able tor recognize certain feelings and ways of thinking that signifies the beginning of the slope into anxiety. But I’m still learning about some of the other aspects of the disorder. In fact, I recently got tested for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) because of how my brain was working. But I learned at the doctor’s office that it was simply the symptoms of anxiety that are shared with ADD. So all we can do when facing unknown symptoms is ask and learn.
- Life will go on and you’ll learn how to live with the illness. I’ve been able to keep the full out anxiety attacks on the lower end of the scale in recent months. But that doesn’t mean that I’m no longer affected. I’m still figuring out my way through how my brain works. Even though I’ve come a long way since I first began, I’ll probably be learning about it for a long time yet. And I’ll learn through living.
I don’t know if this helped anyone, but it was a post that I thought would be good to post.
Until next time!
Just a Kentucky Girl