My Uphill Battle With Anxiety & Depression By Jared Valdez
So here is an essay I wrote for my English class, I hope you enjoy.
Having anxiety is like drowning in your own head, the constant fear of the past and the future. When you have anxiety worrying is the norm. Anxiety is a lack of certain chemicals in the brain and when you lack these chemicals you over worry about things that are not a threat. Depression is closely related to anxiety, so when you have anxiety you are bound to have depression also. Most people without anxiety to the extent that some people have it, won’t really understand why you are worrying so much, and that you should just get over it they'll say, but little do they know it is not usually your fault. Anxiety is one the most common mental illnesses in the U.S affecting over 40 million people over the age of 18 that is around 18% of the the population. Having anxiety comes in many forms that includes social anxiety, generalized anxiety, phobias and many others.
My anxiety is mainly social anxiety, but I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety. It all started when I was a sophomore in high school, it was lunch and I was walking into the lunch room and everyone was rushing downstairs to the cafeteria. I would walk into the lunchroom and feel so scared and feel like running, I would eat with my cousin during lunch, because I felt that my friends did not want to sit with me, but that was my anxiety talking. She had anxiety also, but I did not really pay attention at the time I was more concerned with myself, I didn't know she had anxiety until recently. After eating I would go to the bathroom and sit on the stall all the anxiety faded away and so did everyone else I would do this when my anxiety would spike.
One Day the nurse called me down for some shots that I needed. Our local hospital had a little school based hospital for the students. We were almost done with the shots and she asked me if there was anything else I needed, think back I don’t know if she could see there was something wrong or it was just a pre-rehearsed question she had to ask the students. I told her I felt like something was wrong that when I would go around a huge group of people or someone I did not know that I would get scared and feel anxious This is when she referred me to the local mental health clinic at the main hospital and I go evaluated.
They recommended for me to see a therapist and put me on medication.
Looking back now I was just in a really stressful time in my life, my grandma was passing away after me living with her for 13 or so years and my mom taking care of her. I used to be a straight A student until all this stuff happened. I do think a therapist was a good idea, but the medication is the only thing I regret going on. They could have recommended natural ways to dealing with it instead of drugging me up like a zombie. My grandma had a bunch of stuff wrong with her such as dementia, arthritis and had heart attack in 2000 and that is when we started taking care of her. Her health slowly declined over the years and me watching that was really really hard on me. The year that the doctors gave my grandma a year to live was the year that was really hard on me I was really depressed and down and missed her so much just the fact that her room was empty and felt so cold and dead and I couldn't talk to her anymore.
After moving out of our home for over a decade and selling it I started going to different high schools because my attendance was horrible and they withdrew me. This caused stress about me graduating on time with my fellow classmates. I worked my ass off to graduate on time and I am really proud of that. My anxiety in senior year was not bad as it was the previous years, it was in remission my life finally seemed to be going to way I hoped. After graduating I waited a few months to get a job at Subway it was my first job and I was there for 3 months.
One day my mom and me were arguing about the house that she sold and I went to work all stressed out. I was making some ladies sandwich and she saw the sadness in my eyes I told her it was my anxiety, but now I look back and that was just an excuse for me to use. I was on the cash register now and I started crying and she started crying, and I said it’s hard and she said “I know I know me and my friend right here we're just talking about it and it’s an epidemic, don’t cry because now you're making me cry.” I told my co-worker I was not feeling okay that day and he said you will be okay, but I clearly was not feeling okay. I called my mom to pick me up and take me to the hospital because I was having an anxiety attack just crying away I ended up going to a crisis center where they allow people to go in and talk to someone about what's going on. They said it was just an anxiety attack, and to just go home and rest after talking to me for like 30 minutes. The next day I went back to work and they said I was fired, but I had a doctor's excuse and they said never-mind, but I put my 2 weeks notice in anyway. I was ashamed to show my face there again I loved working there, but home issues, school and being around rude people was to much to handle at the time so I quit.
Anxiety has been a battle for me and I wish I did not have it, but I am trying to find the good qualities for having it and use that to my advantage. I am trying to get off the medication and find more natural ways to deal with it. The medication has caused too much side effects and I feel like it’s not helping anymore. Anxiety is treatable and even almost curable but you have to work at it with all you got and I am a fighter and I will fight this with every bone in my body this has made me into a strong person I am today and will continue to shape me into the man I want to become.
My name is Jared, I am a 20 years old currently in college for computer science. I will be sharing my life in words, words are the most powerful tool that us humans have at our disposal.