Sunday 13 March 2016

Nerd Church - Mental is Physical

Today guys, I'm going to be talking about the physical aspects of depression and anxiety. (Man, I sound like a teacher or something *shudders.*)

So, why am I talking about this? Well, I've had another sh*ty week depression-wise, and a lot of people just don't seem to realise there are physical effects of depression and anxiety - so I kind of wanted to explain and educate a little.

Hopefully this will give you some insight into the type of thing people with depression and/or anxiety are having to deal with.

I'm going to be candid here - so it may get a little distressing guys.

Obviously, this is my experience of mental health problems: everyone is different, and will be affected differently.
robot heart

Lack of energy

You know when you are so goddamned bone-tired that even getting up to pee seems like something that's debatable? You know when your limbs ache with just how tired you are?

That's how I feel sometimes - with no reason but the depression.

Thank God for my cat, he meows outside my door every morning. I don't think I'd get up without him.

This really isn't helped by the fact that I have trouble sleeping a lot.

Sleeping Problems

A lot of depressed people have sleep issues.

I've spent many nights just not being able to sleep, despite how tired I am.

Then I blame myself for not being able to sleep ('stupid girl, can't even sleep right,') which makes zero sense, and is the depression itself, twisting my perception of the situation.

Some nights, when things were bad, I'd wake up about 4am, anxious as all hell about everything and nothing; thoughts twist in the middle of the night, and just get worse the longer you lie alone in the dark.

Please, if this ever happens to you - get the hell up and wake up someone to talk to. I don't care if they moan and throw a pillow at you. I don't care if you have to phone them 60 times or more. Do it.

If you can't think of anyone to phone then find your country on this list and find a helpline. Please.

Loss of appetite

At my worst, I spent a few days living on the occasional bag of  slowly-eaten crisps.

Please don't confuse this with an eating disorder - which is a separate condition. This is, in fact, a highly-telling symptom of depression.

It was horrible. I didn't feel sick, just... blocked off. Like someone had sewn up my mouth, or placed a tube down my throat.
blackened apple

My brain was sending me the signal that I couldn't eat. It wouldn't work - because of whatever this blockage was. It was one of the strangest and most physical feelings of my life.

I wanted to eat - oh God, I wanted to eat - but... Imagine being a needle-phobic diabetic.  You know you need insulin. You want to inject it. But actually bringing yourself to do it is immensely difficult.

Muscle Twitching

This can occur when you're uber-anxious, but, for me, it's worse when I'm tired.

I went through a short period when this was particularly bad - I was exhausted (I wasn't sleeping very well,) and, lying on the sofa, or in bed, your body does these little jumps by itself - a muscle in your arm, your back, whatever. Sometimes a finger moves, or your leg jerks.

It's unnerving as all hell - particularly early on, when I didn't know what was happening to me. It's pretty scary - especially when you're already in a pretty dark and anxious place.

Thank God it doesn't happen so often now. I hate it.


You want proof of the physicality of mental illnesses? There were periods of time where I couldn't warm my hands up.

They were literally cold to the touch - it's actually a pretty common symptom of depression.

crayon heart

So, hopefully I haven't bummed you all out too much. I just figured it was something that needed to be discussed - and that's what I do in 'Nerd Church' after all.

I'm feeling better than the darkest times guys, honestly. But some days, or some parts of the day, are still very difficult.

If you ever go through something similar - just know that there are people who care.

Nerd Church is a weekly post where I talk about various issues. Feel free to continue the discussion - but please link back here. :)

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  1. <3 I love this post Cee!
    Honestly, thank you for sharing what mental illness, more specifically, depression is like. It's something we all really should be aware of - I know that in some books/movies/TV shows, depression and other mental illnesses can be romanticised, and in reality, it is anything but that!
    Awesome post, Cee - I love reading such informative posts like this from you!

    1. Thanks so much for the comment Geraldine!
      I get really worried about writing posts like this (it's more than a touch personal - and I think that's one of the reasons the realities of mental health problems aren't discussed enough) - but when I've had a bad week, it feels almost dishonest to write my Sunday post about anything else.
      And I agree - mental illness can be either romanticised or completely dismissed in media/culture. You find that it's only the extremes that get shown, and I really wanted to just explain my experiences as they were/are.
      Thanks again for your lovely comment :)

  2. I don't even know what to say because I can't relate to the subject, but I guess I'll just say this:

    Whenever you feel these symptoms, please remember Cee that there are a number of people in the blog and book community who are here for you. The great thing about networks like these are that there are people who are going through the same thing as you, and that alone should be comforting.

    Nobody deserves depression, and I just want you to know that I and a lot of people are here for you, and if you ever need to talk, feel free. The only way to battle mental illness is if we make a discussion about it :)

    You'll get through this! <3

    1. You are so sweet! Thanks a lot - luckily, today hasn't been too bad so far. And I have you guys to bring a smile to my face :)

      Just knowing that I can write posts like this, and get such lovely support from it, is - argh! Can't finish that sentence, I sound like a cheesy line of dialogue!

      Just know that you rock, mm'k? Thanks loads <3 ;)

  3. I think a lot of people do see mental illness as being mental it being confined to that word. But just as physical illnesses can sometimes affect your mentality, the same thing can happen the other way too. And it does affect you physically, which is how a lot of doctors are able to pick up on it.


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