I found a great this great post online that said something along the lines of the brain is an organ, even scans show changes in the brain when anxiety or depression hits, so why don’t we treat people the same with mental illness as we do other disease. This hit home for me, because even though I look healthy I am suffering from a silent disease that people don’t take seriously.
I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in the last year. It was to a point where I was missing work or having panic attacks at work. A big trigger for me was my current job and the role as a nurse. I have been a nurse for four years now, and never suffered from anxiety even though my first nursing job was more chaotic than this one. However, I had the support of management that valued my hard work and a charge nurse that did also. Whereas, as my current job my manager openly disliked me (to the point where other employees asked me about it) and the charge nurse is useless in that role.
For me, anxiety has been something I never thought I would have. I’ve been to therapy and I have worked through a lot, I am very open about my feelings (as you can tell). It was not until in the past year that I would wake up before work and feel chest pain, shortness of breath, and sometimes would cry silently to myself as my husband slept that I realized something is wrong.
I know more now that this condition probably stems deeper than just having a shitty job, that some point I had trauma that caused me to bottle things up. I know this more now that I have dived deep into understanding my anxiety and depression, because these past six months have been the worst. It also doesn’t help that my husband is now working two months on and one month off. Anxiety more than depression has sadly taken over my life and has controlled whether or not I can get out of bed and work. It is not something that you see physically, but you feel deeply, emotionally, and it shakes you to your core.
I would never wish anxiety on a person I hated, because it truly does break you down in a way that no one understands unless they have it. I will be standing at work passing medication with a smile on my face. All while having crushing chest pain that radiates down my left arm and feel shortness of breath but continue to do my job because I have too. I have no back up, no help and I am the only one that can take care of these patients, because no one has my back. I would like to make it clear that the people I work with, my coworkers, my fellow nurses are beyond amazing. They have my back, but they also are drowning in work, therefore, to put more on their plate causes me even MORE anxiety.
I am working with my doctor and a therapist to work on this and my mental health. A big goal for me this year is to focus more on what brings me joy and how I can work to fix this issue. I don’t want to be a victim of anxiety if I can fix it, and it is a disease that can be fixed (to a point).
I will say many people did not know I suffered from anxiety; I hid it well for a long time. I know feel more comfortable talking to my friends and family about, and they are why I know I can make it through. You need support, even if it’s a simple “hey how are you” text to check in. Reach out to people, they will listen, and if they don’t, they aren’t the right person for you.