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Like many sufferers of anxiety and depression I spend my life fighting what I like to call "The Dark Headache". Now when I say headache I don’t mean one that causes you physical pain and makes you feel like somebody is drilling into your cranium with a blunt instrument, but one where the brain goes into a whirlwind of thoughts and ideas until you physically become numb to the outside world.
For instance, imagine having a conversation with a group of people where everybody is trying to talk over each other, Frustrating right? Well there comes a point where your mind can’t focus and begins to ache because it is trying to process multiple things at once. Well this is what I mean by The Dark Headache. Not only does the mind constantly do battle with itself, but it’s almost as if it’s constantly trying to find the answers that it’s never going to find.
I’m not going to stand here and say that I’m talking on behalf of all sufferers of mental health, but personally it feels like the brain is arguing with itself and bombarding you with thoughts of worthlessness and self-pity, thus sending you into a depressive state that you are left to try and dig yourself out off, but therein lies the problem, because you have been kicked down by these thoughts and feelings the struggle to pick yourself up and continue with life becomes colossal. All that is now running through your mind is that everyone is better off without you, feeling you are a failure and a burden to the people around you etc. When you’re in this state all you care to do is hide yourself away from everyone and everything.
If the brain was a person, it would be the playground bully constantly picking on every little detail calling you names and kicking you down constantly. You can’t go and tell the teacher because you worry yourself sick of making the situation worse. The only thing your left to do is continue putting up with everything your mind throws at you, until you can’t take no more. This combined with the everyday stigma that comes with suffering from a mental illness where people do not understand your situation or the things that are going through your mind multiplies the pressure that is put on you as a person. And because of this stigma anything you try to do to make yourself better or explain your illness is like throwing water on a grease fire.
I take medication like many people to help combat this illness, but there’s some days where the drugs simply don’t work, and I’m left to fight my mind on my own. This might not be the case for everybody, taking medication and going to see a psychiatrist to help combat this illness may work for some people, but for me it’s almost like trying to trick the brain into being happy when it doesn’t want to be.
I have found as long as my mind is kept busy, be it playing video games, listening to music or doing odd jobs around the house all is fine. But As soon as any stimulating activity is stopped, Boom! the vicious cycle begins again.
I personally think at the end of the day, it’s down to the individual to find what works for them, be it taking medication, talking to professionals etc. For me though, I’m still on the path to finding the solution to fighting The Dark headache. All I know is surrounding myself with the right people and trying to enjoy the things I like doing while I continue my battle, is definitely a step in the right direction.
For other this might not be so simple, but this is what is currently working for me.