People think they understand anxiety and depression but unfortunately, or fortunately, unless you suffer from the depths of the disorder then it is very difficult to fully understand and empathize. I am not saying no one gets it at all or someone can’t express an understanding and possibly come to understand more clearly, but it is very difficult to understand even with deep explanation. I’ve heard so many times, “oh, I’m so anxious,” or “I’m so OCD its annoying,” but the reality is those statements are SO far from accurate that I have trouble empathizing. I get that people feel a certain way that might be different from how they normally feel, but it doesn’t necessarily categorize as having anxiety or being OCD. OCD is an extreme anxiety disorder and the terms get used very loosely.
With OCD, the depths of the torture cannot even be touched with the statement referring to the fact that someone might get annoyed that they clean their house until it is spotless. Does your definition of OCD include severe anxiety until it feels right, or hours spent on the same task until it feels ok to stop, or mental rituals involving repeating something over and over in your head until you are too exhausted to work? I am not too sure that the anxiety you refer to is so bad you can’t sleep or eat, or that it changes who you are in an instant, or that it affects many relationships you have or romantic ones you try to pursue. If it does, then I know exactly how you feel and you are not alone. And if it doesn’t, I still know how it can feel and you are not alone either, just not experiencing what others who truly suffer experience.
My blog posts can give you a small slice of the true struggles but it is challenging to capture the depths at which this pain, confusion, ambivalence, and tug-of-war touches. Listen to someone you know who struggles to really try to grasp their inner workings, or, if you struggle, try to put into words how you feel and see what you come up with! Comment below anything you find or want to share but we all experience similar sensations in different ways so never feel alone!