Depression or Anxiety
I have a friend who started experiencing some anxiety regarding not falling asleep. This led him to take a sick day from work, see his PCP, and hopefully get some answers. Before long, he started becoming anxious and fearful about other things, “Will I enjoy work again?”, “I just want to enjoy living in my apartment!”
Over the next few months he started seeking help from a therapist, close friends, church community, family, and other specialists. Often crying around these people, he would ask, “Why do I feel this way?” If you asked him, he would say that he was struggling most with depression- not enjoying things, no desire to work, crying, etc.
When he and I would chat on the phone or spend time together, he would often ask me, “How much longer will I be in this episode?!” This was a very common question, almost like clockwork-every time we chatted.
Every time he ruminated and obsessed over this question, he became more and more anxious and fearful and therefore needed to call somebody. When I carefully reflected this to him, we began discussing anxiety and fear moreso than depression. Our chatting then led to a timeline of when he started this episode. He traced it back to the first night he struggled to fall asleep, having to take a sick day the following morning from work. During discussion, he realized that he was initially anxious about things and not necessarily depressed.
He began to feel positive when he realized that the intensity of his emotions sided more with anxiety than depression and that the things he was presently experiencing actually started with anxiety.
Question to consider:
What questions do you ask yourself when you are depressed or anxious? Think, are these more anxious questions or those involving depression?