I have anxiety about my anxiety. I’m worried that I’m about to worry so bad that I’m going to have a panic attack. I’m sad because my depression is a real bummer. The drugs I take are to manage the addictions that lessen how insecure I am about my insecurities. I subconsciously create problems to cope with the problems I’m afraid to fix because fixing my problems is problematic. I’m spiraling into the abyss of my own negativity, my brain devouring me whole, digests me, passes me through the brain’s intestines and passes me out as brain feces.
Your brain devouring you, like a snake too embarrassed to admit it is attempting self-fellatio went wrong, that’s depression, the anxiety is the fear that snake feels about being caught. Talking about depression and anxiety is like farting in the shower, you can’t help it and when you do let it out, the stink envelopes you like a small-pox-blanket and people look at you like you intentionally ruined their day.
What I’m trying to do is help people whose brain chemistry is balanced, foster an understanding for those whose moods might seem erratic or incomprehensible. Anyone who has ever told someone to “cheer up” or parroted “if you fake a smile your mood will follow,” this explanation is for you.
While you may have experienced a modicum of depression when, say, going through a breakup, some people are sad simply because they’re awake. It’s a synapse glitch that not even experts know fully because the brain is such a twisted knot of mysteries, a delicate ecosystem so dense with unidentified foliage that finding and pulling weeds tucked into the deep recesses of the knots of rose bushes is unfeasible.
So, what to do? How to relate or help the person you love who may be teetering on the brink of near-constant panic attack or feeling like suicide is a logical option? Much like everything in life, the answers are nuanced and difficult.
The only certainty, the only easy fix, and this is a lesson for anyone at any time, trying to relate to anyone anywhere, never tell someone to “relax,” or “calm down.” Has that ever worked? Have you ever been in the middle of an argument and told someone to “calm down?” “Calm–Y’know what, you’re right, let me take a breather, do some meditation and come back to this heated exchange with a renewed perspective that perfectly matches yours.” That’s a narcissists strategy completely devoid of empathy.
Anxiety isn’t just “worry,” nor is Depression over-simplified to “the sads.” These are conditions. Maybe, instead of trying to solve problems others have, listen. Or, give them a porcelain tea cup that they can smash on the ground. Or maybe get a gang of puppies to drown the anxiety in puppy saliva. Or, when the person is spiraling, fart. Or offer understanding.