It didn’t take me long to realise I had anxiety. I knew enough about it to identify its symptoms: the racing thoughts, pressure in my chest, pain in my back, panic attacks, plus the fact that anxiety was rampant in my family.
While I experienced more “classic” symptoms of anxiety, nothing about my depression jumped out at me as being depression. I was going to work and school. I didn’t have a hard time getting up in the morning. I never self-harmed (although I thought about it). Instead, my depression looked like neglecting self-care (“I’m just too busy to shower!”), isolating myself (“I’m too tired to go out with friends!”), and a sense of deep purposelessness I was always trying to fill with busyness and work. But it was still depression, and I couldn’t fully focus on my mental health until I addressed that sad, numb part of me, too.
Depression and anxiety affect people in different ways, but they also commonly come together. We wanted to know how people with anxiety and depression realised they had not just one mental health condition, but two, so we asked our mental health community to share with us how they knew they had both anxiety and depression.
The best way to find out for yourself is to speak with a doctor or therapist, but if these stories ring true for you, it might be a good time to make an appointment for some mental healthcare.