The Struggles of Depression and Anxiety Hi to all. For the longest time I’ve battled with social anxiety and depression. I’ve felt like an outsider; like a weirdo. There are many of you out there, and possibly reading this, that have felt what I feel every single day. So here’s my story in hopes that this can help someone. In hopes that this can help me. I suffer from Social Anxiety and Depression like stated above. Every day is a battle. Not only am I extremely sad all the time, but I’m extremely paranoid as well. Simple things like talking on the phone or going out are hard for me. I freak out. I have fears and thoughts that just won’t seem to go away. At night it’s hard for me to sleep. It’s hard to even go out with the few friends that I have. So I stay in my room where it’s safe. Where I can’t embarrass myself. Where I won’t have to worry about talking to people. I can’t get a job. I can’t work to maintain myself because of my immense fear. Though there’s a hunger in me to explore the world. To learn new things. All of those dreams are squashed by the reality that I’m afraid. People tell me to just get a job without understanding that this fear is crippling. The fear immobilizes me to the point where I have panic attacks just thinking about it. All of these issues have made me feel worthless. Have made me feel like I don’t belong and in turn have given me depression. I’ve been battling it for years now. Battling the feeling of self-hatred. When I look in the mirror I see no one. It’s come to the point where I feel like the world would be better off without me. At home I don’t feel any better. No one understands. I cry out for help yet they see me as the ‘black sheep’ of the family. All I’ve ever wanted was some help and to be understood. It hurts. Every night I cry myself to sleep because I can feel the weight of my hurt and my pain compressing on my chest. I feel lonely and uncared for. All I’ve ever wanted was to find my happiness. That’s why I share my story to let you know, whoever you are, that you’re not alone. I feel it too. The sadness and the wanting to be left alone. The random bursts of anger you get because you don’t know how to control your emotions. The self-hatred and self-loathing. The need to just disappear. The desire to just stop feeling. The want to get out of your comfort zone but you can’t because again, you’re afraid. I know that feeling too. I know it all too well. I get the same responses too. The “you’re just shy” or “just get up and stop moping around” or even “you’re not really going to kill yourself, stop being ridiculous.” The fact of the matter is that I haven’t suffered in silence. My family knows. They just think it’s ‘all in my head’ and it is. That’s why it’s called mental illness. They don’t understand that you’re not mentally strong enough to overcome these things. They don’t understand that it’s not a switch you can just turn on and off. I hope someday my pain and paranoia goes away. Because I want to travel the world and not be afraid to leave my front door. I want to find love and not be afraid to talk to boys. I want to love myself and see someone worth looking at when I look in the mirror. Share your story whoever you are. Let the world know that this is just beyond extreme sadness or shyness. Let your unheard voice be heard.