Things have been very up and down.
Besides depression, I also suffer from bouts of anxiety. Usually, the anxiety is related to something, such as flying, which I really hate doing, and so I get really anxious. But sometimes, I just start feeling unsettled for no reason. I feel very uncomfortable and its rather unpleasant.
I was first diagnosed with anxiety at the same time I was major depression. But here’s the funny thing: I had never experienced it until after I was diagnosed. Sure, I’ve always hated flying, and I’ve never enjoyed it, but before where it was just something I didn’t like to do, like going to the dentist, I would do when I had to. Now, I can’t fly unless I’m medicated.
But every now and then, I’ll be doing something and all of a sudden I just start feeling uncomfortable. There is no causal connection to the feeling with whatever it is that I am doing. Most of the time it doesn’t reach the level where I need to medicate myself, but sometimes I do.
I always consider anxiety to be the opposite side of the coin of depression. Depression is a “low energy” state. Anxiety is a “high energy” state. But I have found that while my depression is natural and normal for me, anxiety is not. Certainly it doesn’t occur at the same regularity that my depressed moods do. My depressed moods also don’t have a physical component to them. When I’m feeling depressed, my body doesn’t react in any particular way. When I’m feeling anxious, my stomach gets upset, my heart races, its very unpleasant.
So then, maybe for me at least, anxiety is not the opposite of depression, it’s not along the sliding scale of normal personality traits, it really is a mental illness. At least for me it is. Maybe there are people for whom anxiety is a perfectly normal thing in much the same way depression is for me.