Is mental illness curable?
I’m beginning to wonder. Every time I think I’ve got this my anxiety or depression pops up like “heyyyyy girl long time no see!” At this point I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever end or if this is just my new reality. Well not so new as I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember and depression for close to five years, but you know what I mean.
And if it is my new reality, is it then my personality? Where is the line between depression and anxiety being a diagnosis and being a personality trait? Even though it’s not constantly present, couldn’t it be said that the reoccurrence of symptoms are simply a part of me? Who or when is that determination made?
I am mostly logical enough to notice when I’m suffering from either anxiety or depression. I use this knowledge to tell myself that the feelings I feel are false. To not believe them. This has helped significantly in my work life. But man it’s tough. Anxiety is tough. Here’s a typically “moment” with her:
Anxiety: Hm. Boss sure has been super friendly with xx lately, you think that means she hates you since your never included?
Me: No, I don’t need help with my current projects, xx does. Did I take my meds today? Why are you here?
Anxiety: Yep you definitely took your meds, I mean I think you did, maybe you didn’t? Or maybe you did, and I’m getting stronger. Maybe they don’t work anymore. You better schedule an appointment. Never know. You know if I’m here my bff depression is going to come and visit too.
Me: No, breakthrough happens even on medication. The doctor told me so and I have therapy Friday anyways. Plus I just spoke with boss and she had nothing but positive things to say.
Anxiety: Oh yea, that’s right. She did have nothing but positive things to say. But remember every other time that’s happened it was because they were preparing you for a major letdown 🤷🏽♀️ I’m just saying. I mean that’s totally not her though, she is different… because we have never been naive like that before. Nope.
Me: Seriously. Leave me alone. Let me work. I have too much to do.
Anxiety: Yea you totally do. Way more than everyone else. You look like such a suck up, all your coworkers think you brag too much and hate you. Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just saying. No one here likes you. You had better start looking for a new job.
Me: No. I love this job, my coworkers and my boss. I love what I do and I’m good at it.
Anxiety: yea but remember we messed up yesterday. I’m sure everyone was pissed you sent a revised email 10 minutes after the first. That was an important email. Now everyone thinks you suck at your job. You’re incompetent. I hope like hell we have a backup, because if you think I’m bad now wait until we are unemployed.
Me: Yea, I did mess that up. And boss has been avoiding me. Maybe I should look for work. At least a position I’d easily qualify for. Just in case.
Anxiety: For sure. And you better start watching your back. You know xx wants to move up too. She is just like vv. She’ll try to ruin you to get what she wants. You know what, chocolate chip cookies just might make us feel better. I’m sure of it. Let’s eat cookies, quit our job, and live in seclusion. Better yet, let’s quit today. Just walk away and never come back. They hate us and don’t think we are any good anyways.
Me: No, I’m doing fine. I know your here and these feelings are false. Go away.
Anxiety: Okay. Be naive then. When it all blows up in your face I’ll be there for you. *drops a ton of self-doubt on my heart*
So you see, anxiety is a nasty, nasty little monster. She picks at my insecurities and causes me to doubt everything. Notice she attacks my heart. My head is smart, my heart is dumb. My anxiety uses my emotions as a weapon.
But back to my original question. When does this self doubt, insecurity, and personal abuse become a personality trait instead of an illness? I mean, what differentiates a character trait from a diagnosis? If I always have anxiety isn’t it then apart of me? Wouldn’t getting rid of it then be changing my personality? I mean I’m having this fight all the time while medicated and going to weekly therapy. Could you imagine if I wasn’t doing those things? What do you think?