For some reason when people think about mental illnesses, in general, they think of the most easy clear-cut definitions. They do their best to find words to describe even specific illnesses with little detail.
Mental illness is no easy clean definition, mental illness is a lot of detail. For instance, anxiety is not simply being anxious and depression is not simply being sad. The words used to describe these illnesses are not even enough to make a dent in their true meanings.
For me, mental illness is crippling and heavy. I deal with depression and anxiety, I have dealt with some severe downs over the years and am currently in a place where I am able to share my experiences with others and be content with who I am in this life. I am no longer letting my illnesses define me as a person and my life is so much better because of it.
We all have habits, mine may differ from yours but we all have them. Throughout my years of dealing withand I have developed a few habits of my own, some of which I have noticed some of my friends who are suffering as well also have. It seems like when it comes to depression and anxiety especially most people partake in the following habits.
That being said there are some habits they have that I don’t and vice versa. These habits for most are a way to deal with the illness they are battling. None of these habits fit into the tiny box that people use to identify mental illness. Below you will find a list of those habits, do any of them apply to you? Remember while some of these habits are considered bad, not all of them are, the important part is that you are reducing your symptoms by keeping your mind occupied.
1. Picking my face or other body parts
This is something I guess you could call a nervous habit, it happens without even realizing it.
2. Angry outbursts
When someone becomes overwhelmed it can make them angry and depression itself can come in the form of anger.
Yes, cleaning habits are quite common as it is an easy way to pass the time.
When you are depressed or anxious chances are you are putting something off until the last minute because you really don’t want to do it.
5 . Walking
Walking is a healthy habit to have when you are stressed out you cannot be still, you have to be out and about doing something.
When we are going through something so strenuous it drains us, this meaning we need to take in as much energy as possible. Sadly people suffering from depression or anxiety tend to overeat or eat very little due to loss of appetite.
This is one of my favorite pass times no matter what anyone says, it is so relaxing.
8. Watching TV
If someone is going through depression the TV may be the only interaction they are getting from the outside world. They will cling to it.
Facebook is a way for someone with anxiety to really come out of his or her shell. I can say whatever I want on Facebook but in person, I may struggle.
I count everything, no I do not have OCD, this is just how I work with that I have got when it comes to calming down. It is easier for me to focus on how many tiles are on the ceiling rather than the nervousness that I am feeling.
11. Avoiding conversations
This goes for in person and through the phone. Avoiding phone calls like the plague is one of the most common habits.
I babble, I can’t help it. It just happens. I guess it is because of how overly uncomfortable I feel in social situations.
13. Talking fast
This is a way for me to get the conversation over with and I do it without noticing for the most part. A friend of mine does this too, she speaks so fast that people have to ask her to slow down so that they can keep up.
14. Hair twirling
This is something lots of people do subconsciously. When you are nervous you are going to find any means to deal with it.
I doodle all the time, it actually makes me feel better because I am focusing on the doodle rather than the people around me.
16. Long showers
Long showers really seem to calm me down, especially when I have had a long overstimulating day. I have gotten into the habit of taking them as often as possible rather than just when I need to get clean.
17. Pretending to be on the phone
When in social situations where I am feeling overwhelmed I will pretend to be on my phone so that people will not approach me. This is something I do daily.
18. Going to the bathroom to avoid people or let out some frustration.
I visit the bathroom much more frequently than most people do. This is because when I am feeling down I may need to let some emotion out alone or if I am overwhelmed socially I may need to just step out for a minute to breathe.
I guess you could call this one a symptom more so than a habit but it does fit. I sleep so much, even when I can’t sleep I am still in bed. My bed is my safe place and a hell of its own at the same time.
20. Canceling plans
I cannot keep plans to save my life. I am often too exhausted to follow through even on things that I may really want to do.
21. Using people as a shield.
If a person dealing with anxiety is close to someone they will use that person as a coping mechanism. I am guilty of this from time to time, for instance, if I have to order food somewhere I will cling to my boyfriends arm the whole time. It really helps to have him by my side.
22. Ignoring people
Yes, this really happens, I don’t mean to do it but I do. If I notice someone saying something directed at me I freeze and can’t respond, I just walk off without saying anything if it is a stranger. I cannot count how many times this has happened.
23. Nail biting
I am not a nail biter but someone I know does this constantly. She claims that it helps make her feel a little more normal when she is overwhelmed.
I rush through life, I do this because I would much rather know the outcome of things going on in my life sooner than later.
25. I ask people if they are okay
I do this constantly. I do it so much that people usually become annoyed by it. I am always afraid of having done something or said something to offend or bother someone else.
If you are not someone who suffers from anxiety or depression would you notice these things in someone who was? For more information on these two mental illnesses check out the videos below. Are you a hair twirler?
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