Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Satire: How I solved my anxiety by developing depression

My anxiety may be chronic but my personality is iconic
McKenna Premus / Daily Collegian

I’m sure the title of this piece probably threw some people for a loop. I know satire is supposed to be funny, but sometimes the best coping mechanism for hard times is comedy. The following article is my experience with anxiety and depression, two disorders that control my brain like bickering sisters. A Tale of Two Disorders, if you will.

Some of you are probably thinking “what could such a funny and charming individual such as yourself possibly be worried or sad about?” Well, for one thing, the supply chain is crazy right now, and I still haven’t figured out what that means. But in all seriousness, mental illness doesn’t discriminate against gorgeous, gorgeous girls such as myself, so here is my story.

I have experienced anxiety from a very young age. I had it before it was cool, or “on trend.” Kindergarten me was worried about knee pain before I could count to one hundred. There are probably a few things throughout the years that should have made me realize how bad things were, but I was too busy worrying that I had a terminal illness to recognize them.

Many people throughout the years took it upon themselves to fix my problems. People often looked at me, saw that I looked a bit nervous and asked “What’s wrong?” When my answer didn’t suffice, they would insist that there must be something wrong, because why else would I look so sad. Many people told me to just calm down and breathe, and not to worry because it was all in my head. As helpful as that was, it wasn’t actually helpful at all. I figured that this was just one of those things that I would always have to deal with.

During the pandemic, though, I noticed something happening to me. I was becoming less and less worried about schoolwork and homework. It seemed that at least for a brief period of time, my anxiety was fading. I later found out that there is a medical term to describe this: depression. For the first time in my life, anxiety was in the passenger’s seat. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely a backseat driver, but for the first time in as long as I could remember, it didn’t have complete control over my mind. It had a friend. Depression ran the show.

Instead of worrying about everything, I cared about nothing. Nothing mattered anymore. I lounged around in my bed all day, only leaving to get food and use the bathroom occasionally. It sounds more fun than it actually is.

In the depths of my anxiety, there were days where I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought I might not wake up. I enlisted the help of my dog, Dusty, to watch over me while I slept. Though I don’t think he quite understood, as most nights he fell asleep before me, but he did his best. But now, I take regular midday five hour naps to prepare for my 12-hour nights of sleep.

Though my depression did relieve me of my anxiety for a brief period of time, I later learned that they are a cursed combination to have together. While my anxiety was screaming at me to do my work, my depression told me to just lie down and watch a show. My anxiety reminded me of the consequences of not completing my work, and my depression made me take a nap. My anxiety told me that everyone was judging me and my depression told me that no one cared. It is quite the combination of energies to have in your brain.

My anxiety has taught me many things throughout my life. I learned that not every bodily pain, such as that random pain you had once in your left knee that you meant to tell your doctor about but completely forgot to bring it up, is a brain tumor. WebMD isn’t always accurate and you probably have more than three minutes to live, and you are not alone (metaphorically of course). You may be reading this alone in your room on a Saturday night. I can’t really blame you though, as that’s when I’m writing it.

I have been able to find comfort in making fun of Isenbros and going to gym classes and imagining I’m punching all of my enemies, which usually leads to quite a bit of confusion in the spin classes. People still try to offer advice, but when they do, I simply say “I don’t do meditation, I do medication.” One letter can make a big difference.

It does get better, I think? Within the better it may get a bit worse and you may be sent down a rabbit hole of self-diagnosing with terminal illnesses and following whatever weird treatment plan WebMD recommends, but it will probably get better. It will get better. If you can fight your own brain, the weird pink blob that lives in your head and controls your entire life, you can get through anything. I am not just saying this to convince myself that things will get better; that is only part of the reason.

Asha Baron can be reached at [email protected].

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