3 videos that describe what it's like to have anxiety and depression when our own words don't suffice

Helga Weber/ flic.kr

Having anxiety is tough. For everyone, it is a slightly different beast, but many of the core aspects are the same. One of the most frustrating parts of having an anxiety disorder is explaining the nature of your condition to people who are unfamiliar with your symptoms and struggle to empathize. Following commands like “try to relax” or “just block the negative thoughts out” are so much easier said than done when living with anxiety.

Likewise, when it comes to depression, sufferers are often treated like being happy is 100% a choice that they can control. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Depression is a complex condition, and one that often exists in tandem with other disorders like anxiety. Even though all anxiety and depression sufferers may live with and cope with their disorders differently, sometimes we can rely on someone else’s words to convey the feelings that we cannot. So the next time someone in your life is baffled and/or insensitive to your condition(s), show them some of these awesome videos.

What Having Anxiety Feels Like

This video by YouTube Meghan Rienks is powerful and beautiful. This stream of conscious production mixes images of Meghan’s day-to-day experiences living with anxiety alongside other video clips and imagery that convey the frustrating and erratic symptoms of this disorder.

My Depression Is A Shapeshifter

In this soul-stirring poem by Sabrina Benaim, she tries to explain her depression to her mother. She compares her depression to a shapeshifter that is sometimes insignificant, and at other times, ginormous and intimidating like a bear. At one point, when she is detailing her mom’s confusion about whether she has depression or anxiety, Sabrina breaks down how they are related. She says, “Anxiety is the cousin visiting from out of town; depression felt obligated to bring to the party. Mom I am the party, but I am a party I don’t want to be at.” This is a must-watch for anyone who lives with anxiety and/or depression, or knows someone who does. (And let’s be real, that’s basically all of us.)

Love and OCD

In a powerful performance by Neil Hilborn, he explains what it’s like falling in (and subsequently out) of love with a woman while living with OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which is another condition often linked with anxiety and/or depression, can also cause a huge strange on interpersonal relationships. No matter the specificity of your condition, this chill-inducing poem captures how people living with psychiatric disorders often feel when being a burden to loved ones… and how heartbreaking it is to lose the love of your life because of a health condition which you struggle to control.

Living with anxiety, depression, and/or any other psychiatric disorder is tough. Explaining it to the people in our lives can be just as hard. Hopefully, even just one of these videos will make it a little easier to help someone who loves you understand.

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