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Mental Health: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

MHMD-header-graphic_640-300-e1459188047323.jpgAs I’m sure many of you are aware that World Mental Health Day recently passed.  I’ve seen several blog posts on it already, and I’m hoping I can provide my own unique perspective and opinion without boring anyone or beating a dead horse.  That’s the phrase, correct?  What a disturbing image!  How did that even become a thing?

I’ve had several posts where I mention that I have a disorder called Panic Disorder.  I spend a great deal of time in a high functioning anxious state and actually worry about having a panic attack (a symptom specific to panic disorder).  One thing I do want to preface with is that I am not a time bomb.  I’m not on the edge of having a panic attack at all times.  Rather, I simply run on anxious and nervous energy.  Think of when you’re excited for a big event, you have trouble sleeping and you can’t stop moving because you can’t wait for it to happen.  That’s the state I live in normally.  Sometimes I’m more mellow, especially if I’m tired or sick, but the majority of the time I can just take off at the drop of a hat.

We put a lot of emphasis on the bad of mental disorders.  Yes, there are ones that are truly torturous. But I’d like to say that I see apositives that I have acquired from mine. There are parts of my disorder that I’m truly thankful for.

  1. My anxious mind is very quick and sharp.  When new programs, ideas, or processes are put in front of me, I have the tendency to pick them up almost instantly.  I take to learning how to do new things well.  I truly think that the anxious state I live in aids in that arena.  It’s especially useful at my office.
  2. I have the ability to handle more than one thing at a time.  I’m a multi-tasker.  I always have been.  It takes a lot to occupy my mind fully and I can often read, watch television and work on a puzzle at the same time.  Having that “go-go-go” mentality doesn’t make this exhausting but rather pleasant.  I’m not able to worry or catastrophise since I have so much stimulation. My mother used to hate how I could have the TV on at all times while reading, talking on the phone, etc., and when she’d say I wasn’t watching it, I’d be able to tell her what was happening on the show.  It’s something I do to this day.
  3. I constantly push myself past the limits I thought were possible. Don’t get me wrong…under a deadline or a new benchmark, I stress beyond belief. BUT I do somehow manage what I thought I couldn’t.


Out of Order Sticker Funny Quote

On bad days, I’m jumpy and can’t focus.  I can’t see anything other than what’s triggering me.  I can’t think of anything else.  If it’s something I don’t have the ability to fix or work on, then I can get highly emotional.  I don’t know what to do with myself and end up trying everything and anything. I run myself ragged trying to get the antsy feeling out of my system.  I obsess over my trigger, and it’s exhausting.  Finding ways to distract myself is difficult, but I have found that puzzles, coloring and other small but detailed tasks are a helpful.  They are just enough to not use mental energy but detailed so you need to provide full attention.

I can always tell when it’s going to be a bad day. I normally wake up and feel off.  I’m not one of those people who wakes up and has a blank mind as it is, but on these days…I wake up obsessing….if that makes sense.  While I have a ton of energy, my mood isn’t as positive as it normally is while I’m bopping around the office.  I don’t care to socialize or interact and I have a continuous headache. I just need to make it through the day.  I don’t have these often, but if the trigger in continuous, I will have a few in a row.

Ugly days are physically and emotionally exhausting. There have been times I’ve had to leave my office and work from home to make it through.  I’m blessed with coworkers and partners that understand that it’s needed at times. I feel crackily, or fuzzy, around the edges.  If could imagine how a piece of wood feels while it burns and crackles…that would be how I feel on these days.

This sandwich is how my body feels right before a panic attack.   © Noel Hendrickson


These days, I can feel my entire system amping up.  I can feel the heat rushing through my body, and my adrenaline pumping.  I must get out.  I need to leave wherever I am. My whole body seems to be going in different directions. It’s like I’m being pulled apart from the inside out.  I try my best to keep myself together.  This is how my panic attacks begin.  I know when I need to leave and I’ve learned when the appropriate time is to flee if I must.

I ultimately end up in an eruption of energy.  Tears are always involved, and depending on what’s going on at the time, I may yell.  It’s almost like an explosion within my body.  I need to get everything out.  If I was one of those girls who could vomit on command, I’m sure I would do that to.  The need to expend that energy and adrenaline is at such an apex that nothing else matters.  I’ve left work to have a workout session at 11 a.m. before. Again….my office is incredible and as long as I get my work done….that’s all that matters. It does not matter where I do it from.

The fact that these days have gone from happening once every two weeks to may be twice a year is an incredible testament to working with your disorder and finding what works for you.  It takes time and patience, but learning how to cope, and possibly utilize, a mental illness can be a powerful moment.

The most important thing to remember on ugly days is that you are not alone.  There are millions of people who feel just how you do.  They understand and will support to you.  Find a group; talk to a professional; whatever you need to do.  But there is a large community in this world that are by your side, walking that path.  They experience it in their own way, but they are there.


40 thoughts on “Mental Health: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  1. I really like the little comic at the bottom, it’s so true. Things so many people struggle with but no one talks about. I also like how you listed the positives of your anxiety, since so many articles about anxiety focus on the negatives only, and how to deal with them. I’m sure all those things are possible because your anxiety forms a large part of who you are, and has positives as well as drawbacks! Thanks for sharing🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so true! There are things that my anxiety helps with, like being able to plan for every situation and multi-tasking, but often it can result in not-so-great things, like panic attacks. Thanks for sharing such an honest and important article about mental health!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are definitely both up and down sides to anxiety. It makes me extremely productive, but I find, since I’m good at multi-tasking, I’m often given a lot of work at once. So it can be triggered as well. Double edged sword! It’s nice to hear it’s not just me that has both positives and negatives with it.


  3. I think it’s great that more people are talking about mental illness, and it’s not a taboo subject. I know several people who deal with anxiety and various disorders, and I know that it’s helpful for them to be able to talk about it – at least to let people know when they’re feeling “off.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely love how you talk about the positives that your disorder is bringing you! It’s so refreshing to hear about someone that is looking at the good side of their mental health disorder and not the bad side. I suffer from anxiety and I often get caught up in the negatives instead of the positives.

    Thanks for sharing<3
    xo Nicole

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that you posted the positives, so often with health issues of all types we only see the negative I had to find the positive when my kids and I were diagnosed with a genetic disorder and a big 1 is it saved my life, the aspect that leaves us disabled meant my neck did not break when it should have. I had not thought to also look at the positives of my anxiety, depression and PTSD. Thank you for sharing this I am going to start thinking of the positives in these also.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for writing this. As someone who has an anxiety disorder, I find it important to be open about it to help end the stigma surrounding it. I love how you highlighted both the positives and negatives of your mental illness. As sucky as they might be, there are some good things that come from them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. I honestly don’t think I would be as good at my job as I am without it. I hope you can find the positives in yours as well. Each of us experience it so differently.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thats really interesting, thanks for sharing such an intimate part of yourself. Depression runs in my family and my mom is Bi-polar so I am not stranger to Mental Illness. I, myself, only have mild anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It is true that most Mental Health related disorders are often accompanied by an advantage. You are doing a good job educating us about Panic Disorders. I am certain that other sufferers will take the good of it and harness that to their advantage.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This really gave insight into what it is like, especially the physical sensations that accompany the lead up to panic. I must admit, I hadn’t heard of panic disorder so thank you for educating me on such an important topic and for sharing your experience. It cannot be easy to live with and it a good reminder that there are up and downsides to pretty much everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t either, until I was diagnosed with it. It’s almost like general anxiety disorder….at least with me, but I’m more prone to panic attacks and fear actually having panic attacks again. In some people it also comes with the fear of going out (I can’t remember the actually scientific names). That fear of having a panic attack in public is so great, that some people have hard times facing the world.


  10. I’m glad that we’re raising awareness about mental health issues because most people don’t really take them seriously. I admire you for sharing your story, it will serve as an inspiration to many who are going through the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is an interesting take on your panic disorder. It gave me a lot of insight and a chance to really look at my own anxiety a bit differently.

    Kind of made me realize that with everything in life it isn’t as bad as it seems. There is always a flip side to everything. So thanks.

    Raising awareness about mental health is still a big stigma, but I hope that in time we will be able to have a better understanding for all people. I also really think that it’s awesome that you have coworkers who understand what it is that you need as well. That’s fantastic.

    Thanks again for this insight. Hope you have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Looking at it from all sides has become a big part of my current self work. I found it rather….challenging but beneficial to try to find the positives in it.


  12. Thank you for this article. I love the way you opened up your heart so that others may understand. Sometimes people who suffer from mental illness are afraid to come forward for fear of being rejected. I think we must give our full support and understanding for those people. Again, thank you for sharing your story. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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