Sunday, February 7, 2016

Battle of Depression vs. Anxiety

It is known that a person can have, and tend to have more than one mental health disorders together. The chance of having depression and anxiety disorder together can be high as 30 to 80%.

As the previously linked article writes, having both means higher chance of having more, sever, and/or longer duration of problems.

By Abraham van Beijeren , via Wikimedia Commons

But I’m wondering if there are also benefits to having both. A weird thought. But idea came to me when I wondered how I was able to function normally (relatively) in society. When people have depression, you lack the will to do things. Yet, for a total of 12 years I was able to work as a nurse and a nurse practitioner. There were several days when the side effects of medication made me too drowsy to drive to work but depression itself did not hinder me going to work. And maybe it was due to anxiety.

No matter how much experience I compiled, facing patient caused me anxiety. I remember taking big deep breaths before entering each patient’s room, to steel myself, to put on a mask of a nurse. I was daily worried about not being able to finish work on schedule so especially first thing in the morning I was tense. 

Once a nurse practitioner, each patient encounter made me nervous and afraid thinking the next patient might have a problem that I might not able to make heads or tails of (not even know how to work up). The worry that the next patient might be a drug-seeker was always there.

Those fears and anxiety made me hyper-alert while depression would have made me numb and slow. My anxiety probably wiped out depressive symptoms on work days.

I did crash on the weekends. The last few years I realized that I became depressed pretty much every other weekends, becoming despondent. It almost seemed like I needed the job to stay functional even though I dreaded it.

As much as anxiety hinder regular interaction with people, maybe it was helping me do my job.






I cook most of the meals but I don’t create recipes. I rely on recipes on the web and books. So to pay tribute to all the food bloggers and people who contribute recipes out there, I’m  posting recipes that I’ve recently tried and liked.
In the past few days I’ve made:

White Chili: Nice on a cold day when you are tired of tomato-based chili.
15-Minute Fried Noodles: Simple weekday meal.

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