This is What Anxiety and Depression Looks Like (Pt. 13)

Writing this blog is risky. For a few reasons.

Firstly, because contributing to this blog requires a vulnerability on the parts of me and my guest bloggers. There’s nothing easy about speaking openly about our demons to ourselves.

Secondly, because like anything on the internet, there’s bound to be hateful people and trolls who like to stir the pot up.

But the third and final reason is perhaps the trickiest one to potentially deal with: disclosure.

Disclosure in this case is the admittance of disability, usually to an authority figure, like an employer.

A lot of people in my position are stuck at a crossroads. Disclosure in a best case scenario can lead to accommodation and understanding. In the worst? Can lead to loss of job, relationships and support.

It’s also just really scary to talk to people who may not have experienced these sorts of issues before. The conversation around mental wellbeing is a relatively new one and not one that the generation before mine was having. There’s bound to be people who either don’t know or refuse to get educated.

Disclosure would be beneficial for me when it comes to the workforce, as sometimes even being brushed past at work is enough to set me off. But it also opens the door to unwanted questions.

Just because I’ve disclosed my illness doesn’t mean that I necessarily want to talk about it. It doesn’t mean I want to be prodded about my life. About trauma. I don’t want others telling me where my problems may be rooted.

Ultimately, and unfortunately, it can change the perception that authority figures have of you and your abilities.

When it comes to the social contract, I am expected to work. To go to school (for at least a while). To gather volunteer hours. To be active in friend groups. Tutorials. This is how I am to construct a healthy, fruitful life. But here I am, drowning in the fishbowl. Trying to create this very thing and silenced by all of the weight in my head. And worst of all?

I can’t say anything about it.

This is what anxiety and depression looks like.