My Biggest Fear? I Won't Be Able to Overcome My Fears
How My Mental Health Problems Manifest as Fear
I was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2002 at the tender age of 19. Since then, my diagnosis has changed to bipolar disorder and a typical day for me is rarely free of some type of anxiety or depression. In the beginning, a number of fears came over me ranging from a fear of social situations to fear of failure and an overall fear that I would live the rest of my life fighting an endless battle trying simply to enjoy all of the wonderful things life has to offer. At the end of the day, I am strong – but so is my disorder.
Over the years, I have gone to great lengths to win the war against my mental health problems. I have tried my luck with more antidepressant and antipsychotic medications than I can count on two hands and even spent some time self-medicating in college with a variety of substances including alcohol, marijuana and prescription pain medications. From exercise to a healthy diet and consistent sleep pattern, I have even incorporated a holistic means of overcoming the daily struggle.
Living with Fear
I am glad to report that a lot has changed for me since the beginning. Today, I am more in control of my anxiety and less entrapped by the depths of my depression. My support system has grown beyond the grasps of my immediate family and my creative outlet working as a copywriter brings joy to my life on a daily basis. However, one thing has remained the same since my initial diagnosis over a decade ago – my fear.
Chemical imbalance is a hereditary phenomenon that holds true in my family. In fact, chronic depression and anxiety have plagued both sides of my extended family at some point in their lives including my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Needless to say, one of my greatest fears is passing along this uninviting “family tradition” to my children.
As a first-hand witness to the darkness of depression and horror of anxiety, I can only hope and pray not to pass my vulnerable brain chemistry down to the people who will ultimately become the most important people in my life. I suppose the scariest part is that this is something that no one can control – not my psychiatrist; not my God; not me. Just like a fatal car accident, natural disaster or plane crash, it seems to me that the things we are unable to control instill the greatest amount of fear.
Fear of Being Emotionally Unavailable
Also on the subject of things we are unable to control is another intense fear that lies deep within my being. Anyone diagnosed with anxiety or depression can easily understand that the symptoms of a mental health problem can seem completely out of our control. Countless times, I have found myself emotionally unavailable due to overwhelming anxiety and depression, only to regret my evasive and unwelcoming behavior the following day. While my family, friends and significant other all understand this unfortunate situation, I am still deeply afraid of the negative effect my mental health problem will have on my ability to be an emotionally available parent to my children. I want only the best for my children and nothing could devastate me more than becoming a sideline spectator to my children’s lives simply because my anxiety and depression proved too strong to overcome. However, should any of these fears manifest in my lifetime, I find peace in knowing that despite anxiety, depression and any other mental health problem, love can conquer – and I am able to offer that.
This article was written by:
Anthony D’Aconti is the founder of Breathe Into the Bag – an online magazine designed to help people suffering from anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), OCD, PTSD, panic attacks, social anxiety and phobias. Breathe Into the Bag offers helpful tips and the latest research on a variety of mental health topics.
To be a guest author on the Your Mental Health Blog, go here.
Author, G. (2013, April 21). My Biggest Fear? I Won't Be Able to Overcome My Fears, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, November 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/yourmentalhealth/2013/04/my-biggest-fear-i-wont-be-able-to-overcome-my-fears
Author: Guest Author
I can feel you brother, There was a point in time when my fear controlled my life. I thought I would never get out of it. Thanks to God I'm still surviving til this moment. Thanks for sharing.
BTW I also wrote a post when fear controlled me: http://goodanxiety.org/2014/04/fear-controlled-my-life/
Exercise help me a lot with my depression!!!!
I'm sorry if I offend anyone here but does anyone consider exercise 35-45 minutes a day to ward off depression or anxiety? Get those endorphins up! and self esteem, too! I'm not saying it's a cure but it does help! Try it.
I can really relate to how you had been feeling. I am 54 and have been dealing depression and anxiety since that age. For a very long time I was on an antidepressant and antianxiety med that really helped. About a year and a half ago the antidepressant stopped working. We have tried many. I don't have insurance anymore which makes getting treatment even more difficult. I have tried and I am told I make too much money for Medicaid. I see a therapist that I pay cash for every other week and have an APRN doing my med but feel she is becoming frustrated about what to prescribe which just leads to more anxiety. The anxiety is pretty bad right now. I would love to know more about what medications you are taking that are helping you. I know they are not the cure, but they do help.
Hi Anthony. On reading your article about MY biggest fear, overcoming my fears, it sounded like I was reading my own story. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1999 at 22 yrs of age and have the same worries and fears. The anxiety in my life is killing me also. How are you coping? I'm on lots of different meds and have tried numerous things and my doctors are saying now its my personality and to sit myself down and go through the different anxieties and see what can be done. How does a doctor tell his patient that - a patient who suffers with bipolar depression and anxiety with panic attacks and has suffered very bad psychotic episodes through out the years? Thank you for writing this article.