For me, depression always brings anxiety. It kicked in this afternoon. Usually, I’m hit with anxiety in the beginning of a depressive episode – it’s often a red flag for me that something is wrong. But this time, the depression came first, and anxiety just joined the party today.
It’s a growing hollowness in the pit of my stomach. There’s a steely taste in my mouth. I feel like I can’t catch my breath.
There’s no exact reason for the anxious thoughts and feelings. I can’t trace it to a singular source. Instead, it’s general. Everything I think about causes the anxiety to intensify. Work, free time, writing this blog – each of them, and certainly all of them together, cause my breathing to become more shallow and the hollowness to grow.
Deep breathing exercises sometimes help, though they didn’t today. Instead, my mind races from thought to thought and taking a deep breath requires great effort and concentration. That alone should refocus my mind, but it didn’t work this afternoon.
Prayer often helps. And quoting Scripture, like Philippians 4:6-7, NIV:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Lord God, my prayer and petition is that You will remove these anxious feelings from me. I thank You that You hear my prayers. I want my heart and mind to be surrounded by Your everlasting peace. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
So far, that didn’t help either. So I’ll cling to that verse as a promise. I’ll breathe it out when I exhale. I’ll repeat it until it pushes the anxiety away.
And I’ll tell my psych doctor.