I tweeted an article just before about why many people feel like killing themselves - 'stopping the pain'.
I wanted to say something about how debilitating depression & anxiety can be, and hopefully offer a little hope for anyone struggling. /1
Something those lucky enough not to have experienced prolonged bouts depression or anxiety sometimes can't grasp is the immense toll that it can have on the body.
It's not only you're in the midst of an episode that you realise how much time we spend doing 'maintenance'. /2
I'm not talking about a simple matter of turning up to work unkempt, although that is certainly something that can happen.
I'm talking about the intricate relationship between eating, sleeping, exercise - all the stuff keeping us upright. /3
There's a scientific term known as a 'cascade failure', particularly when talking about closed networks of some type.
A 'cascading failure' is when the failure of one node or process sets in motion the failure of subsequent nodes or processes - triggering a rapid collapse. /4
When one suffers a severe bout of anxiety or depression, the preoccupation with our circumstances - real or imagined - can result in us missing out on food, sleep, human contact - the things that keep us on an even keel.
Miss enough, and the 'cascade failure' begins. /5
An overwhelming desire to sleep, or hide from the world can make us skip meals, stop bathing. Not eating can make us physically ill. Not bathing reinforces our horrible self-image.
Problems exacerbate other problems, cause new problems. /6
Thing is, we're all different. We have different upbringings, different ways of looking at the world, different biologies (on some level).
There isn't a 'one size fits all' way of understanding where our 'red lines' are, before things start to cascade. /7
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