You can be a young African teenager, a well-paid Wall Street stockbroker, or a middle-aged British football mom; old or young, black or white, gay or straight, single, married, or polyamorous, and fall victim to mental illness. Psychological disorders do not discriminate; something which has been highlighted even more as the world tries to navigate life during a pandemic. Many people find themselves overthinking, spiralling them downwards into a circle of mental illness.
Overthinking has been linked to psychological disorders including anxiety and depression. The more your mental health deteriorates, the more likely it is that you will overthink things. Managing psychological illnesses takes time and commitment. Keeping your counselling appointments, taking your medication, getting sufficient rest, and taking time for yourself to practice a relaxing hobby are all factors that contribute to healthy mental health.
I have been living with depression and anxiety disorder since I was twenty-eight. I’m forty-two now. As far as possible, I maintain a healthy routine between visits with my counsellor, but sometimes I do find myself veering off track. In these times, I make a special effort to withdraw from whatever external factor is causing me to feel run down. Sometimes I sleep until I feel better able to cope, other times I acknowledge my feelings and write about them. This was a piece I originally posted on my blog in 2012.
Years later, I’m still living with my mental illness, but I am living a happy life, surrounded by an amazing support system. Don’t be afraid to seek assistance if you find yourself in a spiral of debilitative overthinking for fear of being ‘labelled’; the stigma attached to mental disorders is slowly fading as more awareness is created surrounding such illnesses.
(Image Credit: indybay.org)
I’m not my worst enemy
I’m a prisoner, an unwilling hostage
Confined by thoughts of despair and solitude
Incarcerated in the darkness of my regressive mind
Images cloud my tired mind
Some strikingly clear, others somewhat hazy
Slivered light – Dawn signals a new day
Not enough to fend off my mind’s tricks
The mildew of indescribable sadness
Fills my nostrils, making me gag
My heart aches, but no tears fall
No-one hears the silent screams of my misery
Dampness clings to my cheeks
Tears have escaped, during my sleep
I’m alone. No Love to cover me
My vivid imagination my only hope of freedom
Seated on the slimy mattress
I contemplate jumping into the chasm
At least there I will be free
Thoughts…they won’t be able to harm me
There is no prison warden
With an evil grin, nor the keys
Only I have the means to leave
I need strength to fight the loneliness
© Priscilla Anne Fick
Priscilla is a regular 40-something South African with extensive qualifications in Import and Export management and is currently employed as a Marketing Assistant for the largest producer of ostrich leather in the world. She also possesses certification in the fields of proofreading and copy-editing. Her biggest aspiration is to one day travel far and wide and share her stories.
All photos contained within this blog are Priscilla’s own, unless otherwise specified, and may not be used without prior permission.