Anxiety, depression and perfectionism – intertwined

Yesterday I went to see Matilda (the musical) up in London. It was great and I went with one of my best friends (Monkey) and her family, which was lovely.

But parts of it brought on anxiety. If you are not familiar with the story, it features a horrible, abusive headmistress of the school (Miss Trunchbull) and the parents of the main character (Matilda) are also horrible, selfish people.

I don’t think it was so much the storyline which brought on the anxiety, although it did bring to the surface some memories of things with the ex…

But there were several instances where there was loud sounds, flashing lights and I felt disorientated, and anxious at these times. I have noticed that sometimes when there is loud noises/lots of people/flashing lights that it brings on anxiety, although I’m not sure why.

Maybe it is because I feel disorientated and there is too much going on.. Who knows!

Another example of this was today at work. I was in one of the aisles, and it suddenly got really busy and I felt really trapped and as if everything had got louder than it really was. I have had this feeling several times at work, and always under the same circumstances (busy aisle – too many people and too much noise.)

Luckily I have been able to control it by focusing on my breathing, and in some cases I have been able to leave the aisle in question.

It is really bizarre… I did think that my main issue was depression, but it seems that anxiety is more of an issue than I thought.

I think it is very common for the two (depression and anxiety) to exist alongside each other, and they probably fuel each other as well.

Having been in this anxious state (which has definitely not been helped by my rising stress levels over different things!*) I have now bitten all my nails off, which is sad because I thought I had cracked my nail-biting habbit. Every so often, I get stressed and I end up biting them.. Grr!

So all in all, things are not great at the moment.

I had a day or so where I felt quite optimistic, and have done quite a lot of my work (but not all of it, and it’s probably rubbish anyway..) but that seems to have disappeared now, and I am back in the gloomy worry of whether I can finish this year or not. This morning I had a bit of a melt down… Spent about an hour hiding in my room in the dark, and crying, because I feel like I’m never going to get my work done (and even if I do, it won’t be good enough.)

Having read what I have written here, my perfectionism is glaringly obvious, and it seems incredibily irrational, but at the time it feels like the truth, and feels like there is no way out of this gloom. Even now, rationally, I know that this is irrational, but that doesn’t stop my brain telling me all these things… like how I am useless, a failure, and I can’t do what other people on my course can do, therefore I am not clever enough, and must be useless.

Damn perfectionism….

*Coursework for uni, worrying about going back to uni, stressing about the amount of weight I have put on, the fact my clothes are mostly too small now… etc.


9 thoughts on “Anxiety, depression and perfectionism – intertwined

  1. Bourbon says:

    Love that show 🙂 Glad you got to see it but I can understand why the sudden loud noises/flashing lights made you a bit wired up. It’s very intense stage shows right? xx

  2. behindthemaskofabuse says:

    Those are PTSD symptoms. I can’t handle loud noises either especially sudden ones. Crowds get me too. When I go to Walmart their P.A. system is so loud and they have people constantly using it, I will often stop dead and cover my ears. Those of us who have been traumatized don’t handle noise, or crowds well. You may also find you startle easily. I sure do.
    I’m sorry you’re feeling so awful. For the record, despite what the abusive lies are telling you, you are good enough! xo

  3. maddsuspicions says:

    Hi, I understand what you’re saying about the noises, and all the people. I’ve had lots of similar episodes like that this year, to me it’s been a feeling like being hugely overwhelmed by either what you can see (ie too many people for my liking in the same area) or hear (banging cupboards next door/people talking/loud bangs/sounds outside etc..) Like the other poster above has suggester, maybe mention to the doc about PTSD.

    My doc said to me lots of things i’ve explained do sound like they’re caused by a post trauma stress trigger. Also have had a few flashbacks last year, used to have lots more, and lots of nightmares also. An exaggerated startle response is another symptom, also are you listening or watching out for things all the time? It may be the same with yourself. All the best

    • anxiouselephant says:

      Thanks for your comment. I have been told in the past that I probably have PTSD, but it hasn’t been mentioned since so I’m going to mention it again. The symptoms you are describing sound a lot like me – flash backs, don’t like loud noises/busy places, feel overwhelmed, and so so jumpy! And yes I feel like I am constantly on alert! Hope you are doing okay? xx

  4. Brandon Bored says:

    You say that things aren’t going well at the minute but, if you’re able to focus on your breathing to distract yourself from the anxiety and find calm then, that’s an achievement in itself. 🙂

    Whenever I’m in a pub or any ‘busy’ situation (even work), I feel as the noise and voices of others are so loud that I cannot even hear myself (others struggle to hear me) Yet, everyone else seems able to communicate without much of a struggle.

    Liking the new blog theme, by the way. 😉

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