Photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Rabbit (General Anxiety Disorder)
General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a disorder in which an individual experiences excessive amounts of anxiety and/or worry. Often individuals with GAD worry or obsess over finances, relationships or overall health of friends/family, and are unable to control it. Just over 3% (~6,800,000 people) of the United States population are affected, with women being twice as likely to develop or be affected by it. Currently there is no known cause for GAD however things like family background, age, and environment play a role in the development of the disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (commonly referred to as PTSD) is very common amongst Veterans and Prisoners of War, but is not limited to those groups. PTSD is a disorder that typically develops in individuals who have experienced traumatic events, including, but not limited to instances of terror such as war, and domestic abuse. 7-8 people of every 100 will or have experienced PTSD at some point in their lives, and PTSD is more likely to show up in women than in men.
Eeyore (Major Depressive Disorder)
Major Depressive Disorder is typically characterized by a loss of interest in normal activities that usually cause a significant impairment in daily life and activity. Other symptoms include low self-esteem and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and despair. Women are twice as likely to develop Major Depressive Disorder due to hormonal changes while undergoing puberty/menstruation, pregnancy and/or miscarriage and menopause. In men, Major Depressive Disorder is characterized by irritability/anger, drug/alcohol abuse and increased promiscuous activity.
Ursula (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a (chronic) disorder where an individual has uncontrollable reoccurring thoughts and behaviors that they feel the urge to repeat multiple times. Not everyone with OCD has both aspects; some only have obsessions, some only have compulsions, but in many cases, the individual has both. Obsessions can often be people, places or things, for example numbers can be obsessions. These things can cause anxiety. Compulsions are often ordering things in certain ways, excessive cleaning/hand-washing, and performing certain “rituals” (But just because you double things, doesn’t mean that you have OCD.)
Having any mental illness is scary, in a sense, but there are ways to manage. First, if you’re on them, take your medication(s). If not, seek professional help, or help from friends and family. Take time to do some research and look at treatment options, whether traditional, or alternative. Lastly, remember that your illnesses do not define you. Keep on fighting the good fight.
Dominique is currently studying Psychology at Bridgewater State University with a double minor in Middle East Studies and Music. In her spare time, she is a poet and artist. She hopes to use her voice as both a journalist and artist to empower the unheard.