Depression vs Anxiety or Chicken and Egg

I’d originally posted this to my private journal, but then thought that it might provide someone else with a useful perspective or alternate way of looking at things, so I decided to share it here, too:

At least a portion of the depressions I experience seem to be more symptoms of anxiety and inability to mentally focus than primary causes in and of themselves. That’s certainly what’s going on right now. Yesterday, I started getting scattered, unable to focus, and unable to motivate myself to act, while feeling a creeping need to get a lot of things done as soon as possible. In times like these, more and more of the items on my lengthy to-do list seem like they can’t wait anymore and must be done now. The dissonance between need to act and inability to act seems to progress from overwhelming, to despair, and finally shame that I have fallen apart into a useless waste of flesh…again. Then I stew over the perceived failure for days turning anxiety insomnia into rumination insomnia, and making it even harder than normal to bring myself to show up to work. Failing in my personal life is frustrating and embarrassing, but failing in my professional life makes me feel unworthy of employment, so I become reluctant to show up to work and risk not being able to do my job.

Needless to say, this sucks.

Fortunately, these episodes usually don’t last over a week, but they are still rough on me and my employment. I have to resist the urge to quit before I screw up enough to get fired (also plays well into Imposter Syndrome, too). They always do pass, though.

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