You're not alone in this- I'm in a similar position.
When I was 15, I got severe anxiety and depression. I mean, it was so bad that I cried multiple times a day, and the thoughts that terrified me were so vivid that I would wake up ALL NIGHT during my sleep, and I would wake up for several seconds just to panic about my thoughts, before passing out again from sheer exhaustion... And then waking up an hour later for the same thing to happen. I was terrified 24/7 and I was disassociating and it felt like I was in a constant nightmare.
I'm not going to go into too much detail, but let's just say that 7 years ago, I did not
think I would be a functioning adult, and at the time, I certainly didn't think my mental illness would allow me to do nursing. For years I had to avoid certain material, which was almost impossible. TV shows that my family would watch "triggered" me, as did certain comments or ads for news stories that appeared on my phone and various webpages.
Fortunately, I started getting used to my fears and my thoughts. It's not that I dislike them any less, but I understand that the mind can trick you into believing things that aren't true. I've come such a long way, I can't even believe it... There are times when I stop and think "hey, I'm actually okay
right now" and it's such a comforting realization.
Again-- I never thought I would be a nurse. Working in healthcare would have terrified me and I would have thought that there was absolutely NO possible way that it would happen. I'm not completely okay- when discussions about death and dying or mental disorders or suicidal ideation come up in my studies or work environment, I feel it "creep in" to my soul. But I know I can't let that take control of me anymore because I want to do more with my life and I need to get myself together. And quite frankly, it's gotten to be too tiring to be scared and sad all the time.
The best technique to develop is mindfulness
. There are certain things I tell myself, rules that I know exceed my fears and exist regardless of how I might think. I know
that I have a mental illness that makes me think abnormal things. I know
that my mind isn't completely destined to work this way. And I know
that if the world is falling apart around me, that I can still stand and rationally attempt to figure out how to handle the situation, or if I can't, then it's out of my control and I will let life happen the way it will. It's like meditation
, as well. I'm not sitting on the ground, criss-cross applesauce with incense burning and singing "om", but I am freezing my mind when I feel negative mentalities start to creep in and I instead focus on fostering comforting or pleasant thoughts and feelings.
I also surround myself with happy things. Like glitter and pictures of my pets.