When you’ve had anxiety and depression as long as I have, over time your mental breakdowns become shorter and more manageable - roughly ten minutes long.
Minutes 1-2: Denial
This is when you try to talk yourself out of it.
“I’m fine! Everything’s fine!”
“This particular intrusive and upsetting thought doesn’t bother me at all!”
“Get over it!”
Minutes 3-4: Anger
This is when you get upset because you can’t.
“YOUR PROBLEMS ARE LITERALLY NOTHING.”
“YOU ABSOLUTE PIECE OF SHIT.”
“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME.”
“WHY AM I LIKE THIS.”
“I HATE MYSELF.”
Minutes 5-6: Bargaining
This is when you try to utilize your coping mechanisms to distract yourself.
“Maybe if I just eat/drink/read/play some video games/take a nap I’ll feel better.”
“Nah, I’ll probably just feel worse.”
“Maybe I’ll try the Suggested Tips for Calming Yourself Down: color/meditate/go for a run/talk to someone, maybe then I’ll feel better.”
“But that hasn’t exactly helped before.”
Minutes 7-8: Depression
This is when coping mechanisms are too exhausting to even attempt.
“My brain is a prison.”
Minutes: 9-10: Acceptance
This is when you’re numb enough to wipe away the tears and just get on with your life.
“Okay. I need to stop.”
“It’s fine. I’m fine.”
“Not really, but whatever… I need to go to class/finish my homework/eat dinner/do laundry/go to bed...”
I am a senior English major in Boston.