What if the things that can go wrong will go wrong?
Every anxiety sufferer feels like this all the time. No matter how hard you try to think and no matter what how much effort you put in, trying to think positively is almost immediately overridden by negativity. In the worst case scenario, you think that only those negative things will happen and you accept that they will happen.
This is immensely difficult to stop. One solution is to confide in someone. However, from personal experience, even thinking of confiding in someone can sometimes fill you with negativity i.e. thinking that they can't help you, or thinking that whatever they say won't make any difference or make things worse. That question plagued me for so long, acceptance seemed like the only thing to overcome it.
Confiding in someone is only solution to this. Whatever reservations you have, you have to take the risk because there will be someone who will make you feel better. To the confidant, be there for them no matter what. If you reject them, they will feel a lot worse, and they will be asking themselves that more often, and also the following question.
Do people actually care about me?
A question sufferers often ask themselves. The main reason why sufferers like myself think/thought like that is purely because they couldn't think straight. After all, depression and anxiety disorders are very difficult to handle; you don't know what to think.
The role of a confidant, a friend and a family member is vital. Be a friend to the sufferer and be a supportive family member to give them a sense of normality and the thought that there are people who do care about them.
If you are a sufferer yourself and you answer the question "no", that is not true whatsoever, no matter what your head says. There are people who do care about you. The answer will always be "yes".
I don't want people to know. Should I hide my feelings and handle this on my own?
Absolutely not. Over time, you will feel worse and worse. From my experience, the burden was building up more and more and it was causing me more mental harm. As I said before, confiding in someone will do you a lot of good. The burden will diminish and you will be thinking a lot healthier. As times goes by, you will feel more comfortable talking about it, like I do now. Depression and anxiety is definitely not something you should handle on your own.
What if I lose friends?
It depends on how much of a friend they are. If they really are your friends, they will be willing to help you, to reassure you and to be there for you. So don't be afraid to confide in them if you believe you can talk to them.
However, if they don't want to help you without a good enough reason, try to let it go. From personal experience, it is immensely difficult and you start to question whether they have been friends in the first place. You start to believe that they never actually cared about you and you end up feeling much worse than you did before. Unfortunately, in some cases, that is true. But it is very uncommon.
99% of the time, your friends will be there for you and will be willing to support you. Be happy and thankful for that and the 1% will not matter. Sometimes, friendships will have to be worth risking for you to realise who your true friends are.
Will I be treated differently?
Yes, but for the better. I used to think that telling people will mean that I will be treated like an invalid or a mental health patient. Since I told people, they treated me like a normal human being. All those worries were for nothing. If that can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.
It is essential for people to not have a different viewpoint of the sufferer. Because despite suffering from a mental illness, they are still the same person who you have always known. Treat them as if they don't have a mental illness and don't mollycoddle them and they will feel better, mentally and personally.
What if I get abuse?
Try to ignore it. It could hurt at first but over time, it will be forgotten. The main thing you have to remember is that you have a mental illness; it is out of your control. Whatever abuse goes your way, it is not your fault. If the abusers call you selfish amongst other things, they are wrong. Whatever others think of depression and anxiety, forget the few idiots who have a short-sighted view of them.
I never encountered any abuse towards me, but I have read some distasteful comments about depression and anxiety in general. The important thing is by talking about your struggles, you are ready to deal with it and you are gradually conquering it, and it will make you a lot better.