Hi! Nice to meet you. I am a person with lifelong medication-resistant depression as well as anxiety. Here is the trajectory this has taken for me:
Starting at approximately age 5: I worry constantly about random things and obsess that one or both of my parents will die. Since it’s the 70’s at this point, no one really does anything (because there was nothing to do). My mom tries to constantly reassure me, but the “something is wrong” feeling is definitely always there. This goes on for about three years, until
Age 8: Maybe because I am an anxious little kid and they don’t want to make it worse, my parents mostly hide their divorce from me, until one day my father shows up at our house and declares that not only is he already divorced from my mother, but also he is MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE and they are moving out of the country in two weeks (this is only important to the narrative because it is unfortunate events like this that heighten an already-existent problem). My “something is wrong” feeling is validated, and from then on, I bite my nails, have nightmares, and have a constant stomach ache. My mom and I move to where my grandparents have retired (in California). My grandmother has dysthymia (chronic mild depression) for sure, and is constantly saying negative things, either that could happen or have already happened.
Age 14: My mother sends me to a psychologist because I cannot stop worrying, nor can I sit still in class. I go to this psychologist for two years on and off, talk about my feelings, and generally do not get better (although I am helped by the “Reduce Stress and Anxiety” tape that she recommends, a little bit). Between ages 14-16, I generally find that I am barely able to keep a lid on my anxiety, and sometimes I will have what I now understand to be a small panic attack (loss of breath, unreality, fight or flight feeling) every couple of days. This usually centers around me having some version of a stomachache, so the psychologist finally recommends that my mother take me to a gastroenterologist to see if there is actually something wrong with my stomach. After many tests and a delightful barium upper GI series, the gastroenterologist thinks I’m fine, but gives me some strong antacids for when my stomach acts up. This also does not help my anxiety.