Mental Health Spotlight: Anxiety, Depression & Insomnia

mental health, mental illness, mental health spotlight, mental health awareness, mental illness awareness, depression, anxiety, insomnia, paperbackadventures, paperback adventures, bookishly bree

Hello everyone ♡
My name is Brianna and I blog over at Bookishly Bree ( and today I will be talking about my mental illnesses. I talk about it sometimes on my blog, with tricks and what I do to deal with them, and today I will be sharing them with you guys.

I deal with three things:
& Insomnia.

I began having signs of depression immediately after starting to be homeschooled (about eight-nine years ago) and began living with my grandparents for a short while. My Dad was in the Army and away most of the time while my Mom was going downhill with fibromyalgia, MS, bulging disks, etc. and I never got out of the house. I didn’t have any social interaction with anyone near my age and then, the depression hit me. I was alone. I spent most days just watching TV alone in a dark room playing stupid games on a tablet.

I still deal with depression, and I’ve started growing used to it. It’s like a friend that you never wanted but never goes away. I have hope it will someday, though.

Some days/weeks/months it gets worse than usual and all I want to do is stay in my bedroom, away from my family.  I don’t get online. I can’t focus enough to read. I just stare blankly at the wall trying to get myself functioning.  It’s hard to do my regular day-to-day things I do. I can’t even talk to my family most days without almost crying or screaming.

I also want to say that a lot of people use the word suicide, or ‘I’d kill myself if I (did that, looked like that, etc.)’ and that’s nothing to joke about. I recall memories from my childhood, my year-older cousin trying to irritate me, make me worry, or try to get me to do stuff I didn’t want to do by standing on a chair and nearly getting his head cut off by the fan. He was smiling, like he’d played the best joke in the world or that he won a battle. That. That was horrible.  Especially for a child to endure.  I recall my mom being suicidal and leaving texts and notes to me when I was about seven, telling me to check them if she never comes back. I think that never did well with me, and I’m not blaming my family for the problems that I have had and deal with today, but I am saying when you grow up in an environment like that, it’s not mentally healthy.

When I did/do go out I am afraid of speaking up. Talking to anyone. I have to literally force myself to push a few words out enough to not seem like a total beotch. Fortunately, this does not take place on the Internet so I still have some pride. Right? I have had four panic attacks, which I know is nothing compared to what a lot of people go through, but, They. Were. Hell. They took place alone in my bedroom, and in one week. Anyhow, while I have zero ‘irl’ friends, I have met tons of great people who try to talk to me every day or so, online. Including my best friend, Mackenzie, who has saved me way more than she knows.

My insomnia didn’t really start acting up until last year, and in 2017, after the loss of my Grandfather. I’m up nearly 20-30 hours before I can actually go to sleep. I know a lot of people who have it way worse than I do, so I call them my nighttime buddies. We’re up with the stars. When I do sleep, it’s not good. I wake up every hour or two.
(I shall share a poem I wrote about how the waking up every hour or two feels.)

I wake up in a haze.
In that short amount of time.
Panic floods my veins
and I can’t think.
With an intake of breath, Everything floods back.
The thoughts overtake me.
I try countless times to fall back into the dream world I so wish to be in.
By the time I am,
It’s daybreak.

I’m getting sidetracked, sorry.

The way I deal with my depression is I take one day at a time.

My advice to you is to breathe. If you need to take a break from something, then do it. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more important than you. Everything else can wait. Everyone can wait. Take care of yourself, okay? I know I can never promise that everything will be okay, but I know there are people out there who will never leave you. I will never leave you. I may not know you, but if you need someone and need to reach out, I’m here. Just a click away.

My advice for anxiety is that if people aren’t willing to give you time, then forget about them. They don’t deserve you. If they just look past you when you finally get yourself to talk, then MAKE them listen. I know it’s hard. God, it’s hard. But trust me, it feels nice when you look back and remember what you did. You forced yourself, but that was good for you. You let someone in, even if it was just a tad. I know that’s more for social anxiety, so more advice is about to come. Well, I shouldn’t call it advice,  just stuff that helps me. If someone is making you stressed, leave the room, have a breather.  Maybe even get a therapy dog. My dog, Bella, even though she’s not a therapy dog, helps me quite a lot. She sleeps on the bed with me, and when I’ll wake up she’s there and cuddles closer. She knows when I’m more depressed than usual. Suicidal, even.  She’ll try to make me sit down.

A few things I do for insomnia include drinking lots of tea (yes I know it’s supposed to make you stay awake but it had no effect on me), from my favourite, Plantation Mint with five sugar cubes to Green, and to the sleepy time tea all put out by Bigelow. While it doesn’t technically help me deal with my insomnia, it helps calm me down.

I read. A lot. Again, this doesn’t really help me but just relaxes me enough to even take a short little nap at night for about two hours. Sometimes I take a sleeping pill (Restoril). They don’t really help me at all, but they do make me drowsy to the point I have to sit down. I watch a lot of YouTube videos. Whether it be Booktube, music or trying to figure out what sexuality I am. Last but not least, I write. I know it may not seem like the most helpful thing, wither writing a blog post or writing my current project, it’s something to keep me busy. Something to help get my mind off the things that keep it wandering.

I’m sorry if this was too short or even too long, but I enjoyed sharing it.
I thank all of you who read this. 🙂

Love, Bree ♡


Thank you so much for sharing your story, Bree! You can keep up with Bree on her blog and on Twitter.

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  1. This is insightful! I’ve never experienced insomnia so reading these gave me even a glimpse of life with one. And Bree’s poem is absolutely beautiful! This reminds me of Owl City’s Fireflies which makes sense because it’s also about insomnia 😊

  2. I really appreciate you sharing your story with us, love! ❤️ Although I don’t have insomnia, I have restless and sleepless nights every few weeks, and they can certainly be frustrating. And, I definitely agree with you that people shouldn’t make suicide a laughing matter. It’s a real struggle for some people and shouldn’t be talked about so carelessly. Thanks again for sharing, Bree!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I struggle with anxiety and depression, and I know how hard insomnia can be. I gave up caffeine entirely for a while since it was a major anxiety trigger, but now that I can drink it again I do love having tea in the evening. Even with caffeine, it helps you unwind!

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