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The wave - anxiety then depression then anxiety then depression

Community Member

Who else is riding this high and deep wave? Will we ever get off? To the middle calm waters.

Im a CSA survivor/victim (I don’t really know which one I am) and am currently going through the investigation process of bringing my abuser to justice.
I’m at a really frustrating stage at the moment and my moods are all over the place. One week I’m flying high and then the other I’m sinking. My therapist told me this is what happens with trauma. I just don’t know how to get out. I don’t want this horrendous fluctuation all the time.
Is anyone else experiencing this?

11 Replies 11

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi, welcome

Yes, that "wave" as you describe it was present in my life in the 1980's. I set about eliminating it and was successful but it took 22 years!. Removing anxiety from your life is not a straight forward easy process.

Please Google

Beyondblue topic anxiety, how I eliminated it

Beyondblue topic depression and the timing of motivation

Beyondblue topic meditation, he helped me for 25 years- Maharaji

I hope the first post of each of those threads help you along your way.

Repost/reply here or in those threads for further discussion


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Rubybleu

You are, without a doubt, a champion, a victor in the making and a warrior on so many levels.

Wondering whether you find yourself down when you are being deeply challenged and up when you have mastered each gradual challenge in some way. I suppose another way of putting this is...are you graduating through the challenges to get to the highs? An example could be - you can be left feeling down because no one will listen to what you have to say. What you have to say is incredibly valid and important. Suddenly, someone comes along who not only listens but reveals to you a truth about your self. They say to you 'Look only for those who will listen. The rest will do nothing but waste your time and bring you down. You are a powerful person whose power and voice is greater than the ignorance and foolishness of others'. Suddenly you feel heard and you feel powerful. You are on a high until the next challenge comes along, which may involve the ignorance of someone on your team you need to unemploy. The challenge in this case may involve working through guilt. You can feel bad about dismissing them because they're basically a nice person, yet the challenge remains to dismiss them. You dismiss them, work through the guilt and then you're on a high again, until the next challenge comes along. In fact, each challenge is reforming you to be a greater version of yourself, each time. In reforming yourself, you may eventually reach a point where you look back and say 'You know what, I barely recognise the person I was 5 years ago. I am nothing like that person'. You went from I am fearful to I am fearless. I am a victim to I am a victor. I am someone who feels weak to I am someone who has always been strong but has only now come to recognise this. The list goes on. Watch out for each tiny or great achievement that reforms you and do not tolerate foolishness from others if you can help it. You deserve only the best in this heroic journey of yours.

I have found that ongoing reformation can definitely feel like a roller coaster ride at times.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Rubybleu, I particularly dislike it so much when children are abused, their innocence and trust they had once believed in with somebody stolen away, and definitely feel the pain you're suffering from, I am so deeply sorry and hope the courts deal with this person in the appropriate way.

To bring this person through the legal system is going to change your attitude, your outlook on life and you maybe asking 'why', something that will be disturbing and II dearly hope you do have someone who can be next to you and understands this trauma you have to face again.

Each day maybe different, where anxiety is stronger than depression and the other days where it's the opposite.

Are you able to determine which one of these is more prominent than the other, that's not easy to know, because one day it's one then the next day it's the other.

Ask your therapist to help you understand why one dominates the other, but please get back to us, and again I feel for you.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Rubybleu,

Thanks for your post. You've been given some great support already but I thought I'd jump in anyway - because yes, I have. I'm actually in the midst of some serious storms at the moment (if I can keep using metaphors!). I've been very up and down, sometimes feeling fine, othertimes eh, or full of anxiety or extremely low.

Your therapist is right in that it is part of trauma. I'm in therapy which is why this is happening to me but it makes sense it would happen to you during this process- I guess in a way it is a little like therapy because it takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to do what you are doing.

Please know that it won't always be this way. Everything that you are going through sounds really hard, but one day it won't be - and I think then all the moods will be able to settle.

Your therapist can also help reassure you of this - I know that it's intense but it's not forever.


Thank you so much rt. I’ll have a look at them all and let you know how I go.

Thank you so much therising! Sometimes I feel like it’s caused by external factors but then other time’s I feel like I’m sinking for no apparent reason. I know this is from trauma but it’s a strange feeling for me because I’ve always had anxiety but the depression is a new thing and is the reason why I have brought my abuse to the surface after 20yrs of hiding it. I just couldn’t hide it anymore and had a breakdown.

Community Member
Thank you Geoff. Yes I agree, child sexual abuse is absolutely abhorrent and affects the rest of your life in every way. I can’t even explain how much it affects me even though I seem like a normal functional human being.
The lows are definitely more prevalent at the moment but I don’t know if I think this just because I never experience this before - was only ever generalised anxiety.
My therapist has warned me that this wave will get worse before it gets better and to expect hard emotional times to come due to the legal case. Absolutely terrifying!

Thank you romantic thief.

I hope we both get to the calm waters soon! My therapist has told me that it’s going to get worse before it gets better which is really hard for me to think about.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Rubybleau

Do you feel like you're facing emotional exhaustion on a couple of different levels:

  1. I imagine living with anxiety of this magnitude must be incredibly tiring, working your body's systems up on a regular basis, in relation to the overwhelming stresses
  2. It is said that, if we are sensitive enough, a false sense of self (under certain circumstances) cannot be maintained without the pain becoming unbearable. This false or sometimes depressing sense of self begins to break down. What triggers the breakdown isn't always clear, perhaps things have simply become intolerable. In listening to people who have made their way up through and out of their depression, many will testify to the fact that breaking down all the false beliefs they'd been led to is what led them to find the absolute truth about them self. This is where emotional exhaustion becomes about venting or exhausting the emotions which do not reflect the truth of who we are, the ones that lead us to believe we are less than. With this kind of exhausting, there can be a lot of tears and a lot of repressed anger that comes out

Not sure if it will be of any help but looking into the topic 'The dark night of the soul', whether from a psychological or a spiritual perspective, may be of some help. This angle looks more at an overall process (both the sh***y and liberating aspects) of personal reformation. It's actually quite an interesting topic.

I'm glad you have support with your therapist as well as having come here for support. There are incredibly amazing people here who deeply care about seeing you through the toughest of times, even if those times include you simply wanting to vent. I imagine you have so much to vent, so many emotions to exhaust.

You are a powerful person in the process of obvious painful reformation. I wish with all my heart that, through this process, you are given the gift of discovering how truly amazing and brilliant you are. You shine light on the courage it takes to make a difference.