People often don’t take anxiety seriously. They would even think you fake it, for any given reasons, whether it be skipping school/work, or anything else. Why ? Why would it not matter as much as any other kind of illness ?
I personnally strongly believe that anxiety can become really problematic if you don’t do anything about it, if you don’t learn to live with it, or learn to control it. What I mean is, even if I know how hard it can be to control the stress coming from it, there are a few things to try to help yourself handle the situation better. It could be talking about it, getting help for it, taking care of yourself, and more. It is just for yourself, not to please anyone else.
I have been dealing with anxiety for as long as I can remember, and even if some periods of my life have been better than other ones, anxiety is still a thought away. But, all my life, I’ve heard things like :
- « Stop faking it »
- « C’mon, you could at least try ! »
- « Stop listening to yourself too much »
- « Some people have it worse »
- « It’s just in your head »
And so on. Plus, if you have anxiety, you might know hearing all of the above… Only makes it worse ! Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean it is not real. And if you have anxiety, just know you matter. Your opinion is valid. And you can talk about it without feeling guilty or ashamed or irrelevant !
It is statistically proven that, in the US, anxiety is the most common mental illness. So why would it not be taken seriously by people around you, when it is a proven fact that it does exist and it does affect anyone like me, like you ?
Anxiety has the power to take all over you. Your thoughts, your behavior, your social life and interactions. Yet, some still think it is not an illness. And it makes me sick (ha!) to see how much people sometimes don’t care about it. I am having a high level of anxiety for the past few weeks : it started a little bit before Christmas, and got worse just after Christmas, and it is getting quite problematic in my everyday life lately. Still, I am being told I am faking it, but no one knows how much I am trying, because that’s another thing we can’t see : the work you are doing on yourself while trying to convince yourself you can beat anxiety. And you shouldn’t feel alone in this. I shouldn’t feel alone in it !
If you feel like you are alone, or if you feel like your anxiety doesn’t matter, let me tell you something :
Anxiety matters too. And you can make it through !
Why does it matter ? I don’t even know if I should answer this. The answer is obvious, isn’t it ? Anxiety matters because it makes people suffer. It keeps them, me, you, away from doing what you need to do, or what you want or love to do. It makes you miss opportunities, it makes you question your life constantly.
I think somehow, and I will develop this someday soon, anxiety has its positive effects on us, because it makes us grow new skills, and makes us more aware of certain aspects of life. It helps us have attention to details (maybe way too much sometimes ?) and if we could all learn to live peacefully with it, anxiety would eventually make us stronger.
But, once again, it doesn’t mean we should suffer from it without getting help, or without having someone to listen to us and most importantly, to take us seriously. We matter. Anxiety matters.
Do you suffer from anxiety ? If so, what are your tips to beat it ?
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