UGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I’ve been putting off writing this for so long… way too long, I suppose. But, I am finally getting around to it. I am here today to talk to y’all about a little thing called…
Okay, so not exactly a little thing. I could sit here all day and rattle off facts about how many millions of people suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder and such, but I’m not going to because I don’t think that would be effective for the message I’m trying to portray.
Okay, I’m stalling again. The big idea I’m trying to convey today is this:
Anxiety is real, and causes so many people to suffer every day.
You’re probably thinking: ‘Yeah, I know that. Tell me something new.’ But honestly, you would be surprised by the number of people who still treat these disorders as a joke or a lighthearted worry. Someone can be literally curled up on the floor trying their hardest to just BREATHE, but instead of getting the care they need, they are met with a harsh “What are you doing?” or “Just calm down.” or, worst of all, “Come on, it’s not that big of a deal.”
Look, one of the defining characteristics of an anxiety DISORDER is that something that is not supposed to be a big deal causes lots of distress for said anxious person. If you don’t have an anxiety disorder, it would be impossible for you to fully understand what it feels like.
It feels like your own brain, your own BEING is turning against you. You have little to no control over your own body, and everything is swept up in an all-consuming fear. Deep down, you may even know that it isn’t a big deal, and you try your best to calm down, but you just. can’t. Granted, everyone’s attacks feel differently. This is my personal experience, but the severity still stands for most cases.
Now, let’s get something clear. Under no circumstance, EVER should you pretend you have anxiety or use that word lightly.
If you have some butterflies in your stomach right before a test, don’t just announce, “Oh jeez, I’m just so nervous. I feel like I’m having an anxiety attack.” (Yes, feel free to read that with the most prissy, stuck up voice you can imagine)
I guarantee you the nearest person with an ACTUAL anxiety disorder will glare at you until their eyes hurt.
If you read my description of what an anxiety attack ACTUALLY feels like to me personally, you should understand that anxiety is not a joke, so please don’t treat it like one.
A lot of anxiety attacks have triggers. For me, the most severe anxiety I get is social anxiety.
First of all, it is possible to have social anxiety and still be an extrovert!
If I had a dime for every time I mentioned I have social anxiety and was asked, “Wait, how? You’re so talkative!”
*Insert all the face palms here*
Social anxiety is different from being shy. Some people who suffer from social anxiety ARE shy because of it, but not all people.
Yes, when I am with my friends or people I have known for a while and grown comfortable with, I basically never stop talking. But if I am forced into a situation with a bunch of strangers, or even just acquaintances, the anxiety kicks in and it takes everything in me to just stand up. I will even sometimes say I can’t go to some gatherings with my close friends, simply because the idea of having to face any living person is enough to tear me up inside.
I could go on and on about this for the rest of my life, but I won’t for your sake. All I’m trying to say is that if you know someone with an anxiety disorder, you should take into account everything I just said. Even if you aren’t trying to be insensitive, you can come across as a total jerk without knowing it if you don’t bother to study what an anxiety disorder actually is.
If you have an anxiety disorder, I hope this can help you understand that there are people out there who feel the same problems. I know it can feel like everything, including your own mind, is turning against you, but there are so many people who can relate on a personal level and who want to help you.
I love you all, and I appreciate you taking the time to read about anxiety disorders. I would also encourage you to do some research of your own, because a lot of what I said in here is just my personal experience. To fully understand what it feels like for different people, please read more people’s stories. Thank you! 🙂