Rethink Mental Health

“It’s not the stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it”

Public Domain

“It’s not the stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it”

Has stress taken over your life? Are you hurting inside? Overwhelmed more than usual? This may be caused by a well-known disorder known as anxiety. Students and adults all around the globe may suffer from anxiety and not know it. 

Anxiety is defined as a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically causing compulsive behavior or panic attacks. The ADAA says that anxiety affects about 40 million adults age 18 and older, and 25.1% of children age 13 to 18 in the United States. 

Anxiety can cause teens to perform poorly in school, skip important social events, and miss experiences that would eventually help form their character. 

I live with anxiety but you probably would not notice it much if you saw me out and about living my life because I learned that keeping myself busy and being out of my house is how I learned to manage my mental health. 

You may be thinking: “But I thought people with anxiety loved being at home?” To answer that, yes some people find that their anxiety or other symptoms are easier to cope with at home when they are living on their own terms and not being watched by others. But for me, being stuck at home just makes things so much worse. When I am alone in my thoughts, my mind starts to go places where the negativity creeps in and then panic starts. 

I hate being that person that just says: “Oh, I have anxiety.” For me, it makes me feel like I am only saying it for attention when in reality, I am calling for help. Do you really think I wanted this? I did not want to be diagnosed with anxiety. When you tell us that we are being dramatic and just looking for attention, take a second to think about what you are saying to us. Nobody wants this. 

People have this theory that when someone has anxiety, it’s constant. Anxiety comes in waves. There are days I can make it through without having to take medication or even to stop and breathe. I can smile and laugh, I can go to school, go out with my friends. I know how difficult it is to understand how one day I can be fine but then the next, I am not able to get out of my bed. 

Anxiety almost never fails to make you think the worst of every situation. For example, if someone doesn’t answer my text, well then that’s it, they no longer like me. Someone is busy? Forget it. They just have better things to do with their time than spend it with me. I sound ridiculous right? These are the thoughts that go through not only my mind, but everybody else’s because of anxiety. It makes trust nearly impossible. 

Here’s the thing: Anxiety can be pretty heavy and scary stuff. It is not a visible injury, but that doesn’t make it any less legitimate. We need people in our lives who are willing to help us and support us and understand that we need a lot of that help and support. 

Mental Health Awareness Month is all throughout the month of May. Please, if you are feeling sad, lonely, depressed, etc, reach out for help. It is not a bad thing to get the help that you need. Don’t be afraid to reach out. If you are feeling symptoms of anxiety or depression, please contact your doctor. You are not alone because there are so many people out there who love and care for you and just want what is best for you so let them help.