The truth behind the mask: anxiety is real

While i was scrolling through my Facebook feed a few months ago, i came accross an article relating the story behind a young woman’s post about anxiety. On the 4th of April, Amber Smith, a british young woman, posted an heartfelt message on her facebook page.

While i was reading her post, i realised how her words hit close to home for me. Here’s what she wrote:

L’image contient peut-être : 2 personnes

God knows why I’m doing this, but people need some home truths..

Top picture: What I showcase to the world via social media. Dressed up, make up done, filters galore. The ‘normal’ side to me.

Bottom picture: Taken tonight shortly after suffering from a panic attack because of my anxiety. Also the ‘normal’ side to me that most people don’t see.

I’m so sick of the fact that it’s 2016 and there is still so much stigma around mental health. It disgusts me that so many people are so uneducated and judgemental over the topic. They say that 1 in 3 people will suffer with a mental illness at some point in their life. 1 in 3! Do you know how many people that equates to worldwide?! And yet I’ve been battling with anxiety and depression for years and years and there’s still people that make comments like ‘you’ll get over it’, ‘you don’t need tablets, just be happier’, ‘you’re too young to suffer with that’

FUCK YOU. Fuck all of you small minded people that think that because I physically look ‘fine’ that I’m not battling a monster inside my head every single day.

Someone actually said this to me one day ‘aren’t you too young to be suffering with anxiety and depression? What do you actually have to be depressed about at your age?’ Wow, just wow.

I’m a strong person, I’ve been through my fair share of crap in life (the same as anyone else) and I will be okay. I have the best family and friends around me and I am thankful everyday that they have the patience to help and support me.

To anyone who is going through the same, please do not suffer in silence. There is so much support around – Don’t be scared to ask for help.

This is why I can’t stress enough that it costs nothing to be nice to others. Don’t bully others, don’t put others down and the hardest one of them all (as we have all done it at some point) don’t judge another person. We’re all human regardless of age, race, religion, wealth, job. So build one another up instead of breaking each other down.

Peace & love guys ☮❤️

EDIT: Please don’t be afraid to share this, there needs to be more awareness. The more awareness there is, the less people who will suffer in silence. 💋

There is so much truth to her words. In the 21th Century, Mental Health is still considered to be less important, less debilitating than physical health. Despite medical progress and research made about it, there still is so much stigma about it. So, i decided to share her post on the blog in order to raise awareness and understanding about mental health.

I have anxiety and i can tell you that it’s an everyday struggle to deal with. Anxiety, along with its inconveniences, is not a constant. Some days, i feel fine. I’m able to do what i have to, what i like to do and enjoy every second of my day. Some days, my anxiety makes me paralyzed. All of the thoughts i have are kept inside and i’m barely thinking straight.

I often heard “It’s all in your head” coming from people who claims to know how i feel. Let them be family or friends, a stranger met because of work or school. Exactly. It’s all in my head and that’s the problem. While others are able to control their thoughts, i have a hard time to do so. No matter how irrational those thoughts can be, it takes me a long time to calm down. And no, telling me to calm down or that i’ll get over it, won’t help at all.

Mental health is a tricky thing. Most of people doesn’t notice it. People don’t realise you do certain things because of it. When you’re being anxious because you have to head out while you didn’t plan it. When your phone start ringing when you didn’t expect a phone call today. When you cancel your plans for night/day for the millionth time because you don’t have the strength to go out. You don’t do it on purpose, of course, but people doesn’t know that. Mental healh is invisible, hiding behind the smile of a person you think you know well. Here’s the thing: if you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

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Mental issues are important issues that deserves to be taken seriously. It’s time to take the barriers down and stop the stigmatisation about it. Mental disorders are not adjectives. They’re real. They’re as real as physical disorders. If you know anyone with mental health issues, don’t judge them. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Try to talk to them and actually listen to what they have to say. Try to understand them. That’s a first step to help them.

To anyone suffering from mental illness, i want you to know that it’s okay. All of this, the struggles, the panic attacks, the anxious feeling that keeps you awake at night and makes you tired when the day comes, everything will be okay. I won’t lie, it will take a lot of time. This is the secret to getting better: patience.

Remember, you’re not alone in this. You’ll never be alone. Reach out to people who can help, who can understand and accept you for who you are. The pain you feel today is the strength you’ll feel tomorrow.

K.

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