5 Myths About Anxiety To Shut Down Immediately

February 6, 2019

Anxiety is often mistaken for being shy or being a worrier, but unless you suffer from it, you will never understand how much more it is than that. It can affect your everyday life from the moment you wake up until you get to sleep. Just like a physical illness, mental illness deserves the same recognition and compassion, and this myth is something that detracts from that. Alongside the psychological symptoms of anxiety including worrying and feeling uneasy, there are many physical symptoms which tend to get forgotten about. These symptoms include dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches and nausea to name just a few.

PLEASE, don’t dismiss or play-down anxiety as an illness if you don’t ‘get it.’ It affects millions of people’s lives everyday, and just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

At the age of 16 when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I felt like I was walking around with a sign on my forehead telling the world I had a mental illness. However, 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental illness within their lifetime, so you will pass many people on the street who are also fighting their own battles. Can you point them out from the crowd? Most likely not. Remember – anxiety and other mental illnesses can affect anyone.

This has to be one of the most infuriating misconceptions I have come across when it comes to having a mental illness. I am a chronic over-thinker and catastrophiser so I tend to fear the worst case scenario may happen and worry a lot. When people haven’t been able to understand this, even after I have explained, I have received comment such as “just be positive” or “stop worrying so much” which of course, don’t help at all! Trust me, I wish it was a case of just being able to flick a switch to stop my brain being in over-drive!

Anxiety is wired into how my brain works, and it takes more than a comment from someone else to change my thought patterns. A mixture of therapy and patience with myself has helped improve my negative thought patterns for sure, but it can be a life-long battle. Never tell someone to “snap out” of something they desperately wish they could!

Stigma around medication for mental illness is very much real but it literally saves thousands of people’s lives. Yes, other methods such as CBT, therapy and mindfulness are all well and good, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. The waiting list to get therapy in the UK is LONG and sufferers need something in the interim to live a relatively normal day to day life. If you had chronic headaches you would take pain relief, so why is it any different for a mental illness? Citalopram and Propranolol have meant I can handle everyday life relatively well and have gotten me through tough times.

It is incredibly sad that some people think mental illness is a way to get attention. From my experience, it is the complete opposite! I never wanted anyone to single me out because of my anxiety and did everything in my power to appear ‘normal.’ I see people on social media being trolled for talking about their mental health and I feel it is disgusting people could even suggest talking about mental health is a way to get attention. Anxiety is not something I asked for but I talk about it to help others out there who may be feeling lost or alone.

H x

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.