advertisement

Anxiety Stigma

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels an almost permanent sense of inferiority because of my anxiety; if I were to guess, I’d say that’s common across the board for the mentally ill.
It's natural to wonder how to protest if you have anxiety. The protests resonate with us, but it's difficult to go out and raise your voice in solidarity when you live with anxiety.
This post is mainly geared not to others with anxiety, but to any allies who may be reading to better understand how to help someone with an anxiety disorder.
There’s been much in the way of discussion regarding “toxic” cultural practices, and "toxic positivity,” is receiving its due attention. I couldn’t be happier. A culture of toxic positivity poses an active threat to the wellbeing of anyone who is mentally ill.
It’s no surprise that I have very real reservations concerning the role the Internet plays in mental health. I’ve railed against social media’s role in exacerbating mental health issues in the past, and I’m still crestfallen that more people are not following my example. But today, I wish to discuss something that’s talked about even less than social media, because, I think, it’s something that most people don’t take seriously: the role memes play in the mental health conversation.
I’ve written about mental health disclosure on this blog several times in the past. In those posts, I’ve taken a strong stance in favor of the practice, because I am firmly committed to the benefits mental health disclosure brings to those who are mentally ill.
My mental illness will never be cured, but I’m not asking you to think my opinions are the only valid ones. That would be a mistake. All I ask is that you listen and agree if you so choose. That being said, this post is going to touch on the idea of finding a “cure” for mental illness. For some, the idea of being “cured” of their malady is a dream – for me, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never be cured, and, in fact, I don’t want to be cured of my mental illness.
I feel high anxiety in the heat. This is not the first time I’ve mentioned this. I just don’t deal with heat well. I never have. Not surprisingly, July is perhaps the worst month for someone like me, as it’s often more than just hot – it’s unbearably hot.
The increased awareness of people who are mentally ill has led to an increase in the number of people who want to be mental health allies. Both of these things are great, of course. However, if you want to be an ally, there are good and bad ways to do it, and perhaps the most important thing to remember is if you want to be an ally, don’t be selfish.
It's important to divulge your anxiety disorder to important people, and in a previous post, I tried to convince whoever I could that disclosing your anxiety was in your best interest. If you are one of those readers and actually took my advice, thank you. Now, you may need some practical tips for how to divulge your anxiety to others – I hope these can help.