Real talk: When Anxiety Became A Trend...

Sunday, 2 December 2018

I am worried that this post is going to be a bit of a rant, but at the same time, I feel passionate about this topic (as I am sure many others do) and so I feel like I need a little rant.

Anxiety is a mental illness that unfortunately affects so many people. People who suffer with anxiety and are brave enough to speak about it and share their experience with the view of helping others and ending the stigma should be supported, loved and respected. However, I have seen- several times- people being told that they are 'attention seekers', they are 'copying X' and are just 'joining a trend' when they share they have anxiety.

This deeply saddens me, not only because I know what it is like to suffer with anxiety, but because anxiety is an actual illness that affects people daily. It affects everyone differently, there is no rule book stating how everyone with anxiety feels because no universal feeling exists. After bravely sharing something so personal the last thing one needs is hate and criticism.

With the hard work of many and the pure courage of many, people are slowly breaking down stigmas attached to mental illness such as anxiety, why create yet another barrier for people ? I am sure there are many people who are afraid to share their story in fear of being accused of following a trend/making it up/exaggerating or being belittled by being told 'everyone gets anxious'.

Maybe more people than ever before have anxiety, but more people than ever before are active on social media and feel the constant pressure to meet certain standards. Social expectations seem to be constantly rising. We are used to communicating online, making it harder for people to interact socially- in *real* life. Or maybe mental illness is actually spoken about now and therefore more people realise that they are actually suffering.

I think people who are admitting that they have anxiety- or any other mental illness for that matter- should be praised. Not because mental illness should be glamourised, but because in an online world full of so much criticism, opening up can be so scary. A supportive comment could mean the world to that person.

Anxiety is not a trend, it is not 'trendy'. It is a real problem for so many.
Giving a label to a mental illness is only adding to stigma, which we do not need at all!

If you would like to read more about pressure and positivity, you can do that here.

Ellie x

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