As the title of this blog would suggest, I suffer from anxiety. I’ve just got back home from an appointment with my psychotherapist, and as strange as it feels talking about something so intensely personal, I feel like I need to talk about this.
Anxiety. I feel like the word has been thrown around a lot lately by many people, from bloggers to Youtubers, and that the world and his wife now claims to suffer from clinical anxiety. Whilst I strongly agree that it is nothing but positive that the stigma attached to acute mental health has been largely ousted, or is at least on its way to be, I feel as though it is used too generally. Crippling anxiety is not feeling a little bit overwhelmed when stuck in a lift or feeling a bit uncomfortable in a busy room – I feel like this is normal for most people to feel this way – but it is something that impedes you from living a normal life.
I am by no means an expert, and I wouldn’t ever claim to be. I can only talk from personal experience. I have suffered with anxiety and depression for over 5 years now, however it is only in the last few months that I have sought professional help. For a long time I told myself it will get better by itself or it’s just a part of who I am and something I need to learn to live with. This approach, however, resulted in the problem escalating to the point where I no longer have any friends to speak of and a trip to Sainsbury’s is simply out of the question. If any of you out there can relate to this, then do not ignore it. This is the most salient point I can make from my own experience and mistakes. Maybe if I had sought help years ago, it would never have got to this point and my university experience would not have been, for the most part, ruined. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Just because you can’t see you are broken on the inside doesn’t mean it can’t and shouldn’t be fixed.
I find it hard to believe when Youtubers or beauty bloggers claim they suffer from anxiety. Maybe this is unfair, and I’m sure that it can manifest itself in many different ways from person to person and that everyone’s experience is different, but for most anxiety sufferers, talking into a camera to thousands, if not millions, of people on a daily basis borders on the unthinkable. For me, just walking down the high street or taking the short walk from my dorm to my lectures is agonisingly painful and something that fills me with dread, let alone doing it with a camera pointing in my face narrating my every move. Call me cynical, perhaps I am, but I feel it is important to draw this distinction between feeling a bit nervy to suffering from real, clinical anxiety. It is not something that should be trivialised and made to seem harmless and easy to deal with – because it isn’t.
I’m not sure I feel quite ready to share my own personal experience with anxiety and depression, a lot of which I have never voiced aloud, but I definitely want to in time.
That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.