A Is For Anxiety

With encouraging reports documenting the rise in Mental health awareness floating around popular media platforms, it could be argued that things are looking up when it comes to the overall well-being of our minds.

Coming in all different shapes and forms, the experiences of anxiety sufferers can often dramatically vary from person to person. In an era where pressure caused anxiety can swoop in from several aspects of life, anxiety suffering is often swept under the carpet of adolescence and accepted as a painful, frequently crippling part of growing up. Despite many now understanding the number of flaws in social media, the constant flow of media outlets which still, even if unintentionally, enforce the ‘perfect life’ template can’t be ignored. Often involuntarily distorting an individual’s sense of achievement, self-worth and how they view society’s expectations of themselves. From pre-teens to those looking into their 30’s, the millennial generation full of innovation, aspiration, and accomplishment has arguably grown up facing a multitude of self-conjured expectations. Perhaps due to the pressures implemented by the instant gratification, our peers have the power to grant,  or due to own self-inflicted judgments, a very small portion of us could truthfully say that showcasing the imperfections we harbor is an easy task to undertake – even for the bravest of souls.

Despite the general awareness of the illness undoubtedly on the increase, worryingly it appears that general knowledge and understanding of anxiety is yet to truly reflect reality, with the label frequently being used as the scapegoat word for those with ‘dramatic tendencies’. It may be said that due to such ill-informed judgments, Mental health and its sufferers are still fighting to lose an unjustifiable stigma. Due to such ignorance, sufferers often can find themselves alone, lost within the dark maze of the panic disorder.

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Similar to the effects that anxiety has on each individual, it seems mechanisms that can soothe the symptoms come with varying levels of effectiveness for everyone who experiences anxiety. From learning ways to accept that not every thought that enters your mind is accompanied by absolute truth, to finding passions which can switch focus from the negative to the positive; full exploration of one’s personal anxiety appears to be vital when looking to successfully navigate it. Reassuringly It appears that the existence of outlets in which encourage individuals to feel safe in exploring their anxiety is on the up. With campaigns such as MQ: Transforming Mental Health and Mental Health Awareness Week paving the way.

Though with still a long way to go, it seems the right steps are slowly being taken to remove the negative connotations associated with the many unexplored branches of our Mental health. With more people than ever searching and hoping to connect with others who have shared similar experiences, an absolutely crucial step has to be to remove the stigma that Anxiety, and its sufferers, have been so undeservedly partnered with. As acceptance and understanding continue to sculpt the way Mental health is perceived in society, there’s a distinct sense of hope that soon enough we will celebrating our flaws rather than doing our utmost to disguise them.

It seems when your biggest fear is your own mind, and its ability to completely eclipse your own sense of self, all anyone can really rely on is the courage to seek help from those around you. So, let’s start talking.

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