One main point I would like to get across to society: if someone has anxiety, it does not mean they are a weak-minded person. This stigma of people with mental illnesses needs to be addressed. I have been vocal about having a mental illness and want to help those who do not suffer from it to better understand where we come from. Some of us have reasons for our anxiety or depression but some do not, sometimes it is genetic. I acknowledge it can be very frustrating dealing with people who struggle with anxiety or depression (P.S: I only speak of these two because I have experience with them, but understand and am aware that there are other mental illnesses). I understand it can be frustrating and annoying for our loved ones to constantly deal with us and keep in mind that we have these issues so that they don’t become angry with us when we don’t respond how they think we should.

For employment reasons a lot of people shy away from revealing that they suffer with anxiety/depression because they don’t want to appear weak to their employer. We don’t want our employer to feel like we are not mentally capable of handling stress. I feel this is a huge barrier to getting out awareness. I have thought about this for myself when I wonder what people may think if they knew I suffered from anxiety. Will they think I am weak? Well, what others think of me is none of my concern. I will keep churning out articles about living with anxiety and hopefully it helps others feel okay knowing there are other people out there with similar issues. Maybe then more of us will speak out about our own personal struggles instead of appearing to “have it all together.” Social media enables us to compare our lives with other peoples’ lives. Our social image is everything. But what happens in between the photo shoots, that’s reality. Don’t worry too much about what other people post. Their world is their own unique creation, so there’s no need for the “grass is greener” mentality. Comparison is an unnecessary form of mental torture.

When we get past the need to appear to have it all together, maybe then we can move beyond the judgement that comes with having anxiety/depression and be more open, loving, and understanding towards others. We are not weak, we just have anxiety/depression. It does not make us, we try not to let it break us, and we are stronger because of it. The stigma of “appearing weak” is strongly rooted in society, but we are stronger than you think.

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