I am aware that the title makes this seem like an accusatory piece; I promise it isn’t. It’s just my opinion. The internet is a wonderful place, it helps people and opens oneself unto understanding. In my mind that is incredible. However, sometimes it goes too far.
I was first diagnosed with anxiety at 14 years of age; I chose to ignore this diagnosis as it didn’t make any sense to me. The reason I was so confused was because I didn’t really feel anxious, or so I thought. I was diagnosed because medically, if one has a tight chest without pain or any medical explanation it is a symptom of anxiety. I never had the greatest of childhoods’, I grew up with a crippling feeling of uncertainty, nervousness and plain, old anxiety. However, I was so used to these feelings I assumed they were normal and didn’t question them.
I can’t ever pinpoint the moment I realised that my emotions were not normal, I just know at some point I did realise. I started getting severe anxiety attacks and hiding away, shutting people out. I’m a lot better now, but I still struggle with it. There have been many times where I’d get struck with agonising anxiety, with no apparent cause. It’s horrific and debilitating.
The reason I say that the internet has ruined anxiety is for multiple reasons:
1) It is highly romanticised- look, having anxiety is not precious or cute. It isn’t some big mystery, or the beginning of a love story. It is pain and hardship. It is a struggle that not only hurts the person with it, but also the people around them!
2) It has made people desensitised to realities of anxiety – I am 3000% for reducing the stigma of mental illness. However, people are so used to seeing things on anxiety (especially, the fake, romantic lies); that people no longer have an understanding of the real danger and pain. It gets shrugged off like someone who has the flu. This isn’t right and is an injustice to those who suffer. Especially, those who feel like they have no help!
3) The internet suggests that there’s no hope – this is a downright lie! There is always hope, I promise. I’ve learnt to manage through prayer, mindfulness, writing, and focusing on positives. These things may help you; they may not. Either way, help is possible! There are professionals who can help, friends or a hobby. The truth is, anxiety hasn’t won the battle, but you have everyday you fight! The internet doesn’t often show this part.
I love you all, as always feel free to comment and ask me questions xo
Ps. Sorry fir any grammatical errors, it’s late here