In my last blog about anxiety I wrote about how it can affect every aspect of your life; from what you have for breakfast to what and who you are. I’d like to expand on that in this blog by going through some assumptions that can be made about us and correcting them from a personal view. (What I say does not go, everyone is entitled to their own view and opinion).
There are a lot of stereotypes about what anxiety looks like – a nervous wreck, control freak, odd, quiet, timid. While this can be true there are lots of other ways anxiety can appear – frantic cleaning, colour coding, procrastinating, organised mess. The loudest person in the room could be suffering from a panic attack and you wouldn’t even know it.
Everyone who suffers from anxiety will experience it in different ways – we’re all different so our symptoms will be too. However we must remember that just because your symptoms may be milder than another persons does not mean that you are any less significant.
I often feel like anxiety is dimmed down by calling it a mental illness when every sufferer knows it’s way more than that. Live a day in the life of one of us and you’ll be exhausted soon enough. I feel as though anxiety is a physical illness as well as a mental one (but that’s just my opinion). Examples of physical symptoms are and not limited to:
- Heart palpitations
- Severe chest pain
- Inability to concentrate and irritability
- Memory loss
- Weight loss/gain
- Break outs
- Mood swings
- Stomach pains
Another assumption made by most is that anxiety makes us incapable. This can be true some of the time but mostly; it makes us some of the hardest working people out there. I personally am more organised, a perfectionist, and control freak! It means I pay attention more; I’m an incredibly fast learner; I will never forget a date, event, birthday etc. A lot of people will come to me for advice on how to do things, I got a management role at the age of 18, and I’m extremely truest because I appear more mature than my age suggests I would be. We have our perks and our downfalls, and a lot of people chose to look at the down falls which I feel is very wrong. Okay don’t romanticise it (because it would be great to be normal) but appreciate yourself for who you are and what you’re good at despite how and why.
A final assumption is that we’re weak and vulnerable, which couldn’t be further from the reality as most will tell you. We’re strong and fierce and brave. We fight battles on a daily basis; we have 2 hours of sleep yet get up and complete our day to the best of our ability; we got dressed and went to work even though we’d have felt much safer in our beds. You don’t see our struggles but they’re there, and likely won’t go. Some of the strongest people I know are mentally ill and society should be taking so much more notice of us.
I know that not everyone will feel the same as I do, and by no means does anyone have to agree with me. Just as long as we are being heard. If I made even one person feel stronger or better then I’ve done my job with this blog.
As always please share with me how you feel and what you think, or maybe some of the assumptions that bother you!
Love always, t x