Anxiety is annoying. That’s not usually the first thing you hear people say about this particular mental illness, but it’s the main cause of my grievances with the disorder.
Many people struggle with some form of anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population.
The National Institute for Mental Health explains that, for a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, and mine is classified as a panic disorder. I classify it as the “annoying” disorder.
Generally speaking, a panic disorder entails panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden and come without warning. There is sometimes an emotional trigger, but the attacks are largely uncontrollable. There is no way to effectively prevent one from happening, but there are ways to get out of it quicker.
So, why is it the “annoying” disorder you may ask?
- Making plans far in advance never turns out well. (I might be feeling 100% calm and collected one day, but the next being near people feels like an impossible task).
- Having to explain to friends (especially new ones) why you don’t want to hang out.
- Having to explain to teachers why you couldn’t make it to class.
- Expressing unnecessary emotions in public places, resulting in unwanted attention.
The list goes on.
The thing about anxiety disorders is that, for the people who don’t have them, they don’t seem life altering. I get a lot of, “Just calm down, you’re fine” and “you’re not physically ill, suck it up.” However, for the people who do experience them, they hinder every decision made.
The point I am trying to make is that having anxiety would not be as difficult to have if everyone understood it. The fear and judgment connected to anxiety disorders tends to fuel the anxiety rather than help it.
Stay informed. Be respectful.
Much love and coffee,