Recently, I have started noticing a lot of content on the Internet about anxiety, how to cope with it and why it is important to speak about it. God knows how difficult it is to not be able to do everyday stuff because something is holding you back. And because I have the same problem, I have read a whole bunch of articles on that topic and I have learned a lot. But most importantly, I have learned that there is not much you can do about it.
But I am not going to write about ways of dealing with it or how it changed my life. There is something else bothering me. It seems like more and more people are sucked into the black hole of stress, panic attacks and anxiety. Or at least they think so. What I think is that we are using those expressions without knowing the real meanings and feelings behind them. Suddenly, we all have some kind of mental illness and we need the whole world to know it.
We are obsessed with mental disorders, we are cool, special and unique. We make jokes about it and we are glorifying things that should not be glorified. It becomes some kind of pride badge, but also an excuse for everything.
“Sorry I couldn’t make it to your mom’s funeral, I had anxiety attack.”
“No, grandma, I really cannot eat, I have anxiety.”
“For the hundredth time, dad, I can’t take the trash out, I’m anxious. GOD!!”
But do you know how it actually feels to be stuck between what ifs and self-doubt? Have you ever felt the heat overtaking your whole body when you find yourself in unexpected and unfamiliar situations? Can you feel the sweat on your palms when shaking hands with strangers? Have you ever really experienced panic attack? I don’t think you know what you are talking about.
Don’t you think we wouldn’t change that if we could? We can do nothing but feel helpless. And that is the worst.
So next time you self-diagnose yourself with anxiety or some other ”clinical disease”, please keep this in mind: having to deal with any kind of unusual mental condition is not something you can carry around like an accessory. I am not saying you should be ashamed of that, just the opposite, but saying you have anxiety just to feel like a special snowflake is a dick move. And you are the reason why our insecurities increase when we find ourselves in your company.
Please stop pretending mental disorders are like Kim Kardashian’s butt that should be on the cover of Paper Magazine. There is nothing fascinating about it. It is just the way we are.