Hey lovely’s! One of the reasons why I create this blog was to be able to share my story with you which is something that I’ve only ever done in one blog post. By my story I am referring to my anxiety story and the one post I was talking about was a poem I wrote called Living With Anxiety where I shared my story with you and then shared the poem on what anxiety feels like, at least what it felt like for me. I’ve decided to start doing more post on anxiety, depression, and things relating to mental health. I don’t want to overload you guys because I like to do a lot of different kinds of post as you know so I think I’ll post mental health related blog post about once or twice a week. Today’s post is on myths and misconceptions about anxiety disorders because spoken from someone who suffers from general anxiety and social anxiety I can tell you that their were a lot of myths that even I myself believed before actually experiencing anxiety. Now let’s get started.
DISCLAIMER: THIS WAS WRITTEN BASED ON MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH ANXIETY AND SOCIAL ANXIETY. STATEMENTS THAT ARE TRUE TO ME AND MY SITUATION MAY NOT BE TRUE TO YOU AND YOUR SITUATION.
MYTH: It’s best to ignore negative thoughts.
Ignoring and suppressing negative and anxiety producing thoughts only makes the thoughts stronger. In or to move on you have to deal with the thought and find the best possible solution to get on with your day without letting yourself enter an anxiety attack.
MYTH: Anxiety isn’t a “real” illness.
As someone who suffers from anxiety every single day this state is the most outrageous and annoying statement that I have ever heard. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not really there. Anxiety is an illness that 40 million people suffer from. If you tell a person with anxiety that anxiety isn’t a real illness you are going to make them feel alone in this fight and even more anxious than they did before.
MYTH: Someone with anxiety should stay away from stressful situations.
First off, especially with someone with social anxiety you can’t just avoid every social situation. Trust me, I tried avoiding school and then had to deal with the consequences. Unfortunately when someone suffers from anxiety the easiest solution appears to be avoidance but the longer you avoid something the bigger the problem gets. You can’t stay locked up in your bedroom for the rest of your life just because you don’t want to have to talk to anyone.
MYTH: Anxiety is just someone who worries too much.
Anxiety is an actual mental illness and is not someone just worrying too much. This is a common thought for people who have never experienced anxiety because people who don’t have actual anxiety disorders don’t truly understand what it’s like to be completely anxious. Every body worries but not every is consumed by the worrying. There is a fine line between worrying and having anxiety. It’s hard for people who have never experienced anxiety to sympathize or understand what people with anxiety disorders go through.
MYTH: People with anxiety can snap out of it.
Anxiety is not a choice, trust me if it were, no one would have anxiety. I have heard this a lot whether it be in a YouTube video or in an article where people say to just snap out of it. If you break your leg can you just snap out of it, I didn’t think so.
MYTH: Medication is the only treatment for anxiety disorders.
Medication can be helpful in certain situations but their are other treatments that work just as well like talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. The treatment plan depends on the person. Every single person is different so every single person needs an individual treatment plan. There are alternative treatments that have shown to help improve anxiety disorders such as meditation, acupuncture, and yoga.
MYTH: You can always tell when someone has an anxiety disorder.
This is so false. No one knew I had an anxiety disorder until I spoke up because I was always smiling and looked happy when on the inside a million things were running through my mind. Most times you can’t even tell when a person is panicking because it all goes on within a person own mind and it’s hard to recognize a person physical characteristic when anxious.
MYTH: Social anxiety is just being introverted.
I am introverted and I have social anxiety but being an introvert is a personality trait and social anxiety is an illness. Someone who is introverted values alone time but that doesn’t mean that when in a social situation they are anxious, it just means they would rather be alone or in a small group.
MYTH: You always need a reason to be anxious.
This is again so false because most of the time when I’m anxious I have no idea why I’m feeling that way. It’s incredibly difficult for someone to call themselves down when they don’t know what is causing the problem. You don’t need a reason to be anxious you just are.
MYTH: Anxiety is all in your head.
If anxiety was “all in your head” it would be a lot easier to treat. By saying anxiety is all in your head you’re basically calling someone crazy which is only going to promote more anxiety.
MYTH: Always console and care for your loved one with anxiety.
Being compassionate towards someone with anxiety is something everyone should do but when I’m in the middle of a panic attack the last thing I want is someone telling me that everything is going to be okay because no matter how many times they say this it’s not going to help. We understand that your heart is in the right place but you can’t be talked out of anxiety. The best thing for me when I’m already in a panic attack or anxious state of mind is to be left alone.
MYTH: People with anxiety are weak and can’t handle life as well everyone as well.
Wow, it must be opposite day. People with anxiety are the strongest people to go through a constant internal battle every day and make it out alive.
MYTH: Anxiety get’s better with time, just wait it out.
No it won’t. Many people with an anxiety disorder wait years to seek medical treatment and their anxiety only get’s worse. Just like any illness, the faster you catch and treat the problem, the faster you’ll get back to full health.
Thanks so much for checking out this post. I really hope this was helpful for you. There are many more post about mental health and anxiety to come so look out for those. See you tomorrow in my next post. Bye! ❤