My Anxiety Is Not Your Next Trend

My Anxiety Is Not Your Next Trend

My mental health is not cute or trendy


I have had diagnosed anxiety since I was seven years old. Since then I've been in and out of therapy, have tried medication, have cried myself to sleep countless nights, have had panic attacks about things as simple as not getting a text back, and have made my parents sick with worry.

One day in particular though stands out to me. I was a junior in high school and was sitting in my third period English class. I'd just bought a new glass Starbucks cup the night before and had it sitting on my desk. The cup started to slip off of my desk, fell on the ground, and shattered. Everyone was watching me at this point, and I excused myself to go to the bathroom and get some paper towels to clean my mess. I walked back to the classroom, humiliation filling me and paper towels clenched in hand. I could feel myself losing breath and getting anxious, but I managed to calm myself. By the end of the period, everything was cleaned up. Fourth period comes along and I walk to my speech class. I sit at my desk, the period starts, and my teacher puts on a film. I reach out my phone to send a text to my dad about how I broke my new cup. I hear my name called in a stern tone, and am told to put my phone away. I reach in my bag and grab my planner, I start to write in it to keep my mind distracted. I hear my name called in the same stern tone once again. I am told to pay attention and that I am being disrespectful. At this point, the whole class is looking at me. I feel humiliated once again and can feel tears start to come out of my eyes. I need an excuse to leave the classroom, so I ask to go to the nurse.

As I walk down the hall to the nurse's office my vision starts getting blurry and I start getting sick to my stomach. I make a run for the bathroom. I sit in the stall struggling for breath, heart rate spiked, sweat dripping from my palms, and tears dripping from my eyes. I know that I am having a panic attack. I think of everything bad that happened to me on that day and how embarrassed I was. I walk back to the classroom and am asked why I took so long. I'm too scared to give a valid answer and make up a fake one. My teacher called the nurse and finds out that I never went into her office. I'm pulled into the hallway and told that I was a liar, disrespectful, and have lost all of my teacher's trust. This conversation brought the feelings I just had in the bathroom stall back on, but there was nothing I could do. I felt helpless and had to call my dad to pick me up.

This is what anxiety is. Anxiety is not a beautiful girl needing to be saved by some prince charming. Anxiety is not feeling a tiny bit nervous before an exam. Anxiety is not a word to be put in cursive on a necklace or on a hoodie. Anxiety is feeling like you're helpless and trapped. Anxiety is having a breakdown over something as simple as not getting a text from your dad. Anxiety is feeling so scared and anxious that you can't eat or don't have the motivation to get up for class. Anxiety is canceling plans that you've looked forward to all week because you wake up and feel like all of your friends hate you.

Mental illnesses are not something to be seen as trendy to be put on clothing. There is nothing cute about mental illness. A few days ago I heard about a YouTuber named Corinna Kopf experiencing backlash for her new merchandise. I decided to look up a picture of her merchandise and see a hoodie with the definition of the word "anxiety" printed on the back.

Looking further, I find necklaces on a site called These necklaces are gold nameplates that spell out "anxiety" "depression" and "bipolar." These necklaces are sold out. Urban Outfitters even sold a crop top with the word "depression" printed all over it and a t-shirt with the words "Eat Less."

The problem with making mental illness "pretty" is that it's so out-of-kilter with reality. Anxiety and other mental illnesses are almost suggested as a desirable character trait for women to have. Speaking from personal experience, anxiety is frustrating and demanding for partners. Anxiety isn't pretty and definitely isn't fun. Anxiety is painful and a daily struggle for some.

My anxiety isn't beautiful and sure as hell shouldn't be used as your next fashion statement.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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13 Songs That Help Me Through My Panic Attacks

It's easy to become paralyzed by panic attacks, but I've found music to be the best tool to help me cope.


Anyone who struggles with panic attacks knows just how draining and overwhelming they are. It's easy to become paralyzed by them, and once I noticed this, I made a playlist of songs that calm me down. I find that music keeps me grounded, no matter how bad the panic attack may be. Maybe the songs I have listed aren't for you. but I hope that in sharing my main songs that help me, it can spark your brain into finding songs that fit your needs during panic attacks.

In case you don't know some of the songs I have listed, I put a link to each song from YouTube. I hope you enjoy my interesting variety of music!

1. "Weightless" by Marconi Union

Go here to listen.

This song is my go-to song for panic attacks, especially if it's a bad one. For me personally, my heart rate spikes during panic attacks (I'll go from a resting heart rate of around 70bpm to anywhere between 180-200bpm). Evidence suggests this song can slow your heart rate and reduce anxiety and let me tell you... it works 100% for me and I highly recommend it.

2. "Somebody to Love" by Queen

Go here to listen.

I've just always loved this song. There's something about Freddie Mercury's voice that just calms me down and makes me feel like I'm not alone at that moment.

3. "Let it Be" by The Beatles

Go here to listen.

I grew up listening to The Beatles since my mom is from Liverpool, and "Let it Be" is a song that I always associate peace and good memories with. Also, I love the lyric, "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary calls to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be." It reminds me that there are things about me and this world that I simply cannot change, but I can find peace by letting it be.

4. "Lost in a Sea of Pillows and Blankets" by .anxious.

Go here to listen.

Go here for the full album.

I find this song, and really the whole album, to be extremely soothing. It literally feels like the comfort of pillows and blankets but in the form of music.

5. "1-800-273-8255" by Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Go here to listen.

I love this song for many reasons during a panic attack. One, it reminds me that there are other people that have felt or are feeling what I am currently. Two, it reminds me that I have a purpose on this earth, and I am not a waste of space. Three, I just love the awareness it brings to mental illnesses.

6. "Up and Up" cover by Lennon & Maisy (originally by Coldplay)

Go here to listen to the cover.

Go here to listen to the original.

"We're gonna get it, get it together somehow." This main lyric reminds me that I can conquer this moment, and the only direction from this moment is up. Also, Lennon and Maisy's voices are mesmerizing. The Coldplay original is amazing too, I put both for you to check out!

7. "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes

Go here to listen.

I remember the first time I listened to this; I was actually on the brink of a panic attack. I heard the first lyric, "Help me, it feels like the walls are caving in. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I just can't. It isn't in my blood." Every lyric in here, which was beautifully written by the way, describes how it feels having a panic attack and having anxiety in general. It reminds me that no matter what, I can make my way out of it. I can win the fight.

8. "Free Spirit" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Khalid's new album "Free Spirit" came out on April 5, 2019, and I am actually obsessed with it. I find myself immediately playing this album when I open my Spotify. When it comes to the song "Free Spirit," the music is enchanting to me; something about it just immediately calms me down. Not to mention that Khalid's voice is absolutely beautiful. Also, I just love the concept of being a free spirit. Not being tied down by mental illnesses or fear, and having this sort of euphoric peace.

9. "Intro" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Once again, absolutely mesmerizing. I honestly feel like I'm taken to another world with this song. Something about the music just makes my brain feel so happy, peaceful, and calm. As for the lyrics, they remind me that I need to find my worth and put me first. Sometimes, I put so much of my emotional energy into other people that I have none left for me. I need to keep some of it for me though, because I know that I have worth, but I can never see it, so I need this emotional energy to be able to put myself first and love myself.

10. "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Part, Angele Dubeau, La Pieta

Go here to listen.

Not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for classical music. There's something about this song in particular that I feel like really captures the feelings of depression and detachment that I experience during a panic attack. It's just another reminder that I'm not alone in this.

11. "Raindrop Prelude: Op. 28 No. 15" by Frederic Chopin

Go here to listen.

Sorry, another classical piece... I just really love it. I feel like it shows the feelings before, during, and after a panic attack. Once again, it's a reminder that I'm not alone.

12. "Cello Suite No.1 in G-Major, Prelude" cover by Yo-Yo Ma (originally by Bach)

Go here to listen.

Last one, I swear! There's just something about this piece that makes me feel so calm and at peace... I don't know how to describe it. It's beautiful, and it makes me feel like there's hope of conquering my panic attack.

13. "Rescue" by Lauren Daigle

Go here to listen.

First, Lauren Daigle is simply amazing. This song in particular, though, reminds me that Jesus is always by my side, and he will never give up on me. He sees me in my trials, and he's fighting this fight with me. It gives me a lot of hope that someday I might not have to deal with these struggles.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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