It's no secret that even in 2018 our country still struggles with discrimination of all kinds. Society labels individuals by the color of their skin, heritage, religion, sexuality, gender, size, and political beliefs. You are either privileged or you're not. However, here's the thing, anxiety doesn't care about your privilege. Anxiety doesn't discriminate.
If you don't believe me, check out these statistics from the US National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health down below. This chart shows the prevalence of anxiety disorders amongst White Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans. Of course, these are only diagnosed anxiety disorders, so it is very possible that the data may be slightly skewed as some people are not able to get diagnosed if they don't see a psychiatrist. Regardless, you can see that the for the most part, the percentage of individuals within each race with anxiety disorders is pretty similar.
I'm not saying that everyone with anxiety struggles with the same kind or has the same fears. No one's story is the same. The anxiety that someone like me struggles with is probably a lot different than someone who is conflicted about their sexuality or someone who is the subject of racial profiling. However, that doesn't mean that people who don't have to deal with those struggles don't battle anxiety too.
My friend recently wrote an article about anxiety and a lot of people didn't take her seriously because of her privilege. But let me tell you, the chemicals in your brain could go haywire on you regardless of the amount of money in your bank account, the size of your jeans, or the color of your skin. Anxiety isn't rational. It doesn't care if everything is fine and dandy in your life— it will send off fight or flight signals to your brain regardless.
Anxiety doesn't care about your place in society because it's not logical. It doesn't make sense. If anxiety was rational it wouldn't be anxiety.
When it comes to mental health, we can't be divided. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help, so the last thing we should be doing is shutting someone that is struggling down because their anxiety "doesn't make sense." Of course anxiety doesn't make sense. When does it ever? If we enforce the idea that anxiety needs to make sense, then less and less people will be willing to ask or help because even if you struggle with an anxiety disorder, you're aware that a lot of your fears are irrational. Anxiety doesn't care about privilege.
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