This month, Odyssey brings about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community.
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 Institutes of Health on the prevelance of anxiety in white, African American, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans. Below you can see that the percentage of individuals struggling with anxiety disorders in each race is pretty close from race to race. Of course, these are only diagnosed cases of anxiety disorders, so it is possible that the data is skewed if people are unable to see a psychologist.
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.