Stop The Stigma Around Mental Illnesses

Stop The Stigma Around Mental Illnesses

Every day is a battle between us and ourselves
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Your heart is beating so fast you can't hear yourself think. Your mind is racing faster than the cars at the Indy 500 and your palms have turned into a swimming pool. You feel everything spinning in the room and you are trying to think of a plan to escape. The world is falling apart and there is nothing you can do about it.

This is anxiety.

A real and horrible thing that one too many suffer from. It makes you think that you should be separated from everyone else because you're "different." It makes you think that you are alone in this world. It makes you think... too much.

You begin to think that you are not good enough and you neglect how you are taking care of yourself. You put others thoughts before your own when you are the one who needs help. The worst part about anxiety is that there is nothing you can do about it, which creates more anxiety.

I have lived with this for 18 years and I still cry myself to sleep because I will never be a "normal" person. Yeah you're probably saying "Well Emily, no one is normal" and you're right, but when you suffer from anxiety everyone IS normal... except you.

I would never wish anxiety on my worst enemy. It eats you alive. It tears up every good thing in your mind and replaces it with the worst possible scenario. It makes you become someone other than yourself. It breaks you.

And it breaks my heart to hear other people going through what I go through every day.

Everything about anxiety is internal. There is no cure. There is no way out. You are trapped in your own thoughts...alone.

So next time you see anyone who may look upset, become a calming presence around them. Show them that you will not judge them because that is what most of us are afraid of.

Don't tell us to "not worry" or "it will be fine." Telling people who have anxiety not to worry is like telling an alcoholic not to drink. Telling us that it will be fine is like throwing us in the middle of the ocean with no life jacket on.

We will continue to worry and nothing will be fine. We've accepted that now it's your turn to accept us.

Anxiety is a real and toxic condition. Be kind to one another... it's the least you can do.

Cover Image Credit: Philosophical Disquisitions

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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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.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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5 Ways Anxiety Is Controlling Your Life Without You Even Realizing It's Happening

Anxiety may come about in subtle ways, but it can negatively impact your life if you notice the signs too late.

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When anxiety says hello, you say goodbye. But anxiety doesn't understand the concept of boundaries, so it follows you everywhere. You may think you've escaped it, but it may be hiding in ways you never noticed.

1. In every situation, you are constantly worrying about what other people are thinking about you.

If you find yourself at an event where you only know two people out of ten, and with every handshake and "Hello, nice to meet you," you're instantly thinking "Oh no, they don't like me. They think I'm awkward, what should I do?" then anxiety might be playing a bigger part in your life than you may think.

Anxiety will come at very inconvenient times and control every single thought you have inside your head, and make you overthink and question everything. You could be the most perfect person in the world, but with anxiety, you feel like the worst.

2. You're often afraid to do things by yourself.

Alone time can be really cool, and it can make you feel like you have so much space and freedom. But if you're the type of person who never seems to have alone time because you constantly have someone right by your side, anxiety may be the cause of it.

Anxiety can make you feel like you must be busy all the time, in order to be "productive." It can allow you to think that being with people all the time is better than being alone part of the time. It can make you afraid of being alone or afraid of doing things without the assistance of others.

You may begin to crave someone's presence at all times because your anxiety is telling you to do so. Your anxiety is telling you it's not okay to be alone.

3. You are over-planning everything in your life.

Planning things ahead of time can be super helpful, but when it gets to the point where you're trying to control absolutely everything and everyone around you, it can become a terrible thing.

Your anxiety is saying that you must plan everything in your life in order for everything to work out how you want it to. But, the harsh reality is that your life may not turn out exactly how you want it to.

Planning everything so far ahead of time will only hurt you if those plans don't end up working out in the end.

4. You have trouble falling asleep because your brain won't shut off.

Everyone has those nights where their brain is moving a million miles an hour. They're thinking about their family, their career, what they're going to eat for breakfast tomorrow, or what their plans are for the upcoming weekend. This is normal.

What's not normal, is feeling like you can't fall asleep, every night of the week. When your brain is keeping you awake seven days a week, that's anxiety trying to control you. If you're up late at night thinking about what you could have said differently at the dinner party last week, or worrying about how clingy you're being with your significant other, this is a sign that anxiety is trying to mess with your head.

Anxiety will not let your thoughts turn off for any reason. Anxiety will make sure you're constantly worrying about things you can't change. Anxiety is making you feel less than a person.

5. You're having difficulty concentrating at work or in school.

Most people think of anxiety as a mental illness that affects your feelings, and nothing more. In actuality, anxiety messes with your brain in many ways. If you are finding yourself sitting in class, trying to concentrate on the lecture, but having no luck, it could be a sign of anxiety.

Anxiety can affect not only your concentration skills but your memory as well. When your brain is persistently worrying, you will have a hard time concentrating on things that matter greatly (such as your education or career).

If you're struggling with anxiety or mental illness, please know that help is available to you at any time.

National Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255


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