So, I have anxiety. High-functioning anxiety, which means that I still actively succeed, but anxiety nonetheless. I do not go around shouting it from rooftops, but it's not something that I try to hide either. Because here's the thing: anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. Here's why:
1. It's common
18 percent of adults in the U.S. have anxiety. Let me repeat that: 18 percent. It is one of the most common mental issues in the U.S. This means you are not alone in your anxiety. Anxiety is not something you have to hide. It should not be something you have to hide.
2. It doesn't mean anything's wrong with you as a person
Anxiety does not mean anything is wrong with you as a person. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, "Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events." As I've said before, it's common. Anxiety isn't just on one thing, one person, one issue. It does not define you as a person.
3. It makes you stronger
Only a third of people with anxiety disorders get treatment. That number should be higher. Surviving anxiety and admitting you need help is a sign of strength. It teaches you how to get through the tough situations in life. Anxiety teaches you how to surmount obstacles.
4. What's so great about normal?!
Seriously, "normal" is overrated. What is normal, anyway? Seriously, does it even exist? Normal is boring (remember that classic "SpongeBob" episode?). And given how many people have anxiety disorders, and other mental health issues, normal does not mean free of problems. And what's to say anxiety is not normal?