Your Anxiety Isn't Something to Be Ashamed Of
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Your Anxiety Isn't Something to Be Ashamed Of

My response to "Your Anxiety Isn't An Excuse To Be An Asshole"

Your Anxiety Isn't Something to Be Ashamed Of

I was scrolling through Facebook today and I stumbled across an article so tastefully headlined as "Your Anxiety Isn't An Excuse To Be An Asshole".

I am not here to criticize this article or this writer. I am not going to call this author out and tell them they are wrong or that their article was trash.

I am here to advocate for myself and to express that I believe most of what she wrote is insensitive and out of line.

This young woman begins with calling out the reader (who presumably has anxiety) and stating her blunt opinion that they have become too entitled over being anxious.

She continues to explain that while it is a good thing that society is recognizing mental illnesses-- or only depression and anxiety, rather-- we need to lay down the law.

The author then begins to list her credentials. She explains that she has been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and lists all the medications she has taken over the years. She no longer has to take these medications because she has drank more tea, taken long baths, practiced self-love, exercises, eats well, and has found a new job that makes her happy.

I'm happy for her. She has taken steps that so many of us struggle with. She has conquered a huge roadblock in her life and while she still struggles from time to time, she is happier. I am so happy for her.

Congratulations girl, you did it. You deserve it.

While she acknowledges that these remedies might not work for everyone; however, I feel like she is not only flaunting her now much-more-in-order life at readers, but she is indeed forcing her life habits onto others who struggle with anxiety.

She is unconsciously promoting her own self-help remedies onto others and bragging that her methods have worked. While she isn't "cured" (you don't just wake up suddenly, anxiety free), she does explain how she manages herself much better because of the steps she has taken.

Everyone's anxiety is different; everyone struggles with different things. You can tell very little about a person from just looking at them. You can tell even less about a person by seeing a simple number under your readership views, seeing that they glanced at the words you threw at them.

Later in the article, the author acknowledged the painful task of watching self-help videos and looking at cartoon comic strips abut just "taking care of yourself" and how they don't work.

It's true; they don't work. I need to say it again: everyone is different. Everyone's anxiety is different because we all have different struggles and different stories.

These self-help pamphlets only promote staying at home and taking care of yourself and ignoring life's responsibilities. We all know this is impossible.

So we, the poor souls who have to live with anxiety every day are forced to face the world each and every day and converse with friends/family/coworkers, and the barista that hands you your coffee in the morning.

And in the process, those who have anxiety are presumably assholes to every human we come in contact with because we simply cannot control our symptoms and we have a perfectly valid excuse.

I suffer from anxiety.

We're taught that treating everyone around us like "total shit" (as she elegantly explains), is okay because we suffer from a mental illness.

I'm calling bullshit.

I cannot disagree that some people do use their anxiety as an excuse for their behavior.

I don't deny that yes, everyone we come in contact with is a human too. We all have feelings that can be stomped on and make us feel like the whole world is against us.

I completely agree that it's never okay to treat another person as a psychological punching bag and if you do, you don't deserve to have them as a friend.

This author is 100 percent correct when she says that you don't just get to decide when you feel like acting like a normal person again.

What I don't agree with is that this author is appropriating this behavior to those who have anxiety.

This author's words offended me. Of course she doesn't know me and she probably never will, but it felt personal.

This article tore me down. Rather than motivating me to clean up my act and be more conscientious of the way I speak to people, it made me feel like I was doing everything wrong.

I already worry that I'm inconveniencing my friends and family with my anxiety so why would you only further confirm my fears?

I'm sure this was not the author's intention. I'm sure she wanted to let her story be known so the same things didn't happen to other people.

I do believe however, that she went at it from a completely wrong angle. Don't tear your readers down, you have to build them up. She could have said the exact same thing without being rude about it.

"Your Anxiety Isn't an Excuse To Be An Asshole"? How about "Don't Let Your Anxiety Control You"? Maybe "You Are So Much Better Than Your Anxiety".

Through my journey dealing with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I have been crabby. It's been about a year since I developed the illness that sometimes holds me prisoner and subjects me to uncontrollable mental strain.

I've tried to find myself over and over. I've tried several remedies to calm myself down but I'm still learning how to handle the mental battle with myself.

And it's okay if you're struggling. Anxiety isn't something to be ashamed of.

Anxiety, especially right after you've been diagnosed, is such an exhausting affliction to live with. You have to learn what your triggers are, what calms you down, how to handle yourself when you feel like your chest is so heavy you could fall to your knees.

Learning how to deal with your illness is so tricky, it might cause you to become crabby or moody or even depressed.

What if someone, say a fourteen year old teenager, who has very little knowledge about mental illness, clicked on this article while they were browsing the internet, and was educated entirely about anxiety by this author's words?

If someone told that fourteen year old that they had anxiety, how would they handle that? Would they expect that person to be an asshole to them? Would they immediately distance them self from that person in fear and anticipation of getting treated poorly?

People who are uneducated about Generalized Anxiety Disorder or any of the other numerous forms of anxiety have no preconceived notions on what to expect from people who have anxiety.

Another thing that bothered me was that the author literally said that "No one has to put up with your bullshit, and if you don't actively work on making yourself a better and more rewarding person... no one should wait around for you."


No, your friends and family don't deserve to be verbally abused and ridden with your inner demons. But this author allocates losing friendships over someone being unable to control their emotions while struggling with a mental illness.

True friends are there for you through thick and thin. Your family supports you no matter what you're going through because they love you. They help you through your struggles and albeit frustrated, they're there for you. That's what a friend is, not someone who runs out on your when you're having a hard time in your life.

When you recognize you have anxiety, seek help. Don't let things bottle up and face terrible consequences. Learn how to deal with your symptoms, figure out what keeps you calm and happy.

Medication is nothing to be ashamed of; you're doing what's best for you and keeping yourself healthy.

I respect this author's opinion on the subject and again, I completely understand her point of view. I'm sure she had no bad intentions and didn't mean to hurt anyone.

Unfortunately, she did.

So instead of lashing out at the people who struggle every day with this mental illness, why don't you build advocacy instead of attacking them?

Proper education is the solution to helping people who struggle with this illness, not calling out those who have anxiety and assailing them with harsh words to make them feel worse about themselves.

Anxiety is not an easy thing to deal with and personally, I'd rather help spread awareness and help others understand than be attacked for something I have very little control over.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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