I have anxiety quite often. I don’t talk about it nearly as often as I should, and yes this quote from the article below is part of it:
“Anxiety is an insidious beast. It sneaks up on you, lies to you, and undermines every aspect of your life. Most pervasive is the undercurrent of shame that we feel about having anxiety, as though it were a dirty, little secret. It brings about feelings of inadequacy, taunting us with thoughts like, “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not strong enough,” and “I’m less than.”
Yes, that’s what anxiety tells me, and it comes along with a heaping pile of fear about what other people will think of me sometimes, which is actually not necessarily completely inaccurate. Again from the article below:
The truth is that people may indeed judge us because of our anxiety—this is because of stigma. Their judgments may influence the way they treat us. Our anxiety only exacerbates the situation by flooding our minds with recurring negative thoughts—often driven by self-stigma—further diminishing our self-esteem and self-worth.”
This happens. The other thing that happens that is also mentioned in the article is the desire for other people not to worry about me. I hate that.
On the other hand, I recently had a conversation with someone dealing with anxiety and trying to learn more about it. She desperately needs to know that what she’s experiencing is something that many other people are going through and have gone through. So, I’ve told her about my anxiety. I’ve told her about the times my brain just won’t turn off, and my heart beats faster for no apparent reason at all. I’ve told her about the days when I struggle to remember things because my mind is racing so fast it doesn’t process things I just heard.
My wife has been there for those conversations. She’s heard me talk about things I’ve not really told her because I don’t want her to worry. Does she worry now? Maybe. Does it really matter to me?
Yes, it does. I don’t want her to worry, but I’ll trade that for letting someone we both care about know that they are not alone. This is why we need to talk about it. No one should feel alone and ashamed about any mental health issues they may be having. There are just too many others having the same ones for there to be room for judgment instead of support.