Hello fellow adventurers,
People still seem to believe that anxiety and depression are choices we make. It’s sickening. So this is an open letter to people who think like that:
Don’t tell me that anxiety disorders don’t exist when bright, talented scientists have spent years researching the difference between a healthy brain and one whittled with anxiety. Several different studies found links between anxiety, the brain, and the endocrine system. Facts and research supersede your “opinion”. (Here is a really cool website)
Don’t tell me that anxiety disorders don’t exist or that they aren’t important when mental = brain and the brain is the most important organ in your body. How is mental illness less severe than physical illness when it affects how you think, act, and feel?
Don’t tell me that exercising more will fix me. Sure, it helps. For an hour, my head is clear and my heart is racing on purpose. But, anxiety knows all of my weaknesses and all of the cracks. Unless I was to spend all day and night exercising, it wouldn’t keep my anxiety away. It’s like telling someone they would look better with makeup, eventually it rubs off. It’s like putting a band-aid on your wrist when you’ve shattered your bones. It’s like handing a kid a stuffed animal after their parents have died and walking away. For a moment, they feel joy because they have a new toy but reality sets back in. The stuffed animal doesn’t bring their parents back, a band-aid doesn’t heal a broken bone, and exercise doesn’t cure anxiety.
Don’t tell me that you just had a massive panic attack when I’ve been standing right here and your face has been neutral, your breathes steady, and your hands still. Know the terminology and use it correctly, please. “A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. An anxiety attack is a sudden feeling of intense anxiety.”(mayoclinic)
Don’t tell me that my anxiety disorder is an act of selfishness when my heart aches, my lungs clench, and tears rise up like a crowd of festival goers running from the entrance to the stage, at the thought of having to cancel plans and letting you down.
Don’t you dare tell me that my anxiety disorder is an act of selfishness when 80% of my thoughts are of you; hoping you are happy, and that you are safe.
But tell me, knowing all of this; why on earth would you think that I chose to live like this?
If you do not have a mental disorder, please, take the time to educate yourself before bearing down judgement on those that are already suffering.
Ignorance is a choice, fellow adventurers. Until next time,