Part 1 of this discussion on mental health has the group primarily discussing the stigma of mental health, specifically around my arch nemesis, anxiety.
Why don’t people ask for help? Anxiety is one of those things that affects a lot of people on some level, so it might been seen as something you can just grow out of. For myself, I guess it’s always been a part of life.
I’m a living example of how weird anxiety can be, and how it can vary from person to person. I’m socially anxious and also happen to work in radio. I could sneak into and out of the building because I’m irrationally horrified at the thought of coworkers holding me hostage in a conversation, but then I can do a radio shift (where a thousands upon thousands of people are listening) like it’s nothing.
I might seem sort of interesting online, but I’m far quieter in real life. Sometimes I have to get “ramped up” to deal with social situations, or to do simple things like reply to e-mails/tweets/text messages. Bars and clubs? Lol! Parties? If forced to attend, guess I’ll have to hide in the bathroom.
There have been times where I couldn’t leave my room because of something silly like my roommates having guests over. I keep myself heavily involved in work and athletics because if my brain had its way, I would literally never leave my house.
I’m lucky because anxiety doesn’t completely derail my existence, and I’ve never reached the point where I feel I need to down a handful of medication just to function day to day. But that isn’t the case for everyone, and it’s important to reach out for help if you need it. No one will ever fight harder for you than you will.