Anxiety: You Are Not Alone

I want to be a child psychologist, although I have never been to one. I don't know how I want to grow up to help children - of all people - when I can't help myself. Sometimes, I feel I should make an appointment to soothe my nerves because I have many problems. I find it hard to talk to people, and I always second guess what I'm saying. It's difficult for me to do certain things in my life because of how I feel.

For all the people who tell me to get over my feelings, or that it's not serious, or that other people have it worse, it's not appreciated. Those people make me feel worse. Those comments and opinions do not help anyone with mental health issues. Although I have not been diagnosed with anxiety, and I will not self-diagnose myself, they make me feel like I can't talk to anyone on top of the anxiousness I feel every day. To anyone reading this, you are valid, your feelings matter, and whether you have been diagnosed or not, your mental health is important. 

Everyone at some point in their life has felt anxious. We all get anxious presenting in front of a large crowd or if we are taking an extremely important test. It's inevitable. Although, you shouldn't feel anxious throughout the day. You shouldn't be afraid of menial tasks to the point where it affects your daily life. 

Some people have anxiety because it is in their genetic makeup. They have family that also have the same disorder and it was passed down to them. Anxiety can also come from trauma or long-term stress. I think of it as a circle. Say you are stressed because of a medical condition you have developed. The stress turns into anxiety that slowly worsens your mental and physical being. Then, you become more stressed because you don't have any progress. It becomes an endless cycle of deteriorating health.

There are many ways you can reduce anxiety on your own. For example, the simple act of getting all the sleep you need can make you feel so much better. And avoid caffeine! When I was researching more on anxiety, I saw caffeine listed as a “must avoid”. Well, I have a story for you. One morning before school, I woke up uncontrollably anxious. I just wanted to wallow in self-pity and not talk to anyone. My friend ended up buying me coffee. I wasn’t in the mood for it, but in an effort not to waste her money, I drank it. It made my anxiousness increase tenfold. I was visibly shaking throughout the day. My heart was racing to the point where I could hear it in my ears. I could hardly pay attention in any of my classes. It was a terrible day for me and also the day I stopped drinking coffee. 

With all this being said, mental health issues need more awareness. More people need to know that they are not alone and they CAN get through this. Mental health issues are very manageable as long as you pay attention to yourself and your needs. I think that when it comes to mental health, it is OK to be selfish. Just remember, you always have someone standing with you.