Anxiety is Not a Fad

Wherever you look, it seems as though almost everyone believes they have anxiety. Twitter posts seem to be populated by the idea that no matter what is going on, it can be summed up by the expression “it was because I was anxious.” In a world that views almost everything that goes wrong as a byproduct of anxiety, where does the depiction between stress and anxiety come into play?

Anxiety is described by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it.” Meaning, when one experiences anxiety it is a factor that plays into the individual’s everyday life. A person with anxiety is unable to function properly because they have no ability “to cope with it.”

However, a person who experiences stress is in “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” This could be anything ranging from a hard work assignment to finals week to feeling like one has too much on her plate. The difference is that one can be stressed and still continue to go about her day. When one experiences anxiety, things such as not being able to eat and isolation from society may occur.

This is not a form of degrading stress in any manner; however, it is very important for one to see that there is a difference between stress and anxiety. Anxiety is not something that one needs to learn to “chill out” about or “get over.” It is a mental disease that can turn into something greater entirely.

Anxiety in many cases has had a direct link to depression. Depression is a mental illness that should not be taken lightly. If one is ever feeling alone, there are multiple resources made available for students. Some of the resources include:

1.Free counselling for students

  • The majority of college campuses have free counseling for students who feel lonely and may need guidance. Sessions vary from individual to group meetings, and correlate with the student’s schedule.

2.Hotlines

  • If your depression/anxiety is coming to a point where you need help right away, there are a number of numerous hotlines that are there to assist. Some include:
    • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8225
    • National Hopeline Network: 1-800-784-2433
    • National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-4663
    • Emergency: 911

3.Support from RAs/RDs

  • Both RAs and RDs are there to assist in any given situation. They are there for you, no matter what time of day. Do not be afraid to reach out to them.

Anxiety and Depression is not something that can always be seen. If you feel like someone you know may be suffering from either of the two, reach out to them. Too many people go through this battle alone, and it is our job as a student body to be there for one another in difficult times. No one should ever feel ashamed of something that cannot be avoided. Love one another, and be there for one another. Lastly, everyone goes through hard times but be careful with how you use your words and express yourself. You may wind up hurting someone unintentionally.