Acknowledging a Hidden Struggle

As suicide pervention month marches on it has got me thinking about those around me who struggle/have struggled with mental health issues. Although we tend to focus on others around us, we do not always focus on what is most important, ourselves. Going up with anxiety, it was always a struggle for me to acknowledge this about myself. My anxiety manifests in different ways that I went throughout my life not paying attention to, and trying to ignore. As we all know Tik Tok has become an influential form of social media. On Tik Tok, there are many psychologists and doctors who communicate important messages to those in our generation. A psychologist made one Tik Tok in particular that caught my eye about how anxiety manifests in different ways, resulting in many not realizing that they are experiencing it or have anxiety in some form. I feel that many mental health orders go unnoticed, but are present in people in different ways. These ways may be subtle, but if one pays attention, these signs can become more clear. 

    The first is excessive tiredness. If you are one that struggles with anxiety, then you may know the feeling and annoyance that comes with it of always being tired. Sometimes overthinking can lead to this tendency, but even on days when you feel like you are not overthinking, you still struggle with exhaustion. Thinking is mentally exhausting, and it is something we consistently do. Our brain is always working in ways that we do not even realize, and anxiety overworks the brain. Certain thoughts and fears can bring down our overall morale, which brings tirelessness along with it. 

    The need to always be doing something. Growing up, I have always felt the need to do something. I have never been good at sitting still because I feel that I am not productive unless I am stressed. This false misconception is how I grew up thinking, and is a tough idea to break away from. This is caused by my anxiety, and I did not realize this until a few years ago. I go hard on myself for not constantly doing a certain activity. Sitting still is more challenging for me than having a particular task to do. 

    Hot and cold relationships. As one who struggles with anxiety, I see how this impacts my relationships with the people around me. It is easy to push those away who are close to them, especially when dealing with large amounts of stress. When we get over stress, we tend to feel guilty about the way we acted resulting in apologies, and piecing back together broken relationships. I push those away who I am close to when dealing with large amounts of stress because I am not able to handle and focus on a relationship. The immense guilt that comes along with pushing one away can be overpowering, resulting in focusing on  too much on a nonexistent relationship.

    Thinking constantly about things that happened in the past, bringing yourself down in the process. I do this frequently, and can say I struggle with this almost everyday. Moving on from events in the past is a struggle for one that deals with anxiety. These events that may have happened years ago and do not matter now, but they still can drag us down because they are constantly replaying in our minds. Obviously this is not something that anyone would want to focus on, but when they replay in our mind, it is difficult to pull yourself away from the negative feelings that came along with these memories. 

    The sigma needs to be taken away from mental disorders. Many people are afraid to acknowledge that they struggle with one because of the criticism they feel they will receive. When I was young I was too afraid to go to my friends and family because I felt that no one would believe me, and I would cause unnecessary stress. At the end of the day, you need to put yourself first and get treatment in order to help yourself. You will cause those around you more pain if you are living everyday struggling with a mental disorder. You know yourself best and know when you are struggling. What you know to be true is what is real no matter what others will say. As said by Martin Luther  King Jr, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

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