Mental Health Awareness Week happened earlier this month. I felt this was an appropriate topic. Everyone at some point in life has or will have anxiety. It happens at work, school, and in our family lives but for some it’s more than a one moment. For people like me, it is every single day. Some days are better than others but it is every single day. So while people understand those isolated moments of anxiety, they completely dismiss those who are plagued by it every day. Why is that? What isn’t that taken seriously? Especially in the African-American community where mental health awareness and understanding is swept under the rug. There is a huge misunderstanding when it comes down to it. We can be looked at as crazy or weak for seeking a doctor’s help. When actually, you are just taking care of yourself. Mental health should be taken just as serious as your physical health. Don’t ignore it when something is wrong. I’m not ashamed and neither should you if you have any type of disorder.
There are common 7 types of anxiety disorders. You can find definitions of each here.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Social Phobia
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Generalized anxiety order (GAD)
People with generalized anxiety disorder display excessive anxiety or worry for months and face several anxiety-related symptoms.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:
- Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty controlling the worry
- Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)
I align with GAD. On it’s worst days, it is a non stop uncomfortable and tense chip on my shoulder. My mind races and makes an 24 hour day feel twice as long to get through. For the record: It’s important to talk to a doctor especially if you feel you need a medical treatment. If you have GAD, that doesn’t mean you’re lazy or sad all the time. It doesn’t mean you can’t be successful at work and home It doesn’t mean you’re a ticking time bomb. There are several therapies to help manage anxiety. Therapy, mediation, support groups, and medication are all used to help. I find meditation or taking to a trusted friend to help me manage but you have to find what method works best for you. My message today is for the people who don’t have it.
Severe Anxiety is not something people wish for. it is annoying and it can take it’s toll on you mentally and physically. So be grateful that is something you don’t have to deal with.
Don’t just make assumptions and judgement about anyone with any type of disorder. Don’t dismiss and shame love ones because this is something they struggle with. Don’t act like you know how they are feeling when you don’t.
I believe one of the most helpful ways to help someone is to encourage them to seek a medical professional. Encourage them to get help for themselves and support them while they do it.
We can’t turn a blind eye to mental health. We all need to be educated. We all need to care about our own mental health. We should also care about the ones we love the most.