December 3, 2016 12:55 AM NPT
People suffering from an anxiety disorder often think that it is a good idea to hide the illness which is not true because no one should go through the treatment process alone.
If you’re struggling with anxiety disorder and feel as though it’s a sign of weakness or a source of shame, here are five important things to keep in mind.
A legitimate illness
Some of us are simply more prone to anxiety disorder than others. Although life circumstances can certainly trigger and exacerbate the illness, it’s a fact that genetics play a significant role. Some people’s genetic makeup means they’re more vulnerable to physical illnesses, while others are born with a predisposition to mental illness. None of this is in our control, and it’s certainly not something we should be ashamed of.
Brave to acknowledge anxiety disorder
Although the stigma surrounding mental illness is slowly being broken down and a great deal of progress has been made, the bottom line is that there will always be people who just don’t get it and are uninterested in trying to understand those who struggle with anxiety and other mental illnesses. So, actually acknowledging to yourself and others that you have anxiety disorder and need professional help is a really brave thing to do.
Shame prevents people from seeking help
The most heartbreaking aspect of the shame surrounding anxiety disorder is that it dissuades people from seeking the help they need and deserve. Anxiety is like a chronic physical illness and its symptoms won’t simply go away. The treatment might not be able to cure you but it definitely improves your quality of life and provides you with tools to handle the toughest moments.
Living with any illness makes you strong
Living with any chronic illness, whether it’s physical or mental, means that we often need to muster up all our strength in order to fulfill our personal and professional obligations.
Despite the struggle, when we refuse to let our illness win and face the world, that’s a sign of true strength and it’s something to be proud of. Other people may not understand or appreciate the amount of strength it takes to do this, but they haven’t walked in your shoes or experienced the racing thoughts, heart palpitations, or fears that are constant companions to individuals with anxiety.