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How It Feels When Someone Says, 'Everyone Has Anxiety'

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Time and time again I’ve had people tell me to my face or over text that “everyone has anxiety” and that I “just need to learn how to deal with it.” Hearing those words always makes me feel sad because people don’t understand the struggle I live with every single day.

I get it — everyone has experienced anxiety, but some people struggle with it every day. I, for example, have to take medications for my anxiety because my anxiety can get out of hand. I’ve been dealing with my anxiety for years, and for years I’ve been learning how to cope with my anxiety and even my panic attacks.

It’s not easy for people like me who have a mental illness because I feel like I can never get others to understand. Sometimes I’m fighting with myself on a daily basis because I’m so overwhelmed with my thoughts and what can happen. It’s a constant battle, every day.

Not everyone has to go through what I have to go through. Not everyone has to be on medications and go to therapy to learn how to manage anxiety. Not everyone can understand how bad a panic attack is and how I feel like I’m dying because I feel like I’ve lost all control. And not everyone has to decide whether or not getting out of bed is worth it because you’re so emotionally and mentally drained by anxiety.

The next time you tell someone “everyone has anxiety,” please think about what you are saying. It’s a slap in the face to me when people tell me that, and it hurts. Anxiety is a monster that hovers over me wherever I go, and sometimes it acts like a tornado because it destroys everything around me with my emotions. Instead of telling me everyone has anxiety, next time just tell me I’ll be OK or things will be better soon.

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Thinkstock photo by valzhina

Originally published: December 27, 2016
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