The social issue of anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 18 percent of the U.S. population has anxiety, that’s 40 million adults!

Today I want to address the social issue of anxiety. If you have anxiety or know someone with anxiety, you may have heard someone say “just get over it” as if it’s a personality trait that they can just change about themselves whenever they want. You don’t hear people telling someone with schizophrenia to “just get over it.” I’m not saying anxiety is the same as schizophrenia, I’m saying that anxiety disorders are just as real as schizophrenia.

The reason this is a problem is because anxiety can ruin families and it doesn’t have to. Telling someone to get over their anxiety doesn’t help, but we have some tools that can. There are ways to improve people’s lives who have anxiety. Therapists, doctors and support groups are all ways that can help people with anxiety. Doctors can prescribe medicine for anxiety if necessary, therapist will teach people with anxiety coping strategies. Support groups will help you deal with anxiety.

Support groups may also help if you just need to know that others are also going through the same thing as you. Anxiety can feel like a fast paced rollercoaster that you can’t get off of. Anxiety can make you think your world’s going to end. An example is when you order food at a restaurant and say the wrong order; you wouldn’t dare correct yourself because you never want to make a mistake in social situations like that. But then you end up with a meal you didn’t want to eat!

If everyone becomes understanding of people with anxiety and tries to help them instead of ignoring the problem, it can help out a lot more than you may think. Even suggesting a way to someone with anxiety on how they can learn to cope as in mentioning a support group could give them the push to check it out and that could really improve their life overtime. Instead of saying, “Just get over it,” you could ask, “How can I support you?” This is important to all of us because it’s a better world when we support each other and empathize with each other. Instead some people may take things the wrong way when talking to someone with anxiety, even within families.

Forty million adults of the US population have anxiety. Just because we can’t remove people’s anxiety, doesn’t mean we can’t improve their lives.

Josh Dunham,

Bothell

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