"Anxiety feels like" is currently trending on Twitter and it's really uplifting to see strangers support and relate with one another. The topic of mental health has often been ignored- depressed people told to "just cheer up", anxious people advised to "get over it." After all, mental illness often isn't as apparent as physical illness and sufferers are sometimes ignored as a result. Everyone can see a broken bone but it's harder to discern that a family member, friend, or coworker is dealing with a mental health issue, especially since many people feel they should put on a happy face and continue to plow through each day's tasks.
Hopefully, we continue moving in a positive direction in our treatment of those with mental illness. On television, depictions of people with mental illness has improved somewhat and although there are many, many examples where the media still gets it wrong, there are now some shows that accurately portray depression, anxiety, and PTSD. And with celebrities and radio personalities speaking honestly about their own experiences with mental illness, more people feel encouraged to share their personal struggles. The "anxiety feels like" hashtag shows that none of us are alone in the way we are feeling and although we may still have some improvements to make as a society in the way we support those with mental health impairments, it's nice to see that we can sometimes be vulnerable with each other, even if it's through a computer screen.
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255.
To get information and mental health resource referrals, please contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-6264.