I don’t believe the stigma attached to mental health issues is rooted in a lack of empathy; I believe it’s the result of ignorance.
Something I’ve noticed more and more is the misuse of the word ‘anxiety‘ in situations of stress, and as someone who has struggled a lot with anxiety disorder, I find it increasingly frustrating.
I can see where the confusion occurs; stress and anxiety have many symptoms in common – each with the overarching theme that is worry.
However, there’s a fun and easy way to distinguish between the two (it’s fun because you’re not offending other people with your ignorance, and it’s super easy to remember)!
Stress is worrying about something that has happened or is happening; it’s the response to a threat in a situation and is alleviated when the threat is mediated. It recognises a situation as it is and is (usually) rational.
Anxiety is worrying about something that hasn’t happened and isn’t happening; it’s the response to stress in a situation of stress, but it doesn’t leave when the threat is mediated. It views a situation through an extremely magnified lens and is (usually) irrational.
Please bear these definitions in mind – it might make a huge difference to someone around you.
If you’re looking for more information on mental health, I’d recommend visiting www.mind.org.uk.
Whether you’re struggling with stress or anxiety (or simply need some self care), I have a self care category on my blog with tips and advice that I’ve put together and that I hope can help you – you can find it here!
Check out my previous blog post here!