Zoe’s World: Don’t Be Flippant With People Suffering From Anxiety

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Zoe O Connor, who is a finalist in the .eu Web Awards 2016

ANXIETY is a topic that I frequently discuss on this platform of mine; in the hope that it can help someone somewhere.

I have been doing quite well lately, and because of that, it has kind of faded to the background of my topic list. Being replaced with generally more ‘carefree’ subjects, which deserve their place too.

Being in this frame of mind more often (it’s not permanent) I have been given the slightest of glimpses into the minds of those who don’t understand anxiety and the concept of down days. Well, I guess not really, but more than before.

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It really bugs me when people write off anxiety as a ‘petty excuse’ or ‘as not even a real thing’. Because obviously it is and frankly, I think it is a better excuse than any flu.

I know a lot of people who suffer from the same anxiety levels that I do, and then there are so many teens out there suffering from depression.

Yet, there is that whole other part of the population who wouldn’t be able to recognise anxiety if it came up and bit them in the a**. Because their brain simply does not work on that level.

That’s okay – we don’t choose our brain. But just because you don’t get it, does not give you the right to be so flippant about it. Frankly, it’s borderline offensive.

Sometimes it can be hard to even admit that you are suffering from anxiety, so if anyone ever says it to you, or is clearly going through something, Do NOT under any circumstances say “You’re being so dramatic”, “You need to chill” or “God, it’s not like you’re dying”.

There may never be the ‘right’ answer or response, but belittling someone else for the things that they have no control over? Not cool.

Then I guess there is the other end of the spectrum, where some people really, really try to help out. That can be really appreciated it but there are limits as well (it’s a balancing act really).

I personally believe that the best approach is just being there open for someone to talk too, but at the same time being able to understand that you don’t understand.

I think that, perhaps, is the best motto that you can adopt, while still supporting the person and recognising anxiety and depression as a thing.

All of this stuff is basically like walking on a tightrope.

Also, if you are interested in reading up more on anxiety in teenagers and some personal experiences, check out www.teentimes.eu and simply type in ‘anxiety’ to see all the things that I have confronted in the past.

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