One mum’s Facebook post about her hidden battle with anxiety goes viral, as she describes the oh-so subtle ways in which it forever impacts her life
Anxiety may be one of the world’s most common mental health disorders, but it can be hard to grasp when you’re looking in from the outside.
Although we’ve come a long way since the “pull yourself together” days (cue hefty sighs of relief), people who’ve never suffered from anxiety or a raft of related conditions may struggle to understand what it’s about.
You might, for example, assume that someone who’s chronically anxious has panic attacks or palpitations.
But, although these are familiar symptoms associated with anxiety, the truth is that it’s a spectrum; people suffer it in different ways. And like all mental health problems, it often remains hidden from the outside world.
All of this explains why a poignant Facebook post by Laura Mazza went viral recently.
Mazza, who runs the popular blog Mum on the Run, wrote a post about the myriad of non-obvious ways in which anxiety manifests itself:
Mazza’s essay exactly captures the way in which anxiety worms its way into the person suffering from it, becoming part of who they are.
As she says, you can’t “switch off” from anxiety, however much you want to.
And that might mean you come across as flaky (“it’ll cancel plans last minute”) or unfriendly (“it’s brushing people off for no reason”) - when, really, it’s the undercurrent force of anxiety at play.
The on-point message struck a nerve on Facebook, with Mazza’s post being shared over a thousand times since it was posted earlier this week.
“I feel like you just read my mind! You perfectly described me!” one person commented. “hugs to all out there that struggle with this! It’s so hard because you can appear to have it together to others for the most part, but inside you feel like you’re drowning!”
“Wow you just described my struggles exactly,” another adds. “It can feel extremely lonely and isolating and I feel like I push so many people away because of it. Thankyou for putting this out there and sharing.”
Anxiety is a difficult and unpredictable condition to live with, but it can be managed.
And posts like Mazza’s bring us one step closer to the compassion and understanding needed from the outside world to better achieve this goal.
Main image: Getty