"You always make it work."
"Well I'm not worried about it. I know you got it."
"Look at all you've done! You'll be fine."
If anyone else says one of those things to me I'm gonna scream. It feels like there is a constant need for people to invalidate others with anxiety, especially if they are high achieving or able to complete daily tasks. High functioning anxiety is still anxiety. My most recent experience with a psychiatrist inspired this rant and I love a good rant so here we go. I'm not sure why people feel the need to belittle or devalue others mental health struggles. Just because you were able to go work or school today and appear fine does not mean your anxiety is not valid. Others don't know that your hands were shaking or sweating profusely during that presentation or that your Fitbit clocked your heartrate at 121 bpm and logged a 31 minute workout while you were trying to make conversation at that women's empowerment conference. Mental health struggles are often invisible and just because others don't see it doesn't mean it isn't affecting you.
Coming back to that psychiatrist who sparked this rant for me. I am a therapist who struggles with anxiety and I am quite open about it. I recently decided to seek psychiatry to go along with the therapy I've been receiving for 3 years. The appointment was one out of the yelps worst reviews category. I get to the office and he can't weigh me, take my blood pressure, or show empathy. We're off to a great start obviously. Now I'll save all the fat-shaming for another rant, but what frustrated me the most was the invalidating of my anxiety. The very reason I'm here to see him and he continues to act like its not a problem because "You're still able to achieve these things. Anxiety isn't stopping you from doing that." To have a mental health professional discredit and invalidate your anxiety is beyond frustrating and harmful. Yes some people with anxiety can accomplish great things, but that doesn't mean they aren't in a constant battle with their brain and body to get these things done on a daily basis. Its attitudes like his that feed into really unhealthy comparisons.
We often compare ourselves to others regarding how much worse we could have it and avoid getting the help we need. One of my goals is to break that mentality with people I come in contact with. You do not have to be at the depths of despair with anxiety and depression on level 100 to seek help. Your pain, your struggles, and your stress is just as important as anyone else's. If you are thinking about starting the therapy process please don't wait if you don't have to. There is help out there no matter how big or small the circumstance. End rant.
Until next post, much love and I hope your mental health is taking priority.