Blog entry - Anxiety (You are not alone )
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You are not alone!
As we all know, teenagers in particular are exposed to many stresses and people do not even recognize how bad the situation is. The pressures of school and parents, the expectations of our society and the fear of not being accepted keep many young people up at night. Influences and movements come from all sides: bullying, sexuality, politics, the future, responsibility and the search for oneself are issues they have to deal with. For many, this is just too much, they collapse under it all. The consequences include anxiety disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts; in short, mental illness! And we think that’s normal?
It’s frightening how many teenagers suffer from mental illness, often the sufferers don't even realize it. The entire focus of life is on achieving something, a certain degree, athletic success, or simply recognition from a certain group of the in-crowd. We all want to fit into our society somehow and have to bend to conform to the ideal. Even if we are not after fame and success, we are expected to be. It’s all about fitting in and meeting expectations, so we forget to take care of ourselves and especially our mental health.
It is almost ridiculous that our society does not realize that it destroys many young souls. Even we ourselves, as victims, friends of victims or simply as affected generations, are blind and sometimes it is too late to save the person. A good example is anxiety, because many of us are affected without even realizing it. I don’t want to play down the subject, like “we all have it anyway”, nevertheless it’s important to think about our own mental health.
Here are 8 hidden symptoms of anxiety to check on yourself:
- Feeling unable and too afraid to speak up
- Constantly worrying about coming off as stupid
- Always stressed about the right words to use
- Resentment for not living up to expectations
- Thinking everyone sees inside your head
- Believing everyone is silently judging you
- Thinking you need to be perfect to be accepted
- Feeling like you must overachieve and be the best at everything to be considered intelligent
It may be that you have some symptoms, but you still don’t have anxiety, but if you can relate (almost) all symptoms to you, it’s actually worth thinking about. It is also important that we don’t overreact, because there are definitely worse manifestations and symptoms than those mentioned above and we can all be happy if we don’t constantly break out in panic attacks or the like. Because anyone who’s ever had a panic attack can say that it’s really not a nice feeling.
The current lockdown situation in particular is not boosting our mental health, as many adolescents lack social contact due to contact restrictions. Without their friends, it's especially hard for teenagers whose parents put a lot of pressure on them; they're exposed to them 24/7 now. If you ask me, it's terrible. It's terrible to feel like you're the only person in the world. It's terrible to always be at fault. And it's terrible to be not understood. Yes, it's hard to do something about your own parents' behavior, but it's not impossible. Don’t lose hope!
Another maladministration that favors depression and anxiety is mobbing. More than half of the children and young people (in Germany) have already experienced bullying first hand. We are all exposed to many things, often this is just the point why a kid becomes a bully. And we all need to be aware of the extent to which bullying can affect someone, that it can lead to mental problems, self-harm and suicide, and that, in the end, it doesn’t make anyone happy.
If you notice bullying, please try to help and if you are affected, seek help. Make yourself clear that talking is the most important thing, because talking makes it easier. Don’t be ashamed or feel guilty, because in the end the perpetrator is the guilty one! Bullying cannot be justified, at best explained (by the way, the same goes for rape, but in my opinion, it’s not possible to explain sexual abuse).
There are many other reasons for mental health problems, too many to list. Among other things, sexual abuse, childhood trauma and also the loss of an important (reference) person may be known.
As a victim of any kind of mistreatment/ mental health issue, it's important to speak up. We have a voice and we should use it. Because talking helps! It gets easier when you start talking about your problems, I promise! You can talk to friends you trust or even go (with them) to a guidance counselor. Otherwise, you can also call a hotline, I'll list a few below. Seek help and please; please don't do anything to yourself. Alcohol and drugs may make the situation better in the moment, but in the long run it will only make things worse.
More importantly though, don't hurt yourself! Self-harm also makes the moment better, it can give you a sense of control, I know that, but neither scoring nor cutting or anything like that can help you in the long run! If you have the urge to self-harm or even commit suicide, don't give in! Go to a public place among people (but not during the pandemic) where it is significantly more difficult, or call someone. I can't say enough that talking helps! And even if you feel alone in the world, there will be someone who cares and will be there for you. I promise. You are not alone!
This was a very deep topic that some don't really want to talk about either. That's okay, however, I think mental health (problems) is definitely an important issue that we should be dealing with. My next blog post will be a bit more cheerful again ;)
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