The conversation surrounding mental health and mental health disorders have become more common in society today. While people are becoming more comfortable opening up about their struggles, it seems as though everyone goes through their own, personal diagnoses, differently than others. While this doesn’t discredit anyone’s struggles, it’s true that everyone experiences their illnesses differently. For some, anxiety is immense panic and hyperventilating. For others, it’s an inability to relax. And, for others, it’s much more severe. Facebook user Megan Lynne Ferrero decided to candidly share what her own struggle with anxiety is like–and, it’s going viral, because so many people relate to her on a deep, deep level.
Ferrero shared a photo of her fingernails, which she claims look the way they do because of her anxiety–she bites them until they bleed.
Anxiety isn’t just chest pains, crying, and the inability to relax.
It’s biting your nails until they bleed, then picking off the skin on your fingers once you’re out of nails to bite.
It’s driving to the store only to sit in the parking lot for 20 minutes before turning back around, without even going inside.
It’s getting a text message and forgetting to respond promptly, so instead of responding explaining you were busy, you leave the notification there for days, weeks, even months, getting a knot in your stomach every time you scroll past it or every time that person’s name comes up.
It’s hearing a noise and planning in your mind where you’ll hide, what doors you’ll lock, and how you’ll secretly call for help if someone broke into your house.
It’s asking your partner several times a day if they love you, partially kidding, but mostly needing to hear it because you find it so hard to love yourself in that moment.
It’s putting off washing the dishes until there’s no dishes left, but then feeling overwhelmed by how many dishes there are to wash, so you just leave them another day.
It’s understanding that what you’re worrying about is often irrational and not as extreme as your reaction warrants, but not being able to control your response. Often times, it even means you CAN’T understand that what you’re worrying about is irrational or not as extreme as your reaction warrants.
Anxiety isn’t just chest pains, crying, and the inability to relax. It’s taking everyday parts of life and intensifying the excitement or fear they result in times a thousand, to the point that they seem impossible to face. Some days are more manageable than others, and it’s on those days I try to remind myself that I CAN get through whatever anxiety throws my way.
It’s hard for me to share this and a little embarrassing to include this picture, but if even one person finds comfort in knowing they’re not alone in this, then I’m going to push past my comfort zones to do that.
Many on Facebook thanked Ferrero for being so transparent about her struggle and related to many of the symptoms she described in her post.
Anxiety can be a lot to handle–but, always know you’re not alone. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).