Have you noticed that as you scroll through facebook, the word "Anxiety" meets you with greater consistency?
Articles about what anxiety is.
Articles that include tools to use to help you deal with anxiety.
Articles that list ways to care for your anxious loved ones.
Statuses that self-disclose the anxiety your friends deal with.
I've read the phrase "I deal with anxiety" so many times in the last week alone, that I'm wondering if this is an epidemic.
Do you remember a couple of years ago (possibly more recent than that), when everyone was "depressed?"
When people had no hesitation to refer to typical life activities as "so depressing?"
Personally, I don't see that nearly as often anymore. There seemed to be a movement of awareness around using clinical terms.
There was almost a sense of shaming around using these words to describe the dramatic.
I wonder if there has been a shift from depression to anxiety.
I wonder. As in, I don't know. I have no statistics, no answer.
Which means I also wonder; are there actually that many people who actually have anxiety?
Where we used to loosely use "depressed" to describe "sad" or "down,"
are we using "anxiety" to describe what is actually "stress" and "worry?"
Now I know you're getting angsty. Especially if you're someone who actually does have anxiety.
Let me be clear. I definitely recognize both depression and anxiety as real problems. They're real disorders.
People are diagnosed and some take medication for it (not that you need pills to validate your suffering).
So, following this logic. If we aren't misusing clinical terms of actual conditions (because we know better); if there really is that many people living with anxiety... why does there seem to be such a spike?
Have the numbers changed? Or has the stigma around it dissipated enough that we're free to talk about it openly?
I feel like I'm rambling a little bit, but on the other hand, I think we need to have open spaces to wonder these kinds of things.
Wonder with me.
Thanks for reading!