Anxiety – Fighting The Stereotypes Through Storytelling


Author: Emili Ema Sedlar

People have a misconception of anxiety as an individual choice or opinion, where many people out there believe that anxiety is easily curable, controllable and manageable on an everyday basis if one chooses to make a difference about itself. Unfortunately, they are not aware how anxiety is a diagnosis that haunts people day and night in different settings and formats: while some experience social anxiety and the inability to control their excessive analysis of small situations, some struggle with insomnia, mistrust, OCD, sudden panic attacks and other different symptoms that are impact each person differently. Yet, still there is a list of stereotypes people keep up to when it comes to anxiety, such as those struggling with anxiety are attention seekers, fragile, lazy, weak and self-absorbed.

In other articles published on some have spoken out about what it is like to live with anxiety day and night, how it affects their relationship with their family, partners and friends, thus how do they handle some of their most delicate and troublesome symptoms.

Anna, a law student from Finland has struggled with anxiety ever since her parents have gotten a divorce when she was a child. One of her first symptoms started when she began high school.

I had always been very shy when I was in middle school. However, since 8th grade onwards, I’ve struggled with social anxiety in such a way that I vomited almost each morning when I had to go to school. Suddenly, I was afraid of being in huge crowds and away from home. So many kids mocked me if I didn’t want to attend a field trip, noted Anna and even described an exact situation in which she received lack of understanding from family members.

With my father, he believes that you can practically sleep off anxiety and the next day, you’re as good as new. I tried explaining to him how it isn’t that easy, since I also suffer from chronic insomnia, over analyzing each situation and person, and worrying about myself and self-image. Over a few occasions, I tried to illustrate to him what it’s like to cry at nights when I can’t fall asleep, feeling different and lost. Yet he still believes that I am the one seeking attention for the wrong purpose, Anna sadly replied.

Anna’s mother and boyfriend help her cope with her symptoms and have always been there for her in times when she needed them the most.

I am not sure if I would even be here giving out this interview if it wasn’t for them. I can only trust them and tell them everything what’s on my mind. When I had a meltdown and was hospitalized for my anxiety, my boyfriend was by my side day and night. I will never forget that, she remembered.

Even though Anna still struggles greatly with her anxiety, she has created mechanisms on how to confront it and how to deal with specific issues.

For my insomnia, I meditate and talk to my boyfriend about everything. It is really helpful to have someone who completely understands what I am going through. We both drink lemon balm tea, read or watch a film, goof around and have a good time, explained Anna.

For those out there having issues with anxiety, Anna has reminded that it is never too late to seek help and how it is necessary to find someone close to you to talk to.

About the Author: 

Hi there lovely people! My name is Emili Ema Sedlar and I am a journalist from Croatia. It is such an honor to be volunteering for Women’s Rights & News LGBT News and bringing out new ideas about today’s issues in society. I am a college student, majoring in journalism and communications. In the past few years, I have been an activist in the fields of education, HIV, immigrants’ rights and women’s rights, focusing mostly on stories that are unique and different. I have published my journalistic works on many Croatian news sites and for over a year, I’ve been a writer for Positive Women’s Network-USA.