Anxiety: A Term Used too Loosely

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Published September 6, 2018
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The Montclarion
Anxiety is a mental illness that should not be referenced loosely. Photo courtesy of Azzah B.A. via SketchPort

With the semester coming to a start, Montclair State University students may be worried about parking, finding the right schedule and balancing yet another semester. The word “anxiety” becomes a well-known term around campus when assignments start to pile up. However, the term “anxiety” can be used loosely by students who do not experience the complete disorder itself, which can upset people who actually have the disorder.

For instance, everyone looks at anxiety as just being nervous. No one understands how dark and alone someone may feel when anxiety consumes you. The disorder instills constant worrying and questioning in ones head that has no off switch. As someone who has and still is suffering from anxiety, putting on a mask is the easiest way to pretend that you are okay in front of the world, which can also be unhealthy. There can be periods of time where you could be feeling fine until the worrying, erratic breathing and racing thoughts creep up on you.

As stated by the Alvarado Parkway Institute, an anxiety disorder can stem from past trauma situations or even be family related. Often at times, it is difficult for students with anxiety on a daily basis to fight through their obstacles. So many other behaviors connect to anxiety alone, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which affects 2.2 million adults in the country, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Additionally, people with anxiety do not want to be a burden on others or even be looked at differently. People with anxiety may have self-doubt due to the feeling of being a burden to their friends and family. Having anxiety is a constant battle against one’s self each and every day.

Being a student, anxiety amps itself up by adding the pressure of getting good marks and pushing yourself. Anxiety can be the constant need to worry about every task at school. Some students might feel comfortable being in a classroom while others may shy away toward the back away from everyone.

Students with anxiety will not only be challenged at school but almost anywhere they go. Commuter students will encounter many stressful obstacles, especially Car Parc, on their way to class. A simple drive to school or meeting someone new can be a factor in whether their anxiety will be triggered.

As difficult as it is dealing with anxiety, there are ways to naturally ease the discomfort of the disorder. A few remedies and coping methods that can help ease anxiety include doing yoga, breathing exercises, listening to calm music or limiting daily obligations to ease their anxiety. While others may take on many obligations to keep busy, people and especially students in college should get to know themselves and what sets off their anxiety. This can help one notice the signs of the disorder.

Generations before ours were not as open about mental illnesses as we are today. Today, more people are being diagnosed with anxiety and receiving help for it. There are still people that struggle to reach out to their family, friends and their own doctors to receive help. It is important to know that it is never too late to receive help, and it is always a good thing to talk about your emotions.

Without a doubt, it is easier to feel alone in this gigantic world. Talking about mental health has become more common. Do not look at people who are open about their struggles differently. Try to understand their intentions or where they come from and that they do not always have control. Understanding people with mental illnesses should not lead to alienation.

Having a mental illness does not define a person, it just makes them more unique. Befriending or having a friend with anxiety is looking past those ticks, habits or constant worries and loving them for the person they are. Before using the term “anxiety” loosely, understand the suffocating feeling that those with anxiety disorder go through.

 

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