“Treat others how you would want to be treated. Furthermore, no one knows what the other person is going through, so don’t let what appears on the outside determine your reaction. Your smile can change their life. Be kind. Always.”
athealth.com has provided me with a very common question: How common is anxiety? This site seeks to reach out to mental health professionals looking to further their education in the subject, but also provides statistical evidence and discussions regarding different fields of mental illnesses. One thing that stood out to me as I was doing my own research into anxiety was that there was a study that came out saying that three percent(3%) of our society has had or will have some diagnosis of anxiety. It also states that this percentage is common. And you know what that tells me? Not enough people are talking, or worse, not enough people are being heard.
Over the course of my life, I feel like everyone I meet has had, or knows someone who has anxiety. Whether it’s just a minor episode, or a chronic condition, there is some connection that we all have to the subject. And this is where we need to make a change. We get so accustomed to listening to someone’s story, but we don’t actually hear their words. As an ASIST(Assistant Suicide Intervention SpecialisT) with the United States Coast Guard, I was taught to identify cues and signals that dealt with people experiencing major depression/anxiety which could ultimately lead to death.
Now, I am not saying that anyone who is having anxiety is going to look to suicide as the answer. What I am saying is that we need to pay attention to those around us because you just don’t know who is going through what. Some people are good at masking their emotions, so it will take a conversation and you paying attention to how their day is going, listening and HEARING what they are saying, to actually identify if they are experiencing any form of anxiety. Whether it only occurs once in their life, or over the course of their life, it makes all the difference to know that someone is listening.
Please. Just hear them out. Don’t go through the motions. You can be the difference.