Are we pushing people back under a rock?

Like a lot of people right now, I cannot, get enough, of podcasts.

Hitting play on an episode of Emma Gannon’s Ctrl, Alt, Delete during a 45 minute drive to work feels like you’ve joined a motivational conversation over coffee with two good friends. It’s also an education for any millennial.

Whilst listening to an episode of Ctrl, Alt, Delete recently, an interviewee said, ‘the word anxiety is overused, it gets thrown around a lot these days.’

I also read similar recently: ‘Nothing is more fashionable right now than anxiety disorders.’

It created fury at the steering wheel. FURY, people.

Now, I do not for one minute proclaim to be an Oracle in anxiety disorders.

I’m no expert of anything.
And – a little tip – telling yourself this is extremely freeing, especially in your day job, where we can be extremely tough on ourselves.

But this was such a black and white statement, lacking any supporting evidence, never mind context. Not a crumb. This was annoying.

My main agitation is that sometimes, people in a position of influence, on a pretty big platform, fuel stigma. However, the last time I checked, we needed to normalise these things, not push people back under a rock.

So first and foremost, let’s clarify the meaning of ‘anxiety’ (from a decent source)

‘Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.’

Some of the physical things that might happen are:

  • rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
  • fast breathing
  • weakened or tense muscles
  • sweating
  • churning stomach or loose bowels
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth.Anxiety also has a psychological impact, which can include:
  • trouble sleeping
  • lack of concentration
  • feeling irritable
  • feeling depressed
  • loss of self-confidence.*From

Yes, run-of-the-mill nervousness is not the same as severe anxiety. I think we all know this, thanks. There’s no need for an article on it.

We all use words pretty differently, and we’re all the expert of ourselves, no?

Sad Face 2.png

Yes, there are different degrees of anxiety, the severe level being extremely debilitating and never to be taken lightly.But what about those people that are at an earlier stage? But still struggling, still in need for support, and dare I say, eligible for a formal ‘diagnosis’ of some description.

I can’t remember the last time I heard (or overheard) someone say that they were experiencing anxiety. The word is not abused.


So people, go forth and use ANY (or combination of) words you want to use to let the world know how you’re doing. Because they’ll be real and right for you, and it’s important to use the language you know and relate to.Not those of a mate, a scholar or podcast guest.

We struggle enough to let people know how we’re feeling (remember, we play down the good as well as the bad).

Dismissing a person because, ‘you’ don’t think they’re experiencing what they say they are’ is not cool. And if you want to know what someone with a mental health wobble looks like, just look around you.


What’s you experience?

Do you feel comfortable to speak out when you’re not doing too good?

If not, what holds you back? Let me know.


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