Many young women develop anxiety in college (or earlier), and it is much more crippling than being “stressed out.” Anxiety can cause panic attacks. It can make it so even the simplest tasks cause you to freeze, to have difficulty swallowing, to feel nauseous. It can make it hard to breathe, to get through the day, to think, to write, to live.
I would know.
I’m not alone — anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., and they affect 40 million adults over 18.
One incredible young woman is gaining international attention for speaking on Humans of New York about her journey combatting anxiety, and it has moved hundreds of thousands of people. The website highlights different people around New York (and then, the world) and asks them questions about their lives to paint a portrait of the heartbreaks and joys of people everywhere.
“I was the best student in my high school,” the girl begins. She then details how she went from perfection to falling behind, and how that caused her to have panic attacks. “The attacks were almost daily after that,” she shares.
Fortunately, she has found a way to battle her demons, and she is now in college. “The more I talk about my problem, the more I realize that other people experience similar things. So I’m trying to express it more. I had a great teacher who told me: ‘Instead of letting anxiety keep you from doing your art, let it be the thing that motivates your art.’”
The post gained so much attention because, for many, it is relatable: “It’s helps the rest of us to know we’re not alone,” one user commented. Hundreds of others commented on the post, sharing their own stories of crippling anxiety, panic attacks, triumphs, and failures.
This woman is so brave, both for sharing her struggles, and for overcoming them.
Read the gorgeous post in its entirety below: