I’ve been noticing a new “trend” if you will that is really starting to bother me (what else is new?). I am currently a student studying psychology. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that school is hard and with working full or part time, it makes it even harder, concepts can be difficult to understand and blah blah blah…. BUT, I have noticed that people are seriously exaggerating their “nervousness” for a test, or for a paper, or life in general. It is normal to be nervous before a test, it is normal to not always feel prepared, but classifying “I’m nervous because I’m not sure I studied enough” as “I have serious anxiety” is…like…what?
This is a really stupid way to get attention. Anxiety is not “cute”, depression is not “cute”, having something malfunctioning with the way your mind processes this world is not “cute”. It is debilitating. It is sad and scary and serious. Let’s get something straight: You are nervous about a test. Actual test anxiety means you literally cannot think because you are about to take a test. It’s like tunnel vision, but at the end of that tunnel are no answers to the problems in front of you. People who have actual anxiety have panic attacks. Sometimes for no reason. Sometimes every hour. Sometimes they just can’t leave their house because of it. Social anxiety means you start to cry at the thought of having to approach someone to ask for help finding something in a supermarket. You would rather not buy groceries at all than have to speak to a stranger because just doing that is too much. Anxiety means you break into a full-body sweat at the smallest sign of discomfort, like when a car is too close, when someone says “Let’s talk for a minute”. Anxious people basically need 8 bags on call 24/7. Life is not easy for people with anxiety. I know people who are actually anxious. I am actually anxious. My anxiety isn’t even that bad, but it is definitely not cute nor is it something to brag about. Having your palms and feet sweating 99% of the time, whether you are currently anxious or not, is what anxiety is. Driving with puddles in your shoes, basically, is what anxiety is and trust me, that shit is annoying, it’s gross and it most certainly is not “cute”. STOP IT!
I cannot believe, that in a class full of master’s psychology students, I listen to so many of them “diagnosing” themselves with something because they think it’s cool to have a diagnosis. Like being “normal” is boring. No, bitch, you’re lucky! Anxiety and being stressed or really busy, do not correlate. They just don’t! And all this is coming from a very specific group of people, people who should know better than to throw around words that have actual, very serious meaning behind them. People who are studying the symptoms that go along with these actual diagnoses…these are your future therapists, America.