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The truth about anxiety with Rosie #1

Rosie gives us the low-down about anxiety!

Have you ever noticed a friend being very particular about how they wash their hands? Or seen someone avoid sitting with others at lunch? Anxiety disorders affect people and their behaviours in many different ways. 


In recent years, a lot of light has been shed on mental health. Our society is more accepting and supportive of those who are struggling. But what people still don’t comprehend is just how many different disorders there are. The sheer number of conditions and areas there can be issues with still needs to be shared. 


One area of mental health that is widely underestimated is anxiety. It is common, today, to hear someone say, “I have anxiety”, but this is a confusing statement. “Anxiety” is a term used to describe all of the many types of anxiety disorder but is not really a thing in itself. Saying “anxiety” doesn’t explain what is actually affecting you. 


There are many types of anxiety disorder, but there are six main and more common ones: 

· Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)- a persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things. 

· Panic disorder- regularly experiencing sudden attacks of panic or fear. 

· Social anxiety- long-lasting and intense fear of social situations or being judged. 

· Specific phobias- extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. 

· Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)- experiencing obsessive thoughts and feeling that it is compulsory to carry out related actions and feeling some anxiety attacks if not. 

· Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)- reliving a traumatic or distressing event which causes anxiety attacks and feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. 


Some, if not all, of these conditions may be familiar to you, but they are rarely thought of, by the uninformed, as disorders of anxiety. Furthermore, the public does not know how many people suffer with these disorders. 


In an attempt to prove this, I conducted a survey with members of the school community, ranging across all years. It found that out of 25 people, only 9 were able to correctly name an anxiety disorder. These, I found, were mostly people with a personal connection to one of the anxiety disorders. The survey also found that people were ill informed about how many anxiety disorders there are, as the results ranged from saying 2-32 different types! (the answer was 6). 

My conclusion of this research survey is that my point has been proved: anxiety disorders are widely underestimated. This needs to change. Anxiety disorders are very real things, especially to those who live with them. They cause feelings of isolation because they feel that nobody else understands. We, as a community and our entire society, need to learn. We need to give the support and help needed for those people to get through every day. We need to help those who need us.