Does your anxiety and depression make you feel isolated? The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has an anxiety disorders page with anxiety resources and videos of young people talking about their depression and anxiety.
Jasmin Terrany, LMHC speaks in the intro video for “Anxiety and Depression Stories.” She uses body image as an example of how we, especially women, are severely affected by anxiety and depression. For example, the nagging, programmed voice in our heads telling us we need to lose five pounds never goes away even when you lose the five pounds. That negative voice has less to do with the five pounds and more to do with how we focus on the negative things about ourselves as the whole reality and not the bigger picture.
Following the intro, college students speak about their anxiety and depression experiences. It’s amazing to see how everyone’s experiences and coping mechanisms are similar, yet different. What’s more empowering is for people in their twenties to see their peers discuss their experiences. Often times, we are told we’re “too young” to experience anxiety and depression. As a result, we begin to feel like weirdos because young sufferers think it’s not normal for young people to have mood disorders. Yet, the reality is that anxiety and depression are just like any physical disease, because they do not discriminate between age, sex, or ethnicity.
Videos of college-aged students discussing their mood disorders opens a dialogue that we should be having as a society. When we have conversations about mental illness, we need to teach others to eliminate stigmatizing language including phrases such as, “You’re too young for that,” “Are you sick in the head?” or “Take some pills.” No one is ever too young to have anxiety or depression. We need to destroy this idea that anxiety and depression only hurts older people.
Maybe we should all start making videos of ourselves describing our own mental illnesses. Wouldn’t that be an enlightening experience for the world?