Her Selfie Gets Unexpected Internet Talking About Mental Disorders


Her Selfie Gets Unexpected Internet Talking About Mental Disorders

Recently Amber Smith, a 22-year-old woman from Warwickshire, posted a selfie and a candid Facebook post about her struggles with anxiety. Since then, the selfie and the post have gained a lot of attention and discussion via social media.


Amber’s selfie was taken right after she experienced a panic attack, a painful symptom that often comes with anxiety disorders. In the selfie, she is without makeup and looking stressed. She compares this selfie side-by-side with another picture of her, this time looking dressed up and much happier. In her Facebook post, Amber points out that she rarely shows the world what she looks like during her bouts of anxiety.


The Facebook post goes on to state how she is tired of the social stigmas that surrounds mental health. She makes the claim that 1 in 3 people will have a mental illness at some point in their life. There are similar statistics out there that point to how common mental health problems actually are. According to mind.org, 1 in 4 people in the United Kingdom will experience a form of mental illness each year. This ranges from depression, anxiety, phobias, panic disorders, post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. There are also personality disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and a number of other serious mental illnesses that are reported in people.

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Despite the fact that mental health problems are very common, there are still societal attitudes that alienate and discriminate against people who suffer from these problems. Prejudiced views are held by a broad variety of people within society. Social rejection, isolation, gossip, distrust and fear are some of the ways people react to those with mental health issues. Even the friends and family of a sufferer may harbor a negative attitude toward mental health problems. Amber’s own post came as a result of people in her life pressuring her to socialize during a time when she was feeling anxious and panicked. As Amber points out, “I’ve been battling with anxiety and depression for years and years and there’s still people that make comments like ‘you’ll get over it’, ‘you don’t need tablets, just be happier’, ‘you’re too young to suffer with that’.”

According to Pfizer, anxiety disorders are the most common of mental health issues. 25% of the population will have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, and 10% will have it in a year. Why is it so common? Studies have shown that anxiety is caused by number of factors, both biological and environmental. Children who experience trauma during childhood are at a higher risk of developing anxiety. Being afflicted with a serious physical illness, such as cancer, can lead to anxiety. There are certain types of personalities that are more prone to a build up of stress and develop anxiety as a result. It can also be genetic, people who have family members with anxiety are more at risk of developing it.

People who have anxiety usually experience consistent bouts of it. Signs and symptoms include nervousness, panic attacks, sweating, shaking, trembling, and feeling powerless or weak. Many people tend to avoid treatment because of unfortunate social attitudes. Those with anxiety are made to feel weak or overreacting. Health professionals strongly urge people to get diagnosed and treated if they are suffering from some form of anxiety. There are a variety of treatments, including counseling, stress management, relaxation training, and antidepressant medications. If you suspect that you have an anxiety disorder, consult a doctor. Leaving the problem untreated can leave you feeling worse.

Nimh.nih.gov   Adaa.org

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