Many can’t understand why people would confess their mental health problems on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Usually, mental health problems like anxiety and depression are private and stay private. But in today’s day and age, many are speaking out publically on the net about their mental issues, and it is encouraging others to speak out as well.
Speaking Out Via Facebook About Anxiety
Scary Mommy reports, a woman named Megan Lynne Ferrero has posted a powerful message on Facebook about her personal anxiety. She included a picture of her nails, which were chewed down to nothing. “Anxiety isn’t just chest pains,” she writes. “It’s biting your nails until they bleed, then picking off the skin on your finger once you’re out of nails to bite.”
Anxiety is also “driving to the store only to sit in the parking lot for 20 minutes before turning back around, without even going inside.” For Ferrero, anxiety is “asking your partner several times a day if they love you, partially kidding, but mostly needing to hear it because you find it so hard to love yourself at that moment.”
Anxiety and Empathy
Then Ferrero really nailed what anxiety truly is. “It’s understanding that what you’re worrying about is often irrational and not as extreme as your reaction warrants, but not being able to control your response. Often times, it even means you CAN’T understand that what you’re worrying about is irrational or not as extreme as your reaction warrants.”
Anxiety is also “taking everyday parts of life and intensifying the excitement or fear they result in times a thousand, to the point that they seem impossible to face. Some days are more manageable than others, and it’s on those days I try to remind myself that I CAN get through whatever anxiety throws my way.”
Sharing on Social Media in Hope to Heal Others
Ferrero admitted it wasn’t easy for her to share the photo of her nails chewed down to the flesh, “but if even one person finds comfort in knowing they’re not alone in this, then I’m going to push past my comfort zones to do that.” And in sharing personal trauma with the public, it is indeed encouraging others to come forward and get help. Ferrero’s post quickly got over 60,000 likes on Facebook, and over 100,000 shares as well.
The Facts of Women and Anxiety
According to the Office on Women’s Health, nearly one to five women in the United States suffer from anxiety. Women are also more than twice as likely to develop an anxiety disorder than men. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America also states that women can experience anxiety disorders earlier in life than men.
Anxiety is often combated with a combination of counseling and medicine like anti-depressants. Many women also find yoga helpful in combating anxiety as well.
Whatever the facts are, an image of a woman who chewed her fingernails down to nothing makes a powerful statement on its own. Ferrero is brave to share her anxiety with the world, and it is also thankfully raising awareness of how women are suffering from the disorder as well.