The last couple of years may have seen the internet over-run with trolls, but 2016 showed good things can happen online too, thanks to the rising use of social media as a legit platform for identity politics. Nothing was more inspiring to see than the rise in depression and anxiety memes and the community that developed around them.
With people from all walks of life, even cisgender males like Zayn Malik and Ryan Reynolds, finally feeling comfortable enough to talk about their harrowing experience of addiction, anxiety or anorexia, mental health literacy has become the order of the day.
Social media users have taken to sharing candid and relatable tales about their mental ailments in a bid to normalize mental illness. Empowering hashtags like #GrowingUpWithAnxiety or #HighFiveForAnxiety have been born, fostering a sense of camaraderie and community spirit. Here are a few of the most accurate anxiety memes to get you chuckling (and crying)…
1. You try to rationalize your anxiety
You can’t reason with it. There’s no getting around the inevitable cul-de-sac: “This worst-case scenario I’ve concocted in bed at 2AM because I couldn’t sleep is improbable, yes, but, by God, it’s not impossible.”
2. Anxiety + depression = a double whammy of feelings
when you're happy for a moment but then the existential depression kicks unexpectedly pic.twitter.com/Ys8y09u0EL— lionel nietzsche (@hateshaliek) December 18, 2016
Anxiety often triggers depression, and in some cases vice versa. When you feel anxious, you worry about potential problems that may arise and often start “othering”, which makes you feel bad. This can then translate into depression.
3. We need to talk about FaceTime and phone call-induced panic attacks
Very few things justify a call. Unless you’ve found a graduate job, text. Always text.
4. When you realize you can never not be anxious
The anxiety of being deliciously anxiety-free for a brief interval goes an insidious step beyond being anxious of being anxious. It suggests that you’ve lived with anxiety for such a long time that you’ve actually internalized it.
5. *Looks up the words serotonin, happiness, joy*
Woz dat? Joy? Companionship?
6. “So tell me about your day”
When you finally open up about your feelings and Storm Stella hits your confidant to the ground.
7. So accurate it hurts
Catastrophic thinking – or ruminating about worst case scenarios – is very easy to slip into and difficult to notice or rein in, but it can overwhelm you. A good way to combat it is to set aside a time in the day or week to worry. Rather than let it invade your daily routine, concentrate it into a 5-10 minute slot. In most cases, you’ll find your worries are actually pretty fixable.
8. Aw, fam…
You shouldn’t have. No really. *sings Hello Darkness my Old Friend*
9. When a friend asks: “Why don’t you just get a hobby to relax?”
The trouble with anxiety is that people don’t get it. Some people seem to think anxiety is just an excuse to get out of doing things, while others mistake it for pressure. Occasional worry isn’t quite the same thing as generalized anxiety disorder – a debilitating mental illness that can take over your life and stop you from performing basic tasks.