Sometimes people just don't listen to you regardless of how many times you try to make your voice heard. This is even more common in anxiety, making the numbers only 36.9% of people in the United States being actively treated for their anxiety disorders. The most common anxiety disorder, and the one that I have, is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Here's what I wish my ex could have known about my anxiety:
1. You did NOT cause my panic attack.
You have no idea how stressful it is to try to explain to your significant other that they did not cause your anxiety or your panic attacks. Every time that my ex would blame himself for my anxiety, it only made things worse. I wanted to lock myself away and cry, and I know I'm not the only one with an anxiety disorder that feels this way. Stop blaming yourself for anxiety.
2. You can NOT force somebody to take medication.
I CANNOT STRESS THIS ONE ENOUGH!
My ex tried to force me to get prescribed medication for my anxiety, even going as far as nearly breaking up with me because I didn't want to be put on medication. The more you try to force somebody to take any type of medicine, the less likely they are to actually use it.
Yes, I'm now on medication. However, I did that by my own choice.
I reached out to my parents and the doctor on my own, not because somebody told me that it would be the best thing for me.
3. Breaking up with somebody over a mental illness is NOT okay.
Seriously. I dealt with a ton of things that I could have avoided if I broke up with my ex, but he thought it would be completely fine to say he was going to break up with me because I had a bad panic attack when he wanted to go out on a date once. Nice try, but that makes you seem like a jerk. Don't do this.
4. I just need a shoulder to cry on.
Whenever I started to feel upset, degrading me for it would only make me worse. I needed a shoulder to cry on, someone to lean on, someone to make me feel like I was loved. I needed someone to make me feel like I had a purpose, not like I was a disgrace that nobody needed in their life.
5. Sometimes I cannot leave my house.
My ex never understood that there were some days that I just needed to spend the entire day snuggled up in my bed with my cat and Netflix. Some days I just couldn't force myself to face the judgment of the world outside of my room. Some days I just wanted to sleep all day or play video games on my own. Some days I just wanted to sketch and listen to music and be left alone. Anxiety is a mental illness that has symptoms very similar to depression, and some days those symptoms made themselves more known than the symptoms that he was more used to me showing.