I have recently started answering questions on a site called Quora, which is a site designed to try and answer peoples questions by those who have some knowledge of the subject. As you might imagine, I have been trying to answer questions on anxiety.
One of the questions that is always being asked is how someone can broach the subject of their anxiety to their families. I have always told them that they should try to be honest and tell them how they feel, so that they can help and support them.
However, it struck me that so many people are still struggling with this problem, and that they don’t feel able to talk to their families for whatever reason. My wife and I have always encouraged our daughter to tell us anything that may be worrying her, regardless of the issue, and I would hate it if she felt unable to talk to us about something like that.
I know that there are still some people that see the stigma towards anxiety and mental health, but, I have also seen many more people opening up about their problems and finding help and support in return. In many ways, it is great that there are so many charities like SANE that are working so hard to tackle stigma and are also there to help those that don’t feel they can turn to anyone else.
However, it upsets me that there are so many who feel so alone. I must admit that it took me a while to open up to my whole family. Not because I was worried about what they would say, but because I was ashamed. If we can help everyone feel that they don’t need to feel like that, then it will go a long way to breaking this stigma and helping people to become open about their mental health.