We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what misconceptions their parents have about their anxiety. Here's what they wish you knew.
1. First off, it's a real illness and not just run-of-the-mill stress.
2. It's not a choice or something we can control.
3. And it's not your fault, either.
"I think my parents blamed themselves a lot in the beginning, especially my dad, because we think I inherited it from him. Even if that's true, I really hope they don't blame themselves for my struggles, because if anything, they have helped me a lot." —Maddie Joel, Facebook
4. It can be physically painful and exhausting at times.
5. Don't fight with us about our anxiety — fight our anxiety with us.
"Reading up, doing some research to help them (and me) figure out how this thing ONE person in the family has can affect us all, and how to find ways to make things better — yes, that's something I would have loved my parents to have understood when I was a child." —TiggaPlease
6. If we think we could benefit from seeing a professional, please take us.
7. Being patient when we need time to do something or collect ourselves is one of the most helpful things you can do.
8. Listening is almost always more helpful than trying to come up with a solution or offering advice.
9. We want you to look after and take care of yourself, too.
10. We don't always want to talk about it.
11. And sometimes we just need to be left alone completely.
12. Anxiety manifests in a lot of different ways, so you might not recognize it.
"My stepmother has anxiety. Crowds and noise make her very uncomfortable.
I also have anxiety. I crave noise and lots of distractions. I'm extroverted, but panic when lost, far from familiar things, when my schedule gets messed up, or when I'm in a car. Because I like being around people and don't have trouble running errands doesn't mean my anxiety doesn't exist." —Anna Wegscheid, Facebook
13. Sometimes just getting out of bed is a success.
14. It's more than just ~being worried~.
15. And it's not just being sensitive.
16. Look out for changes in our behavior instead of asking if our medication is working all the time.
17. We're not trying to be difficult when we say we can’t do a seemingly small, anxiety-inducing task.
18. Our anxiety doesn't take a vacation just because good things are happening.
19. And just because we could do something yesterday doesn't mean we can do it today.
20. We don't need a reason to be anxious. Sometimes it just happens.
"I wish my mom would realise that anxiety just doesn't go away whenever she tells me stuff like, 'Oh, don't worry about it!', 'Why are you worrying over something so small? There's other things to worry about,' and the most infamous one, 'There's nothing to be anxious about.'" —Angeles Perez, Facebook