Sac State should move to break stigmas surrounding mental illness

Brittney Christ

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Almost everyone knows someone who tends to disappear at parties, who shies away from meeting new people or has difficulty speaking in public. What people do not know is these are all commonalities of social anxiety. 

Social anxiety is defined as the discomfort or fear a person feels when they are in a social interaction that causes concern of being judged or evaluated by others.

Those with this anxiety typically fear what people are thinking about them; specifically the fear of being embarrassed, criticized, humiliated, rejected or ostracized. Sometimes this anxiety is developed during childhood, or brought on by traumatic events.

At times, this anxiety can be crippling and can potentially have devastating results on someone’s life.

According to the Anxiety Disorder of America Association, around 40 million adults have an anxiety disorder: that is almost 20 percent of the American population. So why do some put these people down and make fun of them? 

As college students, we experience a high level of stress and anxiety every day. Instead of patronizing each other, or trying to one up each other, we need to gain sensitivity and compassion to understand one another. 

You may think that you have anxiety because of your looming essay deadline, but do you feel that every day in social situations, regardless of your circumstances? Some students do, and we need to be better friends and classmates to each other.

We need to erase the stigma behind mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Mental health is undeniably important, and we as a college campus need to support those who suffer from these issues.