Today Matt Haig, British author of the forthcoming novel How to Stop Time, tweeted feelingly about his anxiety, writing, “Anxiety is a tricky thing. However bad it is now it convinces you things will get worse. It’s like a Jaws soundtrack of the soul.”
He continued to describe his condition, which he says is improving, making clear the distinction between anxiety and worry. Shortly after, spurred by responses he got on Twitter he added, “Forgot that every time you say anything online about anxiety you get folk denying your reality.”
J.K. Rowling shared the thread and added to the conversation, noting that denying the existence of anxiety might indicate that said denier experiences anxiety him- or herself.
“Sadly, it’s often a giveaway,” Rowling tweeted. “’If you’re a liar, maybe the dark, scary place I keep locked up inside me isn’t real, either.’”
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 18 percent of the American population, making it the most common mental illness in the country. Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder ― both mentioned in Haig’s comments on Twitter ― affect 3.1 percent of Americans and 2.7 percent of Americans, respectively.
You can read Haig’s moving thread on the topic below: