For those who don't struggle with mental health issues, it can be hard to fully comprehend what a panic attack feels like. One woman's powerful Facebook post gets brutally honest about the reality.
Last week, British merchandiser Amber Smith posted two photos and an accompanying caption on Facebook about living with anxiety and depression. The first photo is a flattering selfie. The second is a raw picture taken shortly an anxiety-induced panic attack.
In the caption, Smith wrote:
Top picture: What I showcase to the world via social media. Dressed up, make up done, filters galore. The 'normal' side to me.
Bottom picture: Taken tonight shortly after suffering from a panic attack because of my anxiety. Also the 'normal' side to me that most people don't see.
Smith also described how infuriating it is that, in 2016, there continues to be such a stigma around mental health issues, despite the fact that mental illness is a reality one out of every four American adults live with.
"It disgusts me that so many people are so uneducated and judgmental over the topic," she wrote. "I've been battling with anxiety and depression for years and years and there's still people that make comments like 'you'll get over it', 'you don't need tablets, just be happier', 'you're too young to suffer with that.'"
Smith's post has since been shared by more than 13,000 people on Facebook, with many commenters expressing support and solidarity. One commenter wrote, "With you 100%. Was really ashamed of being so weak when I was diagnosed. Now I know I'm not weak but just have times when I'm not as strong as I thought I was. I'm not ashamed anymore." Many others thanked Smith for sharing her experience.
Smith used the post not only to share her own experience with anxiety and depression, but to encourage others who are suffering to seek support, and remind everyone just how powerful kindness can be.
"The more awareness there is, the less people who will suffer in silence," she wrote.
H/T The Daily Dot