Although it may feel like you are alone in your struggle with anxiety, the truth is, you aren’t. Approximately 40 million Americans struggle with an anxiety disorder.

Even though it’s something that so many people deal with, there are still many mistaken ideas or stigmas surrounding anxiety. These stigmas may keep you from seeking the help you need.

If you’ve ever been told to “just toughen up” or “snap out of it,” I am deeply sorry. Not only are those statements born out of ignorance, they completely discredit the illness you’re experiencing.

The stigma surrounding anxiety disorders can create self-doubt and shame. And stigma doesn’t just come from others. You may mistakenly believe that your condition is a sign of personal weakness or that you should be able to control it without help. When you think less of yourself because of your disorder and when you assume others will see you negatively because of your mental health, it’s self-induced shame.

Additionally, don’t make excuses about getting the help you need. I talk to so many people struggling with anxiety, and often when I encourage them to see a psychologist or a doctor or to consider medication, they respond with a lot of excuses. I know it’s hard, but don’t fall into this trap. Be an overcomer rather than a victim. Take baby steps, but do something.

If you are struggling with anxiety, here are some things you should do:

If you struggle with a mental illness, we have free, confidential mentors who would love to talk with you and support you. Just click “Connect” below.

This article was originally published on TheHopeLine®.

This article was written by: Dawson McAllister

Photo Credit: Fernando @cferdo