What Are Some Stigmas Of Anxiety?

Wyn Jugueta
March 31, 2023

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can manifest in various ways, from mild worry to severe panic attacks. However, those with anxiety often face stigmatization, exacerbating their symptoms and making seeking help more challenging. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the stigmas of anxiety and why discussing them openly is crucial.

social anxiety stigma
Source: Roots TMS

8 Stigmas Against Anxiety

Some people who are uneducated about mental health issues believe that anxiety is a sign of weakness or lack of control. Some may even mock those with anxiety, believing they are not trying hard enough to “get over it.”

Here is a list of the most commonly held assumptions to give insight into the common stigmas against anxiety.

People with anxiety are just seeking attention.

The stigma that people with anxiety are just seeking attention is a harmful and inaccurate stereotype. In reality, anxiety is a debilitating condition that can severely impact a person’s quality of life, including their ability to work, socialize, and perform daily activities. Those with anxiety do not seek attention but need understanding, support, and appropriate treatment.

Suggesting that people with anxiety are attention-seeking can contribute to feelings of shame and discouragement, making it more challenging to seek the help they need.

Anxiety is a sign of weakness or a personal flaw.

Some people mistakenly believe that those with anxiety are weak or have some personal flaws. This could not be further from the truth—anxiety is a medical condition that can be managed through therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Blaming individuals for having anxiety only makes matters worse and contributes to feelings of guilt and worthlessness.

People with anxiety should be able to “just calm down” or “get over it.”

Anxiety is an uncontrollable condition that cannot be switched off. It is not something one can “get over” or “calm down.” According to mental health experts, those with anxiety must find coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness and relaxation techniques, to help them manage their symptoms.

anxiety stereotypes
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Anxiety is not an actual medical condition.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines anxiety as a normal reaction to stress that can help individuals cope with challenging situations. However, it can be considered a mental health disorder when anxiety becomes excessive, persistent, and interferes with daily life.

According to the National Institutes of Health, anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health conditions worldwide, affecting over 301 million people in 2019. These disorders can take many forms, including generalized anxiety, panic, social anxiety, and specific phobias.

The WHO also recognizes the significant impact of anxiety disorders on individuals, families, and society and stresses the importance of early detection and appropriate treatment to improve outcomes for those affected.

Medication or therapy is not necessary for treating anxiety.

The stigma that medication or therapy is unnecessary for treating anxiety is a harmful and incorrect stereotype. While some people may be able to manage their anxiety symptoms through self-help techniques or lifestyle changes, this is not always the case. Medication or therapy is essential to the treatment plan for many people. Anxiety disorders are medical conditions that can significantly impact an individual’s mental and physical health, and appropriate treatment can improve their quality of life.

Anxiety is a rare condition and only affects a small percentage of people.

The stigma that anxiety is a rare condition and only affects a small percentage of people is inaccurate and not supported by facts and statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO). As mentioned earlier, about 301 million people worldwide have anxiety disorders. 35.12 % of the general population of it had anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic

how does stigma affect anxiety
Source: Roots TMS

People with anxiety are dangerous or unpredictable.

While you may think that people who have anxiety disorders are dangerous or unpredictable, this is not true. Anxiety can cause people to feel panicked and overwhelmed in certain situations, but it does not mean they are a threat to themselves or others. People with anxiety disorders have the same rights as everyone else and should be treated with respect and understanding.

Anxiety is only for insecure people.

This stigma is wrong and damaging. Anxiety does not discriminate—it can affect anyone regardless of their background or level of confidence. Anxiety disorders can significantly impact an individual’s mental and physical health and their ability to work, socialize, and perform daily activities. Anxiety disorders are also associated with a higher risk of developing other mental health conditions, such as depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Without proper treatment, anxiety disorders can lead to a decreased quality of life and increased healthcare costs.

The Impact of Stigma

For people who have anxiety or any mental health disorder, stigmas can have a devastating effect on their lives. Negative attitudes and beliefs towards mental health can lead to feelings of shame and isolation, worsening an individual’s symptoms and interfering with their ability to seek help. We all must work together to reduce stigmas surrounding mental health disorders, so those needing help do not feel ashamed or embarrassed about what they think.

How is Anxiety Treated?

how does stigma affect anxiety CA
Source: Pexels

There are various treatments available for anxiety that can help an individual manage their symptoms. These include medications, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, and self-help techniques such as mindfulness and relaxation exercises. Working with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment plan for you is essential. The right treatment can reduce or even eliminate anxiety symptoms for good.

At Roots TMS, we offer therapies, including TMS, that are effective in treating anxiety disorders. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain associated with mood regulation. Our experts are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care, and we strive to help individuals manage their anxiety symptoms and improve their overall well-being. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.


Anxiety can hit anyone regardless of age, gender, race, or background. It is essential to recognize and address the stigmas associated with stress, as they can be damaging and lead to misunderstanding, discrimination, or even avoidance of treatment.

If you or someone you know is experiencing signs or symptoms of an anxiety disorder, it is essential to seek professional help immediately. Early detection and treatment can make a big difference in managing anxiety symptoms and improving overall well-being. It is crucial to be aware of the stigmas associated with anxiety so that you can take action to challenge any misconceptions or stereotypes. You can manage your stress and lead a fulfilling life with the proper support, education, and resources.

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Wyn Jugueta