#mentalhealthmonday – people with anxiety are the best to fall in love with (response)

A bit of a long title, I know, but this is something that I had to comment on. Thought Catalog recently published an article entitled This is Why People With Anxiety Are The Best People to Fall in Love With. I’m not going to link it, because frankly I don’t want to give it any more views.

Now, the author has stated that she has anxiety. This is no way an attack on the way she experiences and talks about her mental illness, as everyone’s is different. This is a comment on how this article could easily be taken out of context, is (in my mind) romanticizing mental illness, and does not speak for everyone. In my responses, I’m going to talk about how think of anxiety, in the hopes that the differences in people’s experiences of anxiety, and how they think about relationships in particular.

People with anxiety are sensitive and old souls. They have so much heart. And they are going to pour all of their energy into this relationship.

  1. My anxiety does not make me an old soul. What makes me an old soul is my love of 50s music, and preferring tea parties to house parties, and loving fluffy socks. This is not the same thing.
  2. No, I’m not going to pour all of my energy, because I have limited energy to begin with. This is something that I’ve had to come to terms with in the course of the last few years. When I have to choose between texting my boyfriend all night, and having the energy to be able to get out of bed the next morning? Bed wins. Because I function on a different level to many people, and I do not have the spoons to be able to do that.

They know that they have baggage. They know that they have issues and that their mental health can sometimes bring you and your relationship down but, they trust you won’t leave.

  1. I hate the idea of baggage. Like I’m a pack horse that is lugging about a collection of problems to unload onto other people. I have different experiences of the world, but I reject the idea that it is baggage.

You are loving someone who will never take you for granted, because they know how rare it is to find love.

  1. Yes. Instead, my anxiety would make me constantly worried that my partner would leave. Telling myself that I never deserved love in the first place, and that when the relationship inevitably falls apart, it is entirely my fault. 
  2. People without anxiety know how special love is, too. I’m genuinely not sure what the author is trying to say here.

The article tries to end on a positive note:

But, just know, that they aren’t broken people.

To be honest, I wouldn’t want to date someone who needs to be assured that I’m not broken.

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15 thoughts on “#mentalhealthmonday – people with anxiety are the best to fall in love with (response)

  1. A.M.B. says:

    I haven’t read the post you rebut, but I wouldn’t want to. I was diagnosed with GAD in college after a series of panic attacks forced me to take a medical leave (my school was wonderful about it). There was nothing “romantic” about that experience.

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    • whatthelog says:

      I’m so glad that you got the help you needed 🙂 I’ve got GAD too actually, and my school has been less than helpful. :/
      But absolutely agreed. I have always found my mental illness to hold me back – it isn’t a special ‘quirk’ of mine, or anything ridiculous like that.

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  2. Grab the Lapels says:

    What a terrible freaking article. Everything that you quoted from it offended me. Furthermore, it reinforced all the paranoid I already harbor. Thanks, stupid article! Now I need to mentally chant, “I am huuuuuman,” which will inevitably turn into “I am hoooooomin,” which will make me think about cats, but then I will think “I am hoomooooin” and then I’m a cow. *smh*

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  3. ahitsdina says:

    This romantic gloss over things is really detrimental to people with mental illness, But, I hate that I am not surprised by it, as I have encountered it a lot in my life. People are like, “Oh, this suffering makes you special!” Lots of people have mental illness. It’s not a blessing. Sometimes, I feel like it’s a curse. Like, last night, my OCD kept me awake, doing research about books I can’t get until two months from now. But, anyway, like you were saying, we have to prioritize our energy and emotion. If I don’t try to break away from my obsessive thoughts, my compulsions will ruin weeks and months of my time and that bleeds into my relationships with friends and family.

    I think this writer assumes that romance is the key to our existence. I’m aro ace, so that’s part of my frustration, but I sincerely don’t think anyone needs to come along and validate our existence, tell us our mental illness makes us better lovers. That’s something I work through in therapy a lot, waiting to be validated. So….no, article writer, you don’t get to tell me that I am special because I have mental illness.

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    • whatthelog says:

      Absolutely agreed. I also hate when anxiety or mental illness in general is linked to creativity – like having these experiences automatically make us into great artists, or stuff like that. My experience is that my mental illnesses have always held me back in my creative endeavours!
      That’s a really good point, and I absolutely agree. That’s one thing I love about my partner – he doesn’t think that my mental illness makes me ‘special’. It is just a part of me.

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  4. Ravenclaw Book Club says:

    I hate the romanticisation of mental illness so much. My best friend has depression and borderline and it seriously makes her life really damn difficult, so every time someone tries to romanticise it I’m literally disgusted.

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  5. Notchaitea says:

    Great post! Haven’t read the article but I agree with the way you’ve highlighted that the status of a persons mental health does not define them! I struggle to make people understand this, so I’m glad you put it out there

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  6. xtine says:

    “they trust you won’t leave” — is this person serious? Fearing that my loved ones will dip out with my depression/anxiety gets bad is literally one of my biggest fears, one of the major things I constantly have to reframe in my head to get through my day. WTF.

    And re- being broken — this is a big one for me too. It’s so easy to feel like there’s something “wrong” with me that needs to be “fixed” but that detracts from the battle to get to a place where I accept who I am right now, whether I’m going through a bad week or I’m on the up-and-up. Believing that I’m somehow “broken” would just be giving depression what it wants. Jeez.

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    • whatthelog says:

      YUP, me too. My jaw dropped when I read that, because everyone I know who has anxiety is constantly in a state of worry about loved ones leaving them. I genuinely don’t know where the author got that idea.

      I’m so glad you’re able to think like that 🙂 This was one of the worst bits of the article, in my opinion, because it is so easy to think of myself as broken – one confirmation of that from a ridiculous article like this is a huge blow to the progress that I’ve made.
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

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      • xtine says:

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s a constant battle to keep from believing the worst things about myself, and feeling broken is definitely one of them. I think it’s a combination of how we feel about ourselves and how society views people with mental illnesses in general.

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