According to the National Association of Mental Illness, about 22% of youth aged 13–18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. That's about 1 in 5 kids.
It should be pretty obvious that mental illness doesn't discriminate based on race, sex, or age, but for some reason, society at large still seems to have a narrow view of the types of people it affects. That's why this post about a young woman's anxiety is hitting all the right notes.
Warwickshire, England resident Amber Smith shared her experience with anxiety on Facebook by posting two images -- a typical selfie with her made-up and posing for the camera, and another taken moments after she had suffered a panic attack.
The latter image shows a vulnerability that people who don't suffer from anxiety don't see too often. Smith calls this "the 'normal' side to me that most people don't see."
The post also tackles the (completely absurd) notion that only older people should get depressed because only older people have "things to get sad about."
"Someone actually said this to me one day, 'Aren't you too young to be suffering with anxiety and depression?'" Smith said in her post, which has been shared more than 7,000 times on Facebook. "What do you actually have to be depressed about at your age?' Wow, just wow."
(Wow is right -- being sad and suffering from depression are two completely different things, everyone.)
Smith shared her experience hoping to help remove the stigma around mental illness, writing, "To anyone who is going through the same, please do not suffer in silence. There is so much support around -- Don't be scared to ask for help."
Read her post in full below.