If you are one of the 40 million people in the United States suffering from anxiety, you know how utterly crushing it can feel, and how hard it can be to deal with every day. If you happen to be a book-lover struggling with the most common mental illness in the country, however, I have some good news for you: reading can help you cope with anxiety.
Anxiety, normally a common and healthy reaction to stress, can be helpful in under certain circumstances, but for some people, it can easily go from beneficial to overwhelming and damaging in a moment. For those who suffer from an anxiety disorder, it can feel like an extreme high-level stress brought on by situational circumstances, suffocating pressure that becomes a constant hum in the background to everyday life, or even a crippling physical reaction that can feel like a heart attack. No matter how it manifests, it becomes a powerful negative influence over day-to-day living, and coping with the symptoms can be a serious challenge.
Despite the fact that it's highly treatable, only about a third of people seek treatment for anxiety disorder. That leaves a large part of the population — approximately 26.6 million people — suffering. Although it's often stigmatized and ignored, mental health is just as important as physical health and should be treated accordingly, and lovingly. If you think you are struggling with anxiety disorder, you should speak to your health care providers about your options. Your health, your body, and your mind matter, and you have a right to take care of it.
If you suffer from anxiety disorder, the tunnel of mental illness can feel long, dark, and unending, but there are things you can do to feel better. Luckily for book nerds, books is one of the best treatments.
Here's how reading can help you cope with anxiety, because honestly, what problem can't books solve?