“F*ck all of you small-minded people that think that because I physically look ‘fine’ that I’m not battling a monster inside my head every single day.”
Amber Smith, from Rugby, Warwickshire, shared two selfies – one showing the glossy posed image that she usually portrays on social media and the other showing what she looked like just minutes after having a panic attack.
In the post which has been shared more than 4,500 times in four days, Amber explains that she is ‘so sick’ of the stigma surrounding mental health and of people being sceptical about the anxiety and depression she’s been battling for years.
Her post in full reads: ‘God knows why I’m doing this, but people need some home truths..
Top picture: What I showcase to the world via social media. Dressed up, make up done, filters galore. The ‘normal’ side to me.
‘Bottom picture: Taken tonight shortly after suffering from a panic attack because of my anxiety. Also the ‘normal’ side to me that most people don’t see.
‘I’m so sick of the fact that it’s 2016 and there is still so much stigma around mental health. It disgusts me that so many people are so uneducated and judgemental over the topic. They say that 1 in 3 people will suffer with a mental illness at some point in their life. 1 in 3! Do you know how many people that equates to worldwide?!
‘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.
‘This is why I can’t stress enough that it costs nothing to be nice to others. Don’t bully others, don’t put others down and the hardest one of them all (as we have all done it at some point) don’t judge another person. We’re all human regardless of age, race, religion, wealth, job.
‘So build one another up instead of breaking each other down. Peace & love guys.’
Among dozens of people commenting on Amber’s post was Jane Aires, who wrote: ‘With you 100%. Was really ashamed of being so weak when I was diagnosed. Now I know I’m not weak but just have times when I’m not as strong as I thought I was. I’m not ashamed any more.’
Helen Jane Gibson agreed, adding: ‘People don’t understand especially the older generation, mental illness like depression wasn’t around back in the day.’