Full text of AI engineer Aneysha Bhat’s talk titled “Anxiety: A Cancer of the Mind” at TEDxUIUC conference. In this talk, Aneysha, the co-founder of TenseSense, explores the prevalence of anxiety and how we can stand together to fight the stigma associated with mental health.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Aneysha Bhat – Co-innovator of TenseSense
I’d like to begin by asking you to close your eyes.
Imagine that you’ve just come home from work. You want to relax. You sit down on the couch and just breathe. You look to the side, and you realize that it’s raining.
And then you look again to the window and see that the window is open. You think – at first everything is calm. But then, everything goes haywire.
“What if my floors get damaged? What if the rain damage affects my entire apartment? What if there’s a flood? What if I have to move? What if … “
Your thoughts are blinding. Your mind is racing. Your heart is beating right out of your chest. Your thoughts are just everywhere. And then, you lose it all.
Now, I have something to tell you. Anxiety sucks.
But do you know what the worst part about it is? It’s not the dizziness or the palpitations or the excessive overthinking. No. It’s the stereotype that goes with it.
Mental illness has a stigma associated with it. Think about it. We’re fixated on this idea that mental illness is associated with incompetence, fragility, failure. When a friend or a loved one is having a moment of vulnerability, we say that it’s a “mental breakdown.” When they’re having issues or when they’re having struggles, we call that “crazy.”