A clinical psychologist explains why YouTuber Jake Paul's claims about anxiety is wrong.
Jake Paul is once again under fire, this time, for his problematic opinion on anxiety disorder.
The YouTuber and Tana Mongeau's ex claimed “anxiety is created by you” and said the cure to the mental illness is to “remind yourself to be happy” in a since-deleted tweet.
Fans and other influencers were quick to respond.
“Your tweet is dangerous to your young impressionable audience,” said streamer Sky Williams. “Anxiety is bad enough as it is, but now you’re trying to make it seem like it’s our fault that we feel anxious.”
Rapper Mac Lethal said, “I’ve had anxiety since I was a child … And I STILL can’t over come it sometimes. I’m not a victim, I don’t feel sorry for myself … but it’s a VERY real part of my life.”
Paul seemed to backtrack amid the backlash, deleting his tweet and releasing a new statement that said his tweet was meant to spread awareness about anxiety disorders.
But just how serious can anxiety be?
“Anxiety is a combination of physiological and emotional responses typically to stressful things in our life or things that are going on,” clinical psychologist Dr. Vaile Wright told InsideEdition.com.
For example, a big test or presentation could result in physical symptoms like muscle tension, elevated heart rate and sweating, or a behavioral response like worry or fear, Wright said.
Anxiety disorder affects about 15 to 20% of the population, and while Wright agreed that sometimes, Paul’s advice to take a walk might work, she said the mental illness should also be viewed as a serious health condition and can require treatment like medication or talk therapy.
“The problem with saying things like think happy thoughts or pick yourself up by your bootstraps is that it makes it seem like it's the person's fault for what's happening when it's not necessarily the person's fault,” said Wright, who serves as the director of research and special projects at the American Psychological Association.
“When we make people think it's their fault, then they're less likely to seek out help," she continued. "They're more likely to blame themselves. And that creates a cycle where it just gets worse and worse and worse.”
Wright urges people who are affected by anxiety on a regular basis to get help.
“You can’t avoid anxiety," she said. "You can’t avoid the triggers that cause it, but you can learn how to cope with it and you can seak out the help that you really need to learn those behaviors.
If you or someone you know is dealing with anxiety, visit ADAA.org.