Amber Smith of Rugby, U.K., was tired of showing the social media world a filtered version of her life — so she decided to take a stand, and shared a photo of herself just after a panic attack, along with a powerful message about mental health.
In a Facebook post uploaded on Sunday, Smith shared two photos: one was "Dressed up, makeup done, filters galore. The 'normal' side to me,'" and the other was "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," Smith wrote. "Fuck 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."
By showing the reality of her anxiety, Smith took a major stand for reducing the stigma that surrounds mental health. She said she hopes that other people will feel empowered by her post to be open about their own anxiety. "To anyone who is going through the same, please do not suffer in silence," she wrote. "There is so much support around — don't be scared to ask for help."
Smith's original post has already been shared more than 7,000 times and on Wednesday she posted that she had received hundreds of messages. "I promise I will reply to every single person," she said. "Just please give me time and thank you."