It’s ok to not be ok. Summer Walker and SZA expressing how indispensable their health is, are two examples of women reclaiming their identity as humans.
In November of 2019, Summer Walker decided to cancel some of her tour dates on her Over It tour. She stated that the reason for her cancellations was due to her social anxiety disorder.
Hey y’all as you know, I have been very open about my struggle with social anxiety. I want to continue to be healthy and to make music for y'all, so I have decided to cut down some of the dates on the tour. I'm grateful for every single one of you. I hope that you understand 🖤 pic.twitter.com/xkBvVnPMJq
— SUMMER WALKER (@IAMSUMMERWALKER) November 13, 2019
In early January SZA made a similar comment about her social anxiety disorder after her Rolling Stone cover debuted.
Not doing any videos Interviews or photos for the rest of my life lol don’t ask .👍🏾
— SZA (@sza) February 19, 2020
My anxiety has .03% to do w outside opinion . I was bullied all through high school I could care less . It’s my OWN THOUGHTS THAT HIT DIFFERENT 🥴
— SZA (@sza) February 20, 2020
Many online took shoots at the artists and commented on how disrespectful SZA and Summer Walker are for not wanting to participate in tour and press runs. Other celebrities had to do tours or cover shoots so why should it be any different from them?
An Anxiety Disorder Should Not Stop You From Pursuing Your Dreams
SZA and Summer Walker love music and love the craft of making music. Performing is a part of being a musician, so both artists still need to tour and promote their music. But, mental health is also important.
Both artists have been bringing awareness to the uneasy disorder. Yes, anxiety is a disorder. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), anxiety and depression affect over 16 million people each year. The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes three types of anxiety disorders; generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobia related disorders.
People who deal with generalized anxiety disorders (GAD) have sleeping problems and are easily irritable and tired. They also worry excessively over personal, work and social circumstances and tend to overwhelm themselves.
Those with panic disorders can have unexpected panic attacks and certain trigger objects and situations can send them into a frenzy. People suffering from phobia disorders have an intense fear of a specific object or situation such as flying, blood or animals. Coming in contact with these triggers could result in extreme anxiety.
Though our society has gotten better at accepting mental illness as an important issue, there are still people who don’t consider it as a life-threatening physical illness. Your well being, whether it be physical or mental, should be a number one priority.
If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, contact a therapist or mental health provider.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Catherine Mwitta is a journalism student at Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is interested in all things social-political, spiritual and entertainment. Catherine is a tell-all and expresses herself freely on her blog, blackgirlreads.co.