Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There is No Shame in Anxiety

Okay, Post #1…so assuming I managed to get any readers then welcome!  I will be posting links and tying to other feeds that you may or may not find useful here in the very near future as this post begins to grow.  I am excited to be able share about this topic and the daily affect it has now and has had in the past on my life with the countless of you out there who may relate to portions or perhaps all of what I say about my experiences.  I should also get it out of the way and let it be known that I am not a doctor, counselor or in the mental health field at all if you did not read my bio, so any and all advice comes from personal experience from having suffered from anxiety and panic disorder the last 18 years of my life.

There is so much in my life that has revolved and continues to revolve around anxiety, so much so that it is hard to know where to begin and without restating what I have already listed in my profile I will go ahead and dive right into what this blog is for to talk openly about anxiety and panic disorders; coping mechanisms whether healthy, legal or otherwise.  So the aspect of what I am going to focus on in this first post is that there is no shame in having anxiety, period!

Being human it can be very hard thing to admit if we have problems at all let alone with anxiety & is easy to fear that it will be perceived as some form of weakness or mental illness or that perhaps we are afraid it lessens our impact or presence that we need to maintain for professional or personal reasons.  I have struggled with hiding mine for years.  So let me go on public record and tell you that I have anxiety, panic attacks, irrational fears, obsessive thoughts and have in the last 18 years been convinced I am having a heart attack on at least 1,000 different occasions and often these feelings came on for no apparent reason at all (something I want to talk about in future blogs).  For many years I had an easy fix that consisted of 4 beers, 80 mg of oxycodone and a xanax bar for breakfast, then repeat as needed to mask or hide these symptoms but honestly, looking back at all the times I went a little too far and made nothing but a damned fool of myself all in the name of looking and feeling confident I would have much rather admitted to myself and to those around me that I am very afraid and I do not know of what and I do not know why.

It is estimated that approximately 13% of the population suffers from some form of anxiety disorder! Here are just a few names I plucked from a VERY long list of names you may recognize that suffer(ed) from a form of anxiety or panic disorders that may surprise you:
Abraham Lincoln (President - USA)
Anthony Hopkins (actor)
Aretha Franklin (singer)
Barbara Bush (former First Lady - U.S.)
David Bowie (singer)
Eric Clapton (musician)
John Madden (NFL announcer)
Johnny Depp (actor)
Oprah Winfrey (TV host)

So, if these people who have achieved so much can freely admit that they suffer from anxiety it may help us to put into perspective that any stigma that may come with anxiety as a weakness or character flaw is ignorant and outdated. My purpose in finding these names was simply to illustrate that there is no shame in anxiety but found the stories behind their struggles with anxiety all unique and how they overcame or simply learned to live with it all very inspiring and will keep in mind for future posts as most of us will relate and connect to bits and pieces if not the majority of each story.

So, for those of you who did not know, you are far from alone, there are countless people and resources out there willing to help and I would be honored if you follow me on my journey through the newest chapter in my life and we will hopefully be able to learn from each other along the way.  Thanks for reading the first of many posts!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is awesome. What a great story. Thank you for sharing. Your courage and willingness to succeed in the face of all your trials is truly amazing.