I’ve recently seen a number of celebrities talking about their anxiety disorders. I am hopeful that their honesty is part of the turn to society being more understanding of mental illness. And, just like another post I made, it’s further confirmation that we are not alone.
Singer/guitarist John Mayer has severe anxiety an panic attacks. He’s openly discussed them (which I’m always impressed by). He fears being institutionalized. His anxiety attacks include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, chills etc. He always has Xanax with him, just in case (I understand that). He’s said that he keeps the panic attacks under control with medication and therapy. I was drawn to his story because of a quote by him that I liked:
“You can create dark neighborhoods in your mind just as easily as you can create rural wonderlands.” – John Mayer
Kristen Bell, actress and comedian, is honest about her battles with depression and anxiety. She wants to fight the stereo-type that those with mental illnesses are weak. I absolutely adore her – check out what she did during the hurricane Irma, when she was stranded in Florida. No, it’s not the typical celebs handing out goodies stuff. She got someone to set up a keyboard and microphone for everyone to sing and dance, she played bingo with a bunch of stranded elderly people that were evacuated to her hotel from a facility. She organized midnight wheelchair races in the halls and was taking selfies with all kinds of random people… she was helping making a scary situation fun for a bunch of strangers. Ok, I may have gone off a tangent here. But, the highlights are that she has some mental health struggles, she’s open about them, plus she’s totally awesome.
I saw a quote from Mara Wilson, which I thought was really good. Mara Wilson is the child actress that played Matilda and she played the little girl in Mrs. Doubtfire.
And finally, there are the two awesome women that host the podcast My Favorite Murder, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. I know that sounds a bit crazy… but they talk about grizzly, bizarre murders while also being incredibly funny and very real. They talk openly about their past issues with addiction and they talk honestly about their mental health. Both regularly see therapists, and they reference therapy sessions frequently. In particular, Georgia Hardstark talks regularly about her anxiety issues. They make honesty about mental health seem normal and easy. Here’s a great article about them and how their podcast has become a type of anxiety support group to their fans. If you find true crime fascinating, definitely give it a listen. The bonus is that it will make you feel like you are in good company with your anxiety.
Anxiety and panic are so much more prevalent that most people realize. For me, at least, it helps to know I’m not alone.