Anxiety...can we talk about?

“Mary, " I would like for you to write a blog for Real Beauty Real Women addressing anxiety” this is the message I see from Jac. So I take a very deep breath and I agree. I spent a lot of time afterwards contemplating what I thought this would mean for me. It was in this I realized that it wasn’t really about me. This is what being a socially conscious fashionista is about to me. It’s about giving some piece of yourself to help another person. Some can do it by buying lipstick and looking sexy while giving back, some make documentaries and go into the trenches like Jacquelyn and others share their life experiences in hopes that it motivates some type of positive change, I fall into the latter.

I then thought about what I had to give, what could I share that may reach another person. I understand anxiety, and I mean really understand it. I hold a Masters degree in counseling psychology, and interned at the state of New Jersey's largest psychiatric hospital where I set out to focus on the anxiety associated with mental illness. While putting myself through college I worked in a bar for many, many years and spent a lot of that time as a pseudo-therapist. But, above all of this I have suffered with anxiety first hand.

I have had panic disorder so bad that I could not leave my house, couldn’t drive my car and could no longer function in my daily life. I have also successfully treated this disorder and haven’t panicked in nearly 7 years. There was a time when I thought this was an impossibility, but alas, here I am. Do I still have intense anxiety at times? Hell yes, but I know now how to handle it. I am also in a constant state of facing those things that trigger me so maybe it’s a bit of torture in the name of personal growth.

Any person can develop panic disorder, or any anxiety disorder or depression, there are many factors that go hand in hand with anxiety. Things such as: poverty, trauma, and domestic violence to name a few. This makes it even more important that we reach out to those with the highest risk factors and offer education and support. This is what I will be focusing on in this blog, and hope that others will share their story and questions. Hopefully, I don’t bore you to tears, and maybe, just maybe one person can be motivated to seek help, to see that they are not alone, and make positive changes to create a more fulfilled life.

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