A few NBA players, a few million people, and me…

What could I possibly have in common with all of these people?  It’s pretty simple:  depression, anxiety, panic attacks.  And thanks to three prominent NBA players it’s finally getting some press.  Kevin Love is the latest to discuss his mental health issues.  DeMarcus DeRozan and Channing Frye have already discussed their challenges.

Like any health condition, if one hasn’t experienced it, one cannot understand it.  There are so many people in our society who firmly believe those with mental health illnesses possess the ability to “buck up” and act normally.  Do they honestly believe that we enjoy feeling horrible?  It isn’t like a broken arm that is easily fixed.

Even with treatment and medication, these conditions may persist in a lesser form.  I’m glad it’s finally getting some press but it’s taken public figures, in this case professional athletes, to lend it some acceptability.  Because our illness isn’t tangible, it’s misunderstood.

I’ve had people behave awkwardly toward me only to find out they had never spoken with a person with an anxiety disorder.  What?  I communicate just like everyone else.  It’s when I’m quiet that I’m waging an internal battle.  Once, while attending a graduation ceremony, I confided to a “friend” that I wasn’t feeling well and was having an anxiety attack.  I was told to go outside, get some fresh air, and get hold of myself.  I found another ride home for my “friend” and then went outside, got in my car, and left.  But this is what happens.  People don’t want to deal with us.  It was a tough lesson.

If it takes celebrities to help enhance the understanding of the plight of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, then so be it.  If you know someone who is afflicted, please don’t make light of it and lose your patience.  No one feels worse than we do when we are unable to do the things we want to do.  And whatever you do, don’t ever tell us to “suck it up.”

About thequarryschild

A self-described forensic junkie, Beth Anderson spends her days shaping young minds to ask critical questions and wonder “whodunit.” Beth resides in the Capital District of New York and spends her free time reading and solving the great mysteries. Her love of swimming, tennis and sports provides the basis for one of the lead characters in her new book The Quarry’s Child. Beth is one of the founding members of the Upper Hudson Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime (aka Mavens of Mayhem), a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, a survivor of a visit to an active aircraft carrier while it was at sea, and a published poet in Soundings, a literary journal. Beth continues to instill a love for mystery fiction in her students as she has for over twenty years. Photo credit: Quinn Mulvey
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2 Responses to A few NBA players, a few million people, and me…

  1. Joyce Gaskas(Your cousin Maureen's aunt) says:

    Read, with great interest, as I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I am on meds for both, but still have effects with the anxiety, more then the depression. I have to live day to day, not knowing what I will be like tomorrow. I can go a few days at a time being fine, then it hits me, or can also go a few weeks. Every time I go for a few weeks I think I have it conquered, just to come back again. I am told I will never get over it just have to try and deal with it on a day to day basis. I see a therapist, do believe she helps me. I guess I need to say she makes me feel normal and not some kind of a nut case.

    • Thank you for your response, Joyce. It obviously runs in the family and I seem to be much the same as you. I take meds and go to counseling and have for a few decades. I hope one day I don’t have to live this way but I also accept who I am.

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