Earlier this week, a colleague replied to an email I’d sent her, in which I told her I’d missed her at a meeting and that I had some materials for her to pick up. She’s not someone I know well, though I know her well enough to admire and respect the work she does.
In her reply, she said something that made me a little sad but also made my heart soar. She shared with me that she’d missed the meeting due to a serious anxiety attack. Normally, she said, she can keep these attacks under control and continue to function, but this one really knocked her for a loop.
Having lived in close quarters for many years with someone who suffers from anxiety, panic, and depression, I have plenty of experience with the misery these disorders bring on. So I readily sympathized.
But what a joy it was to have the problem discussed so matter-of-factly, with no embarrassment. Simply a statement of “I have this, sometimes it keeps me down, and now I’m moving on.” If only all of us who suffer from mood disorders and all of us who care for the sufferers could be as open. That’s what it will take to remove the stigma, get past the pain, and fight these illnesses head on.