May 6, 2013

I Am Anxiety

Watch this video.

If you have ever experienced anxiety, if you have ever thought you have experienced anxiety, if you have anyone in your family or circle of friends who experience anxiety, watch this video.

This. This is what anxiety feels like.

This morning I co-launched this new Anxiety Awareness initiative by Beyond Blue alongside the amazing Garry McDonald*.

I couldn't be prouder to be part of such an incredible campaign.

When I released The Little Book of Anxiety a year ago, my primary aim was to help to lift the stigma associated with being an anxious person, and to show other sufferers that they were not alone.

But there is only so much that one little author can do with one little book. This campaign will do this a thousandfold.

Please watch this two minute film and share it. And please, if it resonates with you, seek help.

There is hope. There is light. There is a life away from anxiety.

Sending love to you all.

*Who later accepted a lift home with my mum and I, which was one of the more surreal moments of my career to date.

64 comments:

  1. This is awesome Kerri! I saw the interview with Gary on Sunrise this morning. Fantastic to see more in the media on anxiety! :-)

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  2. Wonderful stuff! Add a trigger warning if you share this link, I reckon.
    Great work KS! xxx

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  3. Bravo you!! What a great thing to be involved with. xxx

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  4. What a great campaign! Such an important issue to raise awareness about.

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  5. This brought tears. I just want you to know that this couldn't have come at a better time for me and I'm ready to seek help. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  6. You should be proud to be involved in such an important campaign Kerri. I really hope that more out there seek the help they need. It is so sad, that it is so common.

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  7. Ben Mendlesohn is bloody amazing in this. Well done Kerri. I've gone from someone who coped by joking about her melodramatic tendencies to someone who can finally see her anxiety for what it is. Reading your book helped me so much. Big love to you. x

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  8. Love this campaign. The video is a chilling recreation of what it feels like to live with anxiety. So much harder to fight it when it has a face and a name. x

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  9. Kez what a brilliant campaign...I have already shared the link. Love you and very proud of you xoxox

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  10. I know, I'm so positive about it. I think it's going to make a big difference.

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  11. It is. Hope you can get on board!

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  12. It is really sad, and even sadder that there is still such a stigma attached when there is NOTHING to be ashamed of. x

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  13. I'm so glad, hon. And huge love to you too.
    (P.S. HOW AWESOME is Ben? Wish I could have met him.....) xxx

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  14. It is, it really gets into the beast, doesn't it? But we are NOT our anxiety and we CAN overcome xxxx

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  15. Amazing! Thanks so much for all that you do. I will share and spread the word and I really need to read your book.

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  16. Powerful, wonderful - thank you Kerri for your involvement in this marvellous campaign, will send it on :)

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  17. PS...know it sounds frivolous but you look lovely!

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  18. So powerful! I will definitely be sharing this.
    I am filled with anxiety today - we are going to check out a school for our Little Miss 4.

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  19. If Ben Mendelsohn is anxiety, he's just made it a whole lot easier to cope with :) Thank you Kerri!! ;)

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  20. I think its a great move by Beyond Blue and well done you for your role in promoting and launching it. It's an issue very close to home so great to see it gaining more acceptance and acceptability - we can all now be more open about it and hopefully see anxiety shrink as a result

    (BTW - the kids and I have recently seen The Rise of the Guardians, and we all loved the references to fear - Pitch (aka the Boogyman) initially says 'You can't get rid of me! Not forever! There will always be fear' but was proven wrong as, in the light of day, it can become manageable. A great and tangible lesson for kids re. the reality and validity of anxiety (and therefore it is nothing to be ashamed of), but also the fact that it can be managed and minimised - particularly for my son, who, like me, has a tendency towards anxiety. Sigh ... he has also inherited some other good attributes, thankfully!)

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  21. SUCH wise words, Helen, thank you. And so very true x

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  22. Thanks! Mamma Mia also had an article today (its being very well promoted) and the comments almost uniformly were that the ad itself hasn't really 'nailed' what anxiety feels like (interestingly - no comments on the benefits of making the prevalence of anxiety more well known and accepted - oh well). On reflection, I'm not sure the ad has got it quite right either - it is more a menacing feel, rather than panic and useless urgency and energy (and I gave my point of view - I like a hobby horse when it is so worthwhile, so I'm sure I'll continue to have my say) - but was then thinking that maybe there isn't one 'standard' way to express or articulate anxiety. Interested in your thoughts on this (as someone who has experienced and considered anxiety - but not putting you on the spot as an 'expert' - that would be unfair). Maybe this first ad can be the start of many variations that Beyond Blue might create - and so great that the issue is now being given more prominence and these debates can be had! (and I too have a soft spot for Ben - my Mum taught him at one stage in high school, when I was young and impressionable, so he has always been someone I have been in awe of!)

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  23. Honestly, I think it encapsulates anxiety incredibly well. I think it's a remarkable ad. And the feedback I have received (and on other sites) has been overwhelmingly positive. Sadly, there will always be people who find fault with every initiative, no matter how worthwhile.

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  24. Gave me goosebumps - makes me feel better there are others that feel the same way and that I'm not a 'freak'.

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  25. I suffered from anxiety for alittle more then a year and the biggest thing for me was finding people who I could relate to with similar symptoms. Amazing job!!!

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  26. Even watching the video was hard for me. I've been suffering from anxiety for nearly my whole adulthood to date.


    Last year, I started seeing a therapist and it has been up and down. It's hard trying to battle my thoughts every day.


    I still feel ashamed of my illness. I have refused to medicate because I'm afraid I'll never come off the meds. My family don't understand how "real" it is. They think it's all in my head.


    I think more awareness of this mental illness is fantastic. Thank you xx

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  27. I loved the video...As a sufferer of anxiety and PTSD this is so true especially the way he discusses when you are walking into a room particularly "I am the every eye watching you" !!!...let alone the fears, the physical/emotional effects, the insomnia, the isolation, the sense of loss of control and the embarrassment of the continued social stigma to mental illness as a whole...I struggle to combat anxiety everyday and almost every minute of my life...unfortunately other than Benzo's I am intolerant to any medication with Serotonin so I am doing it alone without the assistance of pharmaceutical help...and I am now coming off the Benzo's as now too tolerant to them to be of any use anymore!! Society fails those of us in many ways who suffer from anxiety or as I said a mental illness as a whole...they still turn their back on you if they don't understand and I really don't think people can understand unless they have experienced it for themselves what it is like to be trapped within your own irrational fears!!!

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  28. Great video. Hope it really raises awareness.

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  29. Excellent. I find not only the more I talk about my anxiety the more I disarm it but the more other people feel able to reveal their own experiences. This discussion is important and empowering. Anxiety can be a horribly difficult thing to get your mind around but once you do, it seems many wonderful thinkers have been prone to some mental pain. It is nothing to be ashamed of! Thanks!

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  30. Totally agree, Julie. And anxiety can be SO isolating. Thanks so much for sharing x

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  31. Thank YOU. I agree that the more we talk about it, the more empowered we feel, and the less isolated we are. xxxx

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  32. Yes, it's a really varied and complex condition, but so many of us experience it! x

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  33. Get in touch with Beyond Blue. They can help. Or if you prefer, talk to your GP and he/she can refer you to a counsellor. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can really help. Good luck xx

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  34. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of. And whilst I understand why you have refused meds, sometimes they are helpful whilst you are starting counselling and haven't yet got all the techniques mastered. But it's a very personal choice. Good luck hon x

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  35. Thanks Ryan. I'm proud to be involved.

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  36. Absolutely not a freak! A normal person with anxiety x

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  37. its hard when you finally get your partner who experiences anxiety to finally seek medical help and the Doctor says "just take another tablet". Its a pity when there are such great campaigns like this which encourage sufferers to seek help and doctors just don't believe how serious the symptoms can end up. Maybe there needs to be a campaign to target the doctors. im furious to say the least at the doctor we saw.

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  38. Anxiety - isolation, anxiety - immobilization, anxiety - petrified, anxiety - where to now? I have suffered from anxiety for many years now and my psychiatrist believes that depression is mingled with it. I want to go and get some CBT but I have not got the money to pay for a counselor! I'm attempting to do a Certificate 111 in Aged Care Course online but my anxiety is so high and so present that I am unable to do it. I work for 15 hours a week and have been attempting to get another job since June 2011 but I have had no luck whatsoever. I just want to sell my house (then I would have the money to pay for CBT) and head off somewhere where I can be anonymous and just live a very simple quiet life by myself.

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  39. I'm 19 and anxiety has controlled my life on and off since birth, with responsibility seems to come anxiety. A lot of people tend to ignore anxiety. Thanks Kerri for being one of the few that support the reality of anxiety.


    My anxiety has given me a hard time through primary school, high school and now university. Im quite smart but anxiety can render people speechless. I'm a happy go lucky person, although according to doctors and counsellors my anxiety has caused depression.
    It caused binge eating problems and insomnia.


    It's a relief to see, that this is not as uncommon as I thought. I think the hardest part about anxiety is that, it's your doubts that attack you. It makes it hard not to blame yourself and succumb to feeling weak. My family are finally at a stage of acceptance where they understand, help and support me. I have more faith and confidence that in todays society people with anxiety have a chance to better manage in life and achieve things they thought they couldn't.

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  40. I have had to deal with anxiety to a greater or lesser degree (largely determined by my life circumstances at a particular time) practically my whole life. As a middle aged man, I can only say that it is great that awareness of this frequently debilitating condition is being raised by campaigns such as this. I could relate to a lot in this video.

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  41. Bronwyn StillwellMay 15, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    its a long road but You can get control of your life again as a person who has had IT for over 17 years due to PTS. I lost my son when I was 8 months pregnant I was a stay at home mum for over 20 years with no skills. It has taken a lot of work but I have gone onto be a volunteer fire fighter which i have been in the service now for 13 years .I have been to a lot of major fires my last big ones was the Black Saturday fires .I was also given the opportunity to have a helicopter ride over a major fire ground, I went on to gain a job in the disability field which I worked for 8 years currently am working casual at the moment, I also went on to complete cert 4 in Disability, and last year completed my advanced diploma.

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  42. Am working with vererans who experience PTSD and this video is spot on!

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  43. Bronwyn StillwellMay 15, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    very helhi Loretta,

    I understand the no money issue....but is there a local community health around your area as they have services that don't cost the earth and programs for all of what u have described.....I found very useful and would recommend this to anyone a book by Bev Asbeitt "Living with IT" .........it was my bible for many months this book is very helpful hope this helps
    bronnie

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  44. Great to see some thought-provoking anxiety awareness material. As a long-term GAD sufferer and reliant on meds it's marvelous to see stuff like this. Well done :D

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  45. Isn't it? I was stunned when I first saw it. PERFECT. x

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  46. Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. You are a truly inspiring example of someone who has got their life back. Sending love to you. And admiration x

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  47. Thanks Simon. Really glad it resonated with you x

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  48. I'm so glad your family accept your anxiety and support you. I don't believe anxiety can be cured, but it can definitely be managed, and we can all go on to live fulfilling and relatively content lives. BUT we need acceptance and support. xxx

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  49. Loretta you can also go to your local GP (there are still many GPs who bulk bill) and talk to him/her. Many big medical centres have at least one GP who specialises in mental health. And if not, they can refer to you the local mental health team. Good luck, please don't give up x

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  50. Yes, I know from personal experience that sometimes you have to shop around to find a doctor who is understanding and supportive. But it is worth doing. They are out there. Don't lose hope x

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  51. Bronwyn StillwellMay 16, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Kerri i had post natal depression,grief and anxiety with the PTS i had many parts of anxiety i just posted on here to let people know that there is light at the end of the tunnel it takes alot of work ...i was fighting for my sanity..........

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  52. Mindfullness and medication were the key to surviving Anxiety and Depression for me.
    Both came through the support of a great team of Psychologists and Psychiatrists who trained me to understand my own mind and manage my health constructively.
    Thank you for putting this out there, society needs to understand that Mental Illness is no different to Diabetes or Asthma. Nobody would CHOOSE to have a mental illness.
    Thank you Kerri, Gary and Beyond Blue.

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  53. I agree ENTIRELY. Thanks for your comment, and love xxx

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  54. What a great video. I'm going to share it with my international group of writer friends to raise awareness. I haven't suffered from anxiety as such, but after my brother suicided I would be frantic with worry and fear every time a family member didn't answer their phone. Even though I knew it was an irrational reaction, it was very very difficult to stop the panic, so I have some idea of what it might be like. It's faded a bit but it does return occasionally. The mind doesn't always work how we would like it to.

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  55. I absolutely love this video. Well done Beyond Blue - a perfect representation of a tough state of mind.

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