I’m finally 100% after my sinus/allergies/flu issue and had a conversation with a good friend the other night regarding the show This Is Us. For both of us, the first reason it caught our attention was Milo Ventimiglia. (I’m a proud Team Jess member). The second reason was because it looked like it’ll be similar to Parenthood.
However, Parenthood didn’t touch on anxiety or panic attacks. It mentioned a lot of other sucky life moments, but didn’t even mention anxiety and panic attacks.
We discussed how gentle the ending of the first season was and what we wished happened… then I was asked how I felt about watching Randall have a panic attack. Well, I was honest and said that it made me cry, a lot, and that I thought about it for the next few days. I imagined that Randall would be exposed at some point. There were so many subtle, yet noticeable, shots of him having anxiety and panicking.
Yes, I cried watching someone have a panic attack. A staged panic attack. I mentioned the build up, but the way Sterling K. Brown brought a panic attack, a true panic attack, to life on the tv screen was so scary and real. I’ve experience panic disorder since I was a child, but wasn’t diagnosed until I was a teenager. I learned how to manage myself really well and what I needed to do to reach a level of calm/mental peace.
As I child, I felt pressure to do well. Keyword: felt. My mom never pressured me to do well or expressed high expectations. She knew I had high expectations for myself, and at times she’d express some expectations. Those expectations were more about my character, morals, and things like that.My mom didn’t realize that I had panic attacks until I forgot my house keys once when I went out with friends. I had to find a pay phone to ask her to put my keys on the mailbox and apologized SO much that she asked me to stop apologize and to not feel bad. Those friends thought I got sick because I was in the bathroom for so long. I refused to be open about it.
My mom experienced me having a panic attack when I locked myself into a bathroom in the Embassy of France. I had to go through the line for a visa the second time. After that, my mom started to understand I had this, but her compassion has been limited. I’ve since become open with friends and we’ve openly discussed our anxiety and panic attacks.
It’s an open conversation because anxiety and panic is running rampant in society. It’s so popular, yet speaking about such things can be very taboo. In my TV watching experience you find someone creating a drug or alcohol or some other bad habit out of anxiety, not having panic attacks.
Kudos to you, writers of This Is Us! Thank you, Sterling K. Brown, for being such an incredible actor. While I may be addressing this particular episode late, it didn’t go unnoticed on the internet. Health.com, The Huffington Post, Bustle, and plenty of other sites have acknowledged this.
If you watched the episode, what did you think about the panic attack? Do you or someone you know suffer from panic attacks?