In my experience as a psychologist who treats anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias, I have seen people isolated and excluded by the disorders. My focus is, of course, on helping them conquer the problems. But during the process of learning the CBT tools to overcome the problem, how do they put one foot in front of another?
Consider Houston Rockets’ forward Royce White. He is an amazing basketball player whose anxiety and panic have stalled his career in his rookie year. In a recent USA Today interview, he shares his hope that his team will consider reasonable accommodations to make playing basketball with anxiety more bearable. He goes beyond that, spreading the message that broader society would do well to be aware of anxiety problems making himself a very public example.
I hope that Royce White can get the help he needs to overcome his anxiety problems. Then his next message can be one of hope for others. In meantime, his call for awareness and appreciation of the invisible problem of anxiety may be just what many need to hear—you aren’t alone.