I have known Dawn since sometime in early 2000 since our Psychology & Neuroscience days at Dalhousie. I love Dawn and am thankful that she is here, working with me and still here on this earth. She suffers with treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder. But she’s also incredibly inspiring as a person and shares her experience with these disorders in a very articulate, knowledgeable, and real way. I always love her insights into her own mind and into psychology in general. She’s got lots to share! Follow Dawn on Twitter
Dawn has spoken before about her sever mental health issues (e.g., Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder). She works with a psychiatrist, is on medication, and is on permanent disability and unable to work. Today, she shares with an acute stress reaction she recently had and aims to get some perspective on it. She had approached me to do a live coaching session. The video associated with this session will also be released soon.
Dawn, who shared what it’s like to have depression and anxiety earlier this year, now shares her experience with her gradual return to work and ultimately her having to stop working. She describes her very visceral experiences as she attempts to go back and subsequently the failure she feels not being able to. Like before, this is a great window into the what it’s like to struggle with anxiety and depression. At one point I even admit that I want to help her and fix her and how hard it is for me not to. I’m sure I’m not the only one listening who will feel that same desire to “fix”. My hope is that listening and providing space to share these experiences is helpful in and of itself.
There are so many things I love about Dawn sharing all of this but one thing that I think deserves extra attention is how articulate and wise she with her mental illness. It’s like she sees it both through her own eyes and experience but also through the eyes of some looking from outside and also someone looking with a clinical lens. We cover quite a few topics including what it actually feels like to live with depression and anxiety. She paints a very visceral picture of what it feels like in her body and the thoughts that go through her mind. If someone has ever questioned the physicality of depression and anxiety, they should hear how Dawn describes it. But I want to make it clear that this took A LOT of courage for Dawn to share this and then allow her name to be attached to it. She’s so articulate and seems to comfortable with all of this that it’s hard to really tell with her. But she deserves a huge applause for doing this. I am truly grateful and know her sharing her story is of benefit to others, whether it’s people with similar experiences feeling less alone or for people without these experiences to grow more compassion.