While there are many stigmas surrounding anxiety and depression, anyone who has experienced them firsthand knows just how consuming they can be. There are days when nothing makes sense, when you want to crawl under a rock and never rejoin society again. Worst of all, the tiniest thing – a song, a phone call, a memory – can set it off, leaving you completely overwhelmed for days. Those who don’t understand the disease may call you dramatic or weak, failing to realize that it’s a serious medical condition with real mental and physical symptoms.
Fortunately, Anna Clendening has supportive parents who stood by her side as she battled fierce bouts of anxiety and depression. It wasn’t an easy road, but through music and professional therapy, Anna slowly gained confidence and strength to combat this horrible and misunderstood illness. And she’s not alone. While standing onstage at America’s Got Talent, struggling to find the courage to sing, judge Howie Mandel admits to her that he too has suffered.
If you or anyone you know are suffering from anxiety, depression or both, call the Samaritans at 212-673-3000. They are available 24/7 and completely confidential. Most important, in your darkest moments, remember that you are never alone.