Dan Cederhom recently announced that he is leaving Dribbble, the company he started over 10 years ago. It’s one of those 20-things-I-learned kind of posts, but hang in until the end where he makes a great point that hits close to home.
Under point 19, aptly named Take care of yourself first, he shares a little about his experience with anxiety.
Anxiety is a medical condition—it’s biological. A chemical imbalance where our primitive “fight or flight” response kicks in at times it shouldn’t. It’s also a condition that’s often misunderstood by those that don’t experience it. But it needs to lose its stigma. It should be talked about more. Millions suffer from it.
This is why I’ve shared about the struggles in our family. If someone breaks their leg or comes down with cancer, we extend our sympathy. We need to keep talking about mental health issues so we stop thinking about these kinds of issues in the wrong way.
I like Dan’s focus here on the biology. A lot of mental health issues requires changes in thinking on the part of the person who is ill (and that is damn hard work). But it often just comes down the body not working correctly — just like cancer.
Our bodies are amazing chemical factories and, unfortunately, the end result doesn’t isn’t always good health. So the more we can talk about it, the better we can understand it, the better we can recognize that medication is often the appropriate treatment (or at least a part of the treatment along with CBT or related techniques).