Unless one has experienced it, it is almost unimaginable

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When I was still suffering from untreated mental illness, and even early in recovery, my favorite painting was “The Scream” by Edvard Munch.

From my experience, it’s rare for an artist to capture the terror of the deep anxiety experienced during self-imposed isolation that can come with a mental Illness. But he did. And the image below does too.

Many times when I forced myself to go out into public, despite my severe social anxiety, I would feel a powerful urge to scream for help and run away as fast as I could. Even in what a mentally healthy person would consider mundane, pedestrian situations.

With few healthy coping mechanisms and a plethora of maladaptive ones, navigating everyday life felt like life or death. Fight or flight mode was a constant companion.

Unless one has experienced it, it is almost unimaginable.

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