Living With Anxiety: 'It’s Something In Your Brain That You Can’t Control All The Time' | TODAY



if I'm really anxious my chest tightens up and it's hard for me to breathe I start like shaking uncontrollably you feel like you're breathing out of a tiny straw I'm Zack I am 17 years old and I have anxiety I would say that zach has always had a decent level of anxiety by eighth grade what he was in a pretty rough shape he just was so on the edge all the time his room was his safe place it was the only place in the world that was safe to him I got with the agoraphobia like severe agoraphobia the point where leaving my bed to go get food was very uncomfortable for me even even do it in the bathroom was like I would run there run back some people think anxiety is just you're not sucking it up and not muscling through it but reality it's it's something in your brain that you can't control all the time it's a lot of work to be around somebody who's so uncomfortable in their own skin especially when it's somebody that you love and care about so much I just canvassed the country basically for what is available when I went to weigh point it was like this is it Waypoint Academy is a school that specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorder people are shocked often to find that these kids are even struggling because they're not that kid that meets that typical profile of the troubled teen but they are really suffering silently in their lives kids are coming here to become leaders they're coming here to become untangled so they can become the people they really were meant to be from the beginning these are kids that are avoidant they avoid school they have weight friends and really the part of their world that they're avoiding the most is their internal world they're avoiding their thoughts they're avoiding their feelings so yeah these are really bright kids these are kids that have wins under their belt and then anxiety took over their world and that's who we designed waypoint for before I just wanted to give in to the inner critic and trip open a ball feeling like I'm stuck in an equilibrium where I'm not making progress but I'm not going down and the reason that's so frustrating for me is I don't know what direction I'm going in I feel very lucky to a found Waypoint because it just it changes so much this treatment center it's a school it's a place to meet people and become firm 11 you still have homework you're still responsible for going to classes you're dealing with emotions how to deal with those emotions and on top that you have school part of our goal is we want them active I want them doing things so they're working in a garden they're hanging out around a fire they are doing yoga they are doing mindfulness based activities they're going over to the lake at night and watching the sunset and meditating they are forming fly-fishing clubs and birding clubs and they're being kids they're learning to be kids again I meet with Zach twice a week for individual therapy and then he is also Ingrid therapy with a different therapist three times a week so one of the first things that we do is we create a hierarchy of fear and then that hierarchy of fear becomes kind of like a treatment document if you will and we start working exposure for therapy to address those fears and help them to increase their distress tolerance the only way I could really describe it is say you're going for like a really hard steep hike you just feel like your legs are dying and you're shaking and it's like kind of unnerving get to the top and you sit down you're like haha you learn that you can make it through something that's difficult when the challenge is over II just nothing feels bad anymore I think a lot of times people think that the goal with anxiety is to eliminate it and it really isn't the goal of anxiety is to be able to take it as it comes and be in the presence of fear and sit all the way through the experience and come out on the other side and find I can do this I'm okay if somebody had asked me a year ago what 17 would look like or Zach we used to not be able to talk about the future we could maybe talk about what was gonna happen in an hour or two and on one of the visits Zach started talking about college and it was like we're talking about the future he is resilient he's present he's accountable I still have a really long road ahead of me in terms of things I still want to get done you don't deal with the stuff that we're dealing with here overnight or in a week it's a very long-term thing anxiety isn't the end of the world I choose not to give it the power that it had before hello today fans thanks for checking out our YouTube channel subscribe by clicking that button down there and click on any of the videos over here to watch the latest interviews show highlights and digital exclusives

47 comments

  1. These schools cost a lot of money my son who wasn’t able to sometimes even leave his room did this by joining the military . The bootcamp intensity taught him that he could deal with his anxiety. When he got very sick he refused to quit and completed it aniexty and all. I am so proud of him.

  2. I feel for you so much I suffer with conic anxiety and ptsd I felt so alone I have set up my channel to help others realise they are not alone love to you all

  3. I suffer from horrible anxiety I have been watching a blog on you tube called living with anxiety Lisa Johnson it really has helped me I would highly recommend

  4. Who else like me had to turn this off and not finish watching it because your anxiety kicked in? I can't watch things like this it brings on panic…horrible. I have to self-medicate my problems. I hate living this way. But you go on….we all will. Here's to peace!

  5. I've had panic disorder since I was 5 years old. That was 40 years ago. Back then they didn't know how to treat it. Didn't even have a name for it back then. Or at least it wasn't common enough. Violently and physically ill every day. Even the doctor didn't know how to treat it. Told me to "stop putting my mother through this" at 5 years of age. Well I would have if I could have. Found out he took his own life a few months later. Safe to say he wasn't in the best frame of mind to be treating me. Longest panic attack for me lasted 12 hours straight. Finally passed out due to exhaustion. Friends around me thought I was dying. But I knew what it was, that "sick feeling" I called it as it didn't have a name that anyone knew of yet. Everyday it occurred, affecting school, work and socialisation. Other doctors suggested i walk away, go on disability. But i pushed through as it was all I knew. It was the only life I knew. I exhausted all available specialists in the area until the first generation of antidepressants and re-uptake inhibitors became available. They made some difference in settling my mind, but not a complete fix. I was told it was too late for me. That the medicine was not there early enough so I am now hard wired with it. I grew up with it so it will always be a part of me. I've never experienced a true mind at peace and never will I'm told. But the technology today has improved my condition a great deal. The struggles are there but not like they were for the first 30 years. Its humbling to see programs such as this and people getting recognised for their struggles today instead of being avoided like you had the plague or were thought to be having a complete breakdown back in my day.

  6. Wow I never heard of an educational establishment for kids suffering from anxiety. That’s truly amazing!!!!

  7. I am 50 & this is real. I love that he has access to the services. I will incorporate these in my life as well. Good luck Zachary!

  8. I've lived with depression and anxiety most of my life. You do have some control over it. Partly demonic.

  9. I wish i became a teacher sometimes. Helping people through challenges is so rewarding. Such a great camp for these young people. My anxiety is hard to deal with. But its a daily fight.

  10. God ive had panic disorder. Agoraphobia for 14yrs. I can't even go to the kitchen if even my own child is in there…. i hate this

  11. Phenomenal video. Made me shed a couple tears. It's so nice to see anxiety being treated as a real issue that needs help, and I'm so happy Zach is working hard and making progress.

  12. Thank you I was just saying what I felt today's going to be a good day either xiety text I don't know why I'm having a good day though I'm off I'm off today I'm in my own surroundings

  13. Valeriana officinalis ( natural plant) really helps! You can buy (Ebay) and use it in the form of little pills. I use the light dose 45 mg . I take a pill when i feel the anxiety is growing. My mood will neutralize. It is a relief this plant exists !

  14. Poor guy,I would be his friend,I got anxiety too ,i was bullied for being different lgbtq and i got bipolar it's hard.

  15. One more thing, and this was a interesting observation. When you share that you suffer from Anxiety/Panic disorder, 8/10 times that person does too. I think it is so common that our non stop lifestyles contribute to it. If I have a whole day spent doing “nothing” I am not lazy, I am practicing self care. Preventive medicine!

  16. You are a strong man. Know it. Live it. Embracing how I see the world differently than the average. Keep going. One milestone at a time.

  17. I have anxiety and it seems the older I get the worst it gets. It's extremely hard to deal with it. I used to self-medicate with marijuana but it started to do more harm than help. It's extremely hard to get out of my head and sometimes I wakeup an the middle of the night wrestles with thoughts racing. Im dealing with this on my own because I have nobody to talk to. Ive tried talking to my boyfriend but he doesn't believe its real and usually tells me I need to relax and let it go..that obviously doesn't help. Seeing this gives me a little hope itll get better

  18. Most days I'm ok but when school starts like presentations reading etc it kicks in it's almost as if I don't want to be in the position that I'm In but I'm in it and it sucks

  19. How can this kid say he has anxiety but make a movie about himself telling everything about himself and put it on YouTube?

  20. Considering the various types of mind control being used by cowards as well as spiritual parasitic and other influences until an fully accurate diagnosis is made any treatment is even more likely to be potentially dangerous than helpful. That is not presently possible within any associations organization or corporations. Recruiting would be a mistake.

  21. It sucks the word "safe place" is being hijacked in immature media. People find the word negative now while in this context it means something entirely different.

  22. I've been struggling with anxiety for 9 years now. I'm so glad there's so much information and validation now. When I started having it, I was so embarrassed to tell somebody. I went to so many different doctors and none of them could give me a correct diagnosis until I found a Psychiatrist. What they say is true: the enemy is invisible, intangible, but that doesn't mean it's not there.

  23. I have severe anxiety too and panic attacks and nobody understands it's very hard to explain I work in the public and it's even harder everyday so my few friends understand my family does understand is horrible like a pounding in your chest and nobody can explain it but you and sometimes you don't even know the right answer I totally understand you relate

  24. Pamela…asking for help can be terrifying,because it means that your problem is real.You'll have to admit that you're going through a hard time.But you might be surprised that people aren't that surprised by your feelings.Depression,anxiety and other mental illnesses are extremely common,and they can be helpled.Don't give up,Pamela.There are so many resources for people who are suffering.Asking for help is a sign of strenght.Good luck!🍀🍀🍀

  25. "Mental illness is like fighting a war where the enemy's strategy is to convince you that the war isn't actually happening." That is life with anxiety.When you feel anxiety coming on,remind yourself you are in control of your body,Remind yourself you know what the root of problem is,and work it through your mind.

  26. Finally someone has the same thing as me it’s really hard to deal with I wish this on nobody

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