Living with Anxiety

October 16, 2017 | Madlyn Jennings, 2017 AAPD Summer Intern

I have lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember. For the majority of my life, my constant anxiousness was a part of average everyday life for me and not something anyone else would understand. It was not until I was in college that I realized anxiety is something other people struggle with. It was at this point that I understood I had a mental disability. I have always had a physical disability. That is obvious to anyone who meets me. This is not the case with a mental disability. Even once I accepted I had a mental disability, I did not seek help. My thought was “if everyone is doing just fine without help so can I.” It was not until this summer that my mindset changed. My experience as an AAPD intern this last summer has helped me to realize that there is no shame in having anxiety. I had the opportunity to meet other people with anxiety and learn how they managed their anxiety. They were also supportive of and accepting of my experiences. Through their support I have gained the confidence necessary to seek help in handling my anxiety. I have gained so much from my internship. I have made connections within the disability community and learned so much about the history of the movement. These are important things and I appreciate them; however, I believe the thing that will be of most benefit to me moving forward will be my new perspective on the part my anxiety plays in my life.


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Madlyn Jennings is a 2017 AAPD Summer Intern. This summer she interned with the National Education Association (NEA).

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