I had the good fortune a few months back of being able to attend a screening of the Indie Flix movie called Angst. It focuses on children with anxiety of all kinds, and what a day in their shoes feels like. It’s a documentary featuring a wide range of brave children and adolescents sharing their story. And, the film focuses on experts in the field, and the methods, including exposure therapy, to help them.
As a mother with social anxiety, and having children with anxiety, this film hit at my core. The kids featured in Angst, spoke with frank honesty about their struggles, describing in detail the physical and emotional turmoil they must put themselves through to accomplish the most basic of tasks – tasks many other people may take for granted.
One scene that stuck with me featured a teenager named Max, who is battling an overwhelming fear of judgement. His therapist, Jenny Howe at The Waypoint Academy, has him participate in exposure therapy, by visiting a local ski shop to try on pants.
This scene was powerful to me because it is so representative of what social anxiety felt like for me as an adolescent. On the surface, trying on a pair of pants and asking someone how they look seems so simple. But just like Max, I would have been terrified to do so at his age. I practiced a good deal of avoidance in my teen years as a result. I had no idea I was dealing with social anxiety, or that exposure therapy could do me some good.
See For Yourself
I admire his courage to fight past his fear even though it is threatening to completely overwhelm him. It is a true testament to the power of social anxiety, and the power of all of us to fight back.
To find a local screening of Angst near you, please visit angstmovie.com.