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Mental illness and working in theatre

am97
Swing
joined:4/8/19
Swing
joined:
4/8/19
Mental illness and working in theatre #26
Posted: 9/11/19 at 4:09pm

Caitlin Kinnunen has also been very vocal on social media about struggling with anxiety and panic attacks - she had to call out of a few performances of The Prom because of it & even had to call out mid-show a couple of times due to onstage panic attacks. She's very upfront and honest about it which I really appreciate in terms of lessening the stigma around mental health, especially in such a high-pressure career.

dadaguza
Swing
joined:7/16/19
Swing
joined:
7/16/19
Mental illness and working in theatre #27
Posted: 9/11/19 at 6:09pm

It's saddening and comforting to know others feel the same. I too struggle horribly with depression and anxiety. I've tried therapy and medication. Medication I felt made me robotic, almost emotionless, and the side effects were awful. Also, the problem was and still is very much present. Some days it is very hard to find any kind of relief. And there really is a stigma. I'm always worried about people looking at me like I'm odd or crazy because I'm sad most of the time. 

Broadway/musical theater is a very helpful outlet, but for me on the opposite end as a patron. I've gone into the city alone for long weekend to stay in a hotel and just watch a bunch of Broadway shows.

ArtMan
Broadway Legend
joined:9/10/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/10/08
Mental illness and working in theatre #28
Posted: 9/11/19 at 9:50pm

The Distinctive Baritone said: "6853, I’ve been on Prozac on and off (mostly on) for about 24 years. It has probably saved my life at least once."

Does it help your OCD?  I find the older I get, the worst my OCD has become.

The Distinctive Baritone Profile PhotoThe Distinctive Baritone Profile Photo
The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/28/04
Mental illness and working in theatre #29
Posted: 9/12/19 at 3:41am

ArtMan said: "The Distinctive Baritone said: "6853, I’ve been on Prozac on and off (mostly on) for about 24 years. It has probably saved my life at least once."

Does it help your OCD? I find the older I get, the worst my OCD has become.
"

Yes and no. Most of my OCD is internal (obsessive, repetitive worries...basically anxiety), and Prozac helps with that. But for my main external OCD involving personal cleanliness and absolutely loathing public bathrooms...it’s actually worse than ever.

However, my biggest issue is depression. I still get depressed a lot, but Prozac has made me a “functioning depressive.” Without Prozac I have seriously contemplated suicide. With Prozac, I still have those thoughts, but I know that I know I would never act on them.

I also take Clonopin to help me sleep (the obsessive worrying can make it difficult for me to fall asleep and/or stay asleep), as well as when I feel an anxiety attack coming on. I will sometimes take it before going onstage, especially early in the run if I am not yet confident in my performance, I know there are critics and other VIP’s in the house, etc. I almost always take it before auditions.

ArtMan
Broadway Legend
joined:9/10/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/10/08
Mental illness and working in theatre #30
Posted: 9/12/19 at 8:23am
Updated On: 9/13/19 at 08:23 AM

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