Why The ‘This Is Us’ Panic Attack Scene Showing Randall’s Anxiety Matters
The hit show is helping to lessen the stigma around panic attacks and other anxiety disorders.
While anxiety disorders are classified as a mental illness, the symptoms of a panic attack are in no way psychosomatic. Difficulty breathing, blurred vision, shaking and sweating are all common hallmarks of an anxiety attack.
“This was a pretty accurate portrayal. When you’re experiencing a panic attack, it can feel like you’re dying or losing your mind,” Dr. Murrough told Health. “The blurring of his vision gave the feeling of detachment or unreality. De-personalization or feeling disconnected from your body is another common symptom of a panic attack.”
The scene not only accurately portrays an anxiety attack (which drew wide praise from viewers), it also serves as a sort of apology from Kevin to his brother Randall. Where Kevin used to ignore his brother’s anxiety, now he is there to comfort and help him.
“The person who witnesses a panic attack for the first time may also be alarmed,” Dr. Murrough told Health. “Reassurance is important. Telling them that they’re going to get through it, and being there for them as it runs its course.”
You can watch the full scene here:
— This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) February 15, 2017