Conference-Fueled Anxiety

One of the most challenging parts of being a higher education professional with mental illness is conferences. There is nothing like taking us out of our comfort zone and putting us in a foreign situation with strangers to create that conference-fueled anxiety. Sylvester shares his recent experience fighting the anxiety dragon at a conference. 

Anxiety sets in

I could feel the panic attack coming before I even got into the van. I was already dreading going to this conference. Knowing that I wasn’t going to be at 100% made me feel even worse. I told my partner that I would rather feign an illness and stay home. She understood, but she encouraged me to have fun and enjoy the experience as best as I could. So I went to work, corralled my students and got in the conference-bound van. Continue reading

About the Author

Sylvester Gaskin is just a simple brother trying to live with his anxiety.


by Stacy Oliver

Blinking slowly, I regained consciousness on the floor of the bathroom in my Residence Director apartment. I remembered walking in there minutes before and leaning against the counter, hoping to ease the pain that was gripping my ribs like a belt cinching tighter and tighter as my breath became shallower.

It didn’t make sense. These were the symptoms my doctor diagnosed as gallbladder attacks, culminating in my having my gallbladder removed. Was there such a thing as phantom gallbladder attacks? It seemed unlikely, but there also wasn’t any other plausible explanation as far as I was concerned. Continue reading