Sara Benincasa’s struggle with panic disorder began with childhood anxiety attacks and intensified until, at the age of 21, she developed full-on agoraphobia. Her fears were so severe she was afraid to leave her own bedroom. She sank into suicidal depression. Garbage piled up against the wall as her appetite for food—and life—slipped away. Finally, one day two college friends contacted Sara’s family out of fear for her safety and state of mind. Here is an excerpt detailing when Sara’s parents have first been notified that their daughter was dealing with some very real problems.
“Hello?” I said hoarsely.
“Hi, Ra-Ra!” chirped one voice.
“Hey, Ra!” boomed another.
It was my parents. Keep reading »
Here at The Frisky’s offices, one of the most hotly anticipated books of 2011 is Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom, by the comedienne and all-around-awesome-lady Sara Benincasa. I love this girl for her balls-out honesty regarding her mental health struggles with agoraphobia and anxiety. Agorafabulous! is based on Sara’s one-woman show of the same name, which recounts how vicious panic attacks created a fear of the outside world, to the point where she refused to leave her college dorm room. In this cartoon, Sara explains all about anxiety attacks, the “flight or fight” response, and why you shouldn’t shop at Whole Foods. As someone who has suffered from panic attacks from age 15 onwards, I could have used an explanation like this back when I was hyperventilating and didn’t know what the eff was going on!