When Alyssa Milano was pregnant, she had everything planned out. But when she gave birth, nothing was what she expected. She was very scared and felt like a failure. She thought things would get better once she got home, but the very first night, Milano suffered her first anxiety attack. Infrequent at first, the attacks came more often until they were happening daily.
Milano felt as though no one knew what she was going through. Her doctor dismissed her symptoms and her co-workers did not understand her pain. She finally reached a breaking point and went to the emergency room at 2am one morning asking to be committed.
Through this process, she found angels in her psychiatrist and therapist. They helped her see that she has value, that her symptoms are real, and that she has the bravery to face this illness.
Milano is now an activist working to help spread information and encourage people to talk about mental health. Her focus: “Let’s rededicate ourselves to talking about mental health. Let’s demand that our lawmakers pass policies that open — not restrict — our access to mental health services. Let’s remind each other that no one should have to face these challenges by themselves.”
You can read more about her journey in her own words in TIME’s article “Alyssa Milano: How I Came to Terms With My Anxiety Disorder”.