By Mary Palnau
If you are a Mayim Bialik fan (Big Bang Theory)–or even if you’re not–I recommend the podcast she did recently called Breakdown. The topic of her first episode is Anxiety. This actress has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. I love her approach to the topic with so much warmth, sharing personal experiences and humor. As she says about her podcast, “It’s really nice to be able to explain the science behind things that many people don’t understand about mental health.”
Personally, I contacted my doctor’s office earlier this week–before watching the podcast–because at times in the last month my heart really seems like it’s beating harder and faster than usual and I haven’t been able to figure out a source (I ruled out common ones like low blood sugar or exertion). Bialik talks about these heart palpitations and how they can often be related to anxiety–especially during the pandemic and the country’s unrest. She refers to it as “prolonged anticipatory anxiety time that puts us on high alert.” I cannot rule out anxiety for me and will be following up with my doctor.
Bialik also talks about animals and how they express their anxiety. Made me think of my cat, Sarina, who often walks behind the couch and then the perimeter of the back room. She’ll do this several times in a row even when I know she’s not hungry. I thought it was senility, but now I’m thinking it’s an anxious habit.
While the podcast is long (140 min.), it’s really the first 30 minutes that I think are the best. After that she interviews another woman and focuses more on being a woman comedian/actress and the role anxiety played in both of their careers. I couldn’t relate as much to this part, although you might.
If you or anyone you know is expressing a lot of anxiety, definitely share this podcast with them. It would be perfect for a teenager just learning about anxiety.