Unbearable Anxiety

Depressed Woman

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that some 40 million Americans suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. For those more profoundly afflicted, anxiety is debilitating and disabling. Few know where to turn for help – and few know how to help in any meaningful way. Superstar German ad agency Jung von Matt’s Zurich office recently released a public service announcement making the challenges of unbearable anxiety horrifyingly clear and imminent. This two-minute TV spot depicts the emotional ordeal of a young man whose anxiety clearly confines him to his home as he explores the world outside his apartment with a patient and understanding guide – himself reliant on a wheelchair. It’s a sympathetic but not exploitative evocation of the disorder’s fears, told wordlessly and with stark imagery. Entitled “Fear Paralyses,” it draws a pointed contrast between physical and psychological confinements. The commercial is part of a larger public service effort to raise awareness and get more people engaged in treatment in Switzerland. But for each viewer, it’s also a poetic and powerful call for understanding and support.

Steve Harty

Photo Credit: Image of depressed woman courtesy of Pixabay.

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