As he was coming down from a debilitating panic attack, Casey Throwaway turned on his camera and started filming himself.
“I wanted to make this video to show that it’s real, okay? This is real,” he said, his face wet with tears.
Throwaway’s video, entitled “Anxiety Sucks,” has gone viral this month, racking up more than 250,000 views. He said he decided to post it on YouTube in the hopes of connecting with others who suffer from mental illness.
“I wanted to see if there were other people who felt like I did, and I took the risk of putting a video of me basically crying on the Internet,” he told Buzzfeed.
In the video, Throwaway explains just how emotionally exhausting and challenging panic attacks can be.
“I’ve always been the type of person who says, ‘you’ve got to man up, you’ve got to force your way through it,’ but that’d be like telling a blind person to see,” he said.
Throwaway told Buzzfeed that he’s been heartened by the outpouring of support he’s received from people who “seem to find it comforting to know they aren’t alone.”
“I couldn’t be happier about it or more driven to continue to try to end the stigmas around mental health issues,” he said.
Throwaway says he hopes to create a YouTube channel dedicated to supporting those suffering from mental illness. He’s started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund his efforts.