It's 'Just' Anxiety
Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV + Thursday, June 30 at 10 p.m. on KPBS 2 / Watch on YouTube
"Susan is able to tell this story like no other director. Engaging, personal and hopeful all at once."—John Decker, KPBS Director of Programming
"It's "Just" Anxiety" is a revealing documentary that introduces a dozen people from diverse backgrounds who describe their personal struggles with this mental health condition. Filmed over a period of five years, the documentary follows several individuals with anxiety symptoms ranging from excessive worry and fear to more extreme manifestations such as compulsive behavior and torturous panic attacks.
June Moss, for instance, a retired staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, thrived in the real life or death scenarios of war, but upon returning home has been facing the debilitating effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Similarly, Scott Stossel, editor of the monthly magazine "The Atlantic" and author of “My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind,” has been grappling with his generalized anxiety and various therapies for years. Throughout the documentary he shares his personal history as both researcher and patient.
Another individual, Jamie Blyth, found that the more he avoided his anxiety, the worse his symptoms got. He began a career in sales and signed on for the first season of "The Bachelorette" in order to face his social anxiety, an experience he reveals in the film.
We also meet Lori Daniels, who has been swallowed up in a battle with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and confines herself to a single armchair in her living room. When she comes in contact with any person or object, she must run to the bathroom and aggressively wash her hands. However, by the end of the film, Lori is in therapy and poignantly thriving – shaking hands, petting cats, accepting hugs, and working as a teacher.
With more than 40 million Americans suffering from anxiety, the one-hour documentary aims to destigmatize and humanize this debilitating yet treatable mental health issue. The inspiring real-life stories presented in the program demonstrate how those who suffer from this mental health issue can begin the path to recovery.
Watch the film below or on YouTube
Produced by IronZeal Films, d/b/a Iron Zeal, LLC. Distributed by American Public Television. Directed and Produced by Susan Polis Schutz. Edited by Bret Granato. Associate Producer Karen Bidgood. Opening audio by Torre Catalano for The Mighty. Creative and technical consultant: Stephen Schutz.