On anxiety

Before us is the honest confession of journalist, copywriter and editor, Damjana Bakarič, who struggled unsuccessfully with anxiety for several years. Sudden panic attacks on various occasions (during a job interview, during an important meeting, as well as during normal conversations…) made her life unpleasantly bitter. Unannounced, she ran out of air, her chest was suffocating, she lost the thread of conversation, etc., and although at first she ran away from problems and denied them, over the years and with effort, she came to the path of self-knowledge and confronting herself. After in-depth research into her own problems, conversations with therapists, and reading many books and articles, she decided to tell her story out loud (and with a book), and enriched it with ten stories from individuals who bravely responded to her during the writing of the book. For her ten narrators, she says that despite their intelligence, empathy and heart in this chaotic, cold and insanely fast world, they somehow couldn’t stand it and broke down, but unlike many, they dared to admit it. She is convinced that there are more such problems among people than we think. “Between journalists, advertisers, managers, directors, various workers in positions of responsibility, there is a lot of it,” she says. Key in the book are the narratives of these other people, which indicate that anxiety, anxiety disorders and panic attacks are not unusual, and thus destigmatize and detaboo this problem. The heroes in the book keep shouting: “Look how many of us there are! You are not alone! That’s the key to fear.” Damjana’s confession is, of course, the most detailed and runs like a common thread through the book, and when asked if she thought she might have revealed herself too much and talked too openly about her problems, she said: “I really had no choice. The fear of anxiety and panic attacks, the very act of hiding from others, pushes you deeper into the darkness every second. You are trembling. You are constantly stressed. And everywhere I look, I see the suffering eyes of people who dare not speak. They follow me all my life. Everyone, really everyone, has problems. Such and different. What about anxiety in relationships? “We are born in relationships and we always return to them,” wrote the therapist mag. Avberšek in the foreword, and in the book we can read that Damjana used to like and easily meet new people, her profession as a journalist also made it possible for her, she went out a lot and socialized, but these relationships were superficial. When her problems arose, she started staying at home, withdrawing into herself and gradually slipping out of social networks. And today, Damjana says about relationships: “The basis of every relationship is sincerity, without it there is no development, without it everything sooner or later crumbles into dust and pain.” I’m still learning, but now I know how to set boundaries. If not immediately, then a little later, but I know. I didn’t know before.” And what about fears for the future? According to the book, are they still around? “Of course,”  she smiles, “I’m still afraid of many things, including reactions to the book.” We also talked about the slow but sure killing of the soul, about teenagers who are already prescribed pills at the age of fifteen due to panic attacks. Damjana can’t look away, she says it’s hypocritical, and that’s why she brought the whole thing to light with the book. The problem of fear must be dealt with, it must be talked about. And as she wrote on the cover, “Severe anxiety and panic attacks aren’t the biggest curse that happens to you, even when you think you’re dying.” Despite all the problems described, her book is bright, positive, and anxiety is her friend who came to warn her that something is not right, and now Damjana would like to tell this story further.


Damjana Bakarič



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