My Story: Adam
I’ve always been a nervous person, worrying about things, overthinking, finding it difficult to “trust the system” or “trust by default”. It has lead to situations where behaviors kick in that are … suboptimal.
In 2012 after a particularly intense series of situations at work, I started to have physical symptoms like sweats, racing heart, thudding heart, feelings of impending doom, low level agoraphobia. I went to my doctor and neither of us understood what was happening. I think if this happened today, I’d be immediately referred to the right help, but even 10 years ago, the symptoms were initially thought to be physically based … literally I was tested for everything from STD’s to Cancer. After all of this came back negative, I was eventually referred to a psychiatrist who took all of about 30 seconds to see what it was and set me off on the right path.
Today, I take daily medication, a serotonin balancer, a low dose to keep things under control. I used to also carry benzines for when a severe episode happened but over time I started to recognize the onset, know what was happening, and work it through without the need for the heavy handed benzine. The coolest tip I got was … hum. Turns out your brain knows it can’t hum if things are really happening that you think are happening. The act of humming tells your brain … this ain’t real, and things start to pass.
After the somewhat long timeline it took for me to get the right help, I decided to begin openly talking about my mental health journey. It was hard at the start, feeling like a failure and in some cases having people actively scoff. But the large majority of people appreciated the approach, and the number of people I could help suddenly started to ramp. Still today, even in these “middle ages” of mental health awareness, I see surprise from people at the transparency of discussing and sharing up front. Leading by example is a hell of a thing.
At work, this has yielded mixed results. In some cases I really did see understanding and accommodations, in others not so much. Even at places that appear to have an open policy and strive to have cultures that allow people such as myself and other mental health challenged humans to succeed, it still comes down to individual awareness and active effort.
This site, The Intersection, exists because I want to help others with the mental health resources and guidance I did not have. It also allows me to “give back” a little in the security realm by helping companies make good decisions by sharing advice and guidance as they work to keep themselves safe from bad actors.
I will be publishing a ton of Free Stuff, and also offer affordable by design advice, guidance and assistance across security and mental health as I truly believe every person and every company should have access to the help they need, not just those with large disposable income and budgets.
I hope you gain some value from the site, and please let me know if there is something I can be doing to help more.