It’s story time this week on the Carolina Snowflakes Podcast as Amanda and Jason give an Appalachian analysis of anxiety. The snowflakes begin this episode by sharing their own, often humorous, experiences living with anxiety. We can safely say the brain is a funny thing and how it causes us to respond to perceived threats can be even funnier, especially when those threats are not remotely real.
In fact, humor has been paramount in providing a coping mechanism for both of us through the years as we’ve struggled with bouts of social and generalized anxiety. If we can’t laugh at the absurdity of how our bodies still respond to stress as if we’re running from mammoths, what can we laugh at?
We also take a look at how anxiety affects the body, particularly when endured for a great length of time. The hormones and chemicals involved in stimulating the fight or flight responses have real impact on our physical health as well as our over all well-being and even our relationships with others.
There’s even a cultural element involved in how anxiety is addressed. We found that in particular, the south tends to be less receptive and understanding than other areas of the U.S. towards mental health treatment. Not to mention, lack of funding creates an even more pronounced barrier for many rural southerners getting help with mental health. Strikingly, we found that folks living in southern Appalachia are less receptive than even other southerners to seeking or receiving counseling. In fact, there is a strong correlation between Appalachian residency and the justification or excusing of erratic behavior caused by poor mental health. The saying “Here in the south we don’t hide crazy, we parade it on the front porch and give it a cocktail” is rooted in at least some amount of truth.
We close this week’s episode with a funny recording you don’t want to miss. It all happened quite organically when the mics were on in another room and picked up Amanda ranting on the phone about an awful woman she dealt with at work. Jason seized the moment by turning the ranting audio clip into a hilarious ditty. It’s now a staple song in our household.
Although this week's topic is a more serious one, we’ve approached with humor and there’s lots of laughter throughout. We hope you enjoy!
Sapolsky, Robert M. (2004). “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Third Edition”
Hauenstein, Emily J. (2003) “No Comfort in the Rural South: Women Living Depressed”. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 17(1), 3-11. https://doi.org/10.1053/apnu.2003.6