Casey Throwaway is the kind of person who will tell others to "man up" when they're going through difficult times.
He realizes that's like "telling the blind to see." And it doesn't help him when his anxiety is so high, it makes him feel like his "brain is on fire."
Throwaway, 27, posted a teary video to YouTube earlier this month entitled "Anxiety sucks," in which he showed what it's like to have a panic attack.
"I recently had a really bad panic attack. And I have them from time to time, and I have them more than some people should," he said in the video. "I have them more than anybody should. And I just wanted to make this video to show that it's real, OK?"
Speaking to BuzzFeed, he said he posted the video because he "wanted to see if there were other people who felt like I did."
He was nervous about uploading it. But he received plenty of "positivity and support," he said in a YouTube comment. It had over 470,000 hits as of Wednesday afternoon.
A noticeably calmer Throwaway posted a second video on Wednesday to say thank you.
A "panic attack" is a "feeling of intense fear or terror that lasts for a short period of time," according to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). Those who experience them can feel their hearts beating faster, have difficulty breathing, and feel dizzy, nauseous or sweaty.
They can occur in response to regular situations or due to a mental illness; and for people who have panic disorder, they can happen more often, and for no reason at all.
The videos are not the only way that Throwaway is raising awareness of anxiety and mental health.
He has also started a Kickstarter campaign, seeking funds to start a YouTube channel for people who live with mental illnesses.
As of Thursday, it had raised more than $600, well above its goal of $500.
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