As many of you know I’m from Kansas City. While I live in suburb rather than KC proper I was still really excited about the prospect of Jason Kander potentially becoming the mayor of the city I love so much.
Jason Kander is a retired combat veteran, served as the MO Secretary of State, written a best selling book and founded the organization Let America Vote, which is an organization dedicated to ending voter suppression. Kander is a politician I feel genuinely wants to do some good.
Last week Kander put out a statement talking about his struggles with depression and PTSD over the past 11 years– although, he wouldn’t admit it to himself. He’s pulling out of the race for mayor and focusing on getting his mental health in order. He was very transparent about why he is stepping back for now. You can read his full statement here.
Although I am so sad to learn Kander won’t be the next mayor of Kansas City, I have the utmost respect and appreciation for his honesty. Reading his statement really resonated with me. I don’t suffer from depression, and I don’t have PTSD but I struggled with undiagnosed anxiety for years. I thought I was handling it, and most of the time I was, but I knew I could be better.
I considered myself lucky because I didn’t have the anxiety/depression combo I know is all too common. It wasn’t until my blood pressure was consistently high in my post-surgery appointments that I was really pushed to talk about this with a medical professional. I shouldn’t have waited for my anxiety to manifest in such a way to before I talked to a doctor about it. I never judged other people for being medicated but I didn’t feel like I needed to be– the stigma still existed for myself.
My doctor prescribed Lexapro. I was nervous about it first, but it has made such a world of difference for me. My blood pressure is at normal levels, and my fuse is so much longer. I notice little things that would have previously set me off are just mild annoyances. It feels so good just to feel… balanced for once.
I’m not ashamed to admit being medicated makes me feel better. Someone like Jason Kander speaking out made me feel like I can too– I hope that he, and anyone else who needs it, finds something to works for them to make them feel okay.