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4 Words From the 'This Is Us' Episode That Depicts Anxiety

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It’s hard to come up with an exact definition of what anxiety is because it’s different for everyone. However, I think there are four words from the new “This Is Us” episode that those who have anxiety can relate to. If you watch “This Is Us” and you haven’t seen the newest episode, please read this after you watch! I don’t want to spoil anything for you.

In this episode, Kevin had a gala to go to where he was recognized. He was trying to invite his brother, Randall, but Randall didn’t really want to go. That changed when Randall’s new foster daughter, Deja, said she wanted to go. So Randall decided to go as well. Randall has been having a hard time making a good impression on Deja which is why he was excited to go with her.

At the gala, they were eating shrimp and Randall thought Deja was going to eat the tail, so he stopped her from eating it. Deja got very upset and went to the bathroom. Randall felt even more defeated, so he went outside of the bathroom. She wasn’t coming out and Randall thought that was because Deja didn’t like him. Kevin saw Randall outside the bathroom and they talked about the incident. Randall then said he shouldn’t go in the women’s bathroom, but he was going to anyways. Kevin was not shocked at all and agreed that he knew Randall was going to go in there. Kevin then asked him if he knew why he knew Randall was going to go in there. Kevin answered his own question saying, it’s because “you feel too much.”

This wasn’t a scene that was obviously displaying Randall’s anxiety, but these four words made me feel its presence. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, but I do believe all of them are related to the person feeling too much in some type of way. This can be because of the constant, obsessive thoughts always running through our minds. Our thoughts make us feel a certain way. In fact, the moments where I don’t feel obsessive thoughts, I feel strange and feel like I need to be worried about something.

Another way you can take Kevin’s words is that people with anxiety may be trying to feel and think what everyone else is thinking about them. I’ve been there plenty of times! We aren’t only trying to feel our own feelings, but we feel the need to feel everyone else’s as well. Randall was standing there probably thinking of all the negative things Deja thought about him. This was causing him anxiety, which could make you think that what Kevin said is a negative aspect about anxiety. However, when Kevin said these words to Randall, I believe he said them as a compliment. Kevin seemed to envy Randall to be able to feel the way he does because he said he was just always numb to things.

Even though in the moment Randall was having a hard time feeling all the feelings he was having, this is still a positive about anxiety. Maybe trying to guess everyone else’s thoughts about you isn’t healthy, but by doing this we are putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes to try and make them feel better or feel better about you. This gives us a sense of empathy and patience with other people. Randall did end up going into the bathroom and it was a real bonding moment because Deja was able to explain why she had gotten so upset with him. It wasn’t because she didn’t like Randall, which is what Randall thought, but it was because in one of her previous homes she was abused. So when Randall grabbed her, it made Deja have flashbacks.

Since Randall took the time to approach Deja and not brush it off, like Kevin might have done, he was able to make a deeper connection with his new foster daughter. I think they both were able to learn more about each other and have a better understanding about one another. In this case, anxiety wins, which is such a weird thing for me to say!

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

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Originally published: October 29, 2017
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