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When the Show 'Supergirl' Portrayed a Panic Attack

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This week’s episode of “Supergirl” focused largely on the emotional problems experienced by the main character, Kara Danvers. For the majority of the show, Danvers is presented as a strong hero who can handle anything physical or emotional. After the departure of her boyfriend Mon El, Kara’s guilt gets the better of her. One of the last scenes from Monday’s episode was Kara having a human panic attack. Being an alien, she believed that she was immune to human struggle. She collapsed to the floor and began violently shaking while crying.

The actors who portray Supergirl and Mon El, Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood, are advocates for the cause “IDontMind,” an organization that seeks to bring those struggling in silence with mental illness to talk freely about their struggles. Both actors have come out in recent months to discuss their struggle with depression and anxiety.

Watching a character adored and looked up to by so many people experiencing a panic attack touched the hearts of viewers across the country. Some came out in public and said that seeing Kara go through such powerful emotion stirred up emotion within themselves.

From the perspective of someone with anxiety, this episode made me smile. Not at first, but looking back after finishing the episode and being blown away by the authenticity of Benoist’s portrayal. Out of all of the panic attacks I have seen portrayed on TV, this was by far the most accurate.

“Supergirl” writers and actors, thank you on behalf of the mental health community and the countless people you touched with your spot-on performance of any everyday part of our lives. It meant so much to me to see that Supergirl, someone who I look up to so much, struggles with the same things I do.

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Lead image via Supergirl Facebook

Originally published: October 26, 2017
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