Social Anxiety Disorder and the Bachelorette's Jamie Blyth

Jamie Blyth
Jamie Blyth overcame social anxiety on his own.. Getty / FilmMagic

Jamie Blyth is best known as a finalist on the ABC television reality show The Bachelorette. After it was revealed that Jamie suffered with panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, he appeared as a guest on numerous shows including Oprah Winfrey and Good Morning America.

Jamie has since been a reporter for ABC, Fox Sports and Extra, worked with the Ford Modelling Agency, coached an inner city baseball team, and spoken for associations such as the National Alliance for the mentally ill.

He is also author of the book Fear is No Longer My Reality.

Experience with SAD

In 1994 Jamie experienced his first panic attack out of the blue. From the ages of 19 to 24 he battled crippling social anxiety that left him afraid to attend college classes, go on dates or visit friends.

Treatment

Jamie reports overcoming his anxiety by challenging himself with new situations. He gained confidence as a sales representative and manager for a national technology company.

Later he went to Europe alone and qualified to play as a professional basketball player. His final challenge was appearing as a contestant on the reality television series "The Bachelorette." As Jamie notes, he wasn't there to find love, but rather to appear on television and challenge his fears.

Jamie's Thoughts About Social Anxiety

"It just happened one day. 10:30 AM on September 29, 1994, I had my first panic attack, and from that point on, my whole life changed.

It turned into a phobia because nobody knew at that time what it was, and I didn't know what it was, and I was scared to tell people because they'd think I was nuts.

And it just turned into a phobia where the fear of fear—I couldn't go to class, I couldn't go on dates, I couldn't go to my best friend's house—I couldn't do anything."

Personal Life

In a 2015 interview, Jamie reported that he had been engaged and was raising a son named Jackson.

Sources:

Chicago Tribune. When Jamie Blyth lathered up the lovely Trista Rehn in a... Accessed October 25, 215.

National Post. All Twisted Up in Trista's Game. Accessed October 25, 2015.

Emme Magazine. The Bachelorette's Jamie Blyth Talks Life After Reality TV. Accessed October 25, 2015.

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