In her Vanity Fair interview last week, Caitlyn Jenner, formally known as Bruce Jenner, Olympic gold-medal winner and patriarch of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, admitted to having suffered a major panic attack immediately after undergoing Facial Feminization surgery. As a transgender woman going through multiple surgeries, procedures, and therapies, it is no surprise that the anxiety and worry that often plagues those undergoing the transition process made itself known. If you add to that the fact that Jenner lives her life under the eyes and scrutiny of the media, it makes sense that her natural reaction of second guessing her decisions hit her big. Jenner confesses that after waking from the surgery, she jolted out of bed with her mind in a frenzy, her first thoughts upon waking were, "What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?" This, of course, is a common, very human, and usually temporary reaction that counselors say may be due in part to pain medication.

The Struggle of Being Who You Are Vs. Who You're Told to Be

Jenner's life-changing decision to finally transition, after feeling like she'd been living a lie her whole life, is a difficult and stressful issue that all transgender individuals must deal with. With the social stigma and lack of acceptance coming from many places, even from within the LGBTQ community and sometimes from within themselves, transgender people are often faced with high levels of anxiety and depression. These levels can lead to things like panic attacks, insecurities, self-hatred, and other mental health issues.

However, many people have commended Jenner on her decision to transition, calling her brave and a role model. In fact, it was recently announced that she would be this year's recipient of The Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS in July. Her supporters and fan base have also grown since her official debut as Caitlyn, with her Twitter account breaking a record by attaining over one million followers within the first four hours of joining the site. With so many rallying behind her proud and public persona, there is hope that her story will help and inspire others in the LGBTQ community who face struggles every day.

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Sigal Sharf, MS
Sigal Sharf, MS


Date of original publication:

Updated: January 30, 2018