Animated Minds

Fish on a Hook
Mike suffers from panic attacks and agoraphobia, and often finds it difficult to get out of the house. As he describes in visual detail what it's like to suffer from debilitating anxiety, we witness the trials and tribulations of how even a journey to the supermarket can be "like a bloody nightmare."

Director: Andy Glynne
Voice: Mike
Animation Director: Jim Field
Music: Paul White

There comes a point where my fridge is empty and I haven’t got any food and maybe I haven’t been out for a day or two. Somehow I have got to get out of the mindset of anticipating what’s going to happen walking down to the supermarket. As I try to do that I’m getting more and more anxious doing the run through through my head and going out there and feeling I just want to lie in bed or under the bed and not face this thing. And it’s like I’m hungry so I got to get to Sainsbury’s and the prospect to go to Sainsbury’s seems as likely and as horrible as going to hell and I’m going from one hell to another and what’s the point.

What happens is that I feel my chest tightening and I feel that my breathing is getting shallower and shallower. And as I get more anxious I feel as if I’m kind of being strangled in a way.

My heart beats louder and louder to the point where I think if I go out other people are actually going to hear my heart beat. As I walk I feel my body is like jelly and I’m not at all sure I’m footed. I mean I’m scared I might fall over. I’m now a prisoner who has moved out into a very hostile area and I don’t know how long this is going to take. I’m overwhelmed, I mean to be surrounded by cacophony this of noise and I’m now stuck behind someone and I’m trying to get how long is it going to be before I get to the counter because I’m frozen with..with..with an anxiety, this is just a bloody nightmare!

Now because I have been feeling these things for decades I realized that there is a way through this. Because I was convinced it would just killed me altogether. Because of the level of stress that I have been carrying around I thought it would just give me a heart attack or something similar. And so far it hasn’t. It’s rather like a fish wriggling on the end of a hook. So initially one might think Mike is wriggling and it makes no sense at all. He is doing the crazy dance until you see the hook in my gullet then it starts making sense. So I think a lot of us are wriggling in his wee, that’s seen like an illness without the visions of the hooks we are bound by. So it seems that our behaviour is very crazy when seen in context it isn’t.