Anxious Minds and Their Crippling Struggles


Brayden Nieder

Photo Courtesy of: Robyn Nieder

Looks away from dinner nauseous. It’s a normal meal, so why? Flees to the bathroom. An unknown pain. Stomach, sweat, puke sensation. But it’s mental too. Spinning, ringing, lost. Sits, wanting only relief. This crushing anxiety attack will change the rest of Brayden Nieder’s life.

Dr. Brian Wise MD, a professional psychiatrist, is someone who helps people that struggle with depression, anxiety, and anger. 

“We can help patients understand their emotions better and learn ways to manage them better,” said Wise.

Being Brayden’s doctor, Dr. Wise has helped him over the years in multiple ways, including giving him strategies to lessen the tight grip of anxiety.

“Focus on the basics,”said Wise. “Get good sleep, have some outlet for exercise.”

Spending time with family and friends, mindfulness activities and taking supplements or vitamins to help one sleep can also be beneficial. If these things do not significantly lessen the anxiety, it can be crucial to get one on medication to help balance the chemicals that are off-balance in the brain.

“A really good dividing line between being anxious and having an anxious disorder is if the symptoms one is experiencing are causing a lot of dysfunction in their life,” said Wise. 

Brayden’s mother, Robyn, saw this dysfunction immediately in Brayden and quickly took action.

“He wasn’t watching television, couldn’t get him into games, he wasn’t doing anything that he normally would do,”  she said.

Robyn was terrified when she saw Brayden hyperventilating and crying. He essentially said that he felt so terrible, he didn’t want to be alive. 

She recalls him being immobilized and begging for anything to make him feel better. She quickly told her husband to contact their psychiatrist.

“I just said to my husband, you have to text him. Text him, call him, get him on the phone. We need help immediately. I didn’t know what else to do,” Robyn said.

After a few days of low-dose medication, Robyn noticed the beginning of a transformation. She recalls it taking almost two full weeks before Brayden was back to normal.

“It’s sort of like a dimmer switch on a light – it’s not like you just flip it on,” Robyn said. “[It’s] not like taking Tylenol when you have a headache.” 

Anxiety, however, doesn’t always just go away.

In Brayden’s case, he had another anxiety attack two years later and is still medicated to this day. It is something that he will have to live with and learn from for the rest of his life. 

“[Anxiety] is a very manageable health issue (…) as long as there’s awareness and communication,” Robyn said. 

Brayden is not the only one in the Nieder family to have anxiety. In fact, his father, Brian, also had an intense anxiety period.

“The days were incredibly long, and the idea of even just getting through the day instilled great fear in me,” Brian said. “I recall everyday chores that I had done previously very willingly and very efficiently became like giant elephants.”

Mr. Nieder spent multiple months in a program focusing on cognitive behavioral therapy. His previous work schedule was partially relinquished and replaced with a job that involved more human interaction. With his experiences, he was able to help his son Brayden when anxiety slapped him in the face.

“I was not dismissive of his claims or uncompassionate as I may have otherwise been had I not known what it was like to go through this type of anxiety,” Brian said.

In both cases, these two got through with medication and support from their family. Brian still has a sticky note on his desk at home, a reminder of the family that stands behind him.

“Reminders of we love you, we have faith in you and we are here for you (…) certainly went a long way,” Brian said.

The Nieder family love and care about each other. Being there for one another and proactivity has gone a long way for them. Now they have the important resources they need if intense anxiety is to resurface again.

“Everybody should have the opportunity to feel at peace,” Wise said.