Author Interview – Sarah Fader – CEO of Stigma Fighters and author of “#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike: When you think everyone hates you & so much more”

Hello there dear friends.

I’m still going strong with all of the authors that I continue to invite along for this insightful gaze into their thought processes and what influences them.

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So for tonight, I have a very special guest that has been helping many people with her wise words, so let’s get chatting to author Sarah Fader and find out more about what she is doing to help people with mental health and anxiety issues.


Hi there Sarah, thank you for being with us here today to discuss your latest book release “#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike: When you think everyone hates you & so much more”.

Let’s start with the book itself, which is meant to be a cathartic experience for those of us suffering with crippling day to day anxiety in our work and social lives. Please tell us how the idea for this book came about, along with your intentions for wanting to write a book about this very common and relatable issue.

When the hashtag blew up on Twitter (#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike) I was stunned and happy. It was wonderful to see a variety of people sharing their candid thoughts and feelings about anxiety. Anxiety is a highly stigmatized mental health issues. People living with anxiety are often characterized as dramatic. This simply isn’t true.

This Is What Anxiety Feels Like

What did you enjoy the most about writing this book?

What I loved about writing this book (illustrated by Michelle Hammer of Schizophrenic NYC) is that it helps illustrate (literally) what it’s like to have anxiety and be impacted by it.

Tell us your own favourite motivational phrase, mantra or positive saying that you repeatedly turn to in your daily life that helps you to deal with stressful situations.

“The power belongs to the one that cares the least.”
“Be here now.”
“My feelings are valid because I feel them.”
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about chronic anxiety that simply isn’t the case? Are there many common misconceptions relating to this issue? How can people go about changing their behaviour to be more sympathetic of sufferers of chronic anxiety/panic disorders?

One of the biggest misconceptions about anxiety is that people who are anxious are “making it up.” We don’t have the luxury of fabricating lies about our mental health. We’re too busy having physiological symptoms like heart palpitations, shortness of breath, obsessive thoughts and more. As human beings we need to refrain from harshly judging one another. I remember one time, a neurologist told me that “it was just anxiety” I was experiencing and “I needed to calm down. Woman, if I could do that so easily I would.

Do you have any stories that you can share about the people that you have spoken to that have discussed suffering with their own anxiety problems?

There are too many to name. Once the hashtag blew up, people were coming to me left and right and sharing their experiences with anxiety. It was truly mind-blowing. I want this honesty about living with anxiety to continue long after this hashtag.

What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?

I am a cat, because I’m thoughtful, pensive, introspective and I will deliver brutal truths (hiss at you) if I think you need to hear them. I say the things that people think in their heads but are afraid to say.

You are also the CEO of Stigma Fighters, which is another amazing resource that publishes essays on living and dealing with mental illness. When did you first form this organisation and what feedback have you received from people getting your pieces published in renowned online newspapers and magazines including The Washington Post and Psychology Today?

Recently I was featured in The New York Times, which was the highpoint of my career. I first formed Stigma Fighters as a nonprofit organization with Allie Burke in 2015. I received wonderful feedback from my friends and family as well as mental health advocates all over the world. It is gratifying to hear this praise. It makes my work feel valuable.

What other books have you written? Can you tell us a little bit more about them and their themes?

Three volumes of The Stigma Fighters Anthologies, Old School New School Mom, Goodnight Single Mom, and Three Year Olds are Assholes.

Stigma Fighters Anthology Vol 1

Who are some of the authors, poets, musicians and/or historical figures that inspire you?

E.E Cummings, John Irving, A Tribe Called Quest, Ani Difranco and The Backstreet Boys.

What books have you read that have most influenced your life? Do you have any films that have also had a profound effect on your work and the way you see the world?

A Prayer For Owen Meany, The Fault in Our Stars, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?

You have a right to be successful. You’re stronger than you believe you are.

How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

Hanging out with my kids, listening to music, playing with my cats and Border Collie, singing loudly. Discovering new places, traveling, and visiting cat cafes.

Stigma Fighters

Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?

I don’t have anything right now. But there are things always brewing in my head like coffee.

Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?

Just do it. Don’t call yourself an “aspiring writer.” Call yourself a writer. You want to write, then write! Be yourself, write your truth and the right people will read it.

And that’s a wrap! Thank you for spending time with us today and for all that you do helping us to manage anxiety and other health issues, I’m sure a lot of people are going to be grateful to find kindred spirits in your books and new ways to deal with their situations.



Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.

Sarah is a native New Yorker who enjoys naps, talking to strangers, and caring for her two small humans and two average-sized cats. Like six million other Americans, Sarah lives with panic disorder. Through Stigma Fighters, Sarah hopes to change the world, one mental health stigma at a time.

You can connect with Sarah via the following Social Media channels:-

Facebook:- Stigma Fighters – Share Your Story
LinkedIn:- Sarah Fader (LinkedIn)
Twitter:- @TheSarahFader (Twitter)

Sarah Fader’s Website:- Sarah Fader – The Podcast

Stigma Fighers Website:- The Website of Stigma Fighters – a mental health non-profit organization dedicated to helping real people living with mental illness

You can buy her books here:-

Buy Sarah Fader’s books in the UK/Europe

Buy Sarah Fader’s books in the US/Rest of the World

If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.

Still want more? Well, Sarah is determined to help bring some serious relief to those suffering from mental illness and anxiety issues. For more articles on the theme of ‘Relieved’ then check out the links below:-

1. A Brieft Note. . . – Keep On Moving
2. Prologue to Train on the Eastern Line – Girl Writing
3. Hitting the Trifecta – Zero rules for dating my non-existent teenage daughter.
4. Branching Out – Lil’ Liz and the Meld * 2 of 2
5. Advice for the soul – Keep On Moving
6. shuffled – Tiny Fawns Writings
7. Daily Prompt – Relieved – Mark’s Thoughts, Ideas, and Travel Blog
8. My Divorce. – Life After Fifty
9. The frustrations caused by stinky passengers – Uber-Man: The Driver
10. shame – The night of September twenty third
11. Tomorrow, I may die. – Danny Writes
12. “Serendipity.” – Nomadic Adventurer
13. Conversation with a hitch hiker – thereforegodamaris
14. All The Red Strings. – Pisstower’s Jettison
15. Make A Date Right – Start Social Dating Via Socialites
16. An unusual arrangement – BeCre8ive’s Blog
17. Combat Medic – Birdie = Relief
18. Relieved – What Wendy Writes
19. Mind Whack – awesomeloopy
20. puncture this paper heart. – jacey caitlyn speaks
21. Invisible Illnesses – Loop – Daily Prompt
22. New Ideas And Inspirations – Loop (Meddle; Relieved; Bottle)
23. I’m Not a Superhero, and That is Okay – Whole, Hearty, Happy
24. A Momma’s View – It’s All In My Head
25. The Philippines Quest for Gold – Pictures and Words
26. Portrait of You (Short Story) – stephentotheplate
27. Road Rage Cure – Positively Un-broken
29. Relieved – calliemm
30. Relieved … Graduated! – iamlifelonglearner
31. Just Wordless! – the thoughts keeper
32. yochet – Clean Office Space
33. And we Peed! – Kaleidoscope of my life
34. Unveiled By Grace: The Blessing Of A Beating Heart – Lance Price Blog 2017
35. Lessons I learned from WordPress in absentia – thinkinkadia
36. Re-Birth! – Socrates Paradox
37. Branching Out – Lizard’s mail run : Brassy Buff Relieved . Daily Prompts
38. Anna Love Life – Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan
39. Relieved – Dirty Little Daydreams
40. The Brown Session… – Somewhere…
41. Making it write – Piracy
42. Realities – The Chaos Within
43. Relieved – A Woman Thinking
44. Relieved to Grieve – Debbie Gravett
45. Over the years – kittysverses
46. Sense of Smell – Fox Fresh
47. May I be relieved – 20whatwhat
48. Candlelight – The One Scripturient
49. Nan’s Farm-Inside Out – I think I need a drink – No you don’t!
50. Birth of a Mum.. – Mum’s the Word Blog
51. Ice-on-a-Rope – Melinda J. Irvine
52. E-book: Your Guide to Blogging & Creating Websites –
53. Relieved – calliemm
54. Healed of Cancer. Angela McCauley – An Invite for Eleven to Dinner
55. To The One Who Writes For Everyone Else – A Beautiful Mess
56. ‘LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL’ – A Beautiful Mess
57. Dreary Truths – Quiver and Quill
58. Relief Factor – Write Away
59. Relieved of Responsibilities. – Dimitra Pyromali’s Blog
60. eyes – What does nelkumi think?­
61. Relief! – The Inkwell
62. The east view of sadanga mt province
63. Math Mondays – Fibonacci Poetry – Wendy Mair Clark
64. What a relief. – DeepikasRamblings
65. An Epitome of Strength – The Foxy Igorota
66. Relieved – Sugunag’s Blog
67. juantetcts – Daily Post
68. Growth – Leigha Robbins
69. A light – Harshit Rajpal Says
70. Americans; it’s time to get down to business: – Storysite
71. Vibes for day – Relieved – Your deevibes
72. Hot Yoga on an Empty Stomach – Itty Biddi
73. Relieved ?? – My little storybook
74. Tangled Webs – Vegetarians and Dead Stuff
75. The Shower of Blessings – Mother-Daughter Reunion
76. My Simple Blog – Relieved
77. To Console – life’s journey
78. HoPe&AnChOr – Helpmate or Hindrance
79. The Daily Prompt – NewMomPOV
80. Following Him Beside Still Waters – Salamander Surprise
81. Sage Advice – The Hockey Mom Fit Life
82. Liebster Award Nomination – The Chicken Grandma
83. Relieved ~ He Will Rescue Me – One Stone Away…
84. Entrances and Exits – jansten56
85. I would like some relief – A Clueless Journey
86. Relieved – wordsareallihavesite
87. Worried or Relieved? – A Mind Unleashed
88. A Crashing Christmas Eve – What Wendy Writes
89. Small Talk – Unlearning
90. { Soul Food } – My Word Soup
91. Netdancer’s Musings – Daily Prompts-Relieved
92. Ready to Travel again – Run and Travel
93. I Am Hot – Wind Kisses
94. Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Rivers of My Memory #amwriting
95. Relieved – Kerrstee
96. The Ubiquitous Burrito – Sojourns with Sorrow: Grief as Guide and Comforter
97. ~170 Of 365~ – ……….365 Days………..
98. Break in – Life of a Nun
99. Just Having Fun – Not Perfect
100. Home Sweet Home – Inner Whispers
101. Relieved – The Bag Lady
102. Make Good Choices And Do The Right Thing – christinapociask
103. That’s One Small Step for This Man … One Giant Leap Through My Garage Ceiling. – Bold Aromatherapy LLC
104. Betcha Didn’t Know! – You are God?
105. Mirth and Motivation – Motivation Mondays: Relief or Relieved?
106. Scottish Legend’s Blog – Relieved (Ten-Word Story)
107. Adrian Video Image – Buying a Robot Cleaner in Singapore Online
108. manvsloneliness – Day 346: The Man and the Loneliness of Context; ‘Relieved’
109. What trekking the AT and the South Pole have in common: – Karyn’s Domain
110. Mainline_Matter – Thirst Relieved
111. Relief – Pix to Words
112. Quadruple Witching and the FOMC – vet67to82
113. Message To New Bloggers – Dream Desire Achieve
114. prakratii – Boy vs Girl Child
115. Silver lining – abbisoul
116. Relieved – Image & Word
117. For Now.. – Life After Fifty
118. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Relieved!
119. Relieved – Water….simply said
120. life is great despite its troubles – The mayor and the bishop
121. short story #6 – Stories
122. Tempermental – MAG Stories
123. At Peace, At Rest – Dream Desire Achieve
124. Swell Time – Pizza and well, nothing else
125. The Wait – By Sarah
126. See through – World Imagined
127. Be Thankful to the things that Happened!! – I Can Feel Around
128. The Guilt of “Relieved” – asinglemommasvoice
129. KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog – sleeping with one eye open
130. Relieved Because I’veBeen Redeemed (bible journal) – Adventures of a Busy Mom
131. Just Brittany Moments – My Trip To D.C. This Weekend!
132. Relieved – thehouseofbailey
133. I Shall Never Breathe the Same, a poem – Sumyanna Writes
134. Story of the Oldest Man Passing the Exam – Mere Thoughts
135. Rickey Dobbs – Zero rules for dating my non-existent teenage daughter.
136. Unwelcome Relief – Teri Pietila
137. Piper’s Adventures – Serenity on a Bridge
138. Walk with God – You Were There
139. Travel Diaries #8 Abu Dhabi – The Mundane Teenage Life
140. Steps Times Two – Pushing Time
141. GOD’S CHAIR – Relieved of Un-Peace
142. Re-lieved – Wings Of Poetry
143. When you push yourself to do what you don’t want to do – Bird Flight
144. Na’ama Yehuda – Whew!
145. The Wandering Poet – Always
146. Relieved – All About Writing and more
147. To homesick men and women out there – The Mundane
148. relieved the word is relieved ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
149. Lies Hidden in Alcohol – Love and Life
150. Sorrows and Relief – Around the World
151. It Doesn’t Get Better – The Middle The End The Start
152. Exploring the World around us – Smile
153. Picture called Life – epiphanyofsumi
154. Betcha Didn’t Know! – You can’t receive if you can’t conceive!
155. Concerning Contemporary Controversy – christinapociask
156. Relieved – Cyranny’s cove
157. Charmed Chaos – Prisms
158. Sammi Cox – Relieved (3 haiku)
159. Photographs – The Smol Dittowski
160. Covert-Novelist – Relieved
161. 9 to 5 blues – koolest1uknow
162. Heart that lived! – Some More Fiction
163. Haiku: Peaceful Waters –
164. Light & life – Never Mind.
165. I was relieved to be out of the water – arpi3site
166. Upward – BraveSmartBold
167. Vox Humbug – Watch Standing
168. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Relieved
169. Light & life – I’m not usually one to beg…
171. The Futile Hope – Beautiful Mind
172. I am relieved.. – A Place to learn and grow together
173. Telling the Truth – My Voice and My Dad
174. THE LOST PACE – Rainbow
175. Petrichor (Haiku) – Thoughts of Words
176. Success Inspirers World – A sigh of relieve
177. Lobotomized Souls – stoneronarollercoaster
178. Composing a Symphony of Words (Daily Word Prompt is Relieved) – My Loud Bipolar Whispers
179. The Killing Alzheimer’s – Revolving Around Life
180. The Flittering Soul – Complimentary bath products? Check.
181. Flowers and Breezes – Relieved
182. Folded To Fit – Beauty Mirrors Beast
183. Thoughts on Life – Relieved
184. Diamonds – Relieved!
185. Sometimes I just get an idea in my head and I know it won’t go out of my head until I at least try it. Episode 3 – Resting Bitch Personality
187. Relieved: – Knowledge Expedition
188. The Benefit of a Clear Head – thepathtocreativity
189. Cookies & Moo – Reluctant Release
190. Musings of a Random Mind – Kitchen Confidential
191. Resorting to Cliches – andsoitisborn
192. mylocalweb – Can a MIL be a genuine mother?
193. Do Not Annoy The Writer – Stand Together!
194. Life On The Skinny Branches – Lasting Impressions
195. Relieved on My 1st Father’s Day (#FathersDay2017) – Jerome Danner
196. Grumpy or grateful – The Money Fast
197. A Little Rocking Haiku – Urban Poetry By Linda J. Wolff
198. You Stand Relieved – Staci Trolio
199. #WeekendCoffeeShare: Coughing Fits, Healthy Baking, and Superhero Movies – Single . . . Mingle Me Not
200. Sleep Beautiful Sleep – This, That, and The Other
201. Dronstad – Wake of War
202. It Must!!! – emotionsoflife2016
203. A Beginning – Beauty Mirrors Beast
204. Lee Aspland – Relieved
205. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: The relieved feline
206. Bipolar Diagnosis….Relief – Migraines From Hell
207. Blissful, Monday Motivation – Blissfully Bianca
208. Breathe . . . Breathe – E. Denise Billups, Writer
209. Curious Hart – The Girdle Effect
210. Not again – Back On The Grid
211. Heat Hades: I’ll be relieved when it’s cooler… – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
212. The Exchange Programme – AnneObure
213. Original-Dante – //Good//Bye ()
214. Danny Writes – Tomorrow, I may die.
215. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – There is no more relief
216. Piper’s Adventures – Comfort in the Light
217. A dog plus a sandy beach… what could go wrong? – Sarahs Crazy Mind
218. Hang in there 🙂 – Emotions That Matter.
219. Mommy Confessions….. – They Once Called Her Pumpkin…
220. Alleviating the Pain – As I was saying…
221. Jeremy Relieved (short story) – The Jittery Goat
222. Dreams of Snow and a New Way to Read – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
223. This Moment – Whew!
224. Peace and Happiness – Christinademeris
225. It All Started – Site Title
226. Piper’s Adventures – Relief by the River
227. Birdie = Relief – Combat Medic
228. My first driver’s test – The Diary of a Weird Teen Boy
229. A Limerick for My Baby – A lot from Lydia
230. And then there was one – Deep sigh of relief
231. Zombie Flamingos – Some things we saw yesterday
232. sense of relief – Cat ‘n Rat
233. Relieved – Love it Now
234. Relieved – sixty, single and surviving
235. Relief – Just a Blog Rambling On
236. So Relieved – The Mind of Nox
237. One scary night – Beka’s journal
238. Think Goose! – Reactionary Tales
239. VirtuousParagon – No Relief
240. Allah Is Near – Islamic Methodologies Made Easy
241. Relieved to Just Be – damswriter
242. Relief – aroused
243. sonja benskin mesher – .reviled.
244. What a Relief! – Just Writing!
245. Terrorist or Freedom Fighter? – Smell The Coffee
246. School Trip – Live life; make meaning.
247. the15thday – hey there pale man, it’s been a while. a very long while indeed.
248. Our Maid Stories – Motherish Childish
249. A long await… – Journey
250. ….on pets and prisoners….. – happy Monday–relieved!
251. SHINE MAGAZINE – Overcoming Fears: 3 Ways To Go About It
252. Strange Events: June 19th – 25th French Noir, Women Wrestlers, and Picasso – Everyday Strange
253. Phone Sex Episode 2 – Redux Of Rex
254. A Diary of A Single Man: A Father’s Day After Thought – Harlem Cafe
255. Cimmerian Sentiment – #25 Birthday BBQ (Waking Up Jayla)
256. Hot White Snow – Standing Ovation
257. Frank Prem – hush, there’s a bear
258. The Undeniable Importance of Windbreaks in the Environment – deewrites4you
259. Frank Prem – school soiree
260. Designer Sophisticate – Yes, I love exercising.
261. Frank Prem – of the unknown
262. You can quote this – Wells Baum
263. The Other Stuff – Live each day without judgement
264. Lantern Words – I Am Relieved


3 thoughts on “Author Interview – Sarah Fader – CEO of Stigma Fighters and author of “#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike: When you think everyone hates you & so much more”

  1. Oh, my. I hear you about anxiety. I’m the geeky writer, Star Trek/Stargate/Highlander type (whatever that even means). But I’m also a mom living in a small town with almost no one to talk to. I just can’t seem to find very much in common with the other moms. I have to literally psyche myself up before I go out with my kids.

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