Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Antonio Mazzone, better known as Ton, and I'm a 25 year old Anglo Italian born and bred in London.
What is your first memory of experiencing panic or anxiety?
My first experience with anxiety was when I was 19 years old, at work in Russell & Bromley. I experienced my first panic attack mid conversation with staff members . I didn't know what was going on! From that moment on, I found it difficult socialising with people as it gave me a social phobia. I was scared that I'd say the wrong things or act the wrong way and have one of my panic attacks again.
How did this affect your life then and how are you feeling now?
It was weird because I was always known as the loud, popular extrovert but deep down I struggled! I didn't tell anyone. It's only up until quite recently that things have improved. I've found that putting myself in the deep end and tackling my fears has made me stronger and able to cope. I do have those panic moments but try my best to soldier through them with various breathing techniques. I also find that talking about it helps, alot. Hearing myself speak about it kind of calms my thoughts down also.
What inspired you to put the video together?
I made the video for a couple of reasons.
- I wanted to empathise with other anxiety sufferers and make them feel like they are not alone. The fact that the video had received 250k shares and 11m views in one day shows that you are not alone! A lot of people relate.
- I wanted people who don't understand anxiety to empathise with the character in the video and therefore with people who suffer around them.
I feel that it has done just that. I have seen comments of friends tagging each other saying things like 'I finally understand what you're going through' and people who suffer using the video as a way to explain to their friends what they are going through.
This makes me extremely happy and overwhelmed with joy that I have brought people together with this video! It's had great feedback.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I now feel that it's my duty to tackle similar day to day issues that do not get addressed enough through video!
You can find and follow Ton Mazzone on facebook here - https://www.facebook.com/tonmazzone/