Me on my wedding day (June 2016)
Name: Jeremy Hyman
Medically diagnosed: a highly functioning, socially anxious man with incredible good looks.
Treatment and coping strategies: Psychiatrist and psychologist, cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, anti-depressant medication, a glass of wine, freaking out and reality television.
Support networks: My wife, parents, sisters, mates (both male and female), mentors acquired through my professional life and a team of white lab coat doctors and scientists working around the clock, day and night in Vienna.
My two sisters and I
Background: Aged 37, losing my hair and newly married to a beautiful and highly intelligent doctor (nephrologist) with whom I share my life with in a recently purchased 3 bedroom house in Lilyfield, Sydney. We enjoy fine wine, live music and good food - a very good lifestyle overall, albeit now somewhat contained due to a new mortgage.
I was born to a middle class, Jewish orthodox, "Woody Allen" family. I have loving parents and two equally loving older sisters - our family could not be any closer. We all communicate several times a day, every day. My wife laughs that she’s married into a sitcom but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
My eldest sister lives in Melbourne; the others reside in Sydney, 20 minutes drive from our house. Luckily I am down in Melbourne frequently and likewise my sister travels up to Sydney.
I grew up on the upper north shore of Sydney and attended a private boys school. After school I went to Sydney Uni and went on to do a masters in communications whilst working full time – but it was worth it.
Employment: I currently work for one of the world's largest and leading global law firms in the capacity of communications manager and am responsible for the internal and external communications of the Australian business.
Extra-curricula: I have served on several charity boards and currently chair the American Chamber of Commerce, Trade Advisory Board and the Mr. Perfect Board!
Earliest memory of struggling with social anxiety: Attending Synagogue, approximately aged 8 and feeling on show, exposed and uncomfortable in a large audience where men and women stood separately yet highly visible to one another. Often one would be asked to perform ceremonial rituals that occurred on a raised platform in front of the large congregation. The service was in Hebrew and one had to wear religious garb when praying.
My beautiful wife Lucy
How my anxiety manifests: When I am anxious, I overheat and sweat. Sometimes I tremble and the fight or flight impulse is triggered. I can often taste a bitterness in my mouth. I’ve been told this is the taste of adrenalin being pumped out by the body.
I catastrophise about upcoming social events and it most commonly is a problem in a corporate/work/performance setting. I worry about being perceived negatively and not being respected by others or thought of as weird or strange. Quite often I can feel embarrassed by my physical symptoms and that can have a snowball impact for the next situation of comparable context.
People in positions of power and authority can make me hypersensitive to how I am being perceived when in their company and I feel a greater sense of scrutiny.
Outlook on life: I am blessed with my father's positive disposition and am rarely depressed if ever seriously.
Philosophy on life: As I grow older it becomes increasingly apparent that everyone in life is struggling with something. There is no normal for the human condition and empathy/kindness will build relationships that have propelled me to great heights of success in both social and business contexts. I believe relationships are everything that matters in life and generosity of spirit along with thinking the best of a person and/or situation is the best state of being, when I can achieve that for myself. I try to look towards what is great about my life and spend less time on what is not.
Happiness in the context of social anxiety: I appreciate my life and the people within it. Life is not always easy and great stress is experienced through my hypersensitive state. That said, I tend to be more frustrated by it rather than react in depression. I know I need to maintain my mental health in much the same way that I might try to stay in shape or keep a basic fitness level.
My oldest Sister & I
Relationship to alcohol: I'd like to limit my love of wine and whiskey as that can be detrimental to my resilience both during and post consumption.
Life goals: Start a family, spend more time with my wife and enjoying the simple things with less stress in my life.
Passions: I love travel, nice restaurants, films, news and politics, art, live performance, good conversation and the love I share with family and friends.
Greatest fear in life: Losing all my hair.
Why Mr. Perfect?: Because no one is perfect no matter what it seems on the surface. Being human requires vulnerabilities and I hope being involved with Mr. Perfect will encourage men to be kinder to themselves.