A new film about anxiety has this message: Let's talk about it - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

A new film about anxiety has this message: Let's talk about it

Swimmer Michael Phelps talks about his own anxiety in "Angst." (Image: "Angst" film) Swimmer Michael Phelps talks about his own anxiety in "Angst." (Image: "Angst" film)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A new documentary that features Olympian Michael Phelps puts a spotlight on anxiety and is aimed at inspiring a conversation, the producer said.

"Angst" is being screened at schools and community centers nationwide, including at several locations in Hawaii.

Producer Scilla Andreen said the film is about education — and action.

"A third of the American population has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and that's just what we know of. There's something going on," she said.

Many experts blame social media.

"You've heard the term FOMO or fear of missing out. That's a nice neat way to tie it, seeing a bunch of stuff on social media and technology and now you are feeling that you are missing out and something is wrong with you," Andreen said.

Phelps agreed to appear in the film after speaking publicly about his battle with anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide.

"I couldn't look at myself in the mirror and be happy with who I saw," said Phelps.

Andreen said Phelps' inclusion gives permission for others to share. It gives permission for kids especially to speak up and say something."

Charlotte Yamamoto is parent of a 13-year-old boy, who worries about acceptance and academics. 

"I think it's so important to have an open communication where he can be honest," she said.

George Honzaki Hawaii Baptist Academy Middle School principal saw "Angst" and thinks both young people and adults should see it.

"Our school is really trying to train our faculty to prepare for how to get our kids to be emotionally smart and it really starts with us modeling for the students," he said.

The next free showing of "Angst" is set for Sept. 25 at Hawaii Baptist Academy Middle School. It's set for 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

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