Social Anxiety Disorder and the Bachelorette's Jamie Blyth

Jamie Blyth
Jamie Blyth overcame social anxiety on his own. Getty / FilmMagic

Jamie Blyth is best known as a finalist on the ABC television reality show The Bachelorette. After it was revealed that Jamie suffered with panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, he appeared as a guest on numerous shows including Oprah Winfrey and Good Morning America.

Jamie has since been a reporter for ABC, Fox Sports and Extra, worked with the Ford Modelling Agency, coached an inner city baseball team, and spoken for associations such as the National Alliance for the mentally ill. He is also author of the book Fear is No Longer My Reality.

Experience with SAD

In 1994, Jamie experienced his first panic attack out of the blue. From the ages of 19 to 24, he battled crippling social anxiety that left him afraid to attend college classes, go on dates or visit friends.


Jamie reports overcoming his anxiety by challenging himself with new situations. He gained confidence as a sales representative and manager for a national technology company.

Later he went to Europe alone and qualified to play as a professional basketball player. His final challenge was appearing as a contestant on the reality television series "The Bachelorette." As Jamie notes, he wasn't there to find love, but rather to appear on television and challenge his fears.

Jamie's Thoughts About Social Anxiety

  • "It just happened one day. 10:30 AM on September 29, 1994, I had my first panic attack, and from that point on, my whole life changed. It turned into a phobia because nobody knew at that time what it was, and I didn't know what it was, and I was scared to tell people because they'd think I was nuts. And it just turned into a phobia where the fear of fear—I couldn't go to class, I couldn't go on dates, I couldn't go to my best friend's house—I couldn't do anything."
  • “Every time you try to do something that anxiety wants to stop you from doing, you've struck a blow that will make the anxiety weaker."

Jamie's Favorite Quotes

According to an Amazon reviewer who had a personal communication with Jamie, two of his favorite quotes are the following:

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress" ~Frederick Douglas.

"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow" ~Mary Anne Radmacher

Personal Life

According to his LinkedIn page, Jamie graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997, became the Director of Sales for Murphy Paving and Sealcoating in 2007, and resides in the greater Chicago area.

In a 2015 interview, Jamie reported that he had been engaged and was raising a son named Jackson.

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