In March 2022, Kevin Berling won a US$450,000 lawsuit against his former company for throwing him a birthday party. It seems silly when phrased this way, but the events leading to the lawsuit deeply distressed Berling. In August 2019, he asked his company not to throw a party for his birthday. Berling has an anxiety disorder and knew the party could trigger his symptoms.
However, the party occurred anyway, and Berling suffered a panic attack and had to leave. Later, his managers called him into a meeting and criticized him. Berling spiraled into another panic attack, and his coworkers walked out after perceiving his behavior as “enraged” and “possibly about to get violent.” Berling was fired not long after, and he later sued for discrimination and emotional distress.
Though mental illnesses are often made light of, anxiety disorders like Berling’s are no joke. Anxiety can leave people in “fight-or-flight” mode constantly, making any stressor a potential trigger for a panic attack. These may include physical symptoms like a rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, trembling, and muscle tension. Feelings of danger, fear of dying, and even detachment from reality are all possible mental symptoms.
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Panic attacks can be terrifying to experience and concerning for outside observers. However, they don’t mean the person is violent, and those who suffer from panic attacks often have strategies to prevent and cope with them. It’s important for others to listen to and respect those with mental illness, and to learn what we can do to help and not hinder their recovery.
spiral vi. 急遽惡化
enraged adj. 憤怒的；激怒的
fight-or-flight adj 戰鬥或逃跑的
stressor n. 壓力源
detachment n. 分離；淡漠
hinder vt. 阻礙；妨礙
be no laughing matter 必須嚴肅看待；絕非鬧著玩的
make light of 輕視；忽視
1. lawsuit n. 訴訟
sue v. 提出訴訟；控告
Melissa brought a lawsuit against her employers for the unfair way they had treated her when she got pregnant.
2. distress vt. 使焦慮；使煩亂
Every time Helga watches the news, I can see how much it distresses her.
3. trigger v. 觸發；引起 & n.（觸發之）事件；情況
The sound of breaking glass triggered a memory of last year’s big storm for me.
? Afterward, the teachers learned that the trigger for the fight had been one student’s theft of another’s lunch.
4. discrimination n. 歧視
Many disabled people suffer discrimination when applying for jobs.
5. potential adj. 潛在的；可能的
The insurance salesman is always on the lookout for potential clients.
6. tremble vi. 顫抖；發抖
As the thunder crashed and the wind howled, Ali’s dog hid under the table and trembled in fear.
7. tension n. 緊繃；張力；緊張（狀態）
Tie the ropes tightly to maintain proper tension in the sails; otherwise our boat won’t move in the wind!
8. concerning adj. 令人擔憂的
Kanye’s recent behavior at school has been concerning, so we called this meeting to ask if everything is OK at home.
9. recovery n. 康復、復原
Lee suffered a serious injury, so his recovery will probably be very slow.
A festive time of light 元宵佳節知多少 Occurring on the 15th day of the initial month of the Lunar New Year, when the first full moon appears, the Lantern Festival is a festive time that continues the good cheer and celebration sparked by Chinese New Year. It also simultaneously marks the end of that annual event. It’s a time when lanterns and other colorful lights and decorations adorn stores, businesses, and streets in Chinese communities around the globe. Aside from honoring ancestors, the festival is also meant to foster peace, forgiveness, and harmony. Lantern displays are the center of attention during the Lantern Festival in Taiwan. Parks across
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