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Performance Anxiety: Don’t Be A Dud!

Mental Health Humor and psychological disorder humor and cartoons by Chato Stewart
Mental Health Humor by Chato Stewart

Matchstick Stew: Go! Go! Go! FLY! Go Sky-high for Bob & Mike. Don’t be a dud!!
Rockets flying in the air: [Ka-Boom] [Boom! Blam! Pow!] [Ka-blam]
Old Bottle Rocket: [trying to blow out the wick] Ta-hisssssss….
Caption: Performance Anxiety?


We all get anxious when we have to perform on the spot.  Performance Anxiety has haunted me during a number of situations in my life.  Notable during school, every single time a teacher would look at me to read out loud. For K-12–this haunted me like a plague! I would even ask my teach NOT to call on me.  Some teachers like my grade school teacher, Ms. Manning, worked after class to teach..reading with me and helping me with phonics.  A few other teachers would do that during my school years. Yet, for the most part, I was on my own.

Out of the special education classes in 7th grade, I failed horribly being dyslexic (for context see: Dyslexia The History) and reading 4 grades behind. By the end of the 8th grade (2 years later I was reading almost on par)- still could not spell all that well.  Every test was met with mounds of negative, self-defeating Performance Anxiety.  It’s a wonder I ever got through.  In the end, I would give up on the standardized timed test – just filling in any dot; just to get the test done.  The embarrassment of not comprehending the questions did nothing for my already low self-esteem.


I started playing baseball at 8 or 9. The Cyclones was my first team.  I could not hit, I could catch. Then when I got glasses, I could hit!  Three years we were city champs.  Then I went to the Toros.  The winning streak kept going, I could play ball. I had a knack. I could hit, throw, and catch.  I was all in and even caught a number of game winning balls.  Then when I went to the next league up, age 13 or 14, I could not connect with the ball. Performance Anxiety kicked in and I could not perform.  My team yelled at me, they turned at my coach, even turned on me…one time telling me to get on base, let him (pitcher) hit you. (I strike out).  It was not till the end of the season that my slump ended, by then my team hated me.  I think the last hit I got was a triple. We lost and a few of my teammates had some choice comments…and I quit the team.  I was back from my slump.  After getting bullied all season, some I probably deserved– some I didn’t, they (the bullies) made me hate a sport I loved.  So, when I had to make a choice to give up the sport to follow a different path in life…giving it up was easy.


Performance Anxiety for me and having kids is/was never an issue…I have 4. Nuff Said.



Link Between Anger and Anxiety





Performance Anxiety: Don’t Be A Dud!

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2015). Performance Anxiety: Don’t Be A Dud!. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Jul 2015
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