An Agoraphobic's Journey Out of Mental Purgatory
by Shawna Baca
"Fear Less: An Agoraphobic’s Journey Out of Mental Purgatory" intimately chronicles a downward spiral into debilitating panic attacks and agoraphobia that began on Shawna's twenty-first birthday; a mental illness that sequestered her inside of her home for over a year. When Western medicine failed, her Apache/Yaqui mother took her to the Pala Indian reservation to see a Medicine Man, who cured her that night in a sweatlodge ceremony, which was nothing short of a modern day exorcism. That was the last day she suffered from panic attacks and agoraphobia, but the aftermath left her in contemplation of what happened to her… and to her mind? How did that young woman who could do normal things - go to work, go to the gym, have lunch with friends - become the woman who could not leave her home for a year except to be driven to a weekly therapist visit, then be cured inside a sweatlodge by a Medicine Man, and POOF, magically have her anxiety and panic disappear?
Fear Less: An Agoraphobic’s Journey Out of Mental Purgatory goes on to detail a labyrinthine journey that explores her road to healing using various Western and Eastern modalities, conventional therapists, twelve-step programs, and spiritual healers, all of whom helped her learn how to deprogram the emotional conditioning that resulted from childhood trauma and a series of losses, and instilled tools to reprogram new life conditions and achieve breakthroughs that re-awakened her true self. It is a gritty inner exploration into the darkness that lived inside her, and how she challenged herself to re-frame her mind to face those inner demons to cultivate new life conditions.
Available in Paperback & eBook HERE!
About the Author
Shawna Baca is an award-winning writer and director. She was selected by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett from more than 20,000 filmmakers to be part of his 2007 FOX reality show, ON THE LOT on the basis of her short film "Isabel."
Shawna received a “Mujeres Destacadas” award by La Opinion newspaper and the City of Los Angeles. She was also honored at the Latina Symposium (Washington D.C.) with an award and recognition for being a “Latina Entrepreneur,” and given a scholarship to the prestigious Tuck School of Business Executive Education Program at Dartmouth University by Latina Style magazine.
Her feature screenplay, "Space for Raven," is currently in development. The screenplay made the top 50 screenplays in the 2020 Script Pipeline Feature Competition and was a Semi-Finalist in the 2020 WeScreenplay Diverse Voices.
Her television pilot "Curandera" co-written with Fox Diversity Writer's Initiative fellow, Dustin Paddock (House), made Quarter-finals in 2019 Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest, 2020 ScreenCraft Pilot Launch, and 2020 BlueCat TV Pilot contest.
She is the author of a transformational memoir, “Fear Less: An Agoraphobic’s Journey Out of Mental Purgatory," which documents her downward spiral into a panic disorder and agoraphobia at the age of 21 that left her sequestered in her home for over a year, before her Indigenous mother took her to see a Medicine Man on the Pala Indian reservation and cured her in a sweatlodge ceremony. This led her on a journey of exploration into Indigenous shamanism, spirituality and the unknown.
Shawna was born in east Los Angeles and is Apache, Yaqui, Spanish and French.