Last night, I found out that the previous owner of Social Anxiety Support, Andrew Mohebbi (we knew him as 'Drew'), passed away in December.
Some of you may have been around to experience first-hand the positive impact Drew had on our community. Over several years, he poured his heart into his work in transitioning this site into the state in which you see it today. If you weren't able to see that, yourself, then you should know that where ChrisA (the original owner) and Becky & Thunder (second [co-]ownership, who then passed it on to Drew) laid the foundation of Social Anxiety Support, Drew built upon it... And he built it high... very high.
A few years ago, I worked with Drew here as a moderator. While he was a very private person who only very rarely spoke of his personal life, it was clear in working with him that he was passionate about this site and, even more so, his desire to help people who were mentally and emotionally suffering. It was also clear, though, that he suffered from problems of his own, and only now do I learn that he didn't just suffer from Social Anxiety, but also Bipolar Disorder.
What difficulties he must have had in life... I had no idea it was bad enough to end like this... This was a blindside, and I feel sick over it... That I am even writing this right now - the idea that it ended this way - is just... unfathomable...
He was very troubled, but everyone here should know that we have him to thank, at least in part, for the community we have here today...
So, thank you, Drew..
Andrew, our beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend took his own life on December 26, 2014. He was just 31 years old. He is survived by his father and mother, Kathy and Hadi Mohebbi, and brother, Matthew, and extended family and friends, whose lives he touched in his own special way.
Andrew suffered from Bipolar Disorder and Social Anxiety. Mental illness is insidious- it distorts memory and perception, leaving one feeling hopeless and alone. Andrew, a kind and creative man, grew discouraged, his diseases taking control of his bright spirit. Despite the best efforts of his supportive family and friends, and the best therapy and treatment available, he simply could not see a future for himself. He will be remembered for his wit, generosity, thoughtfulness, empathy and especially, his adventurous nature.
Whether skydiving in New Zealand, exploring Europe with his brother, traveling solo across the United States by motorcycle, traversing the Trans-America Trail, riding through the Copper Canyon, enjoying the ocean, climbing volcanos in Guatemala or summiting Mount Kilimanjaro all with friends, Andrew lived with such energy and joy, inspiring everyone around him.
When he wasn’t out exploring, Andrew thrived as an entrepreneur, building successful online communities that served millions of users. His need to help others was particularly evident in his company, Social Anxiety Support, wherein he rallied sufferers and mental health professionals to work towards a shared goal of providing better resources for the mental health community. He saw the needs of others and worked endlessly to identify solutions to help address them. Still, he could not do this for himself.
We make this commitment to Andrew, his memory and to those who battle mental illness: we will continue to share his story, to help break down the mental health stigmas he hated and to help improve the understanding and treatment of these diseases.
We pray our dearest Andrew has found peace, and that he remains in touch with all of his passions. With all our love, now and forever, your family and friends.