When did Paula's mental illness begin?
Paula Deen's father died suddenly when she was 19 years old. This traumatic, life-changing event led to a 20-year struggle with agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder that makes a person feel panic, helplessness, and embarrassment in crowded places.
How has she dealt with this mental disorder?
For 20 years, she would try cooking for her family to distract herself. She claims that it was something she could do without leaving her house. After her and her husband were divorced, she began playing around with ingredients and cooking on a budget. Her sons and TV would eventually save her life from a deep, dark place.
How has she been treated with her condition?
Paula has had a strong faith her whole life but when her pastor did not help her, she lost a lot of morale. She is now a beloved chef by all and is "done fightin' and done hidin." She is a beacon of hope for all suffering with agoraphobia and is open about her condition. She has overcome a lot in her life and is ready for the next challenge she will face.