Anxiety drove a Kings Mills woman to live outside last winter for 5 months

The "tent" that Amy Miller lived in for five months last winter outside her home in Kings Mills. Anxiety over a suspected break-in drove her to feeling that she could no longer live inside her house, Miller said. She went for treatment in March at the Lindner Center for Hope.

For years, Amy Miller of Kings Mills said, she did her best to manage relentless anxiety. But one day about a year ago, already stressed over the pandemic, she suspected a break-in at home. Fear took over, and Miller decided to throw a tarp over her van in her driveway and live outside, for five months.

Yes, Miller says now, it sounds odd. In March, when family members realized her situation, they got Miller to accept mental health care treatment at the Lindner Center for Hope in Mason. Nine months into intensive therapy for anxiety and post-traumatic stress, the Air Force veteran and mother said she is speaking about the experience to help others who are suffering.

“If you are too ashamed, you need to get through your shame. If you are afraid, you need to step through that fear. If you don’t trust, you need to trust and rely,” said Miller, 56. “If I had realized what was going on, I could have called 911. But I didn’t even realize to call 911. Anxiety made me think I was doing something right, and I wasn’t.”

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