Anxiety and Panic

The 4 Greatest Lessons I Learned on My Journey to Healing Social Anxiety

During my teens and most of my 20s I lived with social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD and depression. For most of those years I was on strong antidepressants and during the worst of it, medical disability benefits due to my fear of job interviews.

I believed I had a genetic fault in my brain and I was born that way. I had totally given up on myself and was convinced I would never get over social anxiety. That brings me to the first lesson I learned on my journey to overcoming social anxiety and shyness:

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What Bipolar Depression Looks Like — And What Can Help

Sadness. Hopelessness. Loss of interest. Loss of energy. Difficulty sleeping. Difficulty concentrating. Low self-esteem. Weight gain. Weight loss. Suicidal thoughts.

These are some of the symptoms listed for a depressive episode (also called bipolar depression) in bipolar disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But these clear-cut signs don’t exactly capture the complicated course of bipolar disorder or the palpable anguish that people with bipolar depression really feel. They don’t capture the angst or fear or confusion.
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: May 6, 2016

Your mouth gets dry. Your palms are sweaty. Your bestfriend is going through a tough situation. Your uncle is grieving over a loss. You don't know the right thing to say or do to help them.

If you get nervous thinking about it, here's some good news.

I read here about a 2011 study published in Social and Personality Psychology Compass. The research stated that just being near a loved one can minimize their suffering. While we all want to try our best to alleviate our love one's pain, not having the perfect words needn't stop you from the greatest gift you can give them-just be there.

If you want to go deeper, this week's post will give you information on what to ask a loved one who might be suicidal. You will also learn what not to say to an anxious child and develop empathy for yourself and others who are suffering.

When you love someone and when you've built a trusting relationship with them, your presence and not your advice will be what heals and soothes them most.
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Children and Teens

Running in Place: Improving Public Education

Reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. In popular culture, we have a cheerful image of little Jim and Jane skipping to their suburban elementary school. Cute? Yes. Accurate? Only if Jim and Jane hail from upper-class backgrounds.

Compare Jim and Jane, two adorable first-graders from Coldwater Canyon, to Marcus and Mariel, two adorable first-graders from Los Angeles. For Marcus and Mariel, domestic violence, physical violence, and food insecurity pervade their daily lives. On Mariel’s walk to her gang-infested school, she dodges used needles and condoms. In their bleak environment, elementary school represents a critical, stabilizing influence.

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3 Reasons It’s So Tough to End a Toxic Relationship

Sometimes life is freaking TOUGH.

Bad relationships don’t happen all at once, they creep up on us. If they were bad in the beginning, no one would ever enter into them. So, why do we stay in bad relationships long after it dawns on us that it’s time to go?

Here are three reasons why leaving a bad relationship is a lot harder than it sounds:

1. You Feel Like You've Invested Too Much Time to Give Up Now

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The Difference Between Sex and Love for Men

As a psychotherapist who specializes in emotions, and as a woman with my own personal history of serial monogamy, I have come to realize that some men channel their need for love, intimacy, soothing, care, and comfort into sexual desire.

Here are some examples:

Dylan wants sex when he feels sad because he likes the comfort the physical holding provides. Dylan, like most people, wants to be held when he is sad. In fact, the need to be held when we feel sad is biologically programmed into our brains.

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Dealing with the Pressure to Succeed When You Have a Mental Illness

I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but I feel a constant need to succeed, and there are definite moments when I feel desperately overwhelmed with the amount of pressure I’ve put on myself.

For years I’ve had the goal of living in a mountain house surrounded by a large grove of trees. I’ve worked hard to try to get to that point, but here I am, still on Section 8, still receiving money from the government for my disability.

I’m frustrated and, at times, angry with myself for not being able to mentally do what I have to do to get to the point where I’m satisfied.
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