Anxiety and Panic

How to Cope with the Stress of High School

"Remember that awful feeling that last day of summer vacation before the first day of school?" His question was like a fart at a funeral and roused me from my previously relaxed summer drowse.

A long slumbering dragon in the cave of my gut, released a combination of indigestion and a feeling that can I only describe with the word “blech.” Only in all caps and much longer.

The end of lazy hot long days and the beginning of what seemed like just like long days... trapped in a windowless classroom.
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Bullying

Fighting Depression at Work

“Fighting depression” does not appear on any job description.

Conducting job duties -- no matter how menial or how daunting -- has never been an issue for me. In one job, I faithfully took a former boss’s clothes to and from the cleaners. In another, I had the pleasure of demonstrating a business solution for those who run a global corporation. Due to past traumas that occurred during previous jobs, however, I constantly fight an inner war against depression.
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Brain and Behavior

Challenging Self-Doubts

Talented and thoughtful, she was a successful non-profit executive. She was well-known throughout the region for her philanthropic endeavors. She had founded three businesses in separate niche industries.

To the outsider, my client was a skilled entrepreneur, a connector between the business and arts communities. She was a self-made woman. When she spoke, others listened -- and followed.

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Bullying

Child Sexual Abuse: Don’t Hide Your Head in the Sand

Right as the Summer Olympic Games started in Rio, the IndyStar reported that USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for gymnastics, ignored sexual abuse allegations filed against coaches. Complaints were reportedly filed against more than 50 gymnastics coaches, but authorities were not contacted about the complaints if they did not come directly from a victim or her parents. Three of those coaches have since been convicted, while a fourth killed himself in jail.

Before I mention any details, I have to give a trigger warning to trauma survivors. This news brought up a lot of poignant, ugly feelings for me.
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Bullying

It Isn’t Our Fault: Being in Love with a Narcissist

Note: Although I share thoughts from personal experience and refer to the narcissist as male, narcissism is not discriminatory.

Maybe you are feeling a desperate need to try and salvage a relationship you intuitively know is unhealthy and imbalanced; or maybe you are wondering why you can’t “let go” and “move on” from the loss of your relationship. It’s possible that you are in love with a narcissist, and now owning the blame for all the sudden problems or downfall. A narcissist is someone who will enter our life and consume our entire existence all for selfish benefit. Understanding the whirlwind and accepting the finality of a relationship with a narcissist will show that we possess tremendous value.

We are smart and confident, so why did we allow ourselves to fall for the narcissist?
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Brain and Behavior

The Denial of Trauma

“I don’t have trauma.”

“What happened to me isn’t trauma.”

“Trauma is something horrific.”

“I should have been able to cope with it.”

“It’s not sad.”

“I’m not upset.”

Accepting you are suffering from trauma is by far one of the most difficult aspects of recovery. I thought that admitting I was suffering from trauma suggested I couldn’t cope with the events in my life or I didn’t have the strength to deal with and process those events.
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Bullying

I Love My Family But Not Their Politics

I’ve come to understand the reason for the old adage that "you don’t talk about religion or politics." People are very passionate about these subjects, especially during a presidential election year, so political discussions even among loving family members can become heated. Some people align so much with their religious beliefs or political values that they feel like it’s a personal attack when others have differing views from them. But what do you do when your own politics differ greatly from your family’s views?
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Bullying

5 Things to Do if Your Job Makes You Cry

Frequent tearfulness, anxiety, fearfulness, insomnia and changes in appetite are often first symptoms of workplace stress. My clients who report these symptoms are also somewhat baffled by what could be the cause. They tell me, “I love my job and I’m good at it, so why does it suddenly upset me so much?"

Joan works as a nurse in a local hospital. She came to see me complaining that her panic attacks were getting worse and she was crying most days, unable to cope with a workload that, just a few months previously, had been no problem for her.

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Anger

Keep Your Cool around Hotheads

How many times in your life have you dealt with a hothead? That is someone who overreacts and flies off the handle, doing so with some degree of intensity, consistency, and predictability, typically with minimal provocation. When faced with a hothead who occasionally or repeatedly blows off steam in your direction, how do you process the behavior and keep your cool?

Once you've spent time with a hothead, you learn to expect future over-the-top reactions. Their inappropriate intensity and lack of self-control may show up in limited or multiple scenarios. You may feel uncomfortable, even fearful and embarrassed around these people. They may be aggressive, passive with explosive tendencies, unable to appropriately handle stressful triggers, or lack healthy emotional and physical outlets.

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