Anxiety and Panic Articles

5 Ways to Cope With Heartbleed Bug Anxiety

Friday, April 11th, 2014

5 Ways to Cope With Heartbleed Bug AnxietyBy now you have probably heard about the Heartbleed Bug that has the Internet community shorting out its circuits. With headlines, tweets and posts with titles like “Why Heartbleed Is the Ultimate Web Nightmare” its a wonder any of us got any sleep last night. That Heartbleed logo alone is enough to kick up my flight/fight response!

So what can we do to get a grip, calm our bodies down and take action to do what we can to address the problem?

A New Approach to Overcoming Psychological Disorders

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

A New Approach to Overcoming Psychological DisordersFor more than a decade, researchers have known that all major psychological disorders — including depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia — are associated with an excessive tendency to rumination. When faced with depressive or anxious urges, your mind often goes into overdrive by becoming excessively engrossed in thoughts.

“Engrossive” thinking is the primary mediating factor that exacerbates psychological disorders. However, until now there has been no therapeutic approach that integrated this key finding.

Culture & Mental Health Stigma: An Advocate’s Story of Struggle and Hope

Friday, April 4th, 2014

GayathriPhotoBorder

“I wish my son had cancer instead of depression,” an Indian mother told Gayathri Ramprasad.

“If he had cancer, all my friends and family would sympathize with us. How can I tell them about depression? They won’t even understand [what that means]…What kind of future will he have?”

Mental Illness Across Cultures: An Interview with Gayathri Ramprasad

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

GayathriPhotoBorderAs much stigma as there is in American homes regarding mental illness, it’s much worse in other countries. Gayathri Ramprasad grew up in Bangalore, India, where traditional Hindu culture has no concept of depression. There was no doctor to diagnose her anxiety disorder as an adolescent girl nor medicine to treat the condition.

Now, as founder and president of ASHA International, she is an agent of hope for persons of all cultures that suffer from depression and anxiety. Ramprasad has just published her memoir, “Shadows in the Sun: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within,” an inspiring story that provides a first-of-its-kind cross-cultural lens to mental illness and documents the way she drew on both her rich Hindu heritage and Western medicine to find healing.

I have the pleasure of interviewing her here. You can find more information about her at www.gayathiramprasad.com.

How Writing Helped Me Conquer Real-Life Anxiety

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

How the Written Word Helped Me Conquer Real-Life Anxiety Anxiety, or mental unease, can be seen as the crying out of the internal artist: Let me out! Let me speak!
~ Frances Krsinich

My path toward healing from anxiety has not been easy or straightforward. I tried many different avenues, from traditional therapy and medication to acupuncture and herbs. But it wasn’t until I turned to the written word that I was finally able to conquer the everyday angst of ongoing anxiety.

The healing first started by simply reading about it. I devoured many self-help books on the subject, including Lucinda Bassett’s From Panic to Power, finally understanding that I wasn’t the only person leading a normal life while fighting the undertow of fear. This fact alone helped me become more hopeful and empowered. I realized that if people with thoughts just as scary — if not more so —than mine could climb out of their anxiety, then I could too.

Still, my mind remained uneasy, quite ready to spin another tale of worry into a sleepless night of fear.

Healthy Ways to Navigate Negative Thoughts

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Healthy Ways to Navigate Negative Thoughts

I’ll never be able to do that. Nothing ever works. I can’t do anything. No one cares. Everything is terrible. I am terrible at everything.

These are examples of the negative thoughts that can bombard us on a regular basis, according to Tamar Chansky, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who helps children, teens and adults overcome anxiety.

Negative thoughts are “automatic thoughts in response to uncertainty, anxiety, disappointment or other challenges.” She described them as “knee-jerk reactions of the mind.”

We often interpret our negative thoughts as cold, hard facts. We assume they’re accurate assessments of our performance, circumstances and anything else going on in our lives.

Yet they’re not.

The Courage That Comes with Anxiety

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The Courage That Comes with Anxiety“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
~ Ambrose Redmoon

Courage is not usually a word anxiety sufferers would list as one of their most outstanding attributes. Yet it should be.

For even the best of lives are thorn-ridden with frustration, disappointment, and loss. Add the extremely difficult challenge of trudging through outer problems while contending with the inner turmoil of anxiety, and it’s apparent that fortitude, determination — and yes, courage — are some of the strengths that anxious people may not even realize they posses.

Yet people with anxiety probably carry these strengths in higher reserves than those without anxiety.

Thriving with Mental Illness: Q&A with Susannah Bortner

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Susannah BortnerHere’s a message we don’t hear nearly enough: Even though living with mental illness is hard — really hard — many people are successfully managing their conditions and savoring satisfying, healthy lives.

Here’s another message we need to hear more: How they do it.

That’s why we’ve created this new interview series. It debuted last month with Elaina J. Martin, who writes the popular Psych Central blog Being Beautifully Bipolar.

This month we’re honored to talk to Susannah Bortner, a mom, writer, early education teacher and amateur baker living in Brooklyn, N.Y.

When Circumstances Are Beyond Your Control

Friday, February 21st, 2014

When Circumstances Are Beyond Your ControlWhen we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
~ Viktor Frankl

In life, some circumstances are beyond the scope of our control. Maybe it’s a debilitating illness, a tumultuous storm, an unstable job market, or a one-sided end to a relationship. All we can do is choose how we respond. What is the narrative that we are telling ourselves? How can we shift our perspective? Only we can decide how to interpret a situation at hand.

A few months ago, I was told that I should have surgery on my thyroid. And as soon as anyone mentions the word, “surgery,” my antennae perk up, and my insides become a tad squeamish.

Telltale Signs It’s Time to Treat Your Anxiety

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Telltale Signs It's Time to Treat Your AnxietyAnxiety is an adaptive process that is critical for our survival, said L. Kevin Chapman, Ph.D, an associate professor at the University of Louisville and a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in anxiety disorders.

It prompts “us to pay attention to both internal and external events.” But when anxiety becomes acute, uncontrollable or chronic, it can interfere with our lives.

And that’s when seeking professional treatment is key.

Why Novel Reading Reduces Anxiety

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Why Novel Reading Reduces Anxiety“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
~James Baldwin, American author (1924-1987)

In The Power of Myth, the late scholar and famous mythologist Joseph Campbell explains that stories help give us relevance and meaning to our lives and that “… in popular novels, the main character is a hero or heroine who has found or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience.”

In response to Campbell’s discussion about how the hero’s journey in myth and literature is about creating a more mature — and better — version of oneself, the distinguished journalist Bill Moyers pointed out how everyday people — “who may not be heroes in the grand sense of redeeming society” — can still relate to a protagonist’s transformation, allowing even the most outwardly meek of us to embark on an inner kind of hero’s journey.

The simple act of reading a novel, then, can give us a psychological shot of courage, encouraging personal growth while reducing anxiety.

Go Cry to Mom: It May Calm You Down

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Go Cry to Mom: It Calms You DownWhen it comes to internal pain, I have not evolved a whole lot from when I was in fourth grade: I still go running to mom with my tears. Even as I know something in our conversation could very well trigger more anxiety or I question the advice she doles out, I am still comforted by her voice.

There is no real logic — it’s somewhat instinctual.

Anxiety
& Panic


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