Anxiety and Panic

How Postpartum Depression is Different from Baby Blues

Today, even though we’ve made much progress, postpartum depression (PPD) still gets confused with baby blues. It still gets minimized and dismissed.

Oh, don’t worry. Being sad and sobbing are totally normal. So is feeling frustrated. You just gave birth, after all. You just need some sleep. A day off. A change in attitude. Maybe you should stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Maybe you’re not used to being home so much. You need time to adjust. You need to get used to your new normal. That’s all.

Maybe someone told you these words -- with kind and good intentions. Or maybe you’ve said these words to yourself. Either way, there’s a lot of misinformation about PPD and how it manifests. For starters, PPD is different from baby blues.
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Anxiety and Panic

How Childhood Trauma Affects Adult Relationships

Childhood experiences are crucial to our emotional development. Our parents, who are our primary attachment figures, play an important role in how we experience the world because they lay the foundation of what the world is going to look like for us. Is it a safe place to explore and take emotional risks? Are all people out to hurt us and therefore untrustworthy? Can we lean on important people in our lives to support us in times of emotional need?

Complex trauma refers to prolonged exposure to a stressful event. This would include children who have grown up in physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive households. Without the safety net of a secure attachment relationship, children grow up to become adults who struggle with feelings of low self-worth and challenges with emotional regulation. They also have an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety.
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Anxiety and Panic

4 Things I Learned in Trauma Group Therapy

I never wanted to go to group therapy, especially for my trauma history. Child sexual abuse didn’t seem like something I was ready to share with a group of people, even if they had walked a mile in my shoes. As long as I didn’t reveal my dark secret to anyone else, they saw a normal woman before them. If they learned I was abused, I thought for sure they’d see me as some kind of festering wound on society, a reminder that there are perverts among us, operating beneath the otherwise cheerful and wholesome social world.

I'm sensitive about my faults. In fact, I'm sensitive about everything. I didn’t want to take what I considered to be by far the ugliest thing about me to a group of strangers on a weekly basis as if to say, “Here it is again!”

Sadly, I never considered the fact that I didn’t feel that way about other people who had been abused. Why would I ever imagine they’d feel that way about me?
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 12, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but from where I'm sitting it's a sunshine-filled, 70-degree day, and the last thing I want to do is be indoors!

Still, I suggest you take your phone or tablet or laptop or whatever (oh, technology) outside, because you definitely don't want to miss this week's updates in the world of mental health.

Read on for the latest on how to create habits that revive lost motivation, why binge-watching television could be linked to depression, what some mental health patients have to say about a certain Bernie Sanders comment, and more.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Permanently Eliminate Insecurity

What is it about insecurity that makes us so uncomfortable? Why do most of us pretend we don’t have insecurities, or even worse, suppress them?

While it is common to deny insecurity, we must be aware of the drastic consequences of doing so. The very act of pushing something down automatically creates resistance. It takes a great amount of energy to push down our insecurities and not just physical energy, but mental and emotional energy as well. Any person or situation has the potential to trigger these emotions, and it is inevitable that they will rise to the surface. At that point, we must decide if we want to keep building on these insecurities, or if we want to face them once and for all.
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Anxiety and Panic

When You Feel Like an Impostor, a Fake or a Fraud

You just received a promotion. You’re ecstatic! But then a sinking feeling washes over you. What if they realize you’re really a fraud?

You get into a top graduate program. But you fear that you won’t be able to measure up. In fact, you know it. Your article gets published in a prominent publication. Clearly, that’s because you wrote about a trendy topic. They must’ve run out of their good contributors. Maybe it’s just a stroke of luck.

These are all examples of “impostor syndrome.” Clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes coined the term in 1978. (Since then it’s been called everything from the impostor complex to fraud syndrome.)
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Anger

Psychology Around the Net: March 5, 2016


Happy March, sweet Psych Central readers! Only a few more weeks until the official start of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, and while I have learned to appreciate all the seasons for what they offer, I'm excited to get back to some warmth and sunshine.

This week, I have a ton of news for you! For example, did you know Chris Stapleton's new hit "Fire Away" tries to foster mental health awareness? Or that control issues can contribute to road rage? What about how being a "hopeless romantic" is actually a good thing for your relationships?

Read on, and enjoy!

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Anxiety and Panic

A Sense of Loss: When My Therapist of 10 Years Retired

When I found out that my psychologist of ten years was going to retire, I was a little panicked. What would I do without her? She’d literally helped me raise my only child. She’d been there when I was up from a manic high and down when I was low from a depressive drop. She listened to my paranoid fears and my optimistic prayers.

But we had never touched each other. Not even a handshake. I had refrained from bodily contact with her on purpose. I hadn’t wanted to make her uncomfortable. Didn’t want to threaten her.
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Anxiety and Panic

The Surprising, Deeper Reason Introverts Avoid Small Talk


It ALL makes sense now.

I'm definitely an introvert. It's not that I constantly sit by myself in a corner and never talk to people. I can be social, but I also get overwhelmed in social situations. I'm famous for leaving parties early.

I enjoy spoken word and comedy shows, so I'm forced to go out and see people. Often times, I'm required to speak to people before or after a show and make small talk. Small talk isn't my jam. I've crossed the street to avoid talking to people.
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Anxiety and Panic

How I Used Radical Acceptance

I’ve lived with schizophrenia for almost ten years now and throughout that time the one thing that has hounded through recovery and otherwise is the paranoia that people were making fun of me. It has been a constant fear that causes me to freak out, sometimes at the most inopportune times and it’s been a major catalyst in my recovery and for a lot of the things I do.

The problem is that I was living under that fear, I was constantly afraid of people doing or saying something negative about me that I acted in a way, down to my body language in a way that I thought would please them the most.

This is no way to live.
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Anxiety and Panic

For Those in Despair: You Are Not Alone

Whenever we’re struggling with something, we assume we are alone. We are the only ones. I’m the only one who can’t get through the day without crying. I’m the only one with sweaty palms and terror swirling through my body while grocery shopping. I’m the only one who isn’t blissed out after having a baby. I’m the only one who can’t shake this all-consuming sorrow or rage. I’m the only one who can’t sit still. Who can’t stomach myself.  

But you’re not alone. You’re not alone in your confusing emotions, dark thoughts and daily struggles. You are one of hundreds, of thousands and even of millions. Two recently published essay collections remind us of this. They remind us that while our stories may be unique, the themes are not. We are connected. And there is hope.
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Anxiety and Panic

What to Do When Your Anxious Brain Throws a Tantrum

We do all sorts of stuff when we feel scared or anxious -- we worry, we overanalyze, we re-play both real and imagined scenarios, and we seek reassurance, whether it’s from others or ourselves. We do all these things because anxiety feels downright crappy and taking some sort of action, even non-productive action, gives us a semblance of control, which feels oh-so-good compared to the unease that anxiety brings.

How come we can’t always see this anxious thinking for what it is, rooted in fear and insecurity, not truth? Well it’s because we are always feeling our thinking. Emotions (especially intense, not so pleasant ones) have a way of making our thoughts appear way more personal, important, and real than they actually are. So we innocently get tricked into spending a lot of time trying to avoid, prevent, and/or run away from those negative thoughts and the uncomfortable emotions that follow -- as quickly as possible. One way we do this is through habitual reassurance.
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