Anger

A Holiday Guide for Abuse Survivors

Hardly anyone would claim to be a stranger to holiday stress. From money woes to holiday travel, traditions, and family tension, at some point everyone has struggled to make it to January. But the holidays can be a particularly tough time of year for anyone with a family history of abuse, whether it’s emotional or physical.

The idea that one shouldn’t be alone during the holiday season is drilled into our heads and we want familiar people near, even if those people can be toxic to us. Memories of trauma may become more salient. Some holiday encounters could open old wounds. You're not just trying to make it to January -- you're trying to avoid being retraumatized.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

The Unattainable Standard for Men

Picture a 24-year-old adorable, intelligent, but anxious and insecure young man. Joe, as I will call him, often feels frightened. If he were to pause for a moment and check his physical state, most of the time he would feel his heart beating in his chest and a subtle full-body vibration. Sometimes he has a pit in his stomach, and his appetite for food disappears.

These are all common physical symptoms of anxiety. Sensations like these are at best annoying, and at worst upsetting, debilitating and scary. Joe wonders why he feels anxious so often. Thoughts like, "What's wrong with me?" come often preoccupy him, which of course makes matters worse by adding anxiety on top of anxiety. This experience is all taking place secretly inside him. To the rest of the world he seems fine.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Overprotecting Your Anxious Child Backfires — Try These 5 Tips Instead

Parents want to protect their kids. This is natural, healthy and adaptive. As psychologist Elizabeth Penela, Ph.D, noted, “In many ways, parents are physiologically wired to protect their children from harm.”

You also likely want to prevent your child from getting upset or stressed. And if your child is already upset and stressed, you want to make it better. This is especially true if your child is struggling with anxiety; if their anxiety, worries and fears — about everything from an upcoming test to an upcoming birthday party — are so intense that they interfere with their everyday life.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

The Psychology of Terrorism: Things Not to Be Afraid Of

I feel sorry for people who wake up every morning being afraid. I'm not talking about individuals who suffer from serious anxiety disorders or agoraphobia. Rather, I'm thinking of those who believe that terrorism is a legitimate fear that can actually be addressed by closing our borders and further restricting our rights.

It's difficult to address terrorism because it appeals to our emotional mind. It is, by its very definition, unpredictable. Trying to stop, or even reduce, something that is so unpredictable means expending a lot of resources -- and freedoms. And even then, you may have little to show for it.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: December 19, 2015


Happy Holiday, Psych Central readers!

OK, so we're technically still in the throes of the holiday season, for those of you who celebrate, but you won't get another Psychology Around the Net until after Christmas -- which means, you need lots of goodies to read until then, right?

Fortunately, we have them for you!

Keep reading to learn about how small talk helps us bond with others, the research related to mental health courts, the one trick to a happy and successful relationship, and more!

See you next week!

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

How to Use a Journal for Better Emotional Health

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada, one in every four Canadians will develop at least one anxiety disorder in his or her lifetime. The pressures associated with our fast-paced society can take their toll on the best of us. Repeated exposure to moderate levels of stress can lead to the development of any anxiety-related disorder, such as panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as other psychological and physical ailments.

Most advertisements would have you believe that medication such as antidepressants are the only way to deal with anxiety. Medication does have its merit for certain conditions such as agoraphobia. Before the problem gets out of hand, however, there are simple ways to better manage your emotions and increase your psychological health.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

How to Get Out of a Work Rut or Career Slump


Have you ever had a day when things felt off? Maybe you continually lost focus, had an utter lack of motivation, or simply couldn’t rally to get anything done. We’ve all had unproductive days here and there, but occasionally, these slumps can span days, weeks, or even months.

A single bad day is one thing, but a lingering work rut can be detrimental to your happiness, well-being, and career. When you’re in a slump, you don’t produce your best work and may become disengaged from the tasks that used to excite you.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Exploring What Underlies Your Fears

On the surface, your blood phobia might simply be that: You’re afraid of blood. Or maybe you fear snakes because of their shape and appearance. Maybe you fear giving a speech because you don’t like talking in front of big crowds. Maybe you fear heights because you get dizzy and don’t want to fall off a steep hill or long flight of stairs.

But your fears, which seem straightforward enough, might hold deeper metaphors and meanings. “[S]ometimes our fears are monikers for deeper truths,” said Joe Dilley, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

How to Thrive — Not Just Survive — the Holiday Season

If the sights and sounds of Christmas evoke dread, anxiety or depression, you’re certainly not alone. It’s likely that many of your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors experience similar emotions. There’s just so much to do -- last-minute shopping for gifts and meal items, decorating the home, figuring out tax-saving strategies to implement before the end of the year, determining where to hide the presents so prying eyes won’t find them -- and on and on. It’s enough to make you want to take a break.

Here are some tips for getting through the holidays with a minimum of struggle.

Continue Reading

Addiction

Social Media, Anxiety, and the Highly Sensitive Me

I have had a love/hate relationship with social media since the craze began.

I see those obnoxious graphics proudly boasting the fact that you are a rhymes-with-witch all over social media. Seriously, why is this okay and generally accepted behavior? I hope you’re simply confused about the definition of the word. Perhaps you engage in healthy assertiveness, not general nastiness. Sorry, but I wouldn’t be willing to "handle" you or anyone. Why would I? Why would anyone?

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: December 12, 2015


This week's Psychology Around the Net is full of some surprising information (for example, did you know many doctors in training suffer from depression?) as well as helpful suggestions (such as how to handle awkward personal questions during your next family gathering).

Dig in!

Signs of Depression Are 'Unacceptably High' Among Doctors in Training, Study Finds: Are all those years of medical training actually providing a "crash course in depression," too?

Continue Reading