Anxiety and Panic Articles

It’s OK to Have Anxiety

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

It's OK to Have AnxietyAnxiety is a fickle beast. It can come on at any point during your day and completely wreck you until you’re able to find a place to unwind.

A major point of contention in my struggle with mental illness has been the anxiety I feel in social situations.

It goes like this: You’re about to enter a new situation and deal with people who don’t know you. You wonder what they’re going to think of you.

Mind Your Health: Using Mindfulness to Heal Your Body

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

mindful.orgScientist and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn includes in his pages of “Full Catastrophe Living” a horrifying story that speaks powerfully about the mind-body connection.

When renowned cardiologist Bernard Lown was in training to become a physician, he had in his clinic a patient, “Mrs. S.,” who had a narrowing of one of the valves on the right side of her heart, the tricuspid valve. She was in mild congestive heart failure; however, she functioned well enough to maintain her job as a librarian and do household chores.

She would come to the weekly cardiac clinic run by Dr. S. A. Levine, a well-respected professor of cardiology at the Harvard Medical School and at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, to receive digitalis and injections of a mercurial diuretic. One week Dr. Levine greeted Mrs. S. warmly, as he usually did — the two had an affable relationship — and then he turned to the entourage of visiting physicians and said, “This woman has TS.” With those words he abruptly left.

Treating Social Anxiety with Meditation and Mindfulness Training

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Teenage girl sitting against brick wall in a depressed state

Meditation is at the core of a new generation of treatments for social anxiety.

Kevin Schjerning, a 48-year-old film and video editor, doesn’t simply dislike social gatherings; he finds them overwhelming. “I basically feel claustrophobic,” he says. “I have to get out of there.”

An estimated 22 million people in the U.S. have social anxiety disorder, an intense and disabling fear of being judged or humiliated in social situations. Living with this disorder can make day-to-day social interactions a painful challenge. Even the prospect of meeting a friend for lunch might be daunting.

5 Things to Do When You Get the Worries

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Unknown-1Sometimes the best way to learn a subject is to teach it. That was certainly the case last weekend.

I took a group of 10-year-old girls to see the movie, “Heaven Is For Real.” I walked away from the big screen inspired that maybe there is no anxiety and depression in the afterlife, that if I can summon the courage to live as gracefully as I can in this life, I might enjoy some repose when all of my struggling is over. One of the little girls I took, however, did not leave with a warm fuzzy.

Depressed or Anxious? Check Your Thyroid

Friday, June 27th, 2014

holisticsolutionsdoc.comSix weeks ago I woke up tired and depressed, like I have so often in the last year. All I wanted to do is go back to bed.

The negative intrusive thoughts began before my feet touched the floor.

You are so lazy, I thought to myself. You could never hold a REAL job. You can barely string together three sentences.

3 Ways to Navigate Anxious Thoughts with Self-Compassion

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

3 Ways to Navigate Anxious Thoughts with Self-CompassionFor so many of us when we start having anxious thoughts, we get self-critical. We berate ourselves for our worries, sweaty palms and all-over shakiness.

We call ourselves names. We become ashamed and embarrassed.

What is wrong with you? You’re an idiot for getting anxious over something so small!

5 Myths About Managing Anxiety

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

5 Myths about Managing AnxietyMany people hold various myths that can stall and sabotage their anxiety treatment. In fact, these beliefs can fuel and perpetuate anxiety. Below two anxiety experts share five myths about managing anxiety and anxiety in general.

How Anxiety Can Protect Us

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

How Anxiety Can Protect UsIn life there are some things that are good for us and some things that aren’t. Many times though, the things that we think are doing us harm actually have a component of good.

This is true for things like relationships that although were not healthy while we were engaged, taught us great life lessons weeks, months or years down the road. The same can be said for anxiety.

Anxiety was best described to me as the point when your fight or flight response is triggered by something that should be completely innocuous. It can be brought on by social interaction, peer pressure, perceived slights or even things as seemingly harmless as stepping on a crack in the sidewalk or not doing the precise number of actions or the precise order of actions before something happens.

Why Some Delusions Can Be So Persistent

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Why Some Delusions Can Be So Persistent A delusion is defined as a firmly held belief or impression which is contradicted by reality or rational argument.

As a person with schizophrenia, I’m more than familiar with delusional thinking. A major part of my experience living with the illness has taught me to be wary of any thought I have which doesn’t seem entirely real.

Teen Suicide: Out of Sight Is Not Out of Mind

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Out of Sight is not Out of MindAs a Master of Social Work student, my first field placement was at an acute mental health inpatient facility on an adolescent unit. Each day I went to my placement, I saw an increasing number of rotating teenagers coming into the hospital due to suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt.

My experience in the adolescent unit showed me just how much suicide affects the teen population. As a result, I have become an advocate for education on, and the prevention of, suicide.

3 Tips for Dealing with Anxious Thoughts

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

3 Tips for Dealing with Anxious Thoughts Negative, worry-filled thoughts perpetuate our anxiety. They also paralyze us from taking action and can prevent us from leading a fulfilling life.

Sometimes, we mistakenly assume worry helps us circumvent potential catastrophes: If we aren’t worried, something terrible will happen.

But as licensed psychologist and anxiety expert Tamar E. Chansky, Ph.D, writes in her book Freeing Yourself From Anxiety: 4 Simple Steps to Overcome Worry and Create The Life You Want, “When did you last say, ‘Thank goodness I wasted, I mean, spent the last three hours freaking out about that job interview. The worry was so helpful and I feel much better now’?”

How to Deal with Social Anxiety & Paranoia

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

How to Deal with Social Anxiety and ParanoiaSchizophrenia can be marked by various frightening and, at times, debilitating symptoms. These include delusions, hearing voices or sounds that aren’t there and others. For me the most debilitating symptom — and the one that never really seems to go away entirely even with my myriad medications — is paranoia.

Paranoia is basically the feeling and the anxiety that people’s main goals are primarily to hurt you in some way. For me it manifests in more social iterations as opposed to bodily harm. I’m constantly worried that people are laughing at me or making fun of me. The exact reason they’re making fun of me varies from the way I look that day to the way I act to smaller things like the way I talk or the way I hold my cigarette.

I’ve been told that everyone has a level of anxiety around these things and that what I call paranoia is no more than social anxiety. I think the determining factor is the belief that people are going out of their way to harm me emotionally. If that’s not paranoia I don’t know what is.

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