Anxiety and Panic

When You Can’t Relax: 7 Tips to Try

Many of us feel a constant pressure or prodding to be productive. As we sit down on the couch, we’re met with 50 reasons why we need to get back up. Fifty reasons, which include folding laundry, washing dishes, checking email, calling so-and-so about such-and-such, and so on.

We might feel guilty for trying to relax. Or maybe we feel like we’re missing out and need to constantly stay connected to our devices. Or maybe we're worried about an upcoming presentation or project and our brain is being bombarded by a slew of "what-ifs."

Either way, one thing is clear: We want to relax. But we can't.
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Anxiety and Panic

Raising a Child with Anxiety: One Parent’s Story


My kid wasn't only having tantrums, he was also having panic attacks.

Imagine your child had the inability to focus and sit still with ADHD, the resistance to instruction and discipline of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, the need for routine and order and ritual of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and the normal tantrums, developmental struggles and poor impulse control of a typical five-year-old. Oh, plus aggression. A lot of aggression. That's my kid.

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Anxiety and Panic

The Perks of Being a Highly Sensitive Person

I wanted to take my daughter to the mall. That shouldn’t be so difficult, right?

I overheard her on the phone saying to a friend, “You’re so lucky that your mom likes to shop. My mom HATES the mall.”

It’s true. Malls, like carnivals and amusement parks, give me anxiety. They always have. When I was my daughter’s age (11), adults and peers thought there was something seriously wrong with me because I relaxed under a tree at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio, while my sisters and friends headed to The Beast -- the tallest, fastest, and longest wooden roller coaster in the world when it was built in 1979.
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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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