Anxiety and Panic

Mind Games

What does your morning shower feel like?

“Come again, Matt?”

Yes, what does your morning shower feel like?

“Why? Before work, I typically hop in and hop out. Can’t be late for boss -- he’s a real jerk. I rinse off in 10 minutes. Why? Are you planning on opening a Turkish bathhouse?” you snidely remark.

Not quite. But I am interested in washing away the incessant worry that pervades our daily lives. That humming cacophony drains us, greying life’s days.
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Autism

Autism and the Gift of Friendship

When you have an autistic child, you try your hardest to socialize him. Autistic children have difficulty with being social and understanding even the simplest things such as carrying on a conversation.

For this reason, psychological and educational organizations have developed what’s known as the “social group.” This is a group activity where autistic kids can essentially “meet and greet” and work on things such as talking to each other, empathizing with each other and simply enjoying each other’s company.

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Anger

Dealing with Disappointment When You’re Bipolar

Disappointment is harsh when you have bipolar. I have many times said things that are not very nice after finding myself disappointed in something that has happened.

Recently I found myself disappointed that a friend received a monthly radio show to discuss mental illness. I had been on the show a couple of times, and I had hoped to get the same thing myself. I then had to remind myself that it isn’t her fault and that she probably did what I didn’t -- stay in touch with the gentleman who was in charge. I only have myself to blame.

Before realizing this, though, I wrote my husband and called her some not-so-nice names. I was disappointed in myself, honestly, but what got to me was something I hadn’t felt in a while: bipolar disappointment.

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Addiction

Hitting Rock Bottom: Some, Not All

Hitting rock bottom is a phrase I hear all the time when people talk about addiction. “She needs to hit rock bottom to stop drinking.” “Once he hits rock bottom, he will realize the damage that drugs have caused.” “After they hit rock bottom, they will understand how negatively addiction has affected their careers, finances, and families.” These are common phrases I hear when people talk about friends, family, or acquaintances with addiction.

Yet, what does it mean to hit rock bottom? Literally speaking, it means someone has fallen so far -- perhaps off a cliff -- that they have hit the ground. Metaphorically, hitting rock bottom describes a point in one’s life when they reach a definite low as a result of addiction problems. People generally see it as the lowest point possible, an epiphanic moment or process where one becomes cognizant of their addiction’s destructive nature. This point may be financial, emotional, physical, social, or spiritual.

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Brain and Behavior

8 Ways Highly-Sensitive People Can Survive Vacation

We are trained from the time we emerge from our mothers' wombs to look forward to vacations as a chance to relax, have fun, and escape from the rigors of life. But for a small percentage of us, vacation is harder than work -- it requires far more stamina than sitting in an office chair for eight hours a day.

I compare the human body to a tower of 54 wooden blocks in the game Jenga. To set the game up, you stack the initial tower with three blocks placed adjacent to each other along their long sides, and perpendicular to the previous level, up to 18 levels. The object of the game is to keep eliminating blocks from the existing structure while placing new blocks on top. Eventually, the tower tumbles.

The normal person starts vacation week with three wooden blocks across each level, so a few unhealthy meals or some sleepless nights aren’t going to make the tower budge.
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Brain and Behavior

Treatment’s Toughest Assignment

“Just this one Netflix episode. I mean, it is Game of Thrones.”

Or “I can spend another five minutes surfing ESPN.com.”

We stall before delving into an unpleasant task. We search for discounted shoes, binge watch reality TV, and devour Ben & Jerry on dreary Tuesday nights. On Thursday nights, we devote two hours to adorable puppy cams and addictive Friends reruns. And don’t ask about Wednesday nights -- after a draining day at work, we slam the apartment door and collapse on the couch.

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Antidepressant

6 Ways to Achieve Genuine Happiness During Depression


Every time I watch television, I see commercials for anti-depressants and I’m taken back to a time in my life when I was severely depressed and ON similar medications.

I was so depressed that I was hospitalized for three weeks. The overwhelming feelings of fear, sadness, and anxiety were paralyzing.

Today I hear that depression is a "disease" -- that it's a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes it. It's estimated that
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Bulimia

The Healing Power in Doing What Scares You

While volunteering at a Los Angeles animal shelter, I met a brindle, 10-month-old pit bull named Sunny. She was so skinny that even her shadow looked bony, and her tail looked like it had been chopped in half and then stomped on in three places. Yet despite her dire circumstances, a joyful energy moved through her. Every time I slipped inside her kennel, she came barreling into my arms and sprawled across my lap, her whole body wagging along with her stub tail.

The outdoor kennels gave the dogs little relief from scorching summer sun. Sunny often panted with saliva dripping from her mouth, and I knew she was excruciatingly thirsty. Sometimes she approached her water bowl, but then would back away with her ears flattened on top of her head. And soon enough I realized what she was afraid of: her reflection. Sunny's body told her to drink, but her mind told her a scary, dangerous dog was in her way.

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Anxiety and Panic

How Media Shapes Our View of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Most people would consider an abuse victim as a person who experienced “trauma.” However people often don’t view them as potentially experiencing “post-traumatic stress disorder.” PTSD is more commonly thought of as a condition affecting combat veterans, but the number of civilians suffering from PTSD is 13 times more than military personnel, according to a release from Drexel University. So what gives? According to researchers at Drexel, the media plays a large role in what the general population and lawmakers associate with PTSD.

The Drexel study reviewed 35 years worth of articles on PTSD published in the New York Times -- from 1980, the year PTSD was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, to 2015. Of 871 articles a little over 50 percent focused on military cases of PTSD. The occurrence of PTSD in veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is 20 percent. But research shows the condition is far more likely to affect civilians who suffer sexual assault (30-80 percent of survivors), nonsexual assault (23–39 percent), survivors of disasters (30–40 percent), and car crashes (25–33 percent).
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Anxiety and Panic

Walk, Don’t Rush, to Judgment

"Why isn’t my date texting me? I thought she had a good time. I mean, we had fun, didn’t we?”

You check your phone again. Once again, your smiling visage greets you. No text, Facebook message, or InstaPic of you and your date.

As your anxiety marinates, you instinctively check your phone. Nothing. Still. You call her again; the call buzzes to voicemail.

Now panicked, emotion overtakes logic. Four times. Six times. Your voice rising, anxiety coats your messages. “Hello, this is (insert name). I just wanted to check in. The date was fun -- call me when you get this.”
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