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

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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Family

3 Tips for Making Phone Conversations Less Awkward

Let’s be honest, nobody likes talking on the phone these days. At least, nobody in my generation (the infamous Millennial generation) likes it.

One of my good friends -- a young woman who’s usually warm and social -- greets anyone who tries to leave her a voicemail with the following message: “Don’t bother leaving a message here because I won’t listen to it. Just text or email me. Death to phone calls!”

Hyperbolic voicemail messages aside, many people have a deep negative sentiment toward talking on the phone. I’ve asked both friends and clients how they feel about keeping in contact with people over the phone. The consensus is that calls make us feel anxious, annoyed, and often disappointed in the lack of meaningful conversation that’s possible over the phone.
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Family

How Childhood Emotional Neglect Affects Relationships

Childhood emotional neglect (CEN) is a deep, long lasting wound that is not easily detectable in adults or by those in close relationships with them.

When you have exposure over time to an adult with childhood trauma, you will notice that the person has trouble communicating emotions or feelings, constantly withdraws instead of exploring feelings, and uses only functional, simple sentences. At first, you may wonder if you have harmed this person by something you’ve said, but when it becomes a continual pattern, it’s best to understand the underlying elements before thinking it’s something you can fix or change.
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Dreams

4 Tips for Discussing Your Relationship’s Future

When a relationship is shifting from casual to serious, there comes a moment when it’s necessary to discuss each person’s expectations for the future. Expectations, as I define them, are the aspects of your future you strongly believe will happen (as opposed to dreams, which may or may not come true).

Expectations are reflections of your closely-held beliefs about where your life is going. Expectations, when not met, can cause a grief that often surpasses the grief of not achieving a dream. Because they are so important -- and can be so painful when not met -- every couple should get to know each other’s expectations before becoming completely committed.
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Family

5 Ways to Cope with Burnout

Burnout can sometimes sneak up on us. The signs are subtle at first, like the faint buzzing of a fly. Your neck might be stiff. Your shoulders gradually climb to your ears. Your eyes and head feel heavy. You start to resent the task you’re working on. Then the signs grow. It feels like the fly is inside your head, the buzzing getting louder and louder. Exhaustion spreads through your entire body.

“There can be a visceral sense of your nerves being 'fried' or 'burnt,' which can include headache, fatigue, irritability, sensory sensitivity,” said clinical psychologist Jessica Michaelson, PsyD. We also might feel bored, numb and disconnected; and have little to no energy or enthusiasm to bring to any situation, she said.
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Anxiety and Panic

A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Childhood Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns for children and adults, and affects approximately 20% of children and adolescents. Children with anxiety are often well-behaved and quiet, so their anxiety may go unnoticed by parents and teachers.

Understanding the type of anxiety is the first thing parents can do to help their children. Is it anxiety or an anxiety disorder? Anxiety is a natural human reaction, and it can prove to be an important function when one perceives danger. An anxiety disorder is persistent, irrational, and overwhelming worry and fear that interferes with everyday life. Anxiety disorders become a true hindrance in a child’s home and school life. A child with an anxiety disorder may become so distressed and uncomfortable, they begin to avoid activities and/or social situations.
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Family

5 Ways to Survive Criticism from Family Members

With the holiday season just completed, many people are coming down off the roller coaster of having spent significant amounts of time with family. For some, these extended periods with family are the highlight of the year. For others, they’re like standing in front of a firing squad.

If you survived an onslaught of family criticism this winter, know that next time you don’t have to face a losing battle. And you don’t need to avoid gatherings altogether to gain some relief from the verbal jabs.
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Family

6 Vital Facts About Boundaries

I explore the topic of boundaries in my writing a lot. I do this because boundaries form the basis of healthy relationships with both others and ourselves. Boundaries are essential. They’re more than barriers and fences that we put up. They speak to something greater (which you’ll learn more about below).

According to psychologist Katayune Kaeni, PsyD, boundaries are: “knowing your own limits, needs and desires in order to maintain your sense of self and express that to another person, so you can teach them how to treat you.”
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Antidepressant

This Is Why Taking Antidepressants Makes Me a Better Mother


It wasn't until I had visions of smothering my five-month-old daughter that I knew I needed help.

I've struggled with depression since I was 15 years old, and I've tried to effectively treat that depression for 16 years and counting. I've tried talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and light therapy. I've tried changing my diet, changing my job, sleeping more, and drinking less. I've tried prayer, meditation, yoga and running, and I've tried more medications than you can imagine: Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Paxil and even Depakote. And while some things have worked and others haven't, one thing I'm certain of is that antidepressants make me a better person.

Also: I'm a better mom because of medication.
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