Addiction

Two Sides of My Anxious, Depressive Soul

Yesterday


Yesterday I woke up and couldn’t make it to the end of my block while I walked the dog before this overwhelming, out-of-the-blue panic hit me. I immediately turned around and could see my house but I felt like I could not get there fast enough. I began to run, trying to match my movement with my heart rate. When I got home there was both a sense of relief and of disappointment. My home is my comfort zone, and that is sometimes disappointing.

As the day went on, I had bouts of crying. Five or six times I broke down as I watched my husband sit there not knowing what else to say other than “You’re going to be okay, you’re just going through a bad time right now.” He held me in the bed as I cried again. He has known me for six years and he has not seen me go through this before. But I have, many times. I warned him about these times. I don’t think he believed me. I don’t think he ever thought the vibrant, happy, and full of zest for life woman he married could be the same person sitting in front of him telling him “I promise I won’t kill myself, but I just feel like I am dying.”

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General

Tips for Sleeping Peacefully While Anxious

Based on my experience, there are two main reasons for trouble sleeping: either you are excited about something or you are anxious about something. I can still vividly remember that night before we as a family were leaving for Washington, DC for the first time.

I was a child then, and the thought of traveling all the way to where the president lives was almost overwhelming for me. I tossed and turned in bed; walked around my room; looked out my window into the dark; and before I knew it, I looked out my window to see the sun rising above the horizon. I finally fell asleep in the car during the more than eight-hour drive to DC.
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Caregivers

How to Promote Your Child’s Good Mental Health

Everyone knows the importance of good mental health, but how do you help your children achieve it? Here are some points to consider.

1. Give your child unconditional love.

Every child deserves and needs unconditional love from his or her parents and other family members. Love, security and acceptance form the bedrock for a child’s good mental health. Make sure your child knows that your love doesn’t depend on them getting good grades...
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Disorders

Are You Seeing a Good Therapist? 5 More Tell-Tale Signs

If you aren’t in the psychology field, it’s hard to know what you should expect from a therapist. After all, choosing a therapist is different from looking for a surgeon or chiropractor or dermatologist. Therapy is a unique process; one that requires you to be vulnerable. In fact, you might share things with your therapist that you’ve never shared with anyone.

So how do you know if the therapist you have or one who you’re considering is actually a good clinician?
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Brain and Behavior

Teenagers Can Benefit from Meditation

Teens are under more pressure today than in previous generations. This massive increase in stress and anxiety is believed to have caused an increase in teenage attention disorders. Often they believe they're doing things wrong. That makes it difficult to focus on the present.

Meditation can help. Most teens find it difficult to sit, breathe, and focus on the present. Their world runs at a mile a minute, and they need to keep up. This, more than anything, is why they should give meditation a try.

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Anxiety and Panic

Spirituality vs. Mental Disorders: God Doesn’t Hate Medication

I grew up in a family that had high expectations of me, and I have personally struggled with anxiety. For several years, I thought that my anxiety was a normal part of life. I didn’t realize that I should not have been having full-blown anxiety at the age of nine, but I was.

My family didn’t believe in mental illnesses, besides those that were obvious to the untrained eye. We did, however, attend a church regularly. I was highly interested in Christianity and studied it on my own. I was able to combat the unnatural anxiety through my relationship with God, and was able to overcome the anxiety throughout middle and high school. College, however, was different.
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Depression

Maternal Mental Health Screening: What I Wished I’d Had

When I was pregnant back in 1997, I wish my doctor had told me I might be at risk for postpartum depression. Her words wouldn’t have alarmed me. They would have prompted me to get treatment when the darkness did indeed hit.

During my six-week postpartum checkup when I was at my worst, I wish my OB/GYN had handed me a mental health screening and explained the difference between the “blues” and depression.

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Addiction

Instant Gratification: When Right Now Means 5 Minutes

“If you act right now -- right this very instant, you can own this shimmering, heart-shaped pendant for the budget-busting price of $250. But you have to act this very moment,” a caffeinated TV blowhard shrieks into your television screen.

You cackle, questioning the (in)sanity of anyone spending $250 on a cheesy pendant. As the cackle disappears, you lean back and contemplate your own spending habits. You, self-described Mr. Thrift, just dropped $250 on a pair of must-have sneakers. The problem: Your exercise regimen consists of walking past the gym.

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Anger

6 Tips for De-Escalating an Argument

Arguments are a part of most relationships, friendships, and workplaces. Humans are social creatures, and inevitably we will come across a person's perspective or a topic area with which we disagree. While we try our best to be respectful, it can be difficult keeping things neutral.

If arguing is a normal part of life, how do we do it better? How can we de-escalate an argument, keeping a minor disagreement from turning into a major blowout?

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Depression

4 Ways to Deal with Depression During Your Academic Career

One of the greatest temptations in college is to keep everything moving and shaking on the outside with little thought for the toll it might take inside. It’s so easy to get caught up in a flurry of collegiate activity -- from coursework to bonding with new friends to feverishly clocking elliptical time and spending every spare moment building a life on campus.

At first, the activity may be a welcome distraction from financial stress, homesickness, fear of failure, and a host of other struggles, but many students find that being busy does not keep them from feeling the roller coaster of emotions that seem to be part of the package deal.

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General

Tackling Mental Health One Meal at a Time

There is so much information out there about eating healthy to get in shape. Broader society has a general idea of an ideal shape that is ever-evolving and almost always an airbrushed, unattainable goal. Ideally the information at your fingertips should be about self-improvement through and through, not predominantly outwardly. The reality is that what you are putting into your body may be contributing to issues with depression, and in turn, your self-esteem.

Although popular media may tell you otherwise, working on a happier, healthier self starts from the inside out.

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Brain and Behavior

Getting to Know Your Three Brains: Part 1

Happy relationships make happy people. Perhaps the most important relationship we have is the one with our self. In fact, the better the relationship we have with our self, the better we feel, the easier life is and the better relationships we have with others.

When we judge our self harshly, we tend to judge others harshly as well. There is a direct correlation between how we treat ourselves, how we feel and how we treat others.

Regardless of whether you believe it, you do have power to change for the better. How do I know this? I know this because in my journey to become a health care professional, I had the great fortune of learning about the brain. This knowledge helped me tremendously.
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