Anxiety and Panic

Coping with Anxiety in School and the Workplace

Anxiety can affect anyone at any stage in their life, but it is one of the most common mental disorders on college campuses. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, forty million American adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 75% of those people have reported that their first anxiety episode occurred by the time they were twenty two.

Are you among them? Many of us who suffer from anxiety avoid seeking direct help. The stigma attached to the disorder is too strong, or maybe it's just too embarrassing to open up about it. If you're on a college campus, there will always be someone in student services who can listen and help. If you're not ready for that right now, or are out in the work world, consider these other options.
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Anxiety and Panic

Slow Down for Quick Stress Relief

“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.” – Lily Tomlin
It sounds much too simple and easy, but slowing down really does work like a magic pill to help reduce stress. Think about it. When you’re in a hurry, you’re much more likely to be anxious, trying to cut corners, looking for the quickest way to get the job done, and worried that you might not get everything finished that you have left on your list to do. This ratchets up the pressure you feel to perform, increases blood pressure and elevates heart rate -- and produces added
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Anxiety and Panic

The Reality of Conversion Disorder

Stress is widely defined as a constraining force or influence. Sooner or later, it affects everyone. Most of the time, it’s temporary, but what happens when it’s not?

Long term emotional stress can frequently occur with past trauma, producing a series of real and sometimes dangerous medical consequences. Often times a patient who is suffering from severe pain and does not receive a medical diagnosis, fears that a doctor may label the situation as “Just stress”. But when "Just stress" manifests physically, it should be handled with just as much care as any physically produced injury or disease.
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Anxiety and Panic

Freedom from Fear: Freedom to Live the Life You Want

My last blog on The New ABC of Managing Difficult Emotions outlines a simple process that many of you have told me is really helpful.

Many of you emailed me asking for the downloadable graphic. Many of you shared how you were going to use this process: with your children, to manage your own emotions and to help your clients. I am so glad.

There is one story I want to share with you, because it is so clear and inspiring -- and so helpful for others to consider as well.
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Anxiety and Panic

Perfectionist’s Prey

My late mother and I discussed how to deftly handle the vexing interview question, “What’s your biggest weakness?”

Instead of providing a sincere answer (stubbornness for $100, Alex), we collectively rehearsed the answer. And, yes, my over-practiced answer hinted at those dreaded -- and inescapable -- tendencies.

“Well, I am a perfectionist. I am not satisfied until the project is perfect. And I will strive -- relentlessly -- to meet the project’s objectives,” I dribbled out to the interviewer in chief.
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Anxiety and Panic

Fear as a Teacher

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
Taking a deep breath as I am typing these words about a topic that is inherent in the human condition. I consider myself a pretty brave person, having faced deaths of family members and friends, injury, an ectopic pregnancy, financial challenge, a heart attack, shingles, kidney stones, job layoff, illness, relationships ending, and loss of my home in a hurricane. These are all common life events; some expected, most arriving out of the blue. When they have occurred, I have, like many, shaken my head and muttered WTF? I questioned, “Who thought this one up?” as I hastened to find a solution to these erstwhile dilemmas.
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Anxiety and Panic

3 Simple Steps for Breaking Free from Worry Loops

Have you ever wondered how to break free of a worry loop? You know the experience. You’re in the shower, at the computer, or out to dinner with the family and there is a worrisome thought running through your mind over and over -- a looming deadline, an awkward social interaction, the finances, etc. It doesn’t matter if the worry is irrational -- or recognized as unhelpful -- you still can’t shake it. No matter what you try, your mind keeps returning to the troubling thought.

Sound familiar?
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Anxiety and Panic

Will Work for Food and Health Care

Health insurance: only when you don’t need it.

Confused? Let me explain.

In our illogical model, our society provides health insurance to the gainfully employed. But, ironically, it is the gainfully unemployed who most need mental health coverage.

In the United States, our employer-based health care model is predicated on -- surprise surprise -- employment. For the standard nine to five set, employer-based health insurance is a satisfactory option. Generally, employers subsidize out-of-pocket health care costs -- including mental health coverage--for their employees.
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Addiction

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: For More Than Borderline Personality Disorder

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan in the late 1980’s is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).  It is now considered the treatment of choice for individuals with characteristics associated with symptoms of BPD such as impulsivity, interpersonal problems, emotion dysregulation, self-harm, and chronic suicidal behaviors.
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Anxiety and Panic

The New Perfection: Pretty Good

Welcome to the University of North Carolina or, more apropos, the University of No Chance. At least regarding my likelihood of graduation.

A self-conscious freshman, I remember the red ink coating my first Chapel Hill exam. As I replayed the exam, those latent doubts about my academic ability crescendoed into full-throated roars. What am I doing here? I wondered. I don’t belong at such a prestigious university. Will I even make it to graduation?
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