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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Gluten, Depression, and Anxiety: The Gut-Brain Link

You only need to spend 10 minutes in a supermarket these days before noticing that half of the items seem to be marketed as “gluten-free.” Even raisins and nectarines are labeled that way, as if they ever contained gluten in the first place. Is it a fad much like the “fat-free” hype of the '80s?

Maybe.

But based on my own experience eliminating gluten from my diet, and the stories of people who struggle with chronic depression that I've read in the online forums I participate in, I believe the stuff can be toxic to your mood, especially if you have a sensitivity to it.
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Anxiety and Panic

Getting to the Root of Your Anxiety

One of Rachel Dubrow’s clients was anxious about a big presentation at work. It wasn’t because she was worried about speaking in front of her boss and colleagues. It wasn’t because she was worried about doing a good job.

She was afraid that she’d be judged for not having straight teeth. (Instead of discussing public speaking anxiety, she and Dubrow explored her self-image and others’ perceptions.)

Another client of Dubrow’s insisted on completing all his work before leaving the office, which meant that he stayed late. Every single day. He wanted his performance reviews to exceed expectations. This stemmed “from his childhood when his parents told him that in order to be happy, he needed to clean his room, put away his toys, do his laundry, and do the dishes just like they did before bed each night,” said
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Anxiety and Panic

Screening Your Sanity

“Do you not give a damn about your father?” my Dad growled into the phone.

The truth is I cared -- probably too much. And for my own health and well-being, I had to step back from my Dad’s snark-filled comments and Mt. Vesuvius rage.

Family -- or at least the idealized notion of family -- is sacrosanct to me. I cherish my relationships with my beloved aunties and uncles. When they aren’t teasing me for the latest Mattism (losing my keys, wallet, or mind), they are prodding me about my latest love interest or travel escapade. And as for my late mother, she was equal parts mentor and matriarch. From joyfully recalling the day’s events to lunching with her and her tennis girlfriends to Thanksgiving bowl-a-thons, I smile -- ruefully -- at the fond memories. There is a tinge of sadness too as I recall our family’s joyfulness.
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Anxiety and Panic

Why We All Have Clutter and How to Get Rid of It

I feel like a massive hypocrite writing this piece, because substantial messes are found in virtually every square foot of my home.

In fact, the last time I broached the topic of clutter in a blog, I posted a photo of my book piles and nut collection and was immediately contacted by a hoarding show to be "fixed" by an expert.

Even though I fail miserably at decluttering my home, I do know it’s an important piece of
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Anxiety and Panic

The Smallest Talk

“Oh, the weather today was beautiful. Do want to talk about the meaning of life?” I ask.

While I facetiously save meaning of life questions for the second date (first date conversations generally revolve around morality tropes and ethical dilemmas -- I kid), I abhor small talk. Small talk is the conversational equivalent of a McDonald's Happy Meal: plastic and headache-inducing.

While I can smile along at small talk, my mind is jumping to more far-concerns concerns, "Why are we talking about Beyonce’s latest outfit when the refugee crisis is blotting Europe or the Republican health care plan threatens the Affordable Care Act? Or my mental health issues are strangle-holding me into submission?"
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Anxiety and Panic

25 Quotes that Will Help You Face Your Fears

We often poke fun at our fears, but for many people, fear gets in the way of well-being and compromises quality of life.

An estimated 8.7 percent of Americans, or 19.2 million people, suffer from a specific phobia like glossophobia (fear of public speaking) or necrophobia (fear of death). Even if you don’t have a specific phobia, you can probably appreciate that feeling of fear that blows in like a severe storm, interrupting your daily responsibilities and robbing you of your enthusiasm for life.
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Anxiety and Panic

The Long Journey Home

Nearly three months ago, I found myself quietly celebrating an anniversary that very few people knew about. I really didn’t want to give it too much attention to be honest. I wanted to avoid triggering thoughts that would take me back to those moments when life wasn’t so great. However, as I sat with my computer I began to remember and I actually smiled.

Prior to 2016, I had lived with family members for over 7 years. After being hospitalized for my mental health condition, I was unable to maintain consistent employment, provide for my daughter, or live alone. It was challenging to find the right combination of medication, self-care techniques, social supports, faith guidance, and therapeutic connections that would allow me to regain my self-sufficiency. In addition, I lived in constant fear of failing.
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Antidepressant

Can Anxiety and Panic Disorder Cause Depression if Left Untreated?

Mental health problems are infamously complicated. Although psychologists have a successful guidebook to identify and diagnose mental illness, those manuals are merely suggestions for treatment -- and can't predict exactly how you experience your psychological and emotional well-being. With that in mind, some people experience multiple forms of mental health disorders, often in various degrees. If somebody has several mental health conditions, it's known as "comorbidity," and anxiety and depression are the two most related diagnoses.

What Is Anxiety?
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Anxiety and Panic

What I’ve Learned about Relationships and Mental Illness

Relationships and mental illness -- can it work out? People who struggle with mental health issues might find themselves wondering if they can handle a relationship as well. I know I did. After all, it’s hard to think about being with another person when some days just managing life feels hard.

I didn’t date that much in my twenties. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at the age of 19, and I honestly thought that being in a relationship would be too much stress. I had all these worries -- what if I wasn’t fun to be with? What if my partner got fed up with my issues and left? What if I wasn’t ready to deal with being in a relationship alongside dealing with my mental health?
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Anxiety and Panic

How We Inadvertently Increase Mental Health Stigma

Even if we see ourselves as advocates for increasing acceptance and understanding of people dealing with mental health issues, most of us are probably unconsciously contributing to mental health stigma.

We talk about being “depressed” on gloomy days, or “OCD” about the cleanliness of our homes. We remark that our friend has “PTSD” from a bad work week, or is “paranoid” about germs.

Most of us are guilty of having spoken these terms and phrases in everyday conversation. If not, then we've definitely heard others use them colloquially. We aren’t being literal, and there’s no real harm, right? Wrong -- and the damage we are doing is probably much more significant than we realize.
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Anxiety and Panic

How Awe Can Diminish Anxiety

Take a moment to think about how you felt the last time you caught yourself ruminating and/or stuck in an anxious mode. Perhaps you were stressed about money or the health of a loved one. Maybe you simply felt overwhelmed.

Now, take a moment and think about how you felt the last time you became “awe-struck.” Awe often occurs when appreciating the grandeur of nature, connecting with the beauty of art, even viewing an act of generosity toward others.

Chances are that when in an anxious state, it was hard to focus on anything else but “what-if” thoughts. Your heart races and you try with all of your might to control both your mind and body.
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