It is natural to feel anxious in certain situations. We’ve probably all felt nervous before an exam and experienced the accompanying physical sensations: lying awake the night before, sweaty palms, racing heart. For some people, though, anxiety affects and interferes with their daily life.
Anxiety disorders take several forms, from an all-pervasive form known as generalized anxiety disorder, to panic disorder (which includes panic attacks), to social phobia and more specific phobias. Symptoms express themselves as much in the body as in the mind, with shortness of breath, palpitations, and an upset stomach being common complaints.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 18 percent of the population. The silver lining is that anxiety disorders respond well to treatment, and self-help measures need not be difficult or expensive. Some of the blogs below have been selected for their invaluable resources for dealing with anxiety, while others are honest portrayals of living with an anxiety disorder.
1. Psych Central Anxiety News does exactly what it says: it provides regular updates on all matters pertaining to anxiety and related disorders. It provides briefings on the latest studies from across the globe, and is useful to those treating or suffering from an anxiety disorder.
2. The Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog, co-authored by Tanya Peterson and Gabe Howard, chronicles their daily lives with anxiety disorders. It is an interesting read because of the male and female accounts about managing anxiety. Tanya has extensive expertise on mental illness through her professional and personal experiences. Posts include topical coping strategies and real-life anecdotes. The encouraging tone of the blog makes it well worth perusing.
3. Turnaround Anxiety is a groundbreaking blog for parents whose children have anxiety. Devised and written by two doctors who have firsthand experience with treating anxious youngsters, the Turnaround program is uniquely child-centered. The accompanying blog is geared toward caregivers, and contains lots of explanation and advice about the fears children may have. There are also more general tips on how to boost a child’s self-confidence, which may offset worry.
4. Anxiety.org Blog is written by experts researching and working in the field. It is a comprehensive resource on all anxiety disorders. Of particular interest is the section on OCD, which has an in-depth analysis of treatment options. This site is a goldmine if you’re looking for discussion of contemporary studies on anxiety.
5. Anxiety Slayer is the brainchild of Shann Vander Leek and Ananga Sivyer, who between them have eclectic training on tackling anxiety-related issues. Their blog includes some novel techniques for dealing with anxiety-related behaviors, useful podcasts and tips for specific situations. The blog is worth checking out for its extensive and original content.
6. Anxiety Guru is written by Paul Dooley. Not only does he hold a master’s degree in counseling psychology, but he has lived with generalized anxiety disorder for over ten years. His blog is a beautifully written resource on all things anxiety. The tone is an engaging blend of personal and professional. If your life is afflicted by anxiety, the empowering content of this site is well worth checking out.
7. We’re All Mad Here is the account of an astute young female navigating her way through an anxiety disorder. Severe panic attacks interrupted her professional life, but lucky for us didn’t stop her lively and sometimes darkly funny blog. Her sincere account of experience with doctors and medication may resonate if you suffer from anxiety and have been bewildered by treatment options. Meanwhile, her observations and analysis about living with anxiety are thought-provoking and highly readable.
8. Overcoming Social Anxiety is penned by psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald, whose areas of focus, as the blog name suggests, include social anxiety, social phobias and shyness. With training in behavioral and psychodynamic techniques, Kyle is pioneering an online-based treatment. The blog is a well-illustrated and down-to-earth read, neatly written in a nonjudgmental voice.
9. Diary of a Social Phobic is worth bookmarking if you are seeking to understand the daily life of someone who has social phobia. Written by a university student who has depression and anxiety, it details the realities of coping, remarking on the trials and tribulations of self-help groups and prescribed help from the doctor.
10. Yoga Download is not a conventional blog about anxiety, yet is potentially very useful if worry plagues your life. Along with many types of yoga classes to download, no matter what your level, there are meditations, music and a blog. Topics include fitness, nutrition, green living and mindfulness. There is a wealth of information that can help you lead a less anxious life, such as advice on how to rid your diet of sugar, the benefits of meditation, and organizing your life. If you’re interested in a holistic approach to health, this site can help you make changes.