“Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. For her wisdom and for her deep humanity, Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my heroes. I take her words to heart. When anxiety barges into our lives, however, it can be difficult to refrain from turning our back on life. Indeed, anxiety often forces us not only to turn our back but to run and hide safely away. But what we might remember is that curiosity kills anxiety. Keep reading »

For all the success I have had recovering from mental illness, the one thing I haven’t gotten over is my deep hatred for myself. Perhaps “hate” is a strong word; maybe “severely dislike” is a more fitting phrase, but I am not in the business of sugar coating my writing. When I lie awake at night and think about who I am, my anxiety makes me hate myself and that’s okay.

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Anxiety can be difficult to live with; indeed, some might argue that is a huge understatement. There are different types of anxiety disorders, and each comes with its unique challenges and obstacles. All of them fall under the umbrella of anxiety because they share certain commonalities, such as excessive worry and fear, disruptive thought patterns, and a host of physical and emotional anxiety symptoms. Anxiety disorders share another trait: anxiety, in general, has two sides. Keep reading »

Regardless of any mental illness I have, I am still a regular person with fears and doubts common to everyone. But because I do have an anxiety disorder, I’m able to use it as an excuse when I doubt myself or am afraid of something. And I often do.

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Social anxiety: we hear the term with increasing frequency. Formerly known as social phobia, it involves the experience of heightened anxiety in social situations. That description, though, barely touches the surface of what social anxiety truly is. Social anxiety relates to thoughts and feelings inside of us as they correspond to people and settings outside of us. Indeed, with social anxiety, both our inner world and our outer one contribute to the feelings of worry, unease, and even fear that can almost paralyze us. Keep reading »

On December 19, 2014, I published an article titled, 3 Questions I Asked My Loved One About My Anxiety Disorder. It was a candid interview with one of my very good friends. Her responses were unedited, very candid, and, in many ways, very painful for me to read. I recommend reading that post before reading this one about my response to my loved one’s feelings about anxiety disorder.

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Anxiety is a great obstacle, a jagged rock in the lives of tens of millions of human beings. Anxiety definitely isn’t a state of being that most of us would describe as pleasant. It worms its way into our thoughts, tricking us into believing that there’s a lot to fear and to worry about, that we are ruining all sorts of things. Anxiety makes us feel sad, afraid, choked and crushed. It makes us feel miserable in countless ways, and because of that, we want it to vanish from our lives without a trace. But one way to deal with anxiety is to think of life like a Zen garden. Keep reading »

Anxiety isn’t funny. It is, instead, rather humorless. When my head pounds and spins, when my chest constricts and spasms in a fit of coughing, when I feel worried and afraid for reasons too vague to wrap my mind around and simultaneously too specific to pull my mind out of, the last thing I feel like doing is laughing. Nothing seems remotely funny. Finding humor can be difficult when we live with anxiety; however, if we can begin to look for our laughter, we can find that humor can be a great coping skill.  Keep reading »

Since the beginning of time, people have used objects, people, food, and the like to distract themselves from uncomfortable situations. Children are the masters of this, using their favorite blanket or stuffed animal to reduce their anxiety about pretty much everything. Clearly, the average adult doesn’t want to wander around with a stuffed tiger, but what healthy things can we put in an anxiety toolbox and why should we bother in the first place?

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This week’s Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog is an interview with one of my very good friends. I have known her for over 10 years and she has witnessed and helped with many of my anxiety and panic attacks. In order to “shake things up,” I thought it would be eye-opening to hear about anxiety and panic disorder from a loved one’s perspective. I asked her three questions and her unedited responses are below.

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