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Our Mental Health Blogs

Bidding Anxiety-Schmanxiety Farewell

Bidding Anxiety-Schmanxiety Farewell

It has been a year since I came on board as one of the anxiety bloggers for HealthyPlace. In that time, I have met many people and made online friends I will almost certainly like, tag, and comment on forever. I met Tanya Peterson, who has been an incredible blog partner. I worked with the incomparable Natasha Tracy and learned more about the inner workings of blogging than I ever thought possible. These reasons, and so many others, are why it is so difficult to say goodbye.

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Anxiety Makes Me Hate Myself and That’s Okay

Anxiety Makes Me Hate Myself and That’s Okay

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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My Response To My Loved One’s Feelings About Anxiety

My Response To My Loved One’s Feelings About Anxiety

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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3 Questions I Asked My Loved One About My Anxiety Disorder

3 Questions I Asked My Loved One About My Anxiety Disorder

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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The Worst Panic Attack Ever and What It Felt Like

The Worst Panic Attack Ever and What It Felt Like

A few days ago, I had a panic attack and I can safely say it is the worst one I have ever had. Panic attacks and anxiety, in general, are nothing new. A couple times a month, I will succumb to the anxiety that builds inside me. There are also anxiety triggers that hang over my head and surprise me from time-to-time. But the room spinning, fight or flight, lose consciousness type of panic attacks I thought were long in the rearview mirror. It’s good to know, even after all these years, anxiety can still surprise me.

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Bipolar and Anxiety Are Not My Identity

Bipolar and Anxiety Are Not My Identity

My name is Gabe Howard and I have bipolar and anxiety disorders. As a public speaker and writer using my lived experience with mental illness, I say that sentence often. Some version of that is on my business card and website and it is how I start most of my speeches. But, is that my identity? Is a set of diagnoses really who I am?

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Anxiety Doesn’t Care About Your Living Situation

Anxiety Doesn’t Care About Your Living Situation

As of this writing, I live with my wife. But before I lived with her, I had a variety living situations, including living alone and with a roommate. Anxiety and panic attacks occurring at home are fairly common for many of us with anxiety disorders and disorders don’t much care what your personal living situation is.

Panic and anxiety attacks in public present a special kind of frustration because, in addition to the attack, we have to deal with the embarrassment of being sick in public. Even during my worst panic attack in a public forum, I was still concerned with what others thought of me and whether or not they were judging me.

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Which Is Worse: Anxiety or Bipolar Disorder?

Which Is Worse: Anxiety or Bipolar Disorder?

Like many people, I have been diagnosed with more than just anxiety. While it is possible to be diagnosed with just an anxiety disorder, I was not fortunate enough to be one of those people. As I have discussed before in this blog, I have co-occurring bipolar and anxiety disorders.

As readers of my blog will know, each of these disorders is awful in its own way. Occasionally, I’m asked which one I hate more. Sometimes, I wonder this, myself.

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Rethinking Anxiety’s Role in a Crisis

Rethinking Anxiety’s Role in a Crisis

Over the weekend, my wife was bitten by a dog. It was a serious bite, costing her the tip of her right index finger. I was present when it happened, watching in horror as she stepped in between two angry lab-mixes that were fighting over a bone.

We went from watching college football to panic in less than 30 seconds. As my wife sat down, holding her bloody hand, there wasn’t time to think about much. My only concern was how to help her. My mother-in-law had separated the dogs, placing one in a cage, and raced over with napkins and began to apply pressure to my wife’s wound. At that moment, we had no idea how serious the injury was.

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Blogging with Anxiety

Blogging with Anxiety

One of the requirements of being a HealthyPlace blogger is personal experience. In other words, having an anxiety disorder qualifies me to be one of the authors of the anxiety blog. More specifically I have panic attacks, crippling self-doubt, paranoia, and general anxiety. My blog application was one of the only times this was a plus.

Weekly blogging isn’t an easy thing to do, despite the number of them out there. Topics need to be chosen, research done, comments read and responded to, titles selected, keywords considered, pictures picked, then it needs to be written, formatted, and scheduled all before it goes live for all the world to (hopefully) see.

As a writer, I know other writers, and the general consensus is that publishing anything, even a blog, is stressful. It invokes a sense of anxiety in the most grounded of people. A part of the writer – his work – is out there, waiting to be judged by strangers.

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