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Reading Helps You Cope with Anxiety

Reading Helps You Cope with Anxiety

Reading helps me cope with my anxiety. Books have long provided a much longed for escape for me during my most anxious times. It has always been a great relief to think that in the space of a few moments, I could be coping with anxiety by reading. Reading lets me inhabit the thought processes of another person when the sheer, everyday business of living with anxiety and depression becomes all-consuming. When communicating adequately in real life feels like an impossible pursuit, I have found that reading allows me to find the right words for the feelings that all too often I bury deep inside. Reading helps me cope with anxiety in many other ways, too.

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Anxiety And Feeling Unlikeable: What Can You Do About It?

Anxiety And Feeling Unlikeable: What Can You Do About It?

Try as we might, we humans never quite get over the desire to be liked and sometimes with anxiety, we feel unlikeable (Anxiety Says Everyone Hates Me). Being considered to be socially acceptable holds great importance for us whether we are starting a new job or joining in a game of hide and seek in the playground. The need to be liked can, in many instances, override the, arguably, more fulfilling need to shape yourself as an individual. I would argue that having an anxiety disorder complicates this desire even more. Speaking as a person with an anxiety disorder, I tend to meet a person for the first time with the overwhelmingly glum presumption that they will either instantly dislike me or, best case scenario, will inevitably grow to dislike me over time. With anxiety, I feel unlikeable.

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How To Remain Creative with Anxiety

How To Remain Creative with Anxiety

You can remain creative with anxiety, if, indeed, you are creative in the first place. I believe that it is high time that we as a society stamp out the rather offensive notion that mental illness is somehow linked in with creative thinking and originality. This cliché could, in fact, not be further from the truth (Mental Illness and Crazy: Creativity and Medication). Many great artists, musicians and writers produce exceptional works in spite of their mental illness, not because of it. I am not a genius and I don’t have any fantastically advanced talents to speak of. However, I have felt my own ability to be creative disintegrate during times when my anxiety has skyrocketed but I’ve also learned how to remain creative through anxiety.

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A Healthy Lifestyle and Improving Body Image with Anxiety

A Healthy Lifestyle and Improving Body Image with Anxiety

You can live a healthy lifestyle and improve your body image even with anxiety. I’m currently trying to lose weight through joining a local slimmers support group. I won’t lie, it’s been an uphill battle with hurdles all the way. I’ll reach a much longed for milestone one week and the next I’ll find myself feeling as though I’ve tumbled, bruised and defeated, back down the mountain. I’m a sufferer of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and so ever since I’ve stopped growing up, I’ve been steadily growing out in such a way that I often feel as if I have lost agency over my own body. Moreover, I have an overly emotional attachment to food. But, even with anxiety, I am trying for a healthy lifestyle while improving my body image, too.

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Age-Related Anxiety, or What Should I Have Done Already?

Age-Related Anxiety, or What Should I Have Done Already?

I understand age-related anxiety. I’m going to turn 25 on the 21st of January. This is, of course, hardly an advanced age but, still, it feels like kind of a landmark birthday. The Internet is littered with lists of things that you should do and places you should travel to by this age, almost as if it is some sort of cut off date for being young and reckless. And I’ve never, in all honesty, been all that good at being young and reckless. I’m incredibly cautious and am terrified of most things so the thought of dropping everything and going backpacking in some faraway country is beyond my comprehension. This is, of course, difficult, as photographic depictions of youth in the media generally focus on perfectly slim, young things with seemingly limitless bank accounts leaping from waterfalls and laughing in exotic locations (Body-Image Distortion a Growing Problem Among Women and Men). Age-related anxiety is something I’m experiencing.

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Coming Across As Self Absorbed With An Anxiety Disorder

Coming Across As Self Absorbed With An Anxiety Disorder

I have a lot of introspective thoughts and I worry that in the past this has inevitably come across during conversations as me being self absorbed. There, I’ve said it. I guess that a lot of people can relate to this somewhat, but for a person with an anxiety disorder, introspective thinking can take on a whole new meaning. Being locked in this repetitive thought process has seriously distracted me from the important things in life and has even led to arguments. The insult that tends to get most thrown at me during a disagreement is that I am “selfish.” On some levels I can see how this could come across. During times when I am wrapped up in my own anxious thoughts, I can admittedly be less than fully aware of the hurt of others.

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Anxiety And Self-Deprecation: Belittling Yourself Does Not Help

Anxiety And Self-Deprecation: Belittling Yourself Does Not Help

Anxiety and self-deprecation often go together. I have a pretty self-deprecating sense of humour. When I was younger, I would often intentionally say something unintelligent or wrong in order to get a quick laugh. This evolved over time. I learnt how to tell an overblown story about myself where I am both protagonist and punchline due to some personal, exaggerated foible or other. Even today, I can find myself mimicking the stereotyped words or actions of a caricature to endear me closer to friends who may already have a certain, fond view of me: a little nerdy, a little pretentious and slightly clumsy. Often in life it’s just too painful to take yourself seriously. Sometimes, for those of us with anxiety, it can even feel too utterly humiliating to take yourself seriously. After all, we anxiety sufferers are not always sure who we are exactly and, during darker times, what we have to present to the world in terms of an identity. When you have anxiety, you can be overly self-deprecating.

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Anxiety Symptoms Coming Across as Lying

Anxiety Symptoms Coming Across as Lying

Anxiety symptoms can sometime come across like we’re lying. In my third year of university I was accused by a flatmate of stealing a five pound note from a collection that, as a flat, we had scraped together for a group Easter meal. I may have been mistaken for lying because of my anxiety symptoms. Not a huge amount, but this incident continues to hurt me long into my graduate life.

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Trusting And Expressing Your Opinions With Anxiety

Trusting And Expressing Your Opinions With Anxiety

Trusting and expressing your opinions as a person with anxiety can be tough. Plummeting self-esteem caused by an anxiety disorder can sometimes lead to us conforming a little more rigidly than we would like to. Growing up, I was too awkwardly self aware to express a single opinion that might have rubbed slightly against the grain. Anxiety robs you of that luxuriant arrogance of youth and continually makes you question the validity of your opinions (Anxiety And Self-Doubt). My problems in trusting and expressing my opinions due to anxiety affect every aspect of my life.

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About Julia Banim, Author of ‘Anxiety-Schmanxiety’

About Julia Banim, Author of ‘Anxiety-Schmanxiety’

Hi, my name is Julia Banim and I’m the new co-author of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. I’m a journalist based in Manchester, England. Reading and writing have long been a quiet refuge for me from the social situations that, admittedly, have never come too easily (What Is Social Anxiety Disorder [Social Phobia]?). Journalism, therefore, always felt like a natural career path for me.

I believe that writers should always strive to cover issues that are of personal significance to them. For me, this is anxiety, with all its messiness, humiliations and excessive worrying. I know how it feels to be wound tight as a spring for days, weeks, or months on end. I know how it feels to not realise how loud and fast you are breathing, how tightly you are clenching your fists, until the person next to you on the train looks at you with concern (Can People Without a Mental Illness Understand Us?).

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