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Our Mental Health Blogs

When Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Slows You Down

When Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Slows You Down

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) involves excessive anxiety that often slows you down; and when it does, it can be maddening and stressful. Generalized anxiety disorder can make people feel as though they’re tarred and feathered, slowed down from real progress by a thick coat of heavy, gooey tar and coated in anxiety, represented by feathers. When generalized anxiety disorder slows you down, you  don’t have to give up. You can move foward. 

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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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General Anxiety Disorder is Big But Fits in a Box

General Anxiety Disorder is Big But Fits in a Box

To have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is to worry — a lot. While true, this is an oversimplification. “Worry” doesn’t really begin to describe what happens in GAD. Everyone worries; it’s part of being human. It’s a given that people will worry about their grade on a test, for example, worry about their job security when downsizing is taking place, or worry about their child’s safety when he or she is away. But with GAD, the worry becomes too much — all-consuming, really, and typically isn’t limited to a single situation. Rather than having worries in one’s life, for someone with GAD, life itself is a constant worry.

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Anxiety and Racing Thoughts

Anxiety and Racing Thoughts

Anxiety brings with it a seemingly endless list of struggles and frustrations. A very common frustration, and one that for me is incredibly bothersome, is anxiety’s loud, unrelenting hyperactivity.

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Why Do We Think the Way We Do? The Causes of Anxiety are Complex

Why Do We Think the Way We Do? The Causes of Anxiety are Complex

Anxiety can be agonizing. Picture this scenario: three people are walking together down a hallway in an office. A coworker passes by and says absolutely nothing. Person A thinks, “Hmmm. He seems in a hurry. Must be busy today.” Person B thinks nothing at all about this but continues to mull over whatever she is mulling over. Person C thinks, “Oh no. He didn’t say anything to me. He must be upset. I must have offended him somehow. What do I do about this? How can I face him? Should I approach him or let him approach me? What if he doesn’t want me to work here anymore?” One situation, three different reactions. Why? What causes the anxious reaction of person C?

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Co-Occurring Bipolar and Anxiety Disorders

Co-Occurring Bipolar and Anxiety Disorders

Mental illness is a complicated medical diagnosis in the “best” of circumstances. All people have a variety of emotions, thoughts, and habits that make up their personalities. Determining that something rises to the level of disorder and needs medical intervention isn’t always straightforward. For me, the effects of co-occurring bipolar and anxiety disorders make understanding what was happening to me difficult.

As far back as I can remember, I have always been paranoid, anxious, depressed, and manic. In fairness, I didn’t realize I was manic; I just thought I was extremely happy. But I ended up in the psychiatric ward because I was suicidal, which is a byproduct of the extreme depression. It was during that visit that I was diagnosed with mental illness for the first time.

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The Link Between Perfectionism and Anxiety

The Link Between Perfectionism and Anxiety

Perfectionism. It’s a common term in our society. We accuse people of (or, depending on one’s opinion of perfectionism, applaud people for) being perfectionists. What does the term even mean? A desire to succeed and excel in one’s field? I’d call that ambition, but not necessarily perfectionism. Perfectionism includes this desire for success, yes, but it goes beyond a desire to succeed. Perfectionism is not just a desire to do well; it’s a need to be the best. And it’s something that contributes greatly to anxiety.

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Can I Be Healthy and Still Have an Anxiety Disorder?

Can I Be Healthy and Still Have an Anxiety Disorder?

If physical health was truly the gold standard for living well, instead of just the perception, I would be the luckiest man in the world. In my adult life, I haven’t had the sniffles for more than a couple days. Frankly, my biggest physical flaw is that, as a redhead, my skin burns when I pass a beach-themed vacation poster.

Reality and perception are very different things. While my physical health can be defined as “pretty good for a middle aged guy,” my mental health is best described as “dude, where are your pants?”

I suffer from anxiety disorders. I used to be so bold as to say “an anxiety disorder,” but paranoia, general anxiety, panic attacks, and an ever present feeling of dread forced me to accept that one disorder just didn’t cover it.

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Is Anxiety Only About Fear Itself?

Is Anxiety Only About Fear Itself?

It’s widely accepted by most mental health experts that fear is closely woven with anxiety. I agree, and you might too.

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To Conquer Performance Anxiety, Get Excited

To Conquer Performance Anxiety, Get Excited

Everyone experiences anxiety and we all have different coping strategies. Among the most highly recommended self-help strategies for coping with anxiety, particularly performance anxiety before big meetings and public speaking, seems to be to simply remain calm. However, a recent study suggests that getting excited, the exact opposite of remaining calm, may be more effective at alleviating performance anxiety. The groundbreaking study aims to challenge conventional wisdom on coping with performance anxiety.

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