Dating is awkward and many feel anxiety about dating. Throw some clinical anxiety into the mix and you’ve got a disaster on your hands. But you can minimize anxiety about dating.
It’s easy to get into the habit of not addressing your needs when you have anxiety. I’m yet to meet someone dealing with anxiety who doesn’t know 200 ways to say “I’m fine” to paint a rosy picture of life. But treating anxiety is about understanding your reality, not what a perfect reality might be or the reality Jo Normal experiences.
What don’t you have if you’re struggling with anxiety? Emotional health. Not the most earth-shattering statement but pertinent, all the same. Do you really know what’s missing, though? I’m not always sure. Even when I think of a definition it changes, develops as I go through the bump and grind of ‘one step forward, two steps back’, alters everytime a PTSD trigger whacks me across the head with a 2×4.
It may even be that you’ve been anxious so long the concept of emotional health seems pie in the sky.
You don’t look sick! No, I don’t. It shouldn’t be an accusation, either.
One of the worst parts of having an anxiety disorder, or any other invisible illness, is how hard it is to explain to someone when they don’t have the first notion. It becomes almost a routine battle, feeling sick on the inside while knowing the world thinks you look fine.
Psychiatric treatment is a relationship between you, your mental illness, your drugs, and your doctor(s). That relationship is what matters most when it comes to ensuring medications treat actual mental health issues.
Taking the meds out of clinical practice and studying them in a lab is not only difficult but results in mixed outcomes. The kind we see reflected in the studies which the press pick up on.
Just this week I’ve read that the drugs don’t work, that it’s all a big fraud, and that the next Big Pharma pill will cure everything.
On a scale of 1-10 how annoying is it when therapists ask questions which sound more like triage than psychotherapy?
One of my commenters took me to task for not talking much (or indeed at all) about the behavioral side of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in a recent post. I shall now regale you with exciting tales of behavioral psychology in order to rectify the situation. Or not, since I expect your definition of exciting extends a touch beyond this topic.
My somewhat love-hate relationship with the B part of CBT aside, the real question is what works.
One of the things that drives me crazier than usual is this notion that anxiety is in overwhelming proportion amenable to rational thought on the part of the person suffering from the anxiety disorder. It’s a persistent idea. It’s also wrong.
Feel free to question my emotional competence but I’m not insane. For that matter, most people with mental illness are not insane.
This may be obvious but for many it’s not. Anyway, how many times have you thought, ‘oh goodness, I must be really losing it this time’ during the course of mental health difficulties?
It’s a common concern that can dramatically increase the amount of anxiety a person experiences. It may also inhibit their ability to trust, and to ask for help.
Happy is what brings healthy, and viceversa, so it can’t be that much of a surprise anxiety and depression have had some pretty rough consequences on my health; High blood pressure at 25, on-and-off flings with anemia, near-constant sleep deprivation.
I may as well have an imp bouncing up and down on my kidneys whilst someone tells my nervous system to pump out all the stress hormones its got, so I can feel normal, or at least prepared. Like a Girl Scout on crack. That’s PTSD hypervigilance for you.
It’s also that sometimes our bodies express what we are otherwise unwilling, or unable to say.
Life with mental illness isn’t always fun. Not just because I have a real illness, and that real illness really does affect my life but because some folks have trouble accepting this. I’m not entirely sure why except they don’t like the thought that someone with mental illness can “zomg, look just like them,” and still be quite unwell.
That’s the thing about invisible illness: Once revealed, people around you may feel conned, manipulated, lied to. Even though you’ve done nothing wrong.
Yeah, I’m guilty of being unwell in the general vicinity, of having mental health issues and having a life anyway. Sorry about that. Next time I’ll wear my “mentally interesting” t-shirt so you can detect the crazy, before it gets in your Coke.
*passes the tin-foil hat*
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