Imagine yourself at a gathering. Big or small, it doesn’t matter (because with anxiety, even the smallest things can seem gigantic). Perhaps it’s a family get-together, coffee with acquaintances,  a meeting, or a pancake feed for your kids’ school. You’re there, others are there, and your anxiety is there. How do you feel? Keep reading »

There are many pitfalls to being a person living with an anxiety disorder. The mental, physical, and emotional tolls that it takes to live with this disorder is, at times, heartbreaking. Anxiety tells me everyone hates me, it panics me, and it embarrasses me. In the midst of high anxiety and/or panic attacks, it causes me to appear distant, uninterested, or even makes me appear to be ignoring someone. An ill-timed panic attack, for example, at a first meeting, can make it appear that I am a snob.

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It seems like there is a lot of discussion these days about self-medicating for anxiety. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, self-medicating generally means using alcohol or other recreational drugs like marijuana to manage the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. It’s also possible to self-medicate with behaviors like eating, shopping, gambling, and sex. The overall position within most mental health communities — including HealthyPlace — is that self-medicating is generally a bad idea. While I don’t disagree, I think the topic is more complex than it appears, especially when you factor in addiction. Keep reading »

As many of you probably know, anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by extreme weight loss and the refusal to eat. However, what you may not be aware of are the serious complications associated with anorexia and what residential treatment for anorexia entails. Below, I am going to briefly touch on these and provide some insight into what residential treatment for anorexia is all about. Keep reading »

When you have low self-esteem, you have a negative view of yourself. However, your negative thoughts are your own perception. It’s not what others see and it does not reflect your actual self-worth. Your negative thoughts are, therefore, a distortion of reality. Keep reading »

In the realm of reality television and social media, people on shows focusing on plastic surgery and ways to change your body have practically become royalty. People have a genuine interest in following the lives of absolute strangers just to imagine how it would feel to have their skin sculpted into anything they wish. You’ve seen shows and read articles about people getting surgery to look like Barbie dolls or celebrities. Not only is it frightening to get that much surgery, it is sad that people don’t feel comfortable enough in their own skin and appreciate who they are. Keep reading »

Anxiety can be overwhelming, impacting us in every way imaginable – physically, emotionally, cognitively, and socially. It can range from mild to debilitating, and no matter to what degree we experience anxiety, it affects the quality of our lives. Happily, there are many things that can be done to treat anxiety. One way is through anxiety medication (but medication is not for everyone). There are so many different types of anxiety medication available; though, just contemplating whether or not to try antianxiety medication can itself be anxiety-provoking (list of anxiety medications). It’s an individual decision that can only be made with a doctor. Here are some important things to consider as you talk to your doctor about anxiety medication.

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Many questions arise when one proclaims that they are bisexual. But what about pansexual? Pansexuality is not a familiar term within people outside of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community. I only learned about pansexuality in a feminism class three years ago. I had never heard the term before but when I learned its definition, I immediately came to like it. While I don’t mind identifying as bisexual, I prefer the term pansexual when it comes to my identity. But how are bisexuality and pansexuality different? Aren’t they the same thing? Keep reading »

I have experienced more panic attacks than I can count. On average, I have one panic attack per week, and that is after panic attack treatment. Before I knew what was happening to me, I was experiencing panic attacks multiple times per week. Because I am a social person, I often experience these attacks around other people. This has made me very good at explaining, in layman’s terms, exactly what a panic attack is.

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Social anxiety can make the world, and the people in it, seem mean-spirited, harsh, or even cruel. It’s not exactly news that living with anxiety can warp our perceptions of other people, especially their intentions toward us. For me, I judge others in a very negative light when I’m in the grip of a particularly bad episode of anxiety. I expect the worst from people, and am still often surprised when I don’t actually get it. That’s because most people are significantly nicer than my anxious brain’s perception would have me believe. The good news is, I’m getting better at remembering this while it’s happening. Keep reading »