I noticed while trying to think of a topic for this week's article that I often write about anxiety in terms of the individual experiencing it. I'll sometimes bring up things like helping someone else with anxiety, but I rarely discuss how to ask for help when you feel anxious yourself. I may have avoided this topic in part because I believe there is a fine line between asking for help and using others as a way to reduce anxiety. I think a lot of what makes our coping skills and tools useful for anxiety is the manner in which they're applied, and this holds true for how we ask others for help as well. There are times when asking for support from a close friend or family member can be a fantastic means of coping with anxiety, and I believe it's important to use our social supports in those cases. But there are also ways we can ask for help that perpetuates anxiety instead of helping us cope with it. Today I wanted to talk through my thoughts on how we can ask for help when anxious in a healthy, productive way that does not exacerbate anxiety in the long term.
I recently experienced rapid weight loss from anxiety, and it felt like a vicious cycle that would never end. My anxiety worsened with every meal I missed and every pound I lost. It was completely overwhelming and scary, but I got through it. Read on to learn how I was able to stop the cycle of rapid weight loss and return to a healthy weight.
Shame has been a part of human culture for thousands of years. It is one of the things that makes human relationships and social structures unique, and is arguably a necessary component of every civilized society. However, it is a sad reality that people with mental health issues experience shame at a disproportionately high level, and this can be incredibly detrimental not only to their recovery, but also to their relationships with the people around them.
I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my first and only psychotic, schizoaffective episode two years ago. That’s right, I said “celebrated.” You see, when I had my episode, it alerted me and my family to the realization that something was wrong, and I started to get treatment. That’s why that schizoaffective episode is something to celebrate.
Caregiver burnout is a very real phenomenon when supporting someone with mental illness. In my experience, it arises as a result of putting your own needs to the bottom of your list on a consistent basis. I've experienced caregiver burnout on many occasions when supporting my brother with his mental illness -- and if I'm very honest, I'm experiencing it again right now.
One effective method of building self-esteem that worked well for me was to build self-esteem through skills. “I can’t do anything right.” It’s a popular refrain of depressive self-talk. I should know. I used to do it all the time. Today, while I’m still not immune to such thoughts, I don’t have them nearly as often as I used to. When they do pop up, I’m much better at telling them to shut up and go away. It all started with just one thing.
Explaining self-harm scars to your boyfriend (or any romantic partner, for that matter) can be a daunting prospect to face. How do you know whether you're ready to disclose your past, and what can you expect when you do?
There are many kinds of dysfunctional families; mine is an enmeshed family. In my experience, an enmeshed family is one in which needs are perceived as a common unit. Enmeshment might seem like a mild to moderate inconvenience, but it can negatively impact work and life in general. With so many of us moving back home and working remotely due to the pandemic, it's crucial to know more about this unsettling phenomenon. Let's take a look.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Can gratitude really help anxiety? Surprisingly, it can. Here's a look at what gratitude is and how it helps you shift thoughts and feelings away from anxiety and replace them with appreciation and action.
Heidi Green, Psy.D.
This year has been pretty overwhelming for most of us, so we need some self-care hacks to cope. In addition to the general stress of 2020, we are now approaching a season that often brings pain and grief to the forefront. With this in mind, I want to share some of my favorite skills for self-care during challenging times.