About Tanya J. Peterson, Author of the Anxiety Schmanxiety Blog
I Understand Anxiety. I Live With It
As an emotional human being (aren’t we all?), I’m excited to be writing the Anxiety Schmanxiety blog. Typical of me, I’m also fretful about it. Will what I write be good enough? Will it be helpful? Will readers want to leave comments and interact? What if everyone judges me harshly? Of course I’m imaging an array of negative consequences including certain demise for me and, quite possibly, for you. But don’t worry! I’ve been dealing with this for a long time so I’m used to it. It’s under control – for the most part (I mean, the anxiety is still there, but I’ve learned ways to keep it from ruling me).
So if I’m anxious, why am I excited about writing the Anxiety Schmanxiety blog? Because reaching out to inform and empower is what I’ve devoted my life to. I have a Master of Science degree in counseling and am a Nationally Certified Counselor. I’m not actively working as a counselor right now, though. I’m really bothered by the stigma surrounding mental illness, so I write and speak to help increase understanding of mental illness. I write novels, like Leave of Absence, because fiction is a powerful vehicle for illustrating fact. Plus, people connect with characters in novels and often transfer their empathy to real-life people.
Overcoming Anxiety to Live the Life You Want
My desire to help others understand themselves and each other and to overcome things that are getting in the way of living lives they envision has a personal component, too. After a car accident in which I sustained a head injury, two subsequent concussions, and a lot of extra life stressors, I ended up in a behavioral health hospital. I was in and out five times over the course of a couple years. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder and anxiety-related things, specifically generalized anxiety and social anxiety. For a while I blamed the head injury, but that was just denial. Looking back to pre-accident times, I know without a doubt that I had bipolar disorder and anxiety. It’s just that the injury and the extra stress made it impossible to manage by myself anymore.
That’s why I’m glad to be here. This is what I hope to do for you in this blog: to provide useful information, anecdotes, and the like so you can connect and know you’re neither alone nor misunderstood. You’ll also find useful tools and tricks for taming anxiety in a variety of situations.
Welcome to the Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog
NCC, T. (2013, October 21). About Tanya J. Peterson, Author of the Anxiety Schmanxiety Blog, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2013/10/about-tanya-j-peterson
Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Social anxiety, or even social discomfort -- feeling uneasy and awkward without having full social anxiety -- is so common in the teen years. Do you know that nearly every teenager has a degree of this anxiety/discomfort. It's hard to tell because people hide it/fake it. This doesn't mean that you want to or have to just put up with your discomfort. It's just to let you know that it's not "just you" and there's nothing wrong with you. It can be very helpful to gradually stop avoiding. Find one thing--a club, a group that has similar interests as you, etc. to become involved in. Try MeetUp to find interest groups in your area. Focus on attending and participating in the activity, and gradually begin to speak to people, especially women. You don't have to want to date them. Just get comfortable talking with the. Then, you can branch out to different people. Be patient with yourself, as this is a process. And remember that there is nothing wrong with you. You're just learning a skill.
You've described very well how thoughts can interfere in our relationships and life in general. Many times with overthinking like this, talking to a therapist can be very helpful. You can learn ways to change your thoughts and also process your thoughts and explore where they might be coming from.
Acceptance and commitment therapy is an approach to anxiety, overthinking, and other challenges that can be very effective. I put a link at the bottom of this comment that will take you to an article with more information. One aspect of ACT is called defusion, where you separate yourself from your thoughts. Your thoughts are just there, but that doesn't mean that you believe them or even see them as part of who you are. You de-fuse, or unglue, yourself from your thoughts rather than struggling with them. One way to do this is to notice your thoughts, such as your worry that you'll stop loving your girlfriend, and then remind yourself, "I'm having the thought that I might stop loving her." It puts some distance between you and your worry. It's just a thought. It's not your real belief. Hopefully this will be a helpful start. Here's the article about ACT:
What you're describing makes a lot of sense. This type of hyperfocused thinking can be a part of anxiety -- and a miserable one at that. This is an awful thing to experience, but it doesn't have to last. You most certainly are not stuck like this forever! Visiting with a therapist can be incredibly helpful. A therapist will help you sort things out and develop useful tools for dealing with the thoughts, reducing them, and living well in spite of the thoughts and eventually without the anxious thoughts there at all. You can take action to get unstuck.
Overthinking and having anxious thoughts are both very stressful, and they make anxiety even worse. It's a terrible cycle. The good news is that you can break out of the cycle. Because they're connected, anxiety and the thoughts you describe grow and shrink together. So if we try to reduce just one (like getting rid of anxious thoughts), it usually doesn't work. The best way out of the cycle is to focus on the life you'd like to have. What will your life be like when anxiety and overthinking aren't a problem anymore? What little steps can you take every day to move forward toward that life? By doing this, you will, over time, decrease anxiety and this type of thinking.
Yes, I have definitely heard of this before. You aren't alone,. The fear, panic, dissociations, and intrusive thoughts go hand-in-hand and make each other worse. This article has information on intrusive thoughts and related experiences: https://www.healthyplace.com/ocd-related-disorders/ocd/obsessive-thoughts-intrusive-thoughts-have-i-lost-my-mind/. This might provide you with some information you can use to go forward or even to communicate with a therapist. When your symptoms are intense like this and you have a very clear goal like you do, working with someone can help you move forward. In-person therapy is ideal, but online therapy is very good, too. Two sources are talkspace.com and betterhelp.com. Keep seeking information and help. These experiences can be overcome.
Anxiety, depression, and insomnia are difficult at any age -- and most definitely in the teen years. You aren't alone, even though it might feel that way. Anxiety and depression are more widespread than many people realize. That means that help is available. Do you have a teacher or a counselor that you feel comfortable with, even a little bit? He or she can help you find the right resources for help. Also, when you feel stuck in the abyss, there are places you can turn to right away. The national suicide prevention lifeline https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ has info, anonymous chat lines and phone services (1-800-273-8255). They can even point you in the right direction locally. Connecting with people for support can be a tremendous help.
I am a graduate student in the Master of School Counseling program at Texas A&M University, Laredo, Texas. I am looking for evidenced based research or any kind of studies that have been conducted with children & adolescents suffering from anxiety and the interventions, specifically how blowing bubbles helps them cope with anxiety.
Any reference that you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Hope to hear from you.
How exciting for you! Congratulations on your acceptance and on your work toward this degree. I know first-hand that it's a rigorous program. :) The best place to find empirical data/evidence-based studies is in professional journals. Your University library should have subscriptions to both hard copies and to a wealth of resources online. For research on the benefits of bubble-blowing (and there indeed are studies and evidence of the efficacy of this activity), look in particular at play therapy journals as well as articles in various journals on the benefits of deep breathing as one of the benefits of bubble blowing is deep breath regulation. Play therapy (which is valid for all ages) research will lead you in other directions as well: the benefits of watching the bubbles, visualizing them as problems and then popping them, inducing a sense of playfulness and laughter, a tool to interact with and build rapport with the counselor, and more. Bubbles are an extremely useful tool! I wish you the very best of luck and joy!
Anxiety really is very common, affecting nearly 20% of the people in the US alone at some point in their lives. The good news is that with intention and persistence it can be managed. We just need to keep at it!
What if I lose my father today tom
I cried so much today
I am gettin very scared
I dont have anyone
Other than him
I dont know what will happen to me
I cant live without my dad
I am glad you commented. I gave a reply to you in the other thread as well, so I don't want to simply repeat myself because that would probably not be helpful! I noticed something different here than what you said in your other comment. Here, you mention not having anyone other than your dad. Sometimes the thought of loss of a loved one can be intensified when someone feels alone in the world. I am not suggesting that you replace your dad, because that would be impossible and not something you even want to do. Many times, though, people find that their anxiety over the fear of loss diminishes when they form other friendships and relationships. Your dad could be included in the relationships you build. You can still love him greatly while forming additional relationships. As you bring enjoyment into your life, you might find that you are happier, less fearful, and have an even better relationship with your dad. Doing this can be daunting, so start small. Work on forming just one friendship. In finding increased happiness, anxiety decreases, and you'll enjoy your dad even more.