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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).

Tanya J. Peterson is a mental health counselor, novelist and author of the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blogSo 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

You can also connect with Tanya J. Peterson on her website, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest.

Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of four critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges as well as a self-help book on acceptance and commitment therapy. She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

11 thoughts on “About Tanya J. Peterson, Author of the Anxiety Schmanxiety Blog”

  1. The feeling of anxiety is all to common in my life, since I am only 16 years old the fact that my mom which is the only parent I’ve had for most of my life is moving away from me. I feel so abandoned and I really don’t know what to do, all of this and suffering from severe depression and Insomnia doesn’t help. I have no ways to calm myself down. I’m basically lost in the dark abyss that is life.

    1. Hi Jaden,
      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.

  2. Hi Tanya,

    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.

    Best regards,

    Lourdes Ornelas

    1. Hello Lourdes,
      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!

  3. I keep getting
    Bad feelings
    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

    1. Hello nidhi,
      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.

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