About Kate White, Author of 'Treating Anxiety Blog'

Sunday, July 25 2010 Kate White

I'm a 28 year old writer-photographer, poet and politico. Born in Australia, I've lived in Manhattan, London and Philadelphia, and have been blogging, tweeting and advocating about mental health issues for more than three years.

I'm your sister, your cousin, your friend; an old woman, or that kid playing in the yard across the street. Hi. My name is Kate White, and I'm 1 in 4. Haven't heard that statistic before? Then you should know that 25% of the world's population will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

And if you want to talk numbers, let's talk about the fact that I was 14 when the doctor told me I had Depression. Not the moderate, 'here, take a couple of pills and see me next month' variety, but the very-possibly-kill-you-stone-dead-with-great-ease-if-left-untreated kind. Then let's talk about the 3 hours sleep I average on a good night, the days lost to panic attacks, flashbacks and migraines, or the hundreds of hungry, raging thoughts that grate against my skin...

The good news? There are lots of things the numbers don't tell you, and that doctors can't either. This blog is about just those things, about getting beyond the anxiety and experiencing safety, even joy. It's about the questions that we usually ignore: How do I keep going? Why can't I 'just relax'? What is it like to finally, finally, be able to breathe?

Treating Anxiety reaches into the day-to-day to pull out the odd rabbit called Relief, served with some anecdotal evidence and a dash of good faith. Because it isn't easy to look at the things that scare us most but it is worth it: nobody wants to live in fear.

So think of me as a dose of determination, and a hand held out whenever it's too much to stand.

Treating Anxiety Welcome Video

If you'd like to get to know Kate a bit better, go ahead and watch this video:

Author: Kate White

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About Kate White, Author of 'Treating Anxiety Blog'

Amy
says:
July, 26 2010 at 7:37 pm

I suffer from severe panic disorder and agoraphobia. Sometimes I just think I can't take one more day. I'm also the caretaker for my mom who has Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). Somedays, like today, I just want to say forget it all and give up. Thanks for your video blog.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
July, 26 2010 at 9:31 pm

Hi Amy. Oh, you're very welcome :)

It can be so hard to be the one someone in genuine need 'needs' - especially a parent - no matter how much your heart says be there for them. Hard for anybody but with anxiety stuff to balance as well... Well yeah, you just can find it a struggle to even begin to think straight sometimes. So I'm very glad if something I said could help a little with all that's on your plate right now.

I'll be writing/discussing about lots of the stuff panic disorder and agoraphobia bring up. Hopefully you'll pop by again sometime.

Take care,
Kate

lissyvz
says:
July, 29 2010 at 11:20 pm

Thank you for being so open and honest about such a difficult topic.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
July, 30 2010 at 2:15 am

Hi Lissy! :) Nice to see you here, and thank you.

Neelington
says:
July, 30 2010 at 3:54 am

Hi Kate!! Thanks for sharing your story. It takes courage to put yourself out there, especially when talking about a subject that many people regard as a weakness. I too have suffered from panic attacks, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety. It is controlled most all the time now days, however, it occasionally sneaks up on me, and it's always if/when I get sick. Other than that, I function as a normal living, working person free of panic attacks. Actually, I can even say I don't have panic attacks at all anymore. It's now a generalized form where I get into a downward spiral when I'm sick and before I know it I have spun into debilitating worry. I have put into use a lot of coping skills over the years, and I believe that could be why the sudden panic attacks no longer occur. I sometimes wonder if anyone else experiences the desire for isolation?? I can get very isolated at times and really feel like I could live without the entire world and be just fine. I know that can't be very good for me and I wonder if you or anyone else experiences that and if it's really a branch of anxiety? I hope to get some good insight here and help others if/when possible. Thanks again for sharing your story!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
July, 30 2010 at 4:25 am

Hi Neelington!

What a great comment. Thank you!

Yes, I definitely know what you mean about the desire for isolation sometimes. I think it's related to anxiety, for sure but it can also be a warning sign of Depression or simply a matter of personality type. I could go into a whole long thing about that but how about I just add it to my to-post list and hopefully you can check that out soon :)

It's good to hear you're able to use the coping skills you've learned to help with the panic attacks. That takes a lot of work and time and dedication but oh my goodness, it's so worth it, isn't it?!

Claire
says:
July, 30 2010 at 6:11 am

Hey Kate! Loved your intro post and video, I can't wait to read and watch more.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
July, 30 2010 at 7:50 am

Claire !! Thank you, sweetie. And extra thx for your feedback re: naming my new wee blog here.

Sojourner1
says:
July, 30 2010 at 2:38 pm

When I was in junior high I was expected to take care of my mother who had multiple Sclerosis. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere because Mom needing taking care of and Dad worked nights and slept in the day. I didn't know what I was missing since this was 'norm' for me. Looking back, I realize that missing out on life's experiences through school, etc. greatly contributed to anxiety and Major Depression I have and have had for a long time. Mom used me as her sounding board when she got upset with my dad who was also a functioning alcoholic. Try and take care of yourself Amy and allow yourself some fun and new experiences. Talk to someone about relieving you once in a while so you can take a break. Be kind to the sensitive and creative child within you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
July, 31 2010 at 3:48 am

Hi Sojourner1,

Yes, yes and yes! :) Creativity can be such a good friend to folks with anxiety issues. Absolutely.

Listening to your story I can't help but think it must have only been natural for you to fall into the 'caretaker' role. But I'm very glad to hear you found some ways to break free of that. Those things seem reasonably simple, and they are if you experience them growing up, but if you don't then it can be pretty tricky to try and fit them back into your life/heart again as an adult. I think you probably need a fair bit of space from the dynamics that were that 'norm' to even begin to see what an asset having more options is!

Christy
says:
July, 30 2010 at 6:27 pm

I can't wait for more, Kate. More than half my life has been anxiety, panic, medications and fear. Are you my new hope? I can't wait to read more. There are so many things I would like to do that I know I can do, that I've done before, but don't know how to do anymore - or so it seems. I do not choose to live in fear of "ridiculous" things; it's just how it is lately - and it's got to change. Looking forward to your tips, encouragement, and support.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
July, 31 2010 at 4:04 am

Hi Christy,

Thank you. That's a really lovely comment. Not to say what you're going through is lovely. Hardly! But just to think that you even feel encouraged enough to come back and maybe give some of the things I'll be chatting about a go. That's pretty cool, to me.

I have definitely been in that situation of knowing I could do things 'once upon a time' and then just having so much going on in my head that it's too much to handle in the present. So yeah, I hope I can be around to help with that, for sure. :)

And you know the reasons for the fear etc. matter less, at the time you're going through all that, than finding small, quite simple ways to get unstuck again; Taking a few steps, gently getting closer to the stuff that's keeping you from getting where you want to be and finding what you could do, if only you weren't living in fear.

patientanonymous
says:
July, 31 2010 at 2:44 am

Well done! *grins* I'll be keeping an eye on you! *groan* No, seriously. You've got the chops, all the way around.

However, in terms of "all the way around," anxiety is arguably the most pervasive sign and symptom of mental illnesses and disorders. Could we dare to find a single one where anxiety does not present itself? At least at some point?

As per CK, also may have some ideas.

PA

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
July, 31 2010 at 4:13 am

Hi PA,

Thank you, hun. LOL Your puns are fabulous, as usual.

It's pervasive, alright. That's one of the reasons I'm talking about it. I mean, almost everyone can relate to aspects of it, in one way or another. Maybe not to the level of disorder but even still. I mean, how many "stress management" seminars are there out there, right?! A lot of people are stressed and feeling it more and more and worrying more and more. We don't live in an easy world, to say the least.

As for how it goes regards actual disorders, of course it's something you have to look at -- if you don't have anxiety under control then it's incredibly hard to do any kind of therapy, obviously, or for meds to work optimally. And I have to agree, it definitely seems to present itself in a whole lot of ways and contexts. Interesting.

Jackie
says:
July, 31 2010 at 3:24 am

Nice CK, very nice.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
July, 31 2010 at 4:13 am

Hi Jackie,

Thanks! And good to see you here.

Pandora
says:
August, 2 2010 at 12:05 pm

Brilliant perspective and fair play to you for talking about things so openly. Look forward to following your musings here as well as at CK :)

Take care :) x

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
August, 2 2010 at 8:53 pm

Hi Pandora,

Yay. Thx! Am looking forward to getting to muse more often. (Speaking of, where is my Muse? she seems to have wandered off, and it's not even breakfast!)

Jaliya
says:
August, 2 2010 at 7:40 pm

Yay you! :-D Congrats on your new blog and may you have many readers :-)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
August, 2 2010 at 8:54 pm

Hi Jaliya,

Danke, darling :D Glad you made it here. I was just thinking of you last night, actually.
X

Trex
says:
August, 4 2010 at 2:31 am

Kate...your such a wonderfully brilliant and attractive human being..all the best in your journey..truly enjoy the blog....be bold..be kind..be you...complete and happy...as originally intended... and still are.

TREX

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
August, 4 2010 at 3:31 am

Hey TREX,

That comment is more than a little amazing. Thank you so much, gorgeous!!

Grey Ghost
says:
August, 4 2010 at 6:16 pm

Kiddo, I am so happy you're moving forward and will be employing your genius to further help people. Take a look at the camera work in 12 ANGRY MAN and think about how you'd position camera in the future. Lumet changes the camera position in order to emphasize feelings of a character.

It was nice to hear your voice. Looking forward to see you many times more. Good luck with all that you do!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
August, 5 2010 at 11:45 am

Thanks, Grey Ghost ! :) I love 12 Angry Men -- assume you mean the original?? I'm not sure I can get particularly technical with my poor wee vid from my teeny tiny digital camera but I shall endeavour to position the camera better next time definitely. I knew it wasn't going to be great in terms of eye line but there's little to be done about that with space limitations as well as needing laptop for prompts. maybe cue cards? hrm. will ponder this.

Svasti
says:
August, 5 2010 at 12:40 am

So glad to see you flexing your creative muscles professionally for a Damn Good Cause! :D

Ghost of Christmases Past
says:
August, 5 2010 at 4:36 am

Hey Kate, I thought that your video with Gary was tremendous. I really liked to hear about your toolbox of skills/tricks to deal with anxiety and the practical ways for dealing with anxiety. It is so rare to find someone who has suffered such anxiety and depression and yet who has come so far to deal with it. Panic is so overwhelming and I found your video to be incredibly helpful. Thank you so much....

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

kwhite
says:
August, 5 2010 at 6:29 am

Hello my little shark,

Glad your fishing expedition was pleasant. Seriously though, thank you for listening, and hearing.

Kate

Sandra Stiles
says:
September, 24 2010 at 7:08 am

I am going through terrible anxiety attacks and do not want to leave the house. I am limited on my medical due to narrow angles in my eyes. Nothing has helped me and anti-depressant make me so sick. I pray a lot and people pray for me. I need some kind of help. Can you suggest anything.

Sandra

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kate White
says:
September, 25 2010 at 2:18 am

Hi Sandra,

I'd love to offer some suggestions. First, if it's OK to ask, what have you tried - beyond meds, that is?

And I wasn't quite sure what you meant by being limited on your medical due to narrow angles in your eyes...?

I'm glad you have faith in your life though. It's great to have something that feels safe, and can act as a base for you. If you're feeling like you don't want to leave the house because of the anxiety attacks - that's called agoraphobia. it's really a pretty common response to having anxiety attacks. you start to fear the fear.

generally that means it's a good time to look for psychotherapy, if you haven't already.

get as much support in your life as possible. it sounds like you're doing OK on that front, if there are people holding you in their prayers. is there anybody who could come over from your Church group, perhaps, and pray with you as you did simple things like go to the mailbox or sit outside for a few minutes? if you can do those things with someone safe, it may help to get the fear to let go its grip. little by little.

of course i'm going to say it'd probably be worth talking to your doctor. i'm not a medical professional and with just a quick comment to go by it's hard to pick what would be most useful for you right now. if you haven't asked your doctor about benzodiazapines instead of antidepressant medications then that might be worth looking into?

do you use things like grounding techniques every day? and do you feel like you're able to use relaxation/breathing techniques effectively? those sorts of things can really make a difference - though they tend to take a lot of work/time and getting used to, to make them a habit that's just there. something reliable. a touch stone.

and how safe are you feeling in general? that's one of the core parts of healing, i think. establishing something of a baseline sense of safety, within yourself and then you can maybe start to build up more possibilities from that.

Registered nurse
says:
November, 7 2010 at 5:22 pm

Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

Samantha Engelman
says:
August, 13 2016 at 12:01 pm

Hi Kate,

My name is Samantha and I am currently completing my Master's of Arts in Counselling Psychology. I am in the midst of completing my capstone project, which consists of a resource book for clinicians that encompasses CBT interventions, strategies, fact sheets, etc. This manual will not be published, but rather, will just be used as a resource book at our clinic amongst 5-10 other clinicians who choose to use it for therapeutic interventions and techniques with their clients. Also, my professor will have access to the resource manual, as she will be grading the project.

I am writing you to request permission to use the article titled, ’Top 21 anxiety grounding techniques'. I noticed this image on the following website
www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2010/09/top-21-anxiety-groun…

If granted your permission, I would incorporate this article into my masters project manual, with the correct APA reference cited below the image used. I would be honoured to include the resource you have developed, into the small manual I am putting together, to better help the client's we serve.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest regards,
Samantha

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