Article by Irving Schattner
Edit and post design by Christy Zigweid
Photo by Silentpilot via Pixabay made using @WordSwagApp
As we head into a new year, I am reminded of how many people are out there needlessly suffering with anxiety and depression. I also ask myself why so many people are willing to “settle” when their lives could be so much better; filled with joy, purpose and direction. As I ponder this question, I am reminded of my own experience with anxiety and the years it “stole” from me; how it zapped my energy, denying me simple pleasures of life and forcing me to pass on opportunities that could have enriched my life. I remember an old television commercial from the United Negro College Fund stating how “a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” I reflect back on my own negative state of mind and how it colored a distorted lens through which I viewed myself and the world around me. My negative state of being easily led to feelings of frustration, anger, suspicion and, at times, hopelessness and despair. Yes, there were good times, but even the good times were short-lived, as anxiety and its aftermath would once again take hold and bring me back to my reality.
And so, because I struggled with anxiety and feelings of sadness, hopelessness and despair, I contemplated the value of my worth which translated into a poor sense of self. Feeling somewhat lost and disconnected led me to feel sorry for myself and so rather than take action to do something to manage and overcome my negative emotional state, I continued to daydream about what my life could be like. I was living without a sense of real joy, purpose, or connection with myself and the world around me. It was hard for me to imagine anything other than how lousy I felt. Although I made my mark on some occasions and went through the motions on other occasions, I continued to feel unfulfilled and ridden with anticipatory and situational anxiety.
Unrealistically high expectations, a need to be perfect, possessing a strong need for approval, and fearing negative evaluation were the by-products of my anticipatory and social / situational anxiety.
Seeing no way out, there were times when I pondered my miserable existence by entertaining thoughts of departing from this Earth. Fortunately, for me, these were only thoughts as I had no plans of acting on them. Realizing that doing myself in was a one-way trip with no return, I continued to hold out some hope that one day I would overcome my anxiety and live with joy, purpose and connection.
Fortunately for me, that day came. I saw an ad in the local newspaper (this was many years ago before there were computers or the internet) advertising a group for persons suffering with anxiety and depression. Of course, as fear was typically my guide, I came up with a number of reasons why I couldn’t attend:
Despite all these excuses, I finally decided that despite my suspicion and ambivalence about how the group could be of help, I would give it a shot and go.
So, I showed up to group about a half-hour earlier in order to ease myself into this potentially terrifying situation. The last thing I wanted to do was walk in and have all eyes upon me. As each new member showed up, I said “hello” and introduced myself in an attempt to desensitize myself from the anxiety of what was yet to come. When all the members filed in, and the group room door was closed, I felt a wave of intense panic overcome me. My immediate thoughts were “What the hell am I doing here?" followed by “What if they notice how nervous I am?” and “What if I feel the need to walk out and leave?” It was a living hell on Earth.
Despite my intense fear and anxiety, I did stay (probably because I was too embarrassed to draw attention to leaving) and somehow muddled through. Sitting in a group filled with fellow anxiety suffers, my thoughts were focused on how “together” many of the members appeared and how out of place I felt. I was going through the motions while frozen with fear. I listened to people share and when it was my turn, I shared very little and was quite general and superficial. In what seemed like an out-of-body experience, I listened to what others had to share while very much preoccupied with my own internal state of mind and physiological state. When the group adjourned for the evening, I felt relief, said goodbye, got into my car, and went home.
On the way home, my anxiety eventually diminished while my evaluative self remained. Despite my success at attending the anxiety group, my anticipatory anxiety persisted as I continued to ponder reasons for not returning to next week’s group. The closer I got to the day of the next group, the stronger these negative feelings were. Despite my excuses and negative frame of mind, I went back to group the following week, followed by the next week and the week following that, and so on. With each meeting, I shared more and came to realize that no one was judging me; I was the only one doing the judging. And...over time, my comfort level with group increased. I came to realize that despite our different life experiences, we all shared the burden of living with anxiety and were all committed to finding freedom through mutual aid and support.
Attending the anxiety group was a turning point in my life. It led me to pursue individual therapy, where I unraveled the mystery behind what was fueling my anxiety and learned healthy strategies for finding joy, purpose and direction. My most important lesson in therapy was learning that despite my worst fears and scenarios, my anxiety would not kill me. I came to realize that the more I tried to hold onto or “control my anxiety,” the more my anxiety controlled me. (This is known as a “paradox,” which involves doing the opposite of what your brain is telling you to do). And so, despite my initial resistance, with support, encouragement, and even prodding by my therapist, I began to allow myself to feel that which I feared most – my anxiety. At first it was scary as hell. My therapist was asking me to do the very thing I was avoiding, facing my anxiety and allowing it to pass through me while continuing to do whatever I was doing. But with repeated practice, my anxiety came to diminish in intensity, as I allowed myself to “face it, feel it, and let it pass through.” Through this process of walking through my anxiety, I came to the realization that fighting my anxiety was futile, and learning to accept (rather than fear) what I was feeling was my answer to gaining freedom from anxiety.
In telling my personal story, my wish is for you to reach out and seek help. If I can do it, so can you. It takes some courage and persistence, but the payoff is tremendous. Since my recovery from anxiety, my life has only gotten better. Yes, like most people, I still feel anxiety from time to time, but it no longer throws me into a panic. I now see my anxiety as a way of letting me know that something is troubling me and use the skills learned in therapy to channel this anxiety for positive change. And… as a licensed clinical social worker / psychotherapist, I’ve taken what I’ve learned (both personally and professionally) into helping others achieve freedom from anxiety and depression.
Take the challenge… step out of your comfort zone, attend a support group and seek professional help for your anxiety and depression.
Irving Schattner, LCSW
About the Author - Irving Schattner, LCSW
Guest post by Irving Schattner
Edit and post design by Christy Zigweid
Photo by PublicDomainPIctures via Pixabay created using @WordSwagApp
For many people suffering from anxiety or depression, the Holiday season and New Year can be a difficult time. Unrealistic expectations or commitments, family connection or disconnection, social isolation, financial problems, grief and loss, geographic change, and less sunlight can lead to stress, anxiety, sadness, and depression.
Headaches and body aches, over-eating, excessive spending, and insomnia are a few ways in which the inability to cope with the holiday blues can manifest themselves.
During such times, it is important to develop a plan of action to head off or derail the effects of the holiday blues. If untreated, they can last way beyond the holiday season and into the New Year.
For some people, increased social support can be of great benefit. This may include connecting with old friends or family members. Facebook and other social media, as well as the old-fashioned phone call are tried and true methods. The meetup.com site is a great way to connect with people who share your interests. Counseling and support groups are other ways of self-exploration and learning to connect with the world outside of yourself.
For people suffering with season affective disorder (SAD), which is associated with shorter days of sunlight, increased exposure to the outdoors as well as phototherapy 30 minutes daily (25 times as bright as normal lighting), can help increase feelings of well-being.
While for some the holiday season means good, happy times with friends and family, for many people it represents a time of sadness, debilitating self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety, resulting in fatigue, unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and commercial expectation to go out and spend money. Too often they are plagued with unfulfilled goals and focus on what’s not right in their lives. The demand to conform to external expectations of what it means to be in the holiday spirit may contradict one’s actual life experience. This leads to internal conflict, somatic ailments, and psychological and emotional distress.
Risk factors for stress, anxiety, and depression include, but are not limited to: lack of adequate social support, recent or past trauma, life changes, substance abuse, balancing the demands and expectations of family vs. setting appropriate limits or boundaries, house guests whose presence creates increased tension, and insomnia or isolation.
Tips for managing holiday stress
About the Author - Irving Schattner, LCSW
As a little girl, I was a worrier. I worried about silly things like spiders in my bed, aliens living next door, whether my friends liked me, and what to wear to school.
As I grew, so did my worries. Boyfriends and jobs, teachers and classes, filled my thoughts, the normal concerns of any young girl. But there were other worries that consumed me, like a brother who ran away, and another who clung to me when parents fought. I worried about our parents, and whether their worries would tear them apart.
I worried myself into teenage anorexia, which became my coping mechanism for dealing with stress. As a teen, I was expected to fit in, eat with my friends, and munch on snacks all day long, which made me eventually give up anorexia, and worry about my weight. Every time I thought about my weight, I exercised, twirled my hair, fidgeted in my chair, and clicked my fingers, my new ways of dealing with anxiety.
I worried so much, I was often sick, sometimes for a month at a time. I missed school, and wondered if I’d get my work done, or even pass my grade. I worried about the flu and colds I often developed, unexplained fevers, and sores that covered the inside of my mouth.
By adulthood, I was a flustered, stressed-out, overthinking mess. Only by now, I was getting better at hiding my worries. I hid them behind too much work and fussing constantly in my home. I disguised my worries in sleepless nights. No one, not my children, parents, or husband, knew the constant brooding in my head. I guess you could say, in some strange way, I had control over my worries. Only I didn’t.
A few years ago, they all came tumbling out. As my husband and I sat in our car, waiting to turn into a tiny fruit stand, another vehicle rammed into us. I don’t remember the crush of metal against metal, or my brain being flung from one side of my skull to another. What I do remember is standing on the side of the road after the accident, and panicking. Heart-thumping, body-shaking, sweat-dripping, panic.
In one brief second, the only control I’d ever had over my worries, was gone, and there was nothing I could do. And to this day, I still have problems controlling my panic.
Recently, a string of events, some unforeseen, some planned, sent me over the proverbial edge. In less than two months, three sets of guests stayed overnight, my husband lost one job and gained another, we went on an out-of-state trip, I was called to jury duty, and I experienced a health scare. To top it off, my children were experiencing their own sets of problems, and though they are adults, I still worried.
I worried about everyone those few months: My guests, whether they were happy, comfortable, and having fun; my husband, his old job, his new job, his salary, his benefits. I worried about my children, and their futures. I even found time to worry about a brother who was moving away.
It wasn’t unusual for me to worry, but now, my worries were different. I no longer knew how to control them. I no longer knew how to hide behind daily activities. Those two months were filled with a shaking body, constant tears, and a temper that flared for no reason. When it was over, I’d fall in bed, confused, and exhausted beyond belief.
Other things had changed in me as well. Worry wasn’t just a part of my life, it consumed me. So much, I’d forget to eat, nap, and exercise. In other words, I’d forget about me.
It wasn’t until I received the envelope from the courthouse that I began to figure it out. I knew what it was before I opened it. With shaking hands, I read the neatly printed words on the page, and began to cry.
“What is it?” asked my husband.
“I have jury duty.”
Thoughts raced through my mind. How could I sit in a stuffy courtroom, next to people I didn’t know? What if I didn’t understand what was being said? What if I got tired or needed to eat?
Instead of thinking it through, I worried about every scenario. “I can’t do it,” I cried.
My husband took me in his arms. “You were called to jury duty a few years ago,” he said. “Your doctor wrote a letter. Call her tomorrow. I’m sure she’ll write another one.”
She did. But until I had that final notice in my hand, the one that said I wasn’t required to show up for jury duty, I was a freaked-out, stressed, worried mess. Unfortunately, I had one more thing to worry about.
The next week, I received a call from a medical specialist I had recently seen. “We found something on your tests. You need a biopsy,” she said.
I hung up the phone, and began to sob. I cried until every muscle ached and my mind reeled with tons of thoughts and emotions. I was convinced life was over, that I’d never celebrate another Christmas, never see another birthday. I was saddened by a family I’d lose, one that I’d no longer be there for, one I wouldn’t see grow and change.
By the time I went to the doctor, I was falling apart. Every crease in my face accentuated, every muscle tensed, every word shook as I spoke. A nurse was brought in to hold my hand during my biopsy.
As I look back now, I am truly embarrassed by the way I acted. It’s true, it was a stressful time. It would have been stressful for anyone. But I wonder if others would have reacted the way I did.
I’ve tried to gain control of my emotions, my worries, my life, but I’m not certain I can. It is a part of who I am, a flaw I am learning to live with. But I know this, I will never quit trying.
If anything good has come from my emotional traumas, it is this: My marriage is stronger, for I no longer hide behind flaws. Each flaw is beautifully displayed, for my husband, and all the world, to see; I am stronger. I am learning every day to accept who I am; and most importantly, I am learning to take care of me.
About the Author
In this podcast the sister of the murdered Nicole Brown Simpson comes on to discuss her life and how she builds her mental resilience. We also talk about O.J. Simpson, their kids as well as her new book.
Connect with Tanya: www.TanyaBrown.net
From Tanya's Website:
Get real with Tanya: Moving past the adversity in your life.Tanya Brown is no stranger to adversity or trauma. Faced with near overwhelming life challenges, Tanya used obstacles in her path to ultimately improve the quality of her life. She takes her life experience to audiences nationwide as a compelling motivational speaker, and she brings that experience to bear on her coaching practice. Her story makes it clear that you can overcome any adversity with the willingness to ask for help.
Tanya’s Story of Loss, Grief, Depression . . . and VictoryThe death of her sister Nicole Brown Simpson, which was sensationalized in the 1994 media frenzy featuring Nicole’s husband O.J. Simpson, unleashed a flood of issues for Tanya. Prior to Nicole’s murder, Tanya had lost several other loved ones, and emotional trauma was setting in. She engaged in dysfunctional eating patterns, and she busied herself with academic work as diversions from the mounting depression. Finally, in 2004, she suffered a breakdown that actually saved her life.
She worked for three months to get back on her feet with tools for managing her emotional well-being. Today, she is a celebrity author, a voice against domestic violence, and a motivational speaker and Life Coach who helps others bounce back from adversity.
Read Tanya’s Books to Cultivate Coping SkillsTanya has written two books to help readers overcome difficult, traumatic situations. In her revealing and thought-provoking memoir, Finding Peace Amid the Chaos: My Escape from Depression and Suicide, she shares her journey of self-discovery and shows how even the most severely traumatizing life experiences can carry lessons that teach new ways of being.
In her second book with Carolyn Inman, Tanya writes about The Seven Characters of Abuse: Domestic Violence, Where It Starts and Where It Can End to help people identify domestic violence. In this break-through book, she includes her own personal stories and diary entries from her late sister, Nicole.
These life-changing books are a great way to get started on your journey with Tanya.
“Finding Peace Amid the Chaos provides the reader with heart-felt stories and solutions for dealing with major life challenges and daily challenges. When you apply the lessons and strategies woven throughout the chapters, you will experience more peace of mind and calmness when life throws a curve ball." -Dr. John Spencer Ellis, Executive Producer, TheCompass, Founder, Wexford University
Guest Post by Two Wise Chicks
Post Design by Christy Zigweid
Photo by Unsplash via Pixabay made using @WordSwagApp
If Christmas is in your life, then you will be very familiar with the idea of writing a letter to the big bearded guy. Can you believe it's writing-to-Santa-time again - already?!
Typically, young kids' letters are checklists of 'wants', along with parent-nudged-politeness like "Dear Santa, hope you are well and have had a good year", or "I hope Mrs. Claus is well" and, ideally, a "thanks so much for last year's gift I LOVE it! :)"
With age and awareness these letters get more personal, and can sometimes include emotional pleas ("climate stabilisation, a different US president") and other more heart-wrenching requests ("please help my gran/brother/aunt/dad get better") These are the things that, unfortunately, Santa can't control. For if he could, I'm certain he would fix all of these things for us...
We often can't remember what age we stopped writing letters to Santa. Or why. Perhaps it felt just too 'childish' at some point? Some adults still write them, and beautifully. They'll start popping up on social media around now; moving masterpieces of human desire and hopes, things of beauty. These adults who write to Santa write because they believe that if you don't believe that you can receive, you don't receive.
If we don't believe, we don't receive.
It seems almost too simple. Can we make ourselves believe (in) something?
'Belief' is something about which we are passionate.
Professional and personal experience keeps teaching us that our beliefs about ourselves dictate our behaviours. Ponder this: if I believe I am worthy, I act in ways that reflect that (without having to think a lot about it). If I believe I am not worthy, then I also act in ways that reflect that (especially if I am not thinking a lot about it).
Beliefs don't stop at "I am worthy" (although, truth be told, this might be one of the most encompassing and important for most). There are hundreds, maybe thousands of beliefs that inform our lives on a daily basis. Some of the ones that feature in therapy and have wide-and-long reaching effects on a person's day-to-day life include:
Do any of these resonate with you?
Can we change what we believe about ourselves?
Yes we can, with awareness and practice. It means choosing to think and act in ways that align with what you would rather believe about yourself. And doing that over and over.
Repeating these (more) healthy thoughts and actions until you don't have to think about it so much. Until it becomes a habit. Your new habit. Until you believe 'it' about yourself. And when we believe these things, we receive "more". More respect, better relationships, better health.
Possibly the most important step, is first identifying which core belief we have about ourselves is the one we want to change. That can be the hardest part. Once we know what it is (and come to terms with the fact), we can work on how to change it. There are plenty of resources out there for us to work with (friends, books, workshops, counsellors, therapists).
It is healing and empowering to realise that our beliefs about ourselves can limit our happiness - we cannot fix what we don't acknowledge.
So in a very real sense, knowledge is power.
Your letter to Santa:
So, what about taking a little time this week to write your own letter to Santa? And ask for something that money can't buy, but could be absolutely life-changing?
In that letter, write what you would really like to believe about yourself this year (and always). Write about how you would like to know how to overcome the belief that holds you back. That belief that stops you from being fully present, aware, focused, connected, even vulnerable.
There is no 'right' way to write your letter. Simply write from the heart, write what you feel (even if it doesn't make 'sense'). Writing is a time-honoured addition to successful therapy, and the beauty of it is that it works in the comfort of your own home, with any old piece of paper or pencil or pen you have. It even works on a keyboard - and it's FREE! Which is always nice...
To help you along the way we've put up a template here. It'll only take a few minutes to print out and fill in, and it might be one of the nicest gifts you've ever given yourself - plus it literally won't cost you anything!!!
Mind you until the next time, and may Santa (may you) be kind generous to you.
About the Authors
Sally wants to help create a world of compassion for ourselves and others. A world where mistakes are allowed, gender roles don’t exist, sex ed in schools is a real thing and everyone dances – lovely! As a psychologist and psychotherapist in Ireland, she’s worked for nearly twenty years in private practice, with adults and trainee adults of all ages. She blogs on her own website, is a feature writer for super duper parenting website Voiceboks.com, does print and radio media work and has been known to Tweet. She’s the one running our Twitter page!
When she’s not working, you will find her engrossed in Science Fiction or some dark and Danish TV show, listening to music, watching the sea (while really, really wishing it were warmer), or figuring out how to work Lightroom on her Mac. All while munching on Bombay mix.
She’s happiest when dancing and erm…. her cat has his own Facebook page. We won’t link to that, it’s too embarrassing..
Tanya looks forward to living in a world where people know their worth, respect boundaries, and always have time for tea and chocolate. A magic bubble that protects her from sticky fingers, hormonal girls and dog hair would be awesome as well.
Her education and much of her training is in the areas of psychology and human potential. She worked as a licensed psychologist for over 14 years, with 10 of those years spent building her own successful private practice. In total, she has over 20 years of varied experience working, volunteering for non-profit agencies, and consulting to small business. Most recently she has launched her dream online coaching practice where she gets to work with motivated, amazing women who need help overcoming life’s hurdles. Exciting times!
She has lived in Ireland, Ethiopia (okay, just 6 months), Canada, and currently lives in central Texas with her husband, three girls (including fraternal twins), two dogs and three cats.
When she’s not finding ‘everyday moments’ to write about here or on her own blog, you can find her being walked by her dogs, unearthing unidentifiable food-objects under the couch cushions or baking her famous banana bread.
Tanya runs our Facebook page – and not to be outdone by Sally’s cat, her dog has its own Facebook page too.
Guest Post by Irving Schattner
Edit and Post Design by Christy Zigweid
Photo by Antranias via Pixabay made using @WordSwagApp
Long-term relationships and marriage require your work, attention, and ability to grow through challenges. Oftentimes couples stay stuck in problematic patterns and are unable to grow together.
Drawing from my experience in working with couples, whether married or cohabitating, I’ve identified some reasons why these relationships fail to thrive and ultimately unravel. While this list is not exhaustive, identifying with any of these 7 indicators should give one pause and call forth the need for some sort of intervention.
Couples who refuse to listen to one another’s needs, desires and life goals, talk over one another, are embroiled in conflict, hostility, blame and /or defensiveness, are basically waging war with the enemy rather than constructively and lovingly engaging with the person who should be their best friend. Couples want to feel safe, cared for, and loved rather than feeling they are embroiled in a war zone.
The need of one or more partners to be “right” leads to a judgmental attitude and anger which derail communication and, therefore, problem solving. Conflict avoidance leads to emotional and physical disconnect. Unsuccessful attempts at engagement result in one or more partners giving up and withdrawing. As disengagement intensifies, the relationship is at impasse and requires outside help to re-engage.
Addictions and other maladaptive behaviors
Addictions and other compulsive and maladaptive behaviors lead to lies and deceit, betrayal, and erosion of trust, hurt and pain. Attempts to placate or pacify the addict lead to denial and co-dependence by the non-using partner who, in effect, becomes part of the problem rather than the solution by bailing out the addicted partner and, consequently, sustaining the addiction. The addiction must be addressed through treatment, as well as support for the non-abusing partner.
Laziness and other character flaws
Love is based on mutual trust and respect. Lies and deceit, disloyalty, unwillingness to help out their partner, or withdrawal from or avoidance of financial, social, and household responsibilities, shift the burden onto their partner. What should be a partnership of equals feels more like an unbalanced parent / child relationship.
Stepping outside of the relationship to satisfy fantasies and unresolved needs and desires can lead to disengagement from one’s partner and eventual dissolution of one’s primary relationship. It’s important for couples to share their needs, desires, and fantasies with one another rather than an outsider. Once boundaries are crossed, it’s difficult if not impossible to repair the damage and hurt inflicted on one’s relationship. While some partners are willing to work on damage control and repair, for others the hurt and distrust caused by “stepping out” can never be reconciled and are beyond repair.
A healthy relationship depends on acceptance, appreciation, admiration, and feeling emotionally secure. Hurt and anger undermine the relationship when differences of opinion turn into contempt, criticism, lack of respect, and minimizing or discrediting your partner’s thoughts or feelings. When one or both partners feel mistreated or unfairly judged, there is a tendency to retaliate in kind or withdraw and not share one’s thoughts and ideas. Showing love to one’s partner under these conditions is often difficult.
Aggression or explosive outbursts
Expressing one’s anger in a constructive way can lead to healthy problem solving. However, when practiced aggressively or with rage, it can invoke fear and avoidance, which undermine constructive communication and can lead to serious physical and emotional abuse. When this occurs, the implicit expectation of safety, security, and trust in the relationship is seriously undermined as things spiral out of control.
Together yet apart
While it is healthy and realistic to have interests outside of one’s relationship, preferring the solitude of one’s company or the company of others at the expense of sharing activities and free time with one’s partner is a strong indicator of a problematic relationship. Failure to address the emotional and physical needs of one’s partner through shared interests and pursuits, can lead to disengagement from one’s partner and ultimately dissolution of the relationship.
About the Author - Irving Schattner, LCSW
Seven year old Lucy comes on the Conquer Worry Podcast to share her 'Life Lessons.' These lessons work if you are 7 or 77 years old!
Lucy's Original List
Guest Post by Irving Schattner
Edit and Post Design by Christy Zigweid
Photo by PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay made using @WordSwagApp
What is Panic Disorder? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “panic disorder is diagnosed in people who experience spontaneous, seemingly out of the blue attacks and are preoccupied with the fear of a reoccurring attack. Panic attacks occur unexpectedly, sometimes even during sleep.”
The fear that is felt during a panic attack can last several minutes and is usually unexpected. Most people are visibly distraught after an attack occurs and fear the re-occurrence of another panic attack. Some are so severe that they can be mistaken for a heart attack, leading one to check into a hospital emergency room in hope of finding a physical explanation. Most typically, the patient is administered an anti-anxiety medication by ER staff and told there is nothing physically wrong–that they are suffering from anxiety or stress. Lacking a physical explanation for their panic, they often feel different from everyone and wonder “Am I going crazy?” Not getting the help or answers they so desperately need leads to shame, guilt, further avoidance and, quite often, the belief that they are doomed to suffer in silence and are beyond help.
The disorder, if left untreated, not only reinforces continued avoidance of the feared situation (for example, in the case where an attack occurred while driving, you may seek alternative routes or stop driving all together). The anticipation of having another attack may generalize into situations previously not associated with the original fear or panic. This disorder may also lead to agoraphobia, which is characterized by severe anxiety in situations where an individual feels trapped by their surroundings. Panic sufferers may also experience anticipatory anxiety and generalized anxiety. This disorder can create significant psychological, emotional, and physical distress, as well as avoidance of opportunities for personal and professional growth, relationships, and happiness.
Treatment for Panic Disorder
Panic disorder (and other anxiety disorders) require specific targeted interventions that are individually tailored to the needs of the client (as no two clients are alike). It is crucial that you receive the guidance, coaching, and expertise of a mental health professional who “specializes” in treating panic (and other anxiety disorders), as traditional “talk therapy” is ineffective.
The following approaches are evidence-based and proven as most effective for the relief of panic (and other disorders). They include:
There’s no need to suffer
About the Author - Irving Schattner, LCSW
When my wife and I started ConquerWorry.org in 2012, it was a simple 'passion project.' Our original mission statement was to 'Create awareness of the resources that are available to those who struggle with worry, anxiety or depression.'
We are amazed at how rapidly the platform has grown over the past four years.
Today our mission is to inspire, educate and advocate for those who struggle with extreme stress or their mental health. That is a big mission and we have a team of passionate volunteers from all over the world who help with the platform's advocacy efforts. This requires dedicated leadership and I am thrilled to announce that Christy Zigweid is now the President and Chief Editor of ConquerWorry.org.
Christy is a passionate mental health advocate who has been a key driver of the platform's success. I am confident that under her leadership, this platform will grow and serve more people than I ever thought possible. If you are interested in joining her team, please reach out to us via our volunteer form: www.conquerworry.org/volunteer
As we move forward, I will still produce the Conquer Worry Podcast to bring you inspirational stories and interviews with people who are making a difference in the lives of others.
From Christy's Website - www.christyzigweid.com
My name is Christy Zigweid. I am a writer, mother, wife and fighter of depression and anxiety. Diagnosed when I was still in high school, I have worked hard to be mentally well. I am grateful for access to care as well as a very supportive network. While I may not live well every day, I fight hard to continue on this road we call life.
I am just starting out on my journey and look to build relationships in the field of mental health as well as help raise awareness about suicide, suicide prevention, and mental illness stigma through my writing about my own personal struggles. Many of my fiction stories deal with real-life issues. And while some of my stories are only available on my website, others can be found through Amazon.
Currently, I volunteer for ConquerWorry.org as their president and chief editor, guest post designer, and guest blogger. Some of my work can be found at Conquer Worry and This is My Brave. This spring, I helped edit Conquer Worry: How to Build a Simple Daily Plan to Reduce Stress by S. Jay Coulter, which released May 31, 2015.
Guest Post by Irving Schattner
Post Design and Edit by Christy Zigweid
Photo by blickpixel via Pixabay
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) involves excessive anxiety, worry, fear, or unease about events or activities. Its duration, intensity, or frequency is disproportionate to the actual likelihood or impact of the anticipated event. People suffering with generalized anxiety disorder experience difficulty controlling worrisome thoughts which interfere with managing tasks at hand. It is common for persons with this disorder to worry about daily, routine tasks and circumstances such as school, job or career responsibilities, health, finances, household chores, being late for appointments, or question or evaluate the competence of their performance in given situations. The focus of their worries or anxiety may shift from one concern to another. as it is common for such persons to complain about persistent thoughts of worry, anxiety, fear, distress or dread, which they feel incapable of shutting off.
Unlike normal worry, persons with generalized anxiety disorder find the excessive nature of their worries of everyday life significantly interfering with healthy, adaptive psychological, emotional and social functioning.
With generalized anxiety disorder, worries are more distressing and longer lasting. This excessive worry may appear to be without cause and be accompanied by physical symptoms such as feeling on edge, being easily fatigued, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, concentration difficulties or having one’s mind seemingly go blank, trembling, shakiness, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches.
Overcoming Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The good news is that generalized anxiety disorder is highly treatable! With the expertise of a mental health professional who specializes in treating anxiety disorders and utilizing an approach that’s based on proven interventions individually tailored to meet the needs of each client, you will be well on the path to recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for generalized anxiety disorder. Studies have shown that the benefits of CBT may last longer than those of medication, but no single treatment is best for everyone. CBT examines the interconnection between one’s negative thought patterns, feelings and behaviors, and how they maintain, reinforce, and even intensify anxious thoughts and worry associated with generalized anxiety. Learning to replace negative thoughts and beliefs with more realistic, supportive, adaptive thoughts and feelings leads to less generalized worry and anxiety, which translates into increased behavioral mastery and competence in those same or similar situations.
Mindfulness and applied relaxation are other effective treatments which work by focusing one’s awareness of the present moment (vs. future events) by acknowledging and accepting feelings (whether positive or negatively charged) and deactivating bodily sensations. Being mindful makes one aware of what one is feeling and experiencing in the moment while remaining in a calm, accepting state. Applied relaxation focuses on muscle relaxation and visual cues to maintain that state of calm and acceptance. Yoga and other meditative techniques have proven highly effective in reducing or deactivating the “anticipatory anxiety” normally associated with generalized anxiety disorder.
About the Author - Irving Schattner, LCSW
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