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Anxiety General Blog (69)

Friday, 17 August 2012 18:16

Anxiety and Identity

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Having become recently aware of my own social anxiety disorder, I've been reading with interest the "Anxiety" opinion series in the New York Times. (For those who haven't seen it, you can check it out here.) The most recent entry, by professor and author Daniel Smith, includes this passage: "Like many people who have been given a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder (and many who have not), I am always braced for the next recurrence. Anxiety, like the tide, is forever receding and returning, receding and returning. I have been experiencing this pattern for nearly 20 years now, so that my anxiety has come to seem, at times, inevitable and unassailable — a fait accompli. My anxiety, I’d concluded, is what I am. There is no escape." Being new to this, I've been thinking a lot about how social anxiety affects one's sense of identity. (Short digression: When I say I'm "new" to social anxiety, I mean that I'm new to the knowledge that there's a name for this condition, and that communities, such as this one, exist for those dealing with anxiety. I'm not new to the feelings. Those have been with me as long as I can remember.) While I always knew I was, to put it kindly, quirkier-than-most, this is the first time that I've had a label to put on it, and an explanation for why I feel and behave the way that I do. I'm finding that this newfound awareness has both benefits and drawbacks.…
Thursday, 12 July 2012 17:04

In the Belly of the Beast

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When we get panic attacks, we all tend to deal with them differently. Mostly because we are all unique individuals and because of that no one persons anxiety or panic attack is exactly like anothers. This is neither good nor bad. Because of this, it wouldn't make sense for me to try and tell you know to treat your anxiety, because what works for someone does nothing for someone else. That being said, all I can do is talk about my experiences and hope that by reading them, someone can relate and find comfort in the fact that they are not alone. You are not alone. Ever since I knew my worry and symptoms had a name - anxiety disorder - I began searching for articles to read, treatments, and more importantly, people like me. I've been on many online fourms and websites looking for that reassurance that I wasn't the only one feeling the way I felt. I soon found out I was one of millions of people worldwide who suffer with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety Social Net is a great place where I feel I can really be myself. I don't really talk about my anxiety on other social media websites, so I am grateful I can come on here and feel 'normal'. Let me start out by saying I am on medication right now for my anxiety and depression. I had been medication free for many years, and i was trying to cope naturally. Certain events in…
Monday, 09 July 2012 19:09

My Anxiety: This is My Story

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Hello everyone, I'm a new ASN member and have only just begun being active on here. I belong to a lot of different online anxiety communities, but ASN is my favorite. I'm not sure why. It seems more dynamic than most of the other sites I use, and the focus feels more about hope than about just stewing in the problem. I'm a very solutions-oriented person, so maybe that's what I dig about it. My Anxiety Story I thought it would be a good idea to tell my story about my journey of anxiety recovery. It just occurred to me I've never written about it except in pieces. I've never made a complete account of my struggles with anxiety and I think it would help me to do so. So here goes: I was raised in a very dysfunctional family. My mother suffered from severe depression and my father left us when I was five. My mom was in bad shape and suffered repeated hospitalizations. I grew up feeling different; I was ashamed about Mom's mental illness and did my best to hide it from everyone. It was a very unstable environment to grow up in, even though the 1970s were the "age of divorce". I can't think of a single childhood friend with parents that weren't divorced, but I don't think most of them were being raised by crazy people. I was. Threats and physical violence was an everyday part of my home life. Add to that the fact…
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 20:55

In Vivo Desensitization to Treat Anxiety

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Desensitization Therapy In Vivo Desensitization is defined as:A variation of systematic desensitization in which the anxiety-arousing situations to which the person is exposed are real, rather than imagined.This differs from Flooding, another technique for treating Anxiety, by using a more measured approach to treating Anxiety. Typically, with In Vivo Desensitization, the patient is gradually exposed to the actual feared stimulus over a period of sessions based on a hierarchical list of Anxiety evoking stimuli. The treatment is based on the theory that the fear response has been conditioned and that avoidance of the fear maintains the fear. The idea is that through exposure to the stimulus, this harmful conditioning can be “unlearned”. How does it all work? Well back in 1958 John Wolpe developed a method of a creating a hierarchical list of anxiety evoking stimuli in order of intensity which allows patients to undergo adaption.Wolpe further writes: “An Anxiety hierarchy is the thematically related list of anxiety evoking stimuli, ranked according to the amount of anxiety they evoke. There are a number of considerations in constructing desensitization hierarchies. First, suitable themes have to be identified around which anxiety-evoking stimuli can be clustered. Second, clients can be introduced to interviews in which therapists focus on other problems using other methods. A record is then kept of all scene presentations and their outcomes.The sessions range in length of exposure and typically gets longer as the patient gets more into advanced stages. Step by Step As one of my largest fears is…
Saturday, 02 June 2012 21:00

My Anxiety Journey: Introduction

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I started having problematic anxiety when I was 14 years old (I am now nearly 26). The combination of puberty hormones and all the life-changes high school entailed proved a toxic combination, triggering the change from High-StrungAshley to MentallyDisorderedAshley. Intense anxiety kept me from attending my classes, depression kept me on the couch, unshowered, pajama’d, crying sporadically, and obsessed with bad television that would distract me, briefly, from my so-called life. This was my grade 9. Through talk-therapy, a very supportive and understanding family, hormone leveling (read: birth control pills) and “as needed‘ sedatives: I was able to get back into my life and keep things (mostly) under control. I had issues here and there in the years that followed, but for the most part - things were under control. It wasn’t until I was finishing second year at university that my dark cloud truly reared it’s ugly head again. One fateful day, started out as a fun day with all my friends, celebrating the end of second year; ended as the (still) reigning champ for worst day of my life. There are tons and tons of photos of that, the last day of second year. To this day, it makes me chuckle to see the smile on my face: I had no idea how my life was about to change. Two carloads of my closest friends were a half hour from home for a day of mini golf, laughs, and dinner. After dinner, one of the car’s wouldn’t start,…
Saturday, 26 May 2012 05:03

Anxiety: What it Means to Me

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Fear is a major part of my life. I’m scared to get up, scared to go to work, scared to come home from work, scared to go to sleep and also scared to do everything in between. It’s this fear that causes anger and pain. I know the thoughts I have are irrational and that my mind is playing tricks but the helplessness causes me to mentally “beat myself up” over it. what is anxiety to me: Fear, Anger, Embarrassment, Demotivation, Pain, Overwhelming Emotion, Strength, Hope. It is a pretty standard list, if you search anxiety and depression symptoms you are likely to find all of them listed; except two. Strength and Hope. The reason I have included these will become clear by the end of this blog. When I have a panic or anxiety attack I always get a pain down my left arm and a crushing feeling in my chest. After being on this site I have found that I am not alone in feeling this pain. However, I am always wary to dismiss it as just an attack as it’s always in my mind that this time it could be an actual heart attack! One of the main reasons I decided to write this was to push myself. If it embarrasses me, then so be it. There have been many times I have avoided doing things because I was scared of being judged, failing and making an utter fool of myself; but recently I made a conscious…
I would like to share my story with you all in hopes that it may help with your own situation. Allow me to explain a little about myself. I am 28 years old and have been suffering from anxiety pretty much my entire life. It wasn't until I was a teenager in highschool that I found out what social anxiety disorder was. I suffer from social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety, a mild form of agoraphobia and bouts of depression. completely withdrew from life and only went from work to home and that was it. I joined a group for people with Social Anxiety disorder on Facebook and saw a link to Anxiety Social Network and immediately it was like I had found my life line. When I joined I was severely depressed finding it hard to get out of bed most days. The best way I can describe the way I was feeling was disappointed that I was alive and looking for a way out. I thought about suicide constantly as my mind was filled with nothing but thoughts of ending my pain. I decided that I had to do something or I was going to end up dying by my own hand. I am introverted by nature and value my privacy very highly and I don't really confide in anyone. For some reason, after joining ASN I started to open up to the people here like I never thought was possible. I used my real name, location and picture…
Are you having a Panic attack? How to identify the signs and symptoms and how to manage panic attacks It can happen to anyone at any time: in the office, shopping center, while driving, or even while one sleeps at night. Suddenly, without any warning, an individual may feel frightened and extremely overwhelmed. All at once it feels as if the world is closing in around them and their anxiety levels rapidly rise. The overwhelming and intense fear and anxiety that the individual feels is seemingly neither justified, nor related to, the present situation. For individuals who have experienced a panic attack the experience can be extremely overwhelming and scary. The symptoms of a panic attack closely resemble those of a heart attack, but disappear usually within half an hour. When an individual experiences a panic attack for the first time they will most likely feel extremely scared and overwhelmed by the experience. It can be extremely scary to feel as if one has lost control of their emotions and anxiety levels. What Ca You DO? Have you or someone you know ever been impacted by this type of an experience? If so, the person affected will never forget the sensations and will most likely want some additional information regarding their panic filled experience. Information and supports are highly valuable so that individuals are better prepared if they ever face it again in the future. If an individual has not experienced a panic attack themselves then it is still extremely…

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