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“Panic Attacks & Panic Disorder”

Resource Link

This resource found on the HelpGuide.org website talks about panic attacks and panic Disorder in a very approachable easy to understand manner.  It offers some tips for dealing with Panic Attacks and also explains that there are medical conditions that could mimic a panic attack, and suggests what to do if you aren’t sure if you are having a panic attack or something else is wrong.

Panic attack

Panic attack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Take Mental Health Awareness Week Seriously”

English: An anxious person

English: An anxious person (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Article Link

 

This October 21, 2013 article on the “Onward State” website talks about one person’s experiences with having an anxiety disorder the writer’s experiences are some I was able to relate to myself, and I imagine many other like myself and the person who wrote the piece I linked to probably experience similar problems if they are dealing with a debilitating anxiety disorder.

 

 

 

For myself, I think one of the most frustrating things people have often said to me in a very sad attempt at trying to make me feel better is “everyone gets anxious” I do realize that folks who say this are likely saying it because they think it is helpful to the person with an anxiety disorder, but in reality, based on my experience, it is likely the least comforting response I’ve ever gotten when I disclose that I have an anxiety disorder.  People who don’t have their life put on hold or have it come to a screeching halt because of sheer panic that is often unable to be explained by the person having the panic attack, likely don’t have a clue what they are saying, and because everyone does get anxious about tests or running late for an appointment that kind of thing, everyone assumes that it is the same for folks like myself.  in reality it’s not the same and if it was the same, then everyone would be carrying a script for a medication to help them if the anxiety got too bad, or possibly even be utilizing things like a Service Dog to aid in managing anxiety and helping to alert them to an oncoming panic attack before it gets out of hand.  So while yes I do appreciate when people take an interest in trying to understand me or my diagnosis, I would be grateful if people would stop trying to compare everyday anxiety to what it is like for someone with an anxiety disorder it just isn’t helpful to anyone.

 

 

 

“ARC Issues Guidelines for Coping with Stress during Recent Traumatic Events”

Article Link

This April 20, 2013 article on the GanDaily.com website talks about tips from the American Red Cross for coping with tragic events.  As the article points out it’s been a rough week for our country, with a bombing, flooding and a fertilizer plant explosion, I feel like I’ve reached a bit of a breaking point myself.  I have an anxiety disorder that causes issues for me under the best of conditions. With tragedies that make it into national headlines my anxiety sky rockets.  Not so much because I’m directly affected by what is happening, but I tend to fear for the lives of others, I hope they will make it through in one piece, but at the same time questions like “what would I do in their shoes?”  or “what if that happened in my area?”  the way my brain is wired it goes into overdrive trying to figure out answers to these and many other questions.  I see an increase in the frequency of my panic attacks, and find that I tend to struggle more with leaving home.  Yes, often I realize my fears are irrational, and that what happened in Texas, Boston or the midwest isn’t happening here, which helps me stay grounded.  On the other hand there are things mentioned in this article that I have worked on doing myself.  A prime example would be not allowing myself to be glued to the tv or other media outlets when there is something big happening.  I don’t need to know the play-by-play details of the horror to know it’s bad …. I allow myself to watch a few minutes here and there but then go into what I call a personal “media blackout” where I do anything I want as long as it doesn’t involve the media.  The media blackouts allow me to regroup, refocus, and in many ways not put myself into a major tailspin with my anxiety issues.  A wise therapist I once had suggested to me at one point that maybe I should “strive for balance as opposed to normality” it took awhile for me to understand what was meant, by it, and I feel like in many ways I’m still learning about it.  What I know at this point though is that normal doesn’t work for most people (myself included) it’s an elusive carrot on a stick of sorts we think we see it, but can never seem to do what we think we see.  I’ve found that balance is more realistic and often times more achievable.  I chose not to glue myself to the live feeds of the Boston marathon bombing, not because I didn’t care, but because I needed to keep myself healthy. I chose to allow myself a few minutes of media coverage so I would be aware of what was occurring, but at the same time I chose to do things like play Sims 3 or World of Warcraft to occupy my mind.  I also chose to do things like tackle some of the clutter in my home, or go for a walk, or simply relax with my knitting and sometimes even reached out and talked to friends or family members about anything that didn’t focus on the horrors that were unfolding.  For me, I feel that making these choices were examples of what my former therapist was saying when she suggested I strive for balance.  It’s about what is going to keep me functioning at a level that is healthy.  I feel that the tips offered in the article from the American Red Cross magnify balance as opposed to normality and they are simple tips that could be applied to anyone’s life.  Take time to balance your life even if it is just for a moment, because without balance none of us will be of any benefit to those around us.

 

“What a Panic Attack Feels Like”

Panic-attack

Panic-attack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article Link

This article found on PsychCentral.com talks about what it can be like to have a panic attack and what can be done to improve them.

“‘Inexplicably Happy’ Column: Mental health”

English: A Psychiatric Service Dog In Training

English: A Psychiatric Service Dog In Training (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article Link

This February 18, 2013 article on the LehighValley.com website talks about the issues faced by folks who have Anxiety Disorders.  I face an anxiety disorder every day and felt that this article really summed up what it was like trying to meet new people while contending with anxiety.  I use a Psychiatric Service Dog to help with my anxiety, she alerts me to panic attacks before they get out of control so I can work to head them off before I have a total meltdown.  She also does medication reminders that help me control my anxiety and other mental health issues, since I have a hard time remembering to take my meds having an external cue from my service dog has been a huge help in getting them on time.

Even with the amazing help my Service Dog offers me, I’m always floored when people ask me what she does for me and I simply say “I have an Anxiety disorder and some other mental health issues that she helps me with”  and the person responds with “Everyone gets anxious”  as though telling me the obvious is going to be of help o me.  I know all to well that everyone has anxiety, but what people who don’t have an anxiety disorder don’t seem to realize is that those with an anxiety disorder have extreme anxiety that often impair many facets of life that those without the anxiety disorder often take for granted.  I have a really hard time in checkout lines in stores, because the confined space sends my anxiety through the roof, especially if there is a glitch with the way the register scans (or doesn’t scan) an item correctly and a supervisor has to be called in to correct the problem.  Most people seem to get annoyed at best with this, but for me, I start sweating profusely, my heart rate sky rockets, and it takes everything in me to keep from bolting out of the store because of the overwhelming fear I feel.  I know that the glitch isn’t anything I did, but for me, it’s like my brain hi-jacks me and I literally panic and begin to fear that the store will think I tampered with the item or something to cause it to not scan right.  Not something I’ve ever seen anyone get accused of in a checkout line, but with an anxiety disorder, this is the direction my mind heads and there isn’t a lot I can do about it other than to work with my service dog, take deep breaths, and pray that the situation is cleared up quickly so I can get out of there.

“Stressed Out: Manage modern-life stress before health problems set in”

Young GI models a 'stress ball' at Guantanamo....

Young GI models a ‘stress ball’ at Guantanamo. :Original caption: :”Pfc. Leslee Fong holds a stress ball given to her by members of the Joint Stress Mitigation and Restoration Team (JSMART), Dec. 21, 2010. JSMART’s mission is to provide outreach and stress prevention for all Troopers during their deployment. -photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elisha Dawkins” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Article Link

 

This January 21, 2013 article on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website talks about stress and the impact it has on us.  The article also talks about some of the dynamics of our society as they pertain to the response  to how others handle stress and what some of the consequences are for those who are unable to manage stress.

 

 

 

 

“Book review: ‘Monkey Mind’ a dark but funny memoir about living with anxiety”

Article Link

This July 8, 2012 article found on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website talks about a book about what living with anxiety is like.  I haven’t read it, but it does seem intriguing especially with it having “Monkey Mind” in the title definitely caught my attention 🙂

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