Guest Post by Juno Medical: 9 Things People with Anxiety Disorders Would Rather not Hear You Say

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Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and social anxiety disorders. 1 in 12 people suffers from anxiety globally, and women are twice as likely as men to experience anxiety.

If you feel overwhelmed by the behaviour of a person with anxiety, try to put yourself in their shoes, and show understanding, not stigma.

For more see www.junomedical.com

 

The Counsellors Cafe Blog Collaboration: Social Anxiety- I will get There

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(image:google images)

Hi everyone,

I am delighted to announce a collaboration with the wonderful people (Dionne and Victoria) at The Counsellors Cafe. Counsellors cafe is a community for people to share articles and knowledge about their mental health, and links therapists and sufferers.

I have written a blog for them on living with social anxiety which was published yesterday!

I wrote this piece  on social anxiety so I can write with my heart without feeling ashamed and can share what it is like to live with mental ill health at times. This is something that has been a part of my life since I was 15 years old and I will be 28 this year. It doesn’t feel like 13 years have passed since I first got sick, but its true that time definitely passes quickly. ‘

 You can read it here and at their website:  http://www.thecounsellorscafe.co.uk/single-post/2016/11/01/I-Will-Get-There

For more see: http://www.thecounsellorscafe.co.uk/

#beurownlight

‘How I deal with Anxiety and Depression’ – Guest post by Ashley Owens at Generally Anxious

This guest post was written by blogger Ashley Owens at Generally Anxious http://www.generallyanxious.com
You can find her on Twitter at @genanxious. Ashley is also an author of a mental health novel.
Here, Ashley talks about her experience of anxiety and depression and how she deals with it. We thank her for contributing such an enlightening post!
I have dealt with anxiety & depression for over 30 years. It’s been an exhausting and sometimes sloppy ride. The most important thing I’ve learned is to cope. In my case, if I attempt to ignore (yeah right) or fight anxiety & depression, it gets worse. Instead, I am learning to live with them.

Check in with yourself daily.  Life can move pretty quickly.  Every day, I take the time to recognize how I’m feeling, and make adjustments as needed.  EVERY DAY. As a diabetic takes their blood sugar and adjusts their insulin amount accordingly, if I am tired, nervous or sad, I make sure to take it easy on myself. Take baby steps, one step at a time through the day, and be honest about how much I can accomplish, without over extending myself. I am not a superhero, and no one expects me to be (except my dogs).
Treat your body well.  ‘Comfort food’ got it’s name for a reason.  However, if I don’t moderate the amount of junk food, alcohol, late nights, or sloth-like behaviour, I end up feeling worse, triggering anxiety & depression.  I try to get a good night’s sleep, take my vitamins, eat vegetables and be active every day, as best I can.  Full disclosure: cheesecake is my favorite food, so I certainly love eating things that aren’t necessarily good for me.  And I allow myself to, in moderation. 
 
Do not trivialise your hobbies. I love listening to music, exercising, reading books, snuggling with my pups. These are some of the things that make me happy, so it is worth the time to enjoy them. Contributing to your happiness enables you to deal with real life: chores, school, work, conflict. More importantly, happiness makes us a better friend, co-worker, daughter/son, spouse, person.
Am I a master at all of this?  Not. Even. Close.
Make a small checklist.  As a daily reminder, write down a short list of questions that will indicate if you are taking proper care of yourself.  For example:
  • Am I getting at least 6 hours of sleep every night (and preferably 8 hours)?
  • Did I hug my pet/family member/ best friend today?
  • Have I exercised in the last 3 days?
  • Did I dance around to music at full blast this week?!
You can use this short list as a barometer – If you answer ‘no’ to any of your questions, you need to make a change to keep yourself on track, healthy and happy.
I walk with anxiety & depression everyday, one step at a time, being honest with myself that I’m not perfect. Well guess what? Nobody is! You are not alone in your struggles, so be honest with how you feel, and keep moving forward!

Welcome and collaborations.

I just wanted to welcome all my new followers here on WordPress and on Twitter and Instagram to Be Ur Own Light.

At Be Ur Own Light, I have lived experience of bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and depression. However, this blog is all about positivity, recovery, support and resilience.

I want to welcome you to my blogging community here and to announce we have some exciting blog collaborations to come.

If you would like to feature a guest post or for me to write a bespoke blog for your page- just email me at beurownlight@gmail.com

Wishing everyone a happy Friday! and recommending Katie Pipers book of positive affirmations today. They always get my day started off feeling positive!

Life update: Managing anxiety- When you wake up feeling overwhelmed.

It has been a while since I wrote an update about my life and mental health. Generally, I am doing OK and finding that I can cope with the anxiety, yet there are days when I wake up and feel overwhelmed and like I need peace and quiet.

I wrote this the other day,

Sometimes there are times when I will wake up and just feel so overwhelmed by the day that I cancel my plans and have to be quiet. Its like the internal me needs calm and peace and can’t get it without having space to breathe and to be.

I need breathing space from the world today and its madness in order to strengthen and restore me and build me back up. Peace and serenity and calm.’

This is quite an accurate description of how I feel sometimes. Its learning how to manage those feelings so it doesn’t ruin my morning/ whole day. Its about finding the positivity in the mundane, getting enough rest, eating well and trying my best to keep going.

Today I will be seeing my counsellor and catching up on the past few weeks. We have had a lot of Jewish festivals and spending time with friends, family, loved ones- so there has been a lot of socialising. At times, the festivals make me want to withdraw but there are also times when I feel stronger and happy and enjoy them also.

Yesterday my little step niece who is 3, came over with my step bro and his wife. It was so lovely to see her- she is adorable.

In terms of work, I am still looking at what is out there and working for my Dad in the mean time. My panic attacks have lessened so its just about finding a job thats right for me.

Lastly, Be Ur Own Light has a new Guest posts tab. Our first guest post is by Aryeh who has clinical depression and anxiety. Well done Aryeh for speaking out! 

Stigma part 1- We are not attention seekers

I decided to write this today after a very interesting week for Mental Health awareness here in the UK. We are very lucky to have a much more accepting society than in elsewhere in the world and we also have a National Health Service meaning sufferers can seek free treatment (albeit with waiting lists).

However, like most of the Western world- there is still a long way to go in changing attitudes, hearts and minds about mental illness sufferers. This was epitomised this week by the brilliant World Mental Health Day, with celebrities admitting to depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Despite this, I noticed an appalling phenomenon on social media. This week, Zayn Malik, the singer formerly of One Direction, cancelled solo concerts due to high anxiety. I thought he was so brave to give this reason and for his celebrity friends to publicly support him. However, when reading the Facebook comments my heart sank. Here were a few (I am paraphrasing as don’t want to put the actual comments on this blog):

‘He didn’t have anxiety when he was in One Direction and earnt all that money…’

‘Such an attention seeker, man up’

‘Drama Queen…. getting bored of this’

These were the gist of many comments written from cowards hiding behind computer screens. However I couldn’t help but think that if he disclosed he had heart problems, diabetes, cancer etc…. people wouldn’t say he was attention seeking. I definitely face palmed reading these comments…..unless you have experience of an anxiety disorder or have a friend of family member with it, you have no idea the courage it takes to a) get on with life and b) talk about it- let alone to the whole world.

Then, yesterday, reports came out that the singer Will Young quit Strictly Come Dancing (UK version of Dancing with the stars) due to anxiety and the scrutiny that the job required. Of course, the Facebook trolls were back in force with similar comments,

If he didnt like the attention, he shouldn’t have gone on Pop Idol in the first place’

‘Drama Queen, can’t believe hes quit, hes let everyone down

etc etc – a whole plethora of disparaging, stigmatised comments. Luckily, there were many people combating them but why have so many people got ingrained attitudes in them that anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders are caused by people wanting attention?

We are not attention seekers.

We want more than anything to live a normal life despite our conditions. We don’t want high anxiety or suicidal thoughts. We don’t want to feel embarrassed or ashamed for our conditions.

We are not drama queens. End the stigma now.

Journeying with anxiety.

Dear Blog Readers,

I wrote this blog for a charity then decided I wanted to share it with you on my own blog first. I have written it to reach out to you, to tell you if you suffer from this as I do, you are not alone.

I first started suffering from anxiety disorders when I was young. I was always an anxious child and teenager and had my first proper episode of anxiety aged 15 where I experienced racing thoughts and heart rate and couldn’t sleep for a few days. However, at aged 16, I became hypomanic when away on holiday, in front of 30 other teenagers. This meant I was very disinhibited with others, talking far more than normal and being slightly manic.  Shortly after this episode, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and my embarrassment and shame at being hyper and not my ‘real self’ stuck with me through the years.

It was after this time that I developed social anxiety. Social anxiety is underpinned by negative beliefs about oneself. You fear others judgement of you, their negative reactions and what might happen to your friendships and relationships. Sometimes, you may want to avoid other people because the thought of socialising makes your heart race, negative thoughts popping up in your head about being judged. What underpins this all for me though, is the feeling of ‘not being good enough’ for others.

The worst part about living with social anxiety is the stigma it still has in society and the shame you feel at cancelling arrangements. Recently, I was unable to go to an important occasion due to an intense panic attack that left me unable to leave the house. Not everyone understands how hard it can be to leave the house when this happens and it is often triggered by subconscious reactions. I know that if I had a broken leg, the reaction would be different but sometimes having a broken head at times is far more difficult to understand. It can cost you friendships and ironically, others begin judging you as being reckless, thoughtless, flaky or selfish. Everything you have been trying to avoid.

I am writing this article because I want people out there to understand that social anxiety is not your fault. It is a mental health condition like any other and a growing number of people suffer with anxiety disorders. Luckily, certain therapies can help although I am trying to find the right one for me. I have done CBT, hypnotherapy, art therapies and exposure therapy. I have found that exposure therapy, where you put yourself in your feared situation, to be the most effective at reducing anxiety levels. The more I do, the more it is easier to do.

I hope that soon anxiety disorders will be understood as well as physical illnesses. In truth, anxiety disorders are also physical, with many underlying symptoms such as palpitations (raised heart rate), sweating and feeling faint .

I have some fantastic friends and family who support me despite this condition- I am lucky. Not everyone has that. I am learning to let go of the shame of my anxiety disorder and embrace the fact that not everyone can understand it. The most important thing is to keep going, keep trying and living life as best I can so that stigma can be combatted.