Back to School, Back to Anxiety

By Erica Loberg

shutterstock_79409746Going back to school can bring an array of emotions, one of which can be anxiety. When I was a child I had terrible anxiety when it was time to go back to school. Looking back I didn’t realize how many major, and minor instances, fed into my anxiety which I never voiced to my parents. I wish I knew more about my condition to better handle the stressors that accompanied a new year of school. Unfortunately, some children have anxiety about things they won’t voice to their parents. Here are some things to think about that may bring anxiety to your kids:

  • The First Day: The first day of school can carry stress that stem from what can seem like minor occurrences. For example, what seat you get in class, what teacher you’ll get, are your friends are in the same class, are there new people, who are you going to sit with at lunch, are you going to picked last for kickball? All these unknowns result in stress and that’s just on the first day.
  • The Bathroom: Raising your hand to go to the bathroom with the chance of being denied can be very stressful; especially if your child has a teacher with strict rules on bathroom breaks. Not everyone is able to take care of their business at recess so even during your child’s lunch break, they might have stress if they can’t go and know that their teacher is inflexible with bathroom breaks. And forget about what kind of stress or trauma would occur should your child wet their pants. That could result in anxiety for a very long time thereafter.
  • New Bedtime Schedule: Getting enough sleep, especially when insomnia looms, can cause major stress for a child. Summer is over and a firm routine sets in, and even though your child may have had a set bedtime schedule, the stressors of a new schedule will show its ugly face.
  • Grades: Making straight A’s and/or maintaining a GPA in a new grade or in a new school can cause anxiety that can be ongoing on a daily basis. Taking that first test, or completing that first homework assignment and “starting off on the right foot” fuels anxiety. Be sensitive to the changes your child inevitably faces. With all the pressure on children to get high grades these days, having compassion and being sensitive to how grades affect their mood along with all the other pressures of growing up.

 

Try to ask different questions. “How was your day?” Is not going to cut it. Ask your child who they had lunch with? Where is their seat in class?

Anxious student image available from Shutterstock.



That Defining Moment: The Manic Voice

By Erica Loberg

shutterstock_165489386Growing up my dad had a saying “Don’t be afraid to say no when the others say go.” It stuck with me throughout my life yet sometimes in a manic state there is this tiny voice in my head that tells me to go. Recently I was in Boston for a wedding and was out having a good time. On the last night I found myself at a fork in the road. It was nearing midnight and I was either going to go back to my hotel, go to bed, and get up early to catch my plane or, I was going to continue on my wild journey throughout Boston.

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Miley Cyrus’s Road To Redemption?

By Erica Loberg

shutterstock_157322402The MTV Video Music Awards aired recently. Last year Miley Cyrus (MC) made headlines twerking herself to fame. This year she had a homeless man accept her award for Video of the Year in what I hope was an effort to help advocate for homelessness awareness. I can’t help but take a close look at her face at what looks like forced tears that she wipes away from her chin. Why did she have to sit up in front of her peers front and center in front of the camera? Why couldn’t she just respectfully sit in her seat and listen to the speech like the rest of us?

I can’t help but think this is yet another stunt by MC to gain coverage and water cooler conversations. Seems convenient for her to have a homeless man accept her award and position herself out in front of the crowd with what looks like a fake cry. A show.

Sit down MC. I live near Skid Row. There are two types of Wall Streets. One in New York making bank, and another in the heart of Skid Row.

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Bipolar II: Walking & Talking

By Erica Loberg

shutterstock_153875291Some people used to think I was a jerk by the way I walked. If I were with a friend I would walk which, according to them, was speed walking. “Slow down” would often scream out of their mouths. I would have to stop in my tracks turn and wait, or sometimes walk back to them and continue on doing my best to stay with their stride. It was annoying, but I get it. I didn’t want to be rude. Then there were times I would walk down the street alone, or in a store. People would walk at their pace which was slow motion to my spinning legs. My irritability, also a symptom of hypomania, would take hold and I would get irate at the pace of most people walking in front of me.

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Your First Mental Break

By Erica Loberg

shutterstock_187172138At some point in life, those that suffer from a mental illness, will experience a first mental break. It can result in a hospitalization, or an epiphany from circumstance that allow you to seek help. First mental breaks come in all shapes and sizes and they are unique to every individual. I think it is important to share our experiences of a first mental break for it better allows a forum of discussion and education that is so needed for people suffering from mental illness, or know some one that does.

Here is my story, a true account taken from my book “Inside the Insane.” I hope you not only learn something, but share your own personal experience as well and by doing so maybe help others out there going through their first break, or those that are about to…

CHAPTER 2 – THE BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT

It all unfolded pretty fast. One day I was walking down the street and every step I took was a terrible feeling of being in my own skin. I walked by a display window and caught a glimpse of myself. It didn’t look like me.

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Robin Williams & Charlie Rose

By Erica Loberg

shutterstock_110420738Recently there was an episode on Charlie Rose honoring Robin Williams called “Robin Williams Appreciation.” I have never seen Charlie Rose interact with Robin Williams, until now. It was as if Rose became a comic with Williams, and they would banter back and forth as if their geniuses were able to engage in rare form. One particular exchange of dialogue struck a chord in me:

“There are a few people that can do what you do.” (Rose)

“You mean that are actually out of institutions?” (Williams)

People have called Williams a lot of things: a genius, crazy, absurd. However, this particular quote reveals insight into Williams feelings about people that are in institutions.  What is considered “crazy” in our society often times gets blurred.

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10 Aphorisms: What did your parents tell you?

By Erica Loberg

There are some saying that stay with you throughout your life. Whether you used them with your friends growing up, or found insight from your parents, here is a list of some sayings that have always stayed with me, and have helped me throughout different times in my life:

eagle

  1. Don’t be afraid to say no, when the others say go
  2. Stay low and drive hard
  3. If at first you don’t succeed, you’re doing it wrong
  4. You can pick your fingers, you can pick your toes, but you can’t pick your relatives
  5. A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips
  6. Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser
  7. Be yourself, it’s who you do best
  8. No means no!
  9. Eat it today, wear it tomorrow
  10. The early bird catches the worm 

 What did your parents tell you?



The Doctor’s Note

By Erica Loberg

shutterstock_159928418I went to the doctor for my foot recently. I sprained it thinking I was Michael Jackson dancing in my room and I needed a doctor’s note to take a couple days off from work. I have never been to a doctor. I have a psychiatrist and a gynecologist but as far as a regular doctor, no.

“Please step on the scale.” Ah.. what? No I don’t weigh myself.

“I’m cool.” By the look on the nurse’s face I knew I wasn’t getting out of it.

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90210, Sex and the City: Reading the signs of depression

By Erica Loberg

90210..What

You know you have problems and you might be depressed when you are watching Sex and The City reruns (2008) and Beverly Hills 90201 reruns (2009). The numbers are not when anything aired but when I was lost in depression and watched it.

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My Cat Has Fat Cheeks: How Learned Behavior Effected My Adulthood

By Erica Loberg

The Fat ManMy fat cat cries in the middle of the night and it drives me crazy and all he wants is food. I’m not home during the day so feel bad like he is starving or something so leave him food, come home and he cries so give him food, then go to sleep and he starts to cry again and the only way to stop him is the feed him. It’s terrible.

Growing up my parents had a hard time saying no to my sisters and I, and food was never sparse in the house. If I wanted something I’d cry and, most of the time, my Mom would give in and give me whatever I wanted.

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Inside the Insane
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