Archives for January, 2013

My TEDx Talk: Anxiety — Hibernate, Adapt, or Migrate?

Awhile back, I wrote about how nervous I was to speak at my local TEDx event in Williamsport, PA.

I was pretty scared. Would I get lightheaded? Would I pass out? What if I couldn't remember anything I wanted to talk about?

I wanted to talk about panic attacks. I wanted to talk about how hard it was to work in a call center while dealing with panic disorder. I wanted to talk about those dreadful "inspirational" posters on workplace walls and I wanted to...
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Scrutiny On The Bounty: How Media Influences the College Woman

(Note: the following is a guest post written by Kayley Eshenaur, a 21-year-old senior at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. I haven't done much yet in this blog to address the anxiety that many young women feel when it comes to body image. I thought Kayley's well-written piece -- originally published in The Lycourier, the student newspaper that I advise -- would help to fill that gap.)

Growing up in today’s society can be strenuous on a woman considering the ideology of unrealistic female body types. Everywhere she looks there are magazines with bold headlines shouting the same reoccurring words, “loose twenty pounds in two weeks,” or “achieve radiant and perfect hair by using this product!”

The television does not offer an escape from this call to “perfection” either; specials like the E-Entertainment “30 best and worst beach bodies” pinpoint all the rights and wrongs of the female body.

The messages that the media is sending out to girls today is that they need to have the perfect hair, clothing, and body; overall they should be gorgeous. The media coverage on the female body puts a lot of stress on a woman’s appearance which deflates her self-confidence and leads some to self-destruction.
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‘Major Scaled’: Dipping Your iPod in Liquid Prozac

Here's something fun for a Sunday afternoon.

I stumbled across this song yesterday, and now I can't stop listening to it. I've heard REM's "Losing My Religion" about a million times before, and personally, I don't have any particularly strong feelings for it. I don't love it; I don't hate it.

Enter Major Scaled TV, an artist who digitally alters music to convert minor-scale songs into major-scale songs.

For the non-musically inclined, here's a translation: he makes sad songs sound happier. Dark songs become lighter. Somber notes turn cheery.

It's like dipping your iPod into a vat of liquid Prozac.

See for yourself:
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Letter of Advice: Anxious About Getting Septoplasty Surgery?

Hello, dear reader. Google probably brought you here, right?

Admittedly, this is a rather niche blog post. But I think it's a necessary one. I have panic disorder and I recently had septoplasty surgery.

If you're in the same boat, I have advice for you. What follows is my "if I could turn back time" wish list. I hope you find it useful as you prepare for your surgery and work toward reducing your anxiety about the procedure:

1. Ask your surgeon lots of questions. I didn't find the proper balance between knowing and NOT knowing what I was getting myself into. At my final pre-op appointment, I should have asked questions about how long the recovery period would take, how much bleeding might occur after the surgery, and the nature of each post-op follow-up visit.

2. Avoid Google. Yes, you've probably already Googled "septoplasty anxiety" if you've found this blog post. But don't dig too deeply. One of my biggest regrets was reading blog posts about septoplasty horror stories. It only amped me up and created more fear than necessary for what my surgeon advised me would be a safe and simple procedure.

Talking to your surgeon > looking at the big bad internet.

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Want to Follow ‘Panic About Anxiety’ on Facebook?

Yup. I've joined the club. (Um, finally?)

If you enjoy (or, well, just painfully identify) with my blog posts and want to receive regular updates on your Facebook feed, I hope you'll considering liking my new Panic About Anxiety page.

Many of you already follow my personal account on Twitter, but Twitter is...well, you know. Twitter.

It's messy, and it's not for everyone. It's full of information overload and descriptions of people's lunch and hashtags you've never heard of and links to HuffPost news stories that are always shrouded behind mysterious tweets like, "Guess Which Former President Was Named Father Of the Year?" that practically force you to click through and then leave you clicking on related news stories for hours until you realize that you've gotten none of your work done.

I know that was text and not speech, but still, I feel the need to pause for a calming breath after that sentence.


Okay, I'm better now.
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Nasal Surgery: Did I Die at My Post-Op Appointment?

Nope. Not even close. Would I be writing this if I had?

In my last post, I wrote about how nervous I was for my upcoming post-op appointment. I'd recently gotten a septoplasty to correct my deviated nasal septum, and the thought of returning to the doctor's office (where I panicked after bleeding all over the floor) had me shaking.

I thought about it for days. I ruminated. I paced. I played the "what if" game. What if, during my follow-up appointment, I bled again? What if I passed out? What if I felt nauseous?

Here's what really happened. Hold on to your hats, people.



I arrived for my 2 p.m. appointment only to find out that the office, for one reason or another, had completely forgotten about my appointment. They told me to stay in the waiting room and they'd fit me in as soon as possible.

Great. Fertile ground for even more anticipatory anxiety, especially given the waiting room's crappy magazine selection and surplus of whining children.

An hour passes. Nervous, I took a Xanax.

Another hour passes. Still nervous, I took another one.

A third hour passes. Xanax numero tres.
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