Archives for Anxiety and Panic

Anxiety and Panic

Seeking Shelter from ISAAC: Storm Evacuations and Plans

Are you seeking shelter from ISAAC? The Tropical Storm (soon-to-be hurricane) sadly left some dead in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic! The death toll is relatively low, but just one death by storm is way too many!

Those who have suffered loss of a loved one (or belongings) deserve our help, support, comfort and disaster relief! Will you volunteer to help in your community or elsewhere? I know you care!

The Weather Channel has said: "After saturating Florida with rain and high winds, Tropical Storm Isaac marches toward the Gulf Coast, which has been issued hurricane warnings."

A Tropical Storm has winds 39-73 mph, which come before a hurricane and can be pretty strong and dangerous! Hurricane force winds are 74 mph and up...."hurricanes pack their strongest punch closest to shoreline, but damaging winds are not limited to a small area." ~"Making it Through the Storm Season Hurricane Guide 2012" from Wink News/The News-Press Media group.

Here's a Hurricane Pop Quiz: (Hey, quizzes pop up unexpectedly like storms. Always be prepared!)
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Does Your Partner Feel Emotionally Safe?

When you have a partner with mental illness, you are likely always on alert for behaviors that might indicate the illness is progressing. Was that laugh too loud, and a sign of impending mania?...Does the fact that he doesn't want to go to the party mean his depression is coming back?...Did he forget to pick up the dry cleaning because he didn't take his ADHD meds?...Did she skip dessert because she's full or because her eating disorder is telling her she should?...Is he jumpy because of his PTSD or did he just have too much coffee this morning?

As the supportive partner, it can be exhausting to have these thoughts all the time. You have likely been through the mill with your partner's behaviors that are due to their illness, and having these kinds of thoughts are a defense mechanism to protect yourself from being caught off guard again.

But there's a flip side to this story, too: your partner may not be feeling as if it is okay to be themselves.

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Anxiety and Panic

Eight Tips for Handling Partner Anxiety

If you have a partner with anxiety--whether it is "everyday anxiety" or a full-blown anxiety disorder--you know the ways anxiety can wreak havoc on your lives and your relationship. It may feel like everything revolves around what will and will not make your partner anxious. Feelings of frustration, unfairness and anger on your part are all normal.

Since anxiety is one of the easiest psychiatric disorders to treat, hopefully your partner is in treatment for it. If not, encouragement about the benefits of therapy for anxiety might be in order. Whether or not your partner is in treatment, here are ten tips for handling partner anxiety:

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Talking to Kids About a Parent’s Mental Illness: Part 2

Today's post is Part 2 on how to help kids who have a parent with a mental illness. In Part 1, we discussed how kids think about and react to having an ill parent. This post will address how to talk with kids when their Mom or Dad has a mental illness, and provide helpful resources.

Talking with kids about mental illness

Experts recommend that you address these main topics with kids when Mom or Dad have a mental illness:

What is it?, Will I get it?, and Will Mom/Dad get better?: Obviously, this will take a little research on your part ahead of time so that you can accurately answer your child's questions. It is okay to say, "I don't know, but I will find out," instead of lying, stretching the truth, or ignoring your child's question if you aren't sure of the answer. See the next topic for more on that...
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Talking to Kids About a Parent’s Mental Illness: Part 1

When a parent is mentally ill, children are often confused, scared, angry, and/or worried. Depending on their ages, how long the parent has been symptomatic, and experiences with Mom or Dad being sick, children need appropriate levels of education and support.

Children of parents with mental illness are at risk a range of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, alcoholism, and personality disorders.

In this two-part blog, we'll first look at how kids perceive, react to, and think about having a parent with a mental illness.  In Part 2, we'll discuss how to best help kids and offer resources.

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Anxiety and Panic

Buried By Your Loved One’s Possessions?

The saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," is applicable to those who struggle with hoarding, a type of anxiety disorder that some professionals believe is correlated with obsessive compulsive disorder.

People who hoard are not lazy slobs who refuse to clean up after themselves, despite what it might seem like to others. To people who hoard, every item in their house (or car, or office, or other space) has a purpose and is needed.

Hoarding is defined by three primary traits: the obsessive collection of objects that seem useless to almost everyone else, the inability to get rid of any of them and a resulting state of distress.

How do you know the difference between "pack rat" and "hoarder"? A pack rat collects things as well, but when they run out of room, they will throw out something they no longer need. A hoarder will make room, even if it's in what anyone else would consider inappropriate space, such as in the bathtub or in bed.

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Anxiety and Panic

Tips for Helping Anxious Partners

If you have an anxious partner, you may find yourself repeating statements like the following:

"It's can do this."

"There's nothing to worry about."

"Relax--everything will work out in the end."

Or maybe you have given up on trying to reassure your partner that worrying is not helpful, and are now using statements such as:

"Enough already! Stop obsessing!"

"You are driving me crazy with your worries!"

"How old are you? Grow's just a [snake, spider, dog, etc.]"

Depending on the approach you take, you may have figured out that anxiety can be a tenacious beast, and doesn't usually respond well to gentle encouragement or harsh criticism. Trying to find the right balance, though, can be tricky.

So what can you do if you have an anxious partner?
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Anxiety and Panic

The Costs of NOT Treating Mental Illness

It's no secret that health insurance is expensive, and paying for mental health services can be outrageous as well. When you and your partner have a large pile of bills to pay, it can make a difficult decision to forgo mental health appointments and psychiatric medications appear--on the surface--to be easier.
No money = No care, no meds. Period. End of story. Right?
Unfortunately, you and your partner may have already discovered what happens when mental health treatment is stopped abruptly. Or if you are considering this possibility, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

The ramifications of not getting appropriate treatment go much further than just a depressed mood or anxious thoughts and feelings. It could result in an untimely death.

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Anxiety and Panic

Partner Having a Panic Attack? Or Is It “Just” Crazy Worry?

One in four Americans have an anxiety disorder, and your partner may be one of them. Anxiety symptoms show up in a lot of different ways, and for the person experiencing them, they can be really unpleasant, to put it nicely.

Many people tolerate their anxiety for many years before something makes them decide enough is enough, and they make an appointment to see a doctor or therapist.

Clients will sometimes present to their doctor's offices with what they describe as "panic attacks," but in reality, a better name for what they are experiencing would be "crazy worry." I am not trying to invalidate the real discomfort that comes along with these feelings, but panic disorder has specific criteria that must be met in order to get a diagnosis.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), panic disorder is defined as:
People with panic disorder have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes. Sometimes symptoms may last longer. These are called panic attacks. Panic attacks are characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. A person may also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. It may feel like having a heart attack. Panic attacks can occur at any time, and many people with panic disorder worry about and dread the possibility of having another attack.

A person with panic disorder may become discouraged and feel ashamed because he or she cannot carry out normal routines like going to the grocery store or driving. Having panic disorder can also interfere with school or work.

Panic disorder often begins in the late teens or early adulthood. More women than men have panic disorder.
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