I suffer from doctor anxiety. Well, I suppose I suffer from generalized anxiety, but, certainly, some of it belongs to doctors specifically. And this week, I have a great (mis)fortune of meeting two new doctors. Meeting doctors is part of healthcare and part of trying to keep yourself as healthy as possible, so, in that sense, it's a positive thing. On the other hand, the anxiety I feel around doctors is looming large.
How do we cope with anxiety during the transition to a post-Covid-19 world? For people experiencing anxiety, the return to a new normal can be really frightening and difficult. As exciting and positive the transition may be as a whole, returning to typical social, work, or travel routines can bring with it a new set of worries or bring up old ones. Whether you're worried about contracting Covid-19, taking the train again, or coping with stressful in-person challenges at work, this transition might introduce stressors you're not used to dealing with. Because of this, I thought it could be useful to discuss a few tools we can all use as we prepare for the disruptions that may come up during this change.
I was looking forward to January 6, 2021. That was a day of hope--that was the day Joe Biden would be confirmed as the next president. But something went terribly wrong.
One of the hardest things about caring for someone is that when that person hurts, you hurt. It's only natural to want to make the pain go away. But when you love a self-harming partner, things are rarely that simple.
There have been so many changes that have happened in the world this past year. Along with that, I have personally experienced many changes in my life. Typically, I experience anxiety with any change that happens, and this last year has been no different. However, with so many changes happening throughout the world, it has become even more important to take specific steps to prevent from becoming overwhelmed with anxious feelings.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Anxiety-related brain fog is an annoying effect of anxiety that can be exhausting, frustrating, and downright discouraging. With anxiety, brain fog is a mental exhaustion that spreads through our whole being and seeps in between anxious thoughts, seeming to blunt all thoughts but those pesky anxious ones. Read on for more on anxiety-induced brain fog and how to emerge from it.
I thought for a very long time that I could outthink bipolar disorder. I thought, if bipolar disorder is in my mind, then my mind can defeat it. I thought that if I just read the right book, learned the right coping skill or understood the right philosophy, I could outthink the bipolar disorder. And this is not an uncommon feeling. It's one of the reasons that people refuse medications or go off their medications -- whether they express it in those words or not. People think -- errantly -- that bipolar disorder is all in their head, and so their head can fix it.
Poor self-esteem can make it difficult to ask for help. You may feel that you are not worthy of other people's time and assistance. Maybe it's because you are not in the habit of prioritizing yourself and keep pushing your needs aside. Whatever the reason behind the difficulty, everyone needs help sometimes, and practicing how to ask for help is a good exercise to build self-esteem.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, my local school system has closed until further notice. The problem is, I still have a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at home who needs to learn, grow, and stay busy. I still have a full-time job and a pile of bills that aren't going anywhere. And I still wrestle with a lot of depression and anxiety that makes it difficult to hold everything down without the reprieve of an eight-hour school day. So what's the trick? How have I learned to take care of my child's ADHD, education, and all of my other responsibilities in the face of such unpredictable school closures?
Here's the thing: I had trauma or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) long before the pandemic; it's one of the reasons my depression is chronic. In my opinion, the pandemic has led to PTSD even in people who haven't contracted COVID-19. I say this with confidence because it's the reason my PTSD has become more intense since last year, and as a member of mental health groups, I have seen people exhibiting PTSD symptoms. And yes, one of the symptoms of PTSD is depression.