Struggling with Anxiety

Sarah had always been a good girl. She wasn't perfect but always seemed to do the right thing. She completed all her homework and was a good student, even through college. She didn't drink or smoke or sleep around. She was given a lot of responsibility at work because she was the one everyone could count on. Sarah was kind and well liked. But Sarah had a secret. Sarah craved approval. She wanted to be liked and would do whatever it took to get it. She worked harder than anyone else. She complimented people. Sometimes she lied. When she felt the disapproval of others, whether real or imagined, she became very anxious. She would ruminate on what she did wrong and try to find a way

PTSD & EMDR - What are they?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that occurs as a result of a traumatic event or ongoing repetitive trauma. It can also occur from witnessing a traumatic event. One of the hallmarks of PTSD is the activation of a physiological response as a result of a triggering event. For example, a soldier could be triggered into a panic attack by the sound of fireworks because it sounds similar to gun fire. Someone verbally abused as a child may be triggered by their boss because her tone and message is similar to the childhood message of abuse. For Americans, many people experienced trauma from watching the news stories of 9/11. Although the diagnosis of PTSD is reserved f

Panic Attacks

Sometimes anxiety turns to panic, and panic attacks are terrifying. I have not had a panic attack but have talked to many people who have. The one commonality in people who have experienced a panic attack is they never want it to happen again. I remember cleaning out my mother's dresser after she died. She had a bottle of Xanax with 1 pill remaining. The prescription was years old and I'm certain the medication had long expired. But she had at one time experienced a panic attack, and like many people, saved that last pill just in case. Most episodes of panic occur during periods of stress. Typically, it is ongoing stressors that have been occurring for months and the panic attack is the


We all experience anxiety from time to time. However, for some people anxiety can be a prevalent emotional state. Anxiety can be caused by a specific reason or can be free floating where you feel anxious but have no idea why. We may first notice our anxiety because we are experiencing physical symptoms such as sweating or feeling out of breathe. Or we may notice that a particular situation or thought in our mind precipitates the feeling of anxiety. Whether we notice it in our body or our mind, it all eventually comes back to the mind. If it starts in the mind, the mind is where you need to look to change the feeling state. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) looks at our thoughts and bel

Coping with Anxiety

When I walked in the room I never expected this kind of greeting. The anger was palpable. The anger wasn't personal but it was directed towards me. They hated me. They hated me for my race, my education, my privilege. I represented everything that was responsible for what went wrong in their life, and I was the one to blame. This was the environment I was stepping into. You could say I had a captive audience.They had "agreed" to come to the group, but it wasn't exactly their choice. Some were curious, most were belligerent. It was my job to help these individuals uncover what was hurting them and create the space within the group for them to release their pain. If you've ever stepped i

Jealousy: Part Three

From the previous blogs on jealousy, you can see there are many reasons why a person feels jealous. Although this is the last blog on this particular emotion, you may have your own particular take. If you care to share on your struggle with jealousy, we would love to hear from you. This jealousy is "the one that got away". It's about having your eye on a particular person and the feeling isn't mutual. The other person may have ended the relationship when you wanted to continue. Or they may have refused or ignored your invitation. Or they may have never even known you existed. Samantha met Taylor at a party. Something about Taylor sent off a wave of electricity in Sam the moment they wer

Jealousy: Part Two

Sometimes feelings of jealousy come up because you see what someone else has and you can't have it. It's not a matter of "not enough", it's a matter of having made a different life choice. Kathy married right out of high school to her high school sweetheart. They were both young and in love. Children came quickly as did the heavy responsibility of managing finances and parenting. They worked hard and it wasn't easy. Kathy's parents helped and so did her husband's parents. The kids were great and Kathy was a proud mother. She was happy with her life until her five year class reunion. At the reunion, she realized many of her peers had finished college and were starting some pretty good

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