5 Signs of Acute Stress Disorder

man stressed on bus

Two years ago, my car hydroplaned during a heavy snowstorm and crashed into another car. While my car was totaled, everyone walked away from the accident with only a few small cuts and bruises. However, for about a month afterwards, all I could think about was this event. I was constantly on edge, from the moment I woke up agitated in the morning, until I was trying to calm down at night and sleep. Driving — something I used to enjoy — became a deep fear. After that month, my constant feelings and thoughts circling around the event eventually dissipated, and I was able to carry on with my daily life. What gives?

It was something more than simply “getting over” this car accident. After researching the topic and speaking to a licensed therapist, I realized that I had experienced symptoms of a condition called Acute Stress Disorder (ASD). This anxiety condition is relatively new in the psychological field, and it shares many of the same symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Continue reading 5 Signs of Acute Stress Disorder

Back To Reality: How To Get On Track After Too Much YOLO

man underwater

Letting the concept of “YOLO” go to our heads happens to the best of us. It can drive all of our decisions and we end up partying too hard, drinking too much, going weeks without exercising, falling behind on work, and letting our dishes pile up to the ceiling. Sure, you want to make the most of your life and live it to the fullest, but there’s definitely such a thing as too much YOLO. When we’re living a little too hedonistically, it’s common for us to lose sight of what’s really important to us and get off track. We all need balance.

In today’s society, it’s all too easy to go wild in order to escape. When you finally come back to reality, you might feel somewhat lost. Thankfully, getting off track doesn’t mean that you can’t get back on. Continue reading Back To Reality: How To Get On Track After Too Much YOLO

Subtle Signs You Need To Care For Your Mental Health

darts

If I asked you to describe what a depressed person looks like, you probably wouldn’t have pictured someone like me. While I was struggling with depression, I still showed up to work every day, took care of my appearance, and did my hair and makeup everyday. I didn’t lock myself in my apartment with dishes piling up in the sink — you would have no idea based on just on appearances.

I hadn’t (yet) experienced that major, suffocating form of depression that makes getting through every single day a herculean task — but I also didn’t feel like myself. Normally an energetic and social person, I felt apathetic about seeing friends and attending social functions that used to excite me. Continue reading Subtle Signs You Need To Care For Your Mental Health

What Is The Relationship Between Hormones and Anxiety?

two women faces next to each other

If you’ve ever felt confused by spiking anxiety shortly before your period begins, don’t worry: You’re not alone. Our hormones directly affect our anxiety levels. And it’s not just progesterone — a number of hormones can influence how stressed you’re feeling on any particular day, regardless of whether you have a uterus or not.

Here’s the rundown of the wild world of hormones inside our body — and info about how they can increase (or help!) your anxiety. Continue reading What Is The Relationship Between Hormones and Anxiety?

How to Protect Yourself From Overthinking

kid sitting outside looking puzzled

If you overthink, you obsess about mistakes that were made yesterday and feel distress about plans in your future. It can take shape as significant worry over performance at school or at work, as well as an invasive concern about how others perceive your actions and what you say. Often, this transforms relatively harmless conversations and interactions into endless loops of thinking, leading a person to experience distress, anguish and obsession. If this compulsion to overthink sounds familiar, continue reading for ways to reduce anxiety levels and contain some of these negative thought patterns. Continue reading How to Protect Yourself From Overthinking

The Dirty Lowdown on Anticipatory Anxiety

The Dirty Lowdown on Anticipatory Anxiety

Anticipatory anxiety is a discomforting and disquieting mind game you play on yourself.

Here are a few examples: You’re going to the dentist and you feel anxious. You’re about to go take a test and you feel anxious. You’ve been asked to have a meeting with your supervisor and you feel anxious. Do you see a pattern? It’s all about the expectation of something stressful. This is what it means to experience anticipatory anxiety — you dread the future without evidential cause. Continue reading The Dirty Lowdown on Anticipatory Anxiety

5 Signs You’re Too Hard On Yourself

woman staring at herself in the mirror

For many people, it’s easy to forgive someone else, but a lot harder to forgive him of herself. Holding yourself to an impossible standard of perfectionism is a common cause of this inability to forgive yourself. Ignoring positives and solely focusing on the negatives during self-reflection can lead to wrong turns, missed opportunities, and mistakes. Of course, striving to be the best version of yourself and continuously improving yourself isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re constantly focusing on your own shortcomings and errors, it can take a toll on your mental health.

“The tone of your self-talk is the key,” said Amy Cirbus, a New York-based Talkspace therapist. “There’s a difference between saying ‘That didn’t work out, I think I might be able to do that better’ versus ‘I can never get this right, I’m such a failure.’ Continue reading 5 Signs You’re Too Hard On Yourself

Where Am I Now? An Interview with Actor Mara Wilson

Mara Wilson

You can’t compare the practice of self-care to cats. At least, not according to Mara Wilson.

“Cats are weird, alien creatures, and I’m surrounded by them as we speak,” she said.

Instead, the actor/storyteller/playwright/author/voice-over actor/performer would equate self-care to taking care of dogs — or even small children.

“Self-care isn’t about spoiling yourself,” she said, “It’s about disciplining yourself. It’s like how you need to train dogs. You do it out of love. If they make mistakes, you don’t hate them forever — you love them.” Continue reading Where Am I Now? An Interview with Actor Mara Wilson

Rumination: How Obsessive Thinking Impacts Depression and Anxiety

Stressed woman in cafe

Some people know rumination — the repetition of the same thought in your head over and over — as obsessive thinking, and for those who experience it, ruminating can be a frustrating state.

Thinking over and over about a missed opportunity, an ex, or when you misspoke — it’s bad enough to live through a negative experience once without beating yourself up in an unvirtuous mental loop. While it can often be beneficial to allow yourself the time and space to think about things that are important, too much of a good thing might actually be a bad thing. And when it comes to dealing with issues like depression or anxiety, allowing too much time to ruminate could keep you stuck in a mental rut. Continue reading Rumination: How Obsessive Thinking Impacts Depression and Anxiety

What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

Anxious woman

Approximately 18% of people in the United States live with an anxiety condition each year. This means that each and every day, roughly 40 million people go through their daily routine coping with a high degree of stress and anxiety. Many of these people might have what we consider “high-functioning anxiety.”

Psychology is often most concerned with function or dysfunction. Medicine overall looks at illness or diagnosis as a problem (pathology) to be solved. In the past, the mental health community has also viewed mental illnesses as pathology, but as more research has been done and the knowledge of mental health professionals has increased, we’ve come to understand that many mental health conditions exist on a continuum of functioning. Updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM V) captures this ongoing shift in thinking Continue reading What is High-Functioning Anxiety?