Well intended articles about anxiety

Anxiety can be crippling but for most of us we live with it. Not every day is an exercise of exhaustion, meaning many days we are functional, highly functional actually. Then we have days where we don’t want to get out of bed. That is the life of the normal person with anxiety. So maybe you read a blog on anxiety for help. Maybe you take some meds, maybe your anxiety is more acute. Where ever you are in your anxiety journey there are tens of thousands of resources that try to help (like this blog)

Found an article here that talks a lot about anxiety and how to harness it for a positive outcome. The article itself is decent but the bottom line is, it’s another well intended article that wants you to change how you think. You know the drill, harness your anxiety and change your thought process… I mean if it were that easy anxiety wouldn’t be an increasing pandemic in the mental health world. Of course you strive to change how you feel but it’s probably the hardest part of the journey.

From the article: “Of course, some anxiety truly seems to come without a productive reason and is best handled by simply redirecting your thoughts or through medication or other support from a trained professional—certainly don’t hesitate to seek help if you feel stuck.”

Dealing with Mental Health issues can be chilling.

Now to be fair the article does give move then this but this is part of the article summary. Redirecting your thoughts is one of those catch phrases you hear in the anxiety world, often from people who don’t have anxiety. Is that what they told everyone in 2020 when people were freaking out about Coivd?

The most important thing you can do as someone who suffers from anxiety is to create a mental (or physical) list of when and where your anxiety is triggered. This article tells you that as well but I’m not going to tell you to “redirect your thoughts” but rather look back at the list as often as reasonable and look for patterns.

If you get swells of anxiety every time you go to Starbucks, maybe it’s time to stop going to Starbucks? You have to be honest with yourself, and you have to give yourself enough grace to realize your triggers are okay. It’s okay to have anxiety and not feel okay. Well intended people and articles are trying the help, but the best help you can get is understanding when and why your triggers happen.

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Anxiety: New virtual mental health services

We have some new positive news today as we have another option for mental health services. I found a good article here that talks about the new platform and some of the services you can expect from it.

From the article: “We are the only company that seamlessly integrates virtual care, pharmacy and in-home care on one platform. We are uniquely positioned to serve physical and mental health, holistically, and provide affordable, high-quality mental health services,” Saman Rahmanian, co-founder and chief product officer at Ro told Fierce Healthcare in an exclusive interview. “To us, offering support for anxiety and depression is an important first step to make mental health a part of the primary care experience.”

Of course this is exactly what you would expect them to say but if we put our cynicism aside for a moment what we are getting here is a more integrated service model in one platform delivery. This is a good thing for those of us with Anxiety as we can now begin to consolidate the services we need. One of the issues around anxiety and its treatment is, in the U.S. anyway, the way our health care system works. Referrals from primary care doctors to seeing specialists to ancillary services like endocrinologists etc.

Constantly being out on a limb is stressful

It’s not unmanageable but as individuals with anxiety it is an anxiety generator. A solution that is all encompassing and accessible electronically is a great service. It may not be for you, it may be that your current doctors are not in this network or do not use this service and that’s fine you do what works for you. However, there are millions of people who suffer from anxiety and other mental illnesses that might avail themselves of this service.

If for nothing else, it allows you to dictate the investment you make. Meaning, you don’t need to get into a car and drive to 3 doctors’ offices, the pharmacy etc. It’s also a good indicator of the demand, meaning companies don’t offer products unless the demand is there. That is good and bad, its bad we have more people with anxiety, it’s good that we have companies offering more products to help combat it.

Of course there is money to be made here, let’s not be blind to the notion that companies make products to make money. That still the case here at some level but if this helps you then it’s a win. In the end we need more companies working on this huge social issue that is more prevalent now than ever. You should always do what you think is best for you. Do your research and determine what works best for you, at least now you have another option.

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Enough

Anxiety is natural, until it becomes unnatural

I know the title isn’t great but I saw this article and I thought it was presented well albeit pretty simplistic. Meaning that those of us dealing with Anxiety issues know when it becomes an unnatural state. Its instinctual and while we all have various degrees of states of mind when you are consumed by a feeling that is an unnatural state. You may not have the tools to identify the degree’s, perhaps you are like this all the time.

The quote below from the article here is stated obviously but sometimes we need simple reminders.

Feeling apprehensive about something stressful—even a good thing, like a promotion or wedding—is a sign that your inherent survival mechanism is working as expected. “Some anxiety is helpful and necessary to motivate us to act; for example, if you need to start an assignment that is due tomorrow or if you are in the woods and see a bear,” Holly Valerio, M.D., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety in the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, tells SELF.

Surviving 2020 & covid
One Day at a time.

A degree of anxiety IS NORMAL. You shouldn’t rely on others to justify how you feel but I’m not going to lie it is nice to see others say it from time to time. The article is a good read for people who are on the cusp, meaning those of us out there who aren’t sure if their anxiety levels are normal or not. Again to be clear, what’s normal for me might not be normal for you. So you are traveling to a new city and you need to drive to a location? Yes you should be anxious that would be a normal response.

When you get home and you have to drive somewhere on roads you have traveled hundreds of times should you be anxious? Maybe, but it’s a matter of degree, do you feel the same way you did when you traveled to the new city? If you do you should really take a few minutes and ask yourself why.

Anxiety is natural, your body is functioning correctly when you are in an unfamiliar situation and you feel anxious about what might happen. When these kinds of feelings begin to evade your everyday functions you need to be honest with yourself and identify why this might be happening. There often isn’t one singular event that we can track back to that was the trigger for anxiety. Most of us have anxiety from a cumulative effect of multiple events over time.

Your trigger isn’t my trigger, and your trigger doesn’t have a time stamp. What you did today might trigger you tomorrow and so on. Having a disorder does require a medical diagnosis. A blogger can’t tell you if you do or do not have one, I can only share with you my journey and what I am finding along the way. Your journey is unique to you but if you find more and more that anxiety is creeping into your life see a professional and get ahead of the problem.

Remember Anxiety affects millions of people, you are not alone.

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Philippine diocese creates mental health ‘hopeline’

Hello to all my friends in the Philippines! Yes I see you, I know a large % of my audience is from the Philippines! Came across an article on how the church is working to help people effected by mental health issues. Again, more services, regardless of source is a net positive for those suffering from mental health issues. You can find a link to the article here.

From the article: “Covid Hopeline” is phone-in counselling service of the Diocese of Kalookan in Metro Manila.  Its team of mental health experts and priests provides psychological and moral support to those suffering anxiety and stress due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown. 

“We launched our own ‘Hopeline’ so that we’ll be able to help our people in the diocese when they need the guidance of a priest or a psychiatrist,” Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan told Church-run Radio Veritas.”

Regardless of your religion, help is out there if you need it.

Now as many of you know I am not Christian. That said I support any and all institutions that support mental health issues. Everyone is affected by the pandemic, those of us with mental health issues this can be hell as we are already prone to anxiety attacks. Having hotline and support networks are extremely helpful. Of course we have to be mindful of cultural differences as well.

I am not going to profess to be an expert in south East Asia or its social dynamics but in an ideal world friends and family in all cultures can recognize issues with people they care about and encourage them to get help. This blog is an example, anyone can view it who has internet access. Maybe it helps? Maybe you are in the Philippines or Kazakhstan?

Point here is take advantage of the resources available to you. The goal is more than just getting through the day it’s to learn how to live with anxiety and have the best life you can. Maybe this hope line can help you? Maybe you know someone with issues that could use the help? Everyone’s situation is different but if you are reading this then you are somewhere in the mental health sphere, take the next step and use the resources or tell someone you know about it.

Covid 19 will pass, something else will come up. You or someone you know will likely always be in the midst of war with anxiety and mental health issues. Fight back, you can win. You are doing awesome, one day at a time.

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The Brandon Act: Service members might get much needed mental health help

The Brandon act has its origins in a very sad event. It’s named for a U.S. Navy Sailor who died by suicide in 2018 due to bullying and harassment by his supervisors. Now anyone who has been in the military can tell you there are degrees of bullying in the military. Some of it is necessary honestly, there are only so many ways you can motivate people and anyone who has had a drill sgt screaming in their face can relate.

The difference is when it’s a long term and targeted it can have an incredibly demoralizing effect, as this sailor found out. The article giving a summary of the new act can be found here.

From the article: “The Brandon Act would provide troops a path to confidentially requesting a mental health evaluation and treatment without command notification, similar to an option available to troops for reporting sexual assaults without launching a formal investigation, known as a restricted report.

Under the proposal, service members would be able to use a safe word or term while seeking an evaluation or treatment that would guarantee confidentiality.”

Soldiers have been “under stress” for centuries. It’s high time we did more for them.

This is great news. Having the ability to navigate a situation like this outside of the chain of command empowers the soldier to take initiative to address their personal health situation. It’s not enough that military life is stressful but the stigmas attached to military service can be crippling. You are supposed to be strong, self-sufficient, tough… you get the picture.

Any additional services, regardless of venue, that provide mental health help for people is a good thing. The fact that this proposal is lingering in congress now means that law makers are aware of mental health issues, in context at least. That’s where the money and the power in the U.S. lies, so any appropriations of resources that help people with mental health issues is a positive.

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