I used to be the sort of person who was always looking for the next big thing. In high school, I wanted to be in college. In college, I wanted to have a job. Every job I had, I wanted to be more successful.
I didn’t learn about stillness, about just being, until I had to. And I don’t think it’s coincidental that the more I just be and the more gratitude I have for my life, the happier I am.
My bouts of depression have always had a chicken-and-the-egg quality to them. Was I on a downward spiral of depression throughout my mid-20s? Or was it from my stressful and demanding job and how hard I was on myself about not being the most amazing person ever? Did I feel depressed because I studied abroad in Eastern Europe away from my family and my friends? Or was I depressed already and that trip just exacerbated it?
I don’t think there are necessarily answers other than “both.” Just the way my mom is inclined to bruise easily if she knocks her leg on a coffee table, I’m inclined to get depressed easily. I wouldn’t have chosen to be this way if I had the choice. But since this is what the lottery stuck me with, I’ve learned how to cope with it. Keep reading »
Self help books get a bad rap sometimes, I think. They’re seen as the province of walking, talking “Cathy” cartoons and hippie-dippie-fruit-loop types. That couldn’t be less true: there are many different types of self-help books for all kinds of problems. Some books are more spiritual while others are more practical, as in teaching you techniques of coping with depression and anxiety. Not only is a good self-help book cheaper than paying for therapy — even if it’s just a co-pay!— but you can circle sections, fold over pages, and come back to them whenever you read.
I scoured my own bookshelf and that of The Frisky staff to find the best self-help books we’ve ever read — ones that actually work!
This piece is part of The Frisky’s How To Deal Week, in which we’re tackling mental health issues.
We all feel a little crazy sometimes (for me, “sometimes” means at least three times a day), and while we’re big proponents of therapy and other structured forms of mental health support here at The Frisky, there are times when limited funds or busy schedules make it tough to get professional help. In honor of How To Deal Week, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite simple, effective, and — best of all — totally free ways to feel better when the going gets rough. Check ‘em out after the jump, and please feel free to add your own tips and techniques in the comments! Keep reading »
f you’re a “My Life on the D-List” fan like myself, you probably had your first experience with trichotillomania on that series. Tom, Kathy Griffin’s tour manager, compulsively pulled his eyelashes out. Now, a few years later, Olivia Munn has admitted that she, too, goes for the lashes to deal with whatever’s bothering her. She went on to admit that whenever she leaves the house, she has to buy a new set of falsies at the drugstore. She claims her habit is more annoying than it is painful and says that moving around a lot as a kid — Air Force brat and all — gave her anxiety that’s evidently manifested itself in this disorder. Read more…
I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was a kid. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, earthquakes used to be a huge source of stress for me, and I’d often lie awake at night terrified that the ground would start shaking. As an adult, I’ve got a pretty good handle on specific fears like that, but sometimes I’ll get hit with a wave of generalized anxiety–my mind races, my heart rate quickens, and any semblance of calm suddenly feels so far away. Luckily, over the years I’ve found a few ways to deal with these freakouts. Here are some tried and true anxiety busters that have worked for me and other members of the Frisky staff. Check out our list and please add your own strategies in the comments section–I’m always open to new ideas! Keep reading »
Here at The Frisky’s offices, one of the most hotly anticipated books of 2011 is Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom, by the comedienne and all-around-awesome-lady Sara Benincasa. I love this girl for her balls-out honesty regarding her mental health struggles with agoraphobia and anxiety. Agorafabulous! is based on Sara’s one-woman show of the same name, which recounts how vicious panic attacks created a fear of the outside world, to the point where she refused to leave her college dorm room. In this cartoon, Sara explains all about anxiety attacks, the “flight or fight” response, and why you shouldn’t shop at Whole Foods. As someone who has suffered from panic attacks from age 15 onwards, I could have used an explanation like this back when I was hyperventilating and didn’t know what the eff was going on!
Having an abortion does not increase a woman’s chance of developing mental health problems, a British health agency has found. The U.K.’s National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health compared a number of studies conducted worldwide in the past 20 years and found that in cases of unwanted pregnancy, women who chose abortion were no more likely to develop disorders like depression and anxiety than those who gave birth. Research does point to an increase in mental disorders in women with unwanted pregnancies in general, with approximately one in three women with unwanted pregnancies diagnosed with such disorders. These statistics did not rise, however, in the cases in which women underwent abortion. Keep reading »
Writing about eating disorders feels like an exercise in vulnerability, not because I am ashamed to share my story, but due to the extremely emotional nature of the topic for countless women. In an era of Kate Moss, skinny jeans, and “she’s too skinny!” tabloid fodder, eating disorders run rampant like a cultural epidemic, continuing to fester alongside a never-ending preoccupation with body image. Although the majority of the media narrows the scope of the issue to models and celebrities, eating disorders are actually most prevalent amongst us everyday girls. Simultaneously, the reality of EDs extends beyond the teenage anecdotes of starving ourselves to be popular; these serious diseases have lifetime physical and psychological ramifications and are far more multifarious than extreme dieting. Weight is a sensitive subject to say the least, one I am going to handle diplomatically. The objective of sharing my story is not to be controversial, blame Hollywood, or spark debate on how to confront eating disorders, but to reflect on the complexities of a ghost that has haunted me and so many others for over a decade.
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The past four months of my life were really, really s**tty and hard. I got dumped suddenly by someone with whom I was in love. I moved out of the apartment we shared together and back in with my parents for three months. The Frisky was sold to new owners and we’ve all had to adjust to that (with a smaller staff) while working from home since we don’t, as of yet, have a new office space. All of that happened within a few weeks of each other. Can you say stress? My coping mechanisms were crying jags and burying myself in my bedsheets with “Keeping Up In The Kardashians” on Netflix Instant.
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