To The Person I Date Next, This Is What I’d Love To Tell You About My Anxiety

By Kirsten Corley

Relationships are nearly impossible for me. And I refuse to blame anxiety for it.

But the honest truth before we even date, I’m going to analyze every word and text and interaction like it’s something to be studied. I worry. I’ve seen so many relationships start and end so quickly without any explanation and I’m left pointing at myself thinking it’s me who is flawed.

I overthink and overanalyze everything. It gets to a point where I’m the one ruining something before it even begins out of fear.

It’s ironic the fears I have of something ending almost manifests itself into a reality. I know this. But I can’t help it either.

My mind takes off and I just follow it’s destructive lead doing my best to control what I can.

I won’t talk about it at all.

I won’t sit you down and tell you this is what I have, this is what I live with.

It’s simply a part of who I am that doesn’t need explaining because as you get to know me you’ll begin to see it a little more.

It’ll reveal itself in texts messages and responses that come at you like rapid fire. It’ll reveal itself in how punctual I am or the obvious stress lines across my forehead if we are late and the reminder not to speed if I’m the one driving.

It’ll reveal itself in the to do lists, that I almost always complete and the calendar I have booked for weeks.

You’ll see it when I wake up almost every day at the exact same time minutes before my alarm even sounds.

You’ll see it on the nights I’m tossing and turning and you just pull me in to try and get me to go back to sleep.

You’ll hear it in the scenarios I play out to you about my friends and how I wonder if they are mad at me for something and how my mind won’t be at ease until I apologize. And even if you tell me it’s unnecessary I’m going to do it anyway.

You’ll see when we go out, most the time I’ll be fine. But every once in awhile on an off night, I might drink more than I should. I’ll wake up the next day not remembering much, wanting to apologize and understanding if you want to end this thing.

And you’re going to look at me confused because I know all it was, was a bad night. But I’ll spend the next three days beating myself up over the fact I let myself get like that.

Most the time it’s going to seem like I have it all together. But it’s almost like I have it “too together” if there’s ever such a thing. My grades were excellent in school and I still read and try and learn something new often. I’m an overachiever in every sense of the word. I enjoy being the best at things. Not to make others look bad but my self-worth is defined by achievements and doing well. So I’m going to be pushing myself sometimes completely over the edge. And it’s in those moments where I’m going to need you. Because when something doesn’t go as planned and I completely fall apart.

That’s the ugliest side of anxiety when I show you a weakness I don’t like anyone seeing.

In my head are this constant stream of negative phrases. And you won’t notice the lack of confidence I have at first. In the beginning, I’ll hide that well but as you get to know me, you’ll see there’s vital insecurity within myself and no matter how much you compliment me I’m my own worst enemy.

I’m going to need reassurance sometimes. Just that little boost, you aren’t leaving, you still care, you are thinking of me. And I know that sounds desperate but sometimes the littlest things send me off in a world of my own trapped in thoughts that aren’t reality.

Anxiety tells me a shit load of lies that I don’t want to believe. But sometimes I do.

So I’ll explain to you this is what I’m thinking right now and why. And you aren’t going to understand. Sometimes it isn’t about understanding but just listening.

It’s not always about finding a solution but just being there with me for the problem even if it’s one I created myself.

I worry about people leaving a lot. And when that happens just tell me you aren’t going to. That will mean everything to me.

It’s in those moments where I’m going to push you away from that I actually need you most.

I don’t like seeming weak or needy. Anxiety makes me feel like I am.

And just as I have learned to live with it and function, the person I end up dating will also.

And if you can accept this about me and love me through it, in return I’ll give you the best of myself.

There’s so much more to me than my anxiety. It’s just a small part of who I am but not all of me. And I hope whatever it is I lack I make up for in other areas. Because I’ll always try unbelievably hard when it comes to everything in my life and a relationship is something I’d hold to that same standard.

This New Anti-Anxiety Cannabis Milk is Coming to a Store Near You Soon

There is now a completely legal way to enjoy the benefits of CBD in a refreshing drink. Relax by Rawligion is made from 100% organic hemp milk that contains CBD oil.


It claims to help soothe anxiety, relieves pain, stress, and also helps as a sleep aid.
As well as CBD oil, Relax contains hemp seeds, cashews, dates, coconut oil, vanilla, and water.
The product is the brain child of Michael Isted, a psychotherapist and development consultant for Rawligion, who decided the world needed a drink that contains all the benefits of CBD.

CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, so it won’t get you high, but it will supply you with all the goodness of it’s source – hemp.

You don’t need to get high from CBD oil to feel the benefits of it’s properties. CBD oil reacts with the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system, which controls the body’s homeostasis, which has a positive effect on your mood, sleep, pain, immune response, and hormone regulation.

CBD is gaining a reputation not just as a cannabis extract, but as a new, innovative medicine. On November 1st, CBD will turn into a recognized medicine when a new legislation is passed.

Does is work?

Made with vanilla, coconut oil, and of CBD oil, Relax taste like almond milk with a cannabis aftertaste, but will it relax you like it says it will?

Rawligion’s founder John Taba says that it does. He says they have had reports from customers feeling calm and tranquil.
Taba has also commented on the carefulness you should adopt to get the full benefits of the drink:
“It’s subtle, but so far all who have consumed the drink mindfully have felt the desired effect. I don’t mean to use the word mindfully in a hipster way, just more a case of someone actually paying attention to how they feel before hand, during drinking and afterwards instead of having it as a drink to wash down a meal with!”
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“Privacy Bed” That Converts Into A Fort Is A Dream Come True For People With Anxiety

By​ Ruta Grasyte

Privacy Pop has created something to make nap time even better – it’s called The Bed Tent!

The Bed Tent is exactly what the name suggest – a tent that attaches to most beds (depending on the size) to create a dark little cocoon to sleep in peacefully. Not only does is block that little annoying light coming from the window, but it also shields you from the curious eyes of third parties! It’s also perfect for anyone who suffers from anxiety or just needs a minute alone. You can buy The Bed Tent through Privacy Pop’s website.

Thank you, Privacy Pop, for making nap time a whole lot better!

 

Modern Depression Is Caused By This One Thing- And We All Do It

Just like diabetes, cancer, allergies, and asthma, depression is considered a disease of civilization.

Depression, or Major Depressive Disorder, is the number one cause of disability in the world for people aged 5 years or older. Approximately 1 in 8 children suffer from depression in the United States, and a total of about 14.8 million American adults have been diagnosed with the disorder. That’s a lot of people, and the number is frighteningly high when you consider depression is the main contributor to suicide, which claims more than a million lives per year.

Depression takes the most basic things we find joy in, and hides them away behind the shadows of sadness. Sleep, energy, focus, memory, and even libido are stolen from us. The loss of these simple necessities can destroy a person’s desire to love, play, work, and most notably, their will to live.dealing-with-distress-discouragement-and-spiritual-depression091911

In a recent TED Talk, Stephen Ilardi said, “Depression lights up the pain circuitry of the brain- to such an extent that it’s torment, it’s agony, it’s torture. And many begin to look to death, as a welcome means of escape.”

Ilardi, author of The Depression Cure, explains further to help us to understand what depression really is, what is really causing it, and how to make it really disappear.

Similar to our flight-or-flight response, the brain has what Ilardi refers to as a “runaway stress response.” He believes depression to be the result of prolonged exposure to this specific response. See, when our ancestors were faced with vicious predators or life-threatening dangers, the fight-or-flight response evolved to assist them with these situations. When the fight-or-flight response was answered with a feeling of safety, or security, the brain and body reverted to a state of reduced-stress. This reversion could only take place after the runaway stress response triggered intense physical activity, which could last for a few seconds or a few hours.

“The problem is for many people throughout the Western world, the stress response goes on for weeks, months and even years at a time, and when it does that, it’s incredibly toxic to the body and the brain,” Ilardi said.

The conditions in which we live today are extremely stressful, and this contributes to society’s rapid decline in health. Modern-day life disrupts our brain’s helpful chemicals, like dopamine and serotonin, which can cause sleep deprivation, brain damage, inhibited immune response, and inflammation. This finding led Ilardi to another fascinating discovery: “Depression is a disease of civilization.”sad-man-with-umbrella-walking-in-a-lonely-street-digital-art-artw_preview_e2cd

Just like diabetes, cancer, allergies, and asthma, depression is considered a disease of civilization. Have you ever wondered why these diseases are so pervasive nowadays but were unheard of within indigenous cultures and tribes? It’s because we weren’t meant to live our lives like this- flooding our stress-receptors with trivialities while consuming poisoned food after a long work-day behind a computer screen.

As an example, Ilardi mentions research on the Kaluli people of the New Guinea. An anthropologist named Edward Schieffelin interviewed over 2,000 Kaluli and was surprised to discover that only one of those 2,000 showed symptoms of clinical depression. This was shocking information for Schieffelin, since the Kaluli face daily tribulations and horrors like high rates of infant mortality, parasitic infection, and violent death, yet they do not display or experience depression. Why is that?

Ilardi says the answer is because the Kaluli still follow the hunter-gatherer tendencies that helped shape humanity, while the dynamics of Western culture have instead shaped a “lifestyle of disease.”

99.9% of the human and pre-human experience has been lived in a hunter-gatherer context. “Most of the selection pressures that have sculpted and shaped our genomes are really well adapted for that environment and that lifestyle,” Sad little girlsaid Ilardi.

The industrial revolution began 200 years ago, and in that time, American and Western culture removed themselves from everything that came before them. All of the habits and ways of life that contributed to our very genetic makeup were replaced with something completely foreign to us.

And yes, we adapted our schedules and struggles to this new lifestyle, but our brains simply have not had enough time to alter their chemical constitution from the hunter-gatherer ways.

As Ilardi perfectly explains, “We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, socially isolated, fast-food laden, sleep-deprived, frenzied pace of modern life.”

So, if this is where we are after 200 years of advancement, and this advancement has brought about a change in lifestyle, and this change in lifestyle has brought about such an epidemic like depression, what will our next progression as humans brings us? We keep looking for ways to advance ourselves, our culture, and our lives when really, the best thing for us is to revert.

Learn self-sustainability, grow our own food, use solar energy, and spend some time outside. If we truly want to change our lives, we need to start with how we live.

I highly recommend you watch Stephen Ilardi’s TED Talk below and hear what he has to say about the depression epidemic, as well as his 6-step program to cure it.

WHEN YOUR PARTNER HAS ANXIETY: A MELTDOWN GUIDE

By kylarosesims

TW: I swear a lot in this article. 

What do you do when your partner is having a panic attack or a depressive episode?

It can be really scary and super frustrating watching someone you love go through an episode, especially if you don’t know how to be helpful.

This Meltdown Guide was created to help those of you who are in love with people who struggle with anxiety and depression to feel like you can be helpful when your partner seems to be spiraling.

Mental illness can be rough on any relationship, and it is truly no one’s fault. You do not have a responsibility to be super human and protect your partner from every little thing, including themselves. And it’s not your partner’s fault that they are struggling.

This guide was created to inspire those of you with anxiety and depression to communicate with your partner about what you need when you are spiraling, while you are in a better place.

Please take, leave, amend, and rip this list off to create a guide of what you think might work for you. Adapt it over time, and make sure to talk about it with your partner and make it available to them when needed.

So, your partner is having a meltdown. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Stick to the following guide, and they will calm their shit in no time. The rewards will be tremendous, and you will be rolling in the perks that come with a grateful and calm partner if you just follow these simple steps to helping them keep their fucking cool.

UNDERSTANDING ANXIETY: A METAPHOR

It is important to understand that because of the neurological connections in your partner’s brain, that have been fired consistently, maybe for their entire life, your partner may respond to stress by exhibiting symptoms of PTSD.

A Metaphor:

Think of this reaction as akin to hiding in a bomb shelter: They can’t live in there forever but it is safe. It is protection from a real or imagined threat or stressor on the outside. It allows one to periodically peer out through the periscope, assess the situation and deal with it in pieces. It also makes it very hard to make real decisions or take real actions.

In these situations, think of your relationship as the ground that the bomb shelter is built in and surrounded by. If you fall away or retreat, it often will make your partner feel exposed or threatened. The threat has nothing at all to do with the surrounding earth, but the emotions and actions that are a reaction to the actual threat, are played out within the earth.

Under no circumstances are you, the stable bedrock, responsible or accountable for the stress occurring above. You are an innocent third party.

If you assume responsibility, then you embody the threat. It is like the earth that surrounds the bomb shelter falling inward and crushing the bomb shelter. Everybody dies. That’s no good.

REACTING TO A PARTNER IN CRISIS

Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks should be treated with the same mindset as someone who has just been launched off their bike into a gravel pit. It hurts, and it’s gross and can be a bit frightening, but it will pass, wounds will heal, and it’s not a big deal, except for right when it is happening.

Getting upset about it does not make it go away. It has already happened, and now it is time to take care of business. Get your partner to a safe space, and start wiping up the blood and picking out the gravel.

NON-PROXIMITY DEPENDENT TIPS TO SUPPORT YOUR PARTNER WITH ANXIETY

No matter whether you are with your partner or not at the moment of crisis, these five tips will help get you both through it.

DO remain calm. You are a fucking champion. This skill and these experiences will help you in every relationship, intimate or otherwise, that you will ever have, for the rest of your life.

Don’t ask them to make decisions. They may be incapable of making any at all. Whether it is deciding if they want to go to bed, what they want for dinner, or if they want a glass of water, assume all decision-making faculties have been thrown out the window.

DO take control. This can mean telling them to brush her teeth, put on pajamas, take a shower, eat their dinner, etc. Taking off the pressure of having to make decisions and having the foresight to complete simple tasks like plugging in their phone is HUGE.

Don’t assume they can ask for what they need in that moment. Also, don’t assume you have to be a mind reader. You don’t, just try your best. You know your partner.

DO try the proximal and non-proximal suggestions below if you are unsure of your next step.

PROXIMAL SUGGESTIONS FOR A PARTNER IN CRISIS

Sensations

Disclaimer: Always ask for consent when touching a person who is having a panic attack. They may not be able to answer fully, but be aware of their body language and the subtle cues that they don’t like what you are doing, or that touching them is making it worse.

When touching, I find that skin to skin is best, face to face. Alternate between whole-body holding/constricting and light back circles with head petting.

Blankets in a quiet, warm, and relatively low-lit atmosphere can be soothing.

Platonic-ish kissing is good but mostly appreciated on the forehead, head, and upper back and upper arms. Neck kissing is too sensitive and sticking your tongue in their mouth will be overwhelming and inappropriate.

Keep your voice low, either quiet or whispering.

Extra special holding technique: Cradling in any form is exceptional; particularly if it allows the one doing the cradling the ability to whisper, rock back and forth in some way, and allows for gentle stroking or petting of the non-sexual variety. Think holding a baby.

Activities

Distractions can be good once the initial episode is over and it is time to recover. Music may be too emotionally triggering. I find cartoons are best.

Read to them, anything.

Bath or shower.

Do not fucking fall asleep. They will hate you forever.

Tell them about your day, or a mundane topic. Dumb facts about penguins or elephants work here. Do not expect a high level of participation but they are listening, and they do care. This is super helpful and can be very soothing.

Nourishment

Start with a glass of water, and if that is good, move to warm beverages – NOT alcoholic, or super creamy or sugary.

Encouraging words, “It’s okay, it’s okay.”

Breathing together.

Make sure they have eaten in the last 3-5 hours.

WHEN YOU CAN’T BE THERE

You can’t always be there when the shit hits the fan. That is not your fault nor is it your responsibility to babysit your partner. When you can’t be there, here are some great tips to get you and your partner through it.

Sensations

Hearing your voice can be soothing. If they don’t answer the phone, leave a message. If you don’t know what to say or talk about, just talk about yourself or your day.

Send a photo of wherever you are, or whatever you are doing. This relays that you have stopped to take a picture to send it to them because you are thinking about them. You can also send a picture of yourself making stupid faces, or take a picture of a horrible drawing of a whale you just did. Anything that brings them back into the moment with you. You get the idea.

Affirmative statements.

Activities

Be available. You’re in a relationship, and if you were going through stuff, you know they would be there for you. If you don’t want to make yourself available, you probably shouldn’t be in this relationship. Obviously, if you are at work, this is an exception, but don’t decide it’s not your concern. You are partners so act like it.

Make a plan. Don’t dwell too much on what is happening but tell them what is going to happen NEXT. Don’t ask for help making the decisions. Take the initiative to make the decisions about what is going to happen with the rest of their day. This will give them something to look forward to and is extremely helpful. Knowing that they will be taken care of is almost as good as being hugged right at the moment.

GO FORTH!

Now you know the basic steps to help the prettiest or handsomest, sweetest and loveliest person in your world handle their shit.

This list is in no way exhaustive, but it is a really healthy start. Every person is different, and what they need in the moment is going to vary – so talk about it, gosh darn it.

Remember that everything you do is deeply appreciated and it is strengthening your bond in ways nothing else could. You are also learning a lot about nurturing and being a better friend and lover. It’s not pretty, but it’s important.

If you or someone you know is struggling to have these conversations, please consider seeking professional help. You’re not alone, and no matter how ashamed or weird or fucked up this makes you feel, there are people trained to help you work through it and get on with your life.