The "Iceberg Theory" is a frequently cited model of behavior which states that a person's behavior can only be properly understood in the context of the factors that caused it. What a person does is "the tip of the iceberg"-- what we don't see are the emotional, social, cultural, and other factors that lie "beneath the surface" to cause that behavior.
A blessing was recently bestowed upon my family--my brother, Billy, and his life partner, Sandy, had a baby girl whom I adore. Even though they live in California and I live in Illinois, and even though I haven’t yet met Baby, watching videos of her has quickly become one of my coping skills for my schizoaffective anxiety.
Hurting yourself to get out of work or school can seem like a tempting option—maybe even your only option—when you're overwhelmed and feeling trapped. But it's ultimately a solution that causes more problems than it solves.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
As explored in a previous post, health anxiety and health stress can be exhausting and burdensome. Our health is a vital component of our lives, and when something isn't right, whether it's a chronic condition or an acute, short-lived experience, it is natural to experience anxiety and stress because of it. Here's how to gain the upper hand on health anxiety and health stress.
Sometimes, stressful things can happen without the slightest hint of warning. Recently, I woke up to find that my laptop had just stopped working. I had used it the previous evening, and it seemed fine. But then, for whatever reason, the hard drive just died.
Like everything else in life, the risk factors for mental illness in children are impacted by both nature and nurture. Some of these risk factors I can do something about as a mother raising a child with mental illness, although some are out of my control. Accepting this has been one of the hardest parts of motherhood for me, but it's also been one of the most liberating.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Depression and anxiety can really get in the way of life. For different reasons, both can prevent you from doing things you want or need to do. Whether depression has robbed you of energy and motivation (your very zest for life), or anxiety keeps you trapped in worries and worst-case scenarios, it can be extremely difficult to do anything. If you need to go places or dive into projects or tasks for work or school, but depression or anxiety are interfering, keep reading to discover tips for doing what you need to do in spite of these bothersome mental health challenges.
Depression causes my impulsivity. For example, yesterday, I almost quit therapy. A few minutes into my session, I felt the urge to tell my therapist that I couldn't continue as nothing seemed to be working for me and probably never would. I acted on the thought and told her what was on my mind. She talked me down and said that sure, we had hit a wall recently. But that didn't mean things would never improve. Her words made sense to me, and we resumed the session.
Staying positive is something that we all hear is important. But how does positive thinking help anxiety? I used to think about this quite a bit when I was younger and lacked the tools to manage my anxiety. I would often wonder how having a positive outlook and being optimistic could be helpful for me. I often thought that no one understood what I went through, that the worries that consumed me, and all of my racing thoughts, could not be put to rest simply by thinking positive thoughts.
Explaining a family member's diagnosis to others can be scary because you never know how they're going to react. Sometimes it works out really well. For example, my fiancé couldn't be more understanding of my brother's chronic mental illness. Not only is he accepting of the way this affects our family's lives, he is also proactive in thinking of ways that we can better support my brother. Not everyone is like this, though, which is why explaining a family member's mental health diagnosis to others can be so challenging.