Tagged With anxiety

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Even before you download an app to help you meditate, or to manage your depression, it's speaking to you. Apps' marketing often implies that everyday stresses should be seen as mental health issues, and that you're on your own (with the help of the app, of course) to fix whatever is wrong with you.

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I hate aeroplane travel. I know, I know, it's the safest way to travel, cars are far more dangerous, blah blah, but the moment I'm strapped in and we're taking off — into the sky, which is not a place humans should go — all I can think is that I'm trapped in a silver gleaming death machine.

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If you've ever been in the hospital recovering from a surgery, you know the health care providers will ask you to "rate" your pain on a scale of one to ten, so they can administer pain relief if you need it. But assessing mental-health distress doesn't have a simple scale, because mental health isn't as straightforward as physical pain.

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Almost all parents worry about the health and safety of their newborn children. In fact, we're evolutionarily programmed to scan our environments for any potential threat to the little life we are now charged with preserving. You might worry that your child will stop breathing in the night. That a car might leap onto the footpath and mow down you and your stroller. Or, even, that you could do something to harm your new baby, like drown her during those awkward newborn sponge baths.

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The numbers and icons displayed on our device's screens are meant to be useful; they tell us how much battery is left, how many unread messages we have, and when we need to update something. But more often than not, this data just nags us, constantly poking us like a toddler who wants their mother's attention. It doesn't have to be that way.

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iOS/Android: The urge to self-harm, the Calm Harm app tells us, is like a wave. It's strongest at the beginning, but if you ride the wave, it will soon be over. Apps are no substitute for a good therapist, but people who struggle with these moments of crisis say the right app really helps.

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When I hear from adults who live with anxiety, many say that the only thing that helps is not trying to get rid of the anxiety completely, but learning to accept that it's going to hang around, maybe forever. They begin to see it as just a thing, neither good nor bad. On a recent episode of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast, one guest said she deals with her anxiety by naming it "Steve" and then imagining Steve as this dumb friend who shows up once in a while. So whenever her anxiety acts out, she can say, "Oh, Steve. Cut it out."

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Anxiety in adolescents is on the rise, reports the New York Times: It is now the most common reason university students request counselling services, and numerous surveys indicate that kids in high school and university are feeling overburdened and overwhelmed. Hospital admissions for suicide attempts in the US have doubled in the last decade, and Times describes in-patient facilities for severely anxious teens.

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If you get panicked by crowds, you might not even know it. You might just tense up or get angry. (I got snippy at the farmers market for years before I noticed the pattern.) And certain crowded spots, like Times Square or an emptying stadium, can freak anyone out. As Dr Liz Lasky says in Time Out New York, it helps to have a safety plan.

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If you're desperate for distraction or want to get your friend's kid something that they will love but their parents might hate, an on-trend fidget toy is the way to go. While it's disputed whether or not they actually help to reduce anxiety or increase focus, fidgeting is a common human activity, and with some pocket-friendly fidget toys, you'll find yourself a distraction whether you've got your phone or not.

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With a heated global political climate and the threat of nuclear war seeming to loom over our heads, it's hard not to be stressed right now. But you don't have to sit there and stare at your news feed in agony.

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Over the past few years, there has been a marked increase in the number of Australian women undergoing cosmetic genital surgery in a quest for "normal" vaginas. But what exactly is normal? Despite what porn would have you believe, vaginal appearance is just as diverse as any other body part. GPs need to discourage women from undergoing unnecessary and painful procedures stemming from genital-related anxiety. In short, your junk is fine the way it is -- embrace it.