Anxiety is loving certainty. It is stressful to live in an anxious world, and learning to embrace uncertainty seems impossible to those suffering with anxiety. We must each find a strategy to help us shuttle back and forth between the comfort of what we know, and the discomfort of all that we don’t know to become healthy. Anxiety is about fear being in charge of most of your choices. Getting stuck in fear robs you of possibilities in your life. An example of this is when you are too afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is the lynchpin to learning, in fact we learn far more from our mistakes than our successes. If you have anxiety you must learn to use your thinking to balance your exaggerated feelings of fear. Courage is the ingredient that, if sprinkled on that world, would make all of us better people. Greater courage is the antidote to anxiety. Learn to imagine new ways to have courage and to make your world larger. Real courage always has fear attached. Fearless courage is only the foolishness of youth. Follow your curiosity and try new small steps out into the world instead of waiting for life to happen to you. Invite fear to take a back seat instead of driving the train. Fear and excitement always travel together. Remember being scared of learning to ride a bicycle and being excited at the same time? Learn to allow room for both emotions. Don’t let fear erase excitement. Growth depends on one foot being in the familiar and one foot in the unfamiliar… Confusion is the emotion that is crucial to “allowing room for change,” which is exactly why adolescents are both confused and changing. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
The fear of becoming old
is born of the recognition
that one is not living now
the life that one wishes.
It is equivalent to a sense
of abusing the present.
Bipolar disorder, although rare in young children, can appear in both children and adolescents. The unusual shifts in mood, energy and functioning that are characteristic of bipolar disorder may begin with manic, depressive, or mixed manic and depressive symptoms. It is more likely to affect the children of parents who have the illness. Twenty to forty percent of adolescents with major depression go on to reveal bipolar disorder within five years after the onset of depression. Depression in children and adolescents is associated with an increased risk of suicidal behaviors. This risk may rise, particularly among adolescent males, if the depression is accompanied by conduct disorder and alcohol or other substance abuse. In 2000, suicide was the third leading cause of death among young males, age 10 to 24. (National Institute of Mental Health) NIMH-supported researchers found that among adolescents who develop major depressive disorder, as many as seven percent may die by suicide in the young adult years. Therefore, it is important for doctors and parents to take seriously any remarks about suicide. Early diagnosis and treatment, accurate evaluation of suicidal thinking, and limiting young people’s access to lethal agents—including firearms and medications—may hold the greatest suicide prevention value. https://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/resources/men-and-depression.aspx
Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain,
but it is more common and also more hard to bear.
The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain
increases the burden: it is easier to say
“My tooth is aching”
than to say
“My heart is broken.”
Only in the past two decades has depression in children been taken very seriously. Before puberty, boys and girls are equally likely to develop depressive disorders. After age 14, however, females are twice as likely as males to have major depression or dysthymia. The risk of developing bipolar disorder remains approximately equal for males and females throughout adolescence and adulthood. Research has revealed that depression is occurring earlier in life today than in past decades. In addition, research has shown that early onset depression often persists, recurs, and continues into adulthood, and that depression in youth may also predict more severe illness in adult life. Depression in young people frequently co-occurs with other mental disorders, most commonly anxiety, disruptive behavior, or substance abuse disorders, as well as with other serious illnesses such as diabetes. The depressed younger child may say he is sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that the parent may die. The depressed older child may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative, grouchy, and feel misunderstood. Among both children and adolescents, depressive disorders confer an increased risk for illness and interpersonal and psychosocial difficulties that persist long after the depressive episode is resolved; in adolescents there is also an increased risk for substance abuse and suicidal behavior. Unfortunately, these disorders often go unrecognized by families and physicians alike. Signs of depressive disorders in young people are often viewed as normal mood swings typical of a particular developmental stage. In addition, health care professionals may be reluctant to prematurely “label” a young person with a mental illness diagnosis. However, early diagnosis and treatment of depressive disorders are critical to healthy emotional, social, and behavioral development. https://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/resources/men-and-depression.aspx
Depression exist without you knowing it,
even denying it. It is not an illusion.
You don’t even know you’re in it.
It takes awhile before you realize it.
If you deny it, it means you’re still in there
or else you won’t talk about your misery
and the dramas in your life.
Ann Marie Aguilar
5. Feel some kindness toward your ex. “The most potent step you can take in your own healing,” Piver [Susan Piver in her book, The Wisdom of a Broken Heart”] writes, “is to extend loving kindness to your ex.” Although that seems counter-intuitive and next to impossible, the process of extending your heart to someone whom you have no intention of loving ever again, she says, can actually bring feelings of stability and peace to your inner mind. You don’t need to forgive or forget your ex’s past transgressions or stay in touch. (In fact, Piver says it’s a good idea to de-friend him on Facebook to keep from obsessing about his every move.) Your focus should be on letting go of anger. Piver recommends sitting in a quiet, comfortable place and spending a few minutes wishing yourself well—may I be happy, healthy, peaceful, accepting of myself—before wishing your ex the same. Remember that no matter how badly he treated you, he has the same longing as you: to find love and be happy.
6. Write the story of your relationship. Do it from the third-person point of view in three different writing sessions. First, tell about how this woman/man met this man/woman and how they fell in love. Then write about the love story and how it started going south. Finally, tell the story of the breakup: She said this; he did that. “Just taking that step back and looking at your circumstance as if you were describing someone else may sound silly, but it helps you bring a very valuable perspective,” says Piver. “And it also helps you look at your story from the stance of someone who’s OK instead of someone who’s embroiled in agony.” You might also gain some valuable revelations: what you miss about the relationship and what you don’t. By Deborah Kotz, Angela Haupt http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/03/22/8-steps-to-mend-a-broken-heart
Every man has his secret sorrows
which the world knows not;
and often times we call a man cold
when he is only sad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I often hear the word “depression” being used to explain feelings of sadness, but sadness is a healthy reaction to events in our life. Depression is much more than just sadness. Depression can be described as like ‘living in a black hole’ and carrying a sense of impending doom. But often depressed people don’t experience sadness at all and instead can simply feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. …depression is different from normal sadness as it can totally take over our day-to-day life, damaging our ability to function effectively in any capacity. We desperately look for relief from the intense and unrelenting feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness. Depression has a number of different causes which will be different from person to person and can occur through a combination of factors. With the exception of manic depression, it does not seem to be inherited through genes although some of us are more prone to depression than others. This is because of the way we’re made, or how our emotional system has responded to experiences or family background. Past experiences can have a profound effect on how we feel about ourselves in the present, and if those feelings are very negative, they can be the start of a downward spiral. In many cases, the first time someone becomes depressed, it will be sparked off by an unwelcome or traumatic event, such as losing a job, going through divorce, being physically attacked… It’s not just the negative experience that causes the depression, but how we deal with it. If the feelings provoked are not expressed or explored at the time, they fester and contribute towards depression. It’s important to acknowledge and grieve over what we have lost in order to be able to move on successfully. Richard Gosling http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/recognising-and-overcoming-depression
There is no point treating a depressed person
as though (he or) she were just feeling sad, saying,
‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’
Sadness is more or less like a head cold
– with patience, it passes.
Depression is like cancer.