Unhealthy | Healthy Relationship

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Some people are blessed to find their soulmate first date, at first sight. Whereas, others may have to undertake the agonizing interview process a bit longer.

As stated in my last blog [Learning from Love], I have had my fair share of learning the “harder” way.

I think one of the worst feelings for me is the feeling that comes with being ‘used’, or taken for granted. Obviously being cheated on left wounds on my heart, but I can say, without a doubt, that that man did loved me, and never used me.

Ironically, I was first oblivious to the thought of being used. Perhaps I was blinded by lust and oxytocin. It wasn’t until after I started to develop on uncomfortable and uneasy feeling that I decided to explore deeper into why I was feeling that particular way.

Hands down, it takes two people in a relationship to put in mutual effort; that is the only way a relationship will prosper. If he (or she) only does things for the relationship when it is convenient for them, or if they only focus on their needs, then there is a singular aspect to that relationship. If they truly care, are interested, and want you in their life, regardless of distance and time, they will find a way – not an excuse. No one should have to be ‘partially’ in anyone’s life. The lack of effort shows just how interested the person is, and just how unimportant you are in their life. You are not a priority. This is especially true if the person is “unable to commit” or avoids the conversation, and continues to see other people.

I would hope a whole bunch of red flags would be going off for you. Listen to that gut feeling.

You deserve to be treated with respect, honesty, loyalty and dignity.

Oddly enough, when someone is being used, they’re typically sacrificing their own needs for someone else in order to fill a void. Let that sink in for a moment.

Please – please – please, respect yourself enough to walk away, especially if you find that your relationship identifies with any of the unhealthy signs below.

You are deserving of so much more. You are enough!


Signs of an unhealthy relationship:

  • Criticism and ridicule

One or both people constantly criticize and put the other person down. Or they ridicule their partner in front of other people, trying to shame or embarrass them.

  • Lack of communication

There is a lack of open, honest, and loving communication between the couple. Conflict communication often devolves into anger and blaming. One partner or the other doesn’t feel secure in expressing feelings or self-doubts.

  • Loss of emotional intimacy

Emotional intimacy is the connection a couple has when the trust and communication between them fosters open sharing, vulnerability, and self-disclosure. Each partner feels completely loved, accepted, and worthy. When this is lacking, the relationship deteriorates into an empty, lonely existence for one or both partners.

  • Disengagement

Disengagement happens when one or both partners lose the willingness to invest time, energy, and emotion into the relationship. In these situations, there are generally few arguments, or the arguments are one-sided and met with passiveness from the disengaged person. Disengagement is often a sign the one person is ready to end the relationship.

  • Passive aggressive behavior

Passive aggressive behavior can manifest as non-verbal negativity, resistance, and confusion. It shows up as procrastination, helplessness, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or purposeful failure to handle requested tasks. This is childish behavior used in an attempt to manipulate and control.

  • Inability to forgive

Forgiveness is essential for the health and longevity of a love partnership. If one partner holds a grudge and can’t let go of past hurt or anger, neither partner will feel safe and intimate together. Of course forgiveness requires a sincere apology and consistent behavior change from the other person.

  • Codependent behavior

Codependency is a dysfunctional issue in which one partner enables and supports the negative behaviors or personality of the other. This could be a passive or active support of addiction, mental illness, immaturity, or irresponsibility. The focus is only on one person’s needs, ultimately leaving the other person resentful, angry, and wounded.

  • Substance abuse

Abuse of alcohol or drugs by one or both partners makes it impossible to have an authentic, healthy intimacy. The substance alters one’s behavior and personality, impairing judgement and self-control. As the abuse continues, it pushes the couple farther and farther apart.

  • Verbal abuse

When one partner uses verbal abuse, he or she is trying to shame, control, and manipulate the other. This emotional abuse takes the form of yelling, swearing, using threats, blaming, demeaning, and using biting sarcasm. This abuse damages self-esteem and makes intimacy impossible in the relationship.

  • Physical abuse

Physical abuse is the use of force and violent behavior in a way that injures or endangers someone. It is impossible to have a healthy relationship when one partner is the victim of abuse. This abuse can include hitting, biting, scratching, slapping, kicking, punching, shoving, use of a weapon, or forced sex. Physical abuse often builds gradually, beginning with emotional abuse. A one-time incident could be a warning sign of future abuse. The only solution in these situations is to let go and leave as soon as possible.

  • Disagreement on major values

You want children, but she doesn’t. He wants to buy a new car, but you want to save the money for a house. One of you has deep religious convictions, but the other doesn’t. Disagreeing on important life values can put a wedge between couples and become the source of ongoing discord.

  • Loss of respect

Respect shows that each partner understands the other, and they respect one another’s boundaries. When one partner stops respecting the other, it reveals he or she no longer supports the other’s values and needs. Love alone can’t hold you together without mutual respect.

  • Little physical affection

Studies show physical affection is a sign of relationship satisfaction and a good predictor of love in the relationship. Relationships that suffer from a deficit of affection will grow lifeless over time. Non-sexual physical touch feeds emotional intimacy and is necessary for the health of your relationship.

  • Dishonesty and secrecy

Dishonesty and secrecy are key reasons couples and marriages end up failing. Being dishonest or secretive with your partner – even about trivial things – reveals you don’t feel safe sharing with your partner or you legitimately have something to hide. Either way, you undermine the trust and respect of your partner when you lie or withhold.

  • Jealousy and insecurity

When there’s consistent jealousy or insecure behavior by one partner, it could reflect a lack of self-esteem and confidence in your value in the relationship. Expressing insecure feelings and jealousy when there’s no valid reason will only push your partner away and lessen their respect for you. If there is a real reason for these feelings, you need to face the problems head on with your partner.

  • Sexually focused

If your relationship is primarily focused on sex, then you have no real foundation for a lasting connection. Without emotional intimacy, affection, strong communication, trust, and engagement, the relationship will ultimately collapse

  • Narcissistic or controlling behavior

A person with a narcissistic personality is self-centered, seeks constant attention, considers themselves better than others, and believes they’re entitled to special treatment. Controlling people desire to be in charge, prove themselves, and get their own way by controlling their environment and the people around them. Neither personality is conducive to authentic connection and intimacy.

  • Poor money skills or values

When one partner is financially irresponsible or has poor financial skills, it will eventually cause resentment, stress, and anger for the other partner. Money is a major source of conflict between couples even when both people are relatively responsible. When the financial relationship is unbalanced, it profoundly impacts respect and trust between the couple.

  • Competitive

Competition in a relationship is a rivalry for supremacy, and it can develop over children, money, career success, or friends. Sometimes the need to upstage your spouse or partner comes from insecurity. These power struggles can destroy a relationship because one person has to be the winner and one the loser.

  • Overly involved extended family

Parents, siblings, or other relatives who become too involved in a couple’s lives can drive a wedge between them. If one partner doesn’t set appropriate boundaries with his or her family, the other partner will grow resentful and feel like they are no longer the priority.

  • Threats of leaving

Does your partner constantly threaten to end the relationship or suggest divorce? This is a form of verbal abuse and emotional control, putting you on insecure footing as long as the behavior continues. You will never feel safe or valued as a partner.

  • Trying to change you

Some people view their partners as a project to fix. They want to change their spouse’s appearance, behavior, or personality in order to make themselves feel more secure and in control. This reflects a lack of respect and unconditional love.

Do you see some of these signs in your love relationship? If so, it’s time to assess whether or not the relationship is causing more distress than happiness.

Credit: Live Bold and Bloom

Signs of a Healthy Relationship:

  • Trust

Trust means more than keeping secrets and being faithful. When you trust your partner, you feel a sense of safety and security in the relationship. Trust allows both partners to reach high levels of intimacy and closeness. It also allows you to set boundaries and know they’ll be respected, according to Young Women’s Health.

  • Mutual Respect

Healthy relationships have two partners who respect each other for who they are. Respectful behaviors include considering your partner when you make decisions that affect the relationship, treating your partner with love and kindness and refraining from saying hurtful things during disagreements.

  • Healthy Communication

Healthy communication helps partners solve disagreements in a respectful manner, but it can also help prevent disagreements altogether, says the University of Texas at Austin’s Counseling and Mental Health Center. That’s because healthy communication helps convey your needs, wants, opinions and feelings to your partner in a calm, assertive and loving way.

  • Absence of Physical Violence

In healthy relationships, one partner never puts his or her hands on the other partner in a violent or menacing way. If your partner uses physical violence, no matter how sorry he or she is afterward, that’s not the partner for you. Abusive partners act from a need to control and dominate, not from a respectful place of equal power.

  • Absence of Mental or Emotional Violence

Physical violence isn’t the only type of relationship violence, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you’re in a healthy relationship, your partner should never call you names, intimidate you, control you or force you to perform sexual acts. These are types of mental, emotional and sexual abuse.

  • Independence

Your relationship with your partner shouldn’t be the only significant relationship in your life, according to the CDC. Healthy individuals have their own friends, family members, interests and opinions outside the relationship.

  • Common Interests

No two people have everything in common, but people in healthy relationships have an overall respect for each other’s interests and hobbies. Even when they participate in activities they’re not interested in, they enjoy spending time together.

  • Equal Power

Healthy relationships are an equal 50/50 split. No one partner is the boss. Both partners discuss family decisions and have equal say. This means both partners have input in everything from picking the Friday night movie to making the family budget.

  • Similar Goals

Even though new relationships don’t need to focus on long-term goals, more serious relationships can suffer when both partners aren’t on the same page. When one partner wants children, marriage or to live in a particular location and the other doesn’t, it can lead to resentments and unhappiness.

  • Support

Your partner may not like everything you do, but she should always support your choices. For example, she may miss spending time with you, but she will never discourage you from going to school or work. In a healthy relationship, your partner always has your back.

  • Healthy Sexuality

Both partners in a healthy relationship share similar sexual values. They feel safe enough to express their sexual desires and never worry that their partners will force them to do things they’re uncomfortable with. Healthy sexuality also includes agreeing on methods of contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Happiness

Even if your relationship is absent of unhealthy relationship characteristics, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. At the end of the day, you have to feel happy about your decision to be with your partner. All couples have their rough patches, but overall, your relationship should make you happy more than often than not.

Credit: Living Strong

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Relationships | Depression

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My depressive mind was my own worst enemy. It became a master manipulator and distorted my perception of life, including my relationships, in a more negative way.
My low days made every aspect of my life look bleak.
It caused me to pay less attention to my then partner, I become disconnect and uninterested. I was less involved, more irritable, and some days it seemed impossible to enjoy our, what was supposed to be quality, time together.
Unfortunately that relationship didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean future relationships cannot.
People come into your life for a reason. It could be for a day, a season, or a lifetime. Whatever the reason, their purpose is to teach or guide you on your journey through life. There was a lot I learned from that relationship. I learned that I am ‘enough’. I (or you) shouldn’t have to feel the need to change in order to live up to someone else’s expectation. Either they love you for who you are, or they are not deserving of your love. Simple. Trying to live up to unrealistic expectation created a storm of uncertainty and conflict in my mind. Who I was trying to be was not my true self. It was conflicting with my self-identity, and my mind started to work against me.
I would like to note that my previous relationship did not cause my depression or anxiety, it just complicated it. It has been a long term illness that I mistakenly never reach out for professional help at the most appropriate time. I relied independently on helping myself through self-help books, and journaling, but it took me until recently to discover that those methods never truly helped. Over the years, instead, I learned maladaptive coping techniques.
When it comes to a partnership, you need to be upfront about your depression, and your partner will have to be willing to ride those highs and lows with you. Relationships take patience, commitment, mutual effort, honesty and a whole lot of love.
Be Kind. Be Humble.

On to the educational part now….

NEGATIVE AFFECTS OF DEPRESSION
ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP

IS YOUR SEX LIFE DIMINISHED OR IS NON-EXISTENT?

A long term lack of sexual connection in your relationship may signal that depression is present. Lack of sex drive can manifest from a variety of causes related to depression: hidden resentment, shame about sex, poor body image, feeling exhausted, taking medications, performance anxiety, and so on.

By addressing these problems, couples can use their sexual connection to reignite their passion and strengthen their relationship.

DO YOU FEEL HOPELESS ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

A sense of hopelessness is one of the central predictors of depression and suicidal thoughts. A cognitive distortion that so often comes with depression may be manipulating your thoughts into believing the future looks hopeless and that things will never get better.

Instead be mindful. When you feel your mind drifting to predetermined thoughts of the future, bring yourself back to the present moment. Acknowledge the negative thoughts and feelings for what they are (just thoughts and feelings), and fill your mind with positive past or future memories.

ARE YOUR EMOTIONS BECOMING YOUR WORSE ENEMY?

Most of us have a hard time dealing with negative emotions, but people who are depressed have particular trouble in this area. They tend to become overwhelmed by the intensity of their emotions and therefore shut them down when strong emotions arise. With depression, you may react to strong emotions by becoming ruminative (thinking about the same problems over and over), denying or ignoring your emotions, or by becoming overly self-critical.

This means that in a relationship when conflict arises–as it always does in a relationship– you’re less equipped to deal with problems that elicit strong emotions. You may withdraw from you partner altogether, or you may push the issue and explode.

ARE YOU TEMPTED TO ACT OUT?


Men, in particular, who are depressed, are more likely to express their depression outwardly. If you’re a depressed man, you’re more likely to act out your depression through drinking alcohol, becoming aggressive, having affairs, or shutting out your loved ones and withdrawing. In addition, men have more somatic symptoms–backaches, headaches, and low sex drive. Men also have a more difficult time identifying their own depression, and are less likely to get help for it because they may not even recognize their behaviors indicate an underlying depression.

DO YOU FEEL ANXIOUS?

The problems that come with mixed anxiety and depression–sleep trouble, concentration difficulties, low energy, high irritability and worry, expecting the worst, and being constantly on guard, can also present a challenge to your relationship.

When you encounter the everyday relationship problems that arise, you often perceive that there’s grave threat to your relationship. It feels like the relationship is doomed to failure. This perceived threat can trigger heightened anxiety and excessive reassurance seeking–which can place your relationship under even more stress. This false alarm of danger to your relationship can be stressful for both of you, and leaves you with constant feelings of uncertainty.

Credit: Scientific America

DO YOU DOUBT YOURSELF?

Depression breeds self-doubt, which can color how you view your partner and how you think they view you. Someone with lower-self-esteem and depression may have a bad time with their partner and think. Self-doubt says you’re defective, worthless and filled with flaws.

Because self-doubt can be paralyzing, looking for evidence of moments you felt empowered or overcame adversity. Look for small ways to affirm that you are capable of affecting your path in life. Pick one small thing you can do right now to feel better, and do it.

DO YOU CRITICIZE YOURSELF?

Depression minimizes the positives in your life and magnifies the negative. So when your partner leaves their clothes out or doesn’t wash the dishes, you automatically think they’re inconsiderate and clearly don’t care about you.

When depression manifests as criticism, your partner might feel like they’re walking on eggshells and worry about being condemned.

What helps to counter criticism is noticing your partner’s positive traits and realizing that their less-than-stellar qualities don’t cancel out their positive attributes. Appreciation begets appreciation. When you show your appreciation to your partner, and they feel appreciated, they’re more likely to do the same in return, creating a stronger bond.

DO YOU HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS?

You may have an internal script that dictates the right things your partner should say and how they should support you. The problem with that is your partner hasn’t read your script. When the other person inevitably deviates from your script, the depressed part of you may react with dissatisfaction, disenchantment, or feelings of failure.

Remember that your partner isn’t a mind reader. Communicate clearly and directly with them about how you’d like to be supported.

Credit: Psych Central

Making it Work|Supporting Each Other

BE HONEST

Honesty is so important in a relationship. If we suffer from depression, it’s important to be open about this with our partner – even though this can feel daunting. Being honest helps our loved one understand us, and enables them to support us when times get tough.

HAVE EMPATHY

Although we can’t live in our partner’s head, we can put yourself in their shoes. If we are in a relationship with someone with depression, we need to remain mindful that although we cannot see it, they are ill, and their difficult behaviour often comes from their illness, and not them

COMMUNICATE

Good communication is incredibly important in a relationship. We need to feel able to express our thoughts and feelings, explain our behaviours, and advise on how we’d like our needs to be met. Encourage each other to talk – and LISTEN objectively.

If our partner struggles with depression, be patient. Remember mental illness isn’t logical, and our loved one may be just as confused by it as we are.

We might feel the need to offer advice, but this isn’t necessary: most likely they just want a safe place to voice how they’re feeling, and comfort in return.

SUPPORT EACH OTHER

There are many different ways we can support a loved one with depression. Here are some suggestions from the Blurt Community:

Kind gestures, reassurance, spend time together, listen actively, be there physically and emotionally, have patience, and practice the art of touch,

Remember support from outside of our relationship can be incredibly helpful too – we don’t just have to manage this between ourselves. Connecting with people in a similar situation can be very enlightening.

SHOW A UNITED FRONT

Healthy relationships are partnerships – in the truest sense of the word. When one person in the partnership is struggling, the other is there to unquestionably offer support. When you’re in a relationship, your depression is not just your problem, it’s both of yours.

Credit: Blurt It Out

Please Comment, Like and Share – It is always greatly appreciated ♥

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A List – Self Help BookS

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The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
You Are Bad Ass – By Jen Sincero
You Can Be Happy No Matter What – By Richard Carlson
Mind Over Mood – by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky
The Five Love Languages – By Gary Chapman

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook By Edmund J. Bourne, PHD
Lean-In by Sheryl Sandberg
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey 
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy   By David D. Burns
Outliers: The Story of Success By Malcolm Gladwell
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success  By Carol Dweck
The Purpose-Driven Life  By Rick Warren
The Road Less Traveled  By M. Scott Peck
The Power of Positive Thinking   By Norman Vincent Peale
The Power of Your Subconscious  By Joseph Murphy


If you have a recommendation, I would love to hear it.  

Please Comment, Like and Share. – It is always greatly appreciated.

©rachelpage.blog

Lets Talk – Therapy

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My Personal Experience with a Therapist.

Therapy. The idea was quite daunting to me; confiding in a complete stranger made my social anxiety meter rage with fear. When things started to spiral out of control (or so I thought), I was desperate to try anything.

It was one of the greatest decisions I ever made.

She has helped me in an abundance of extraordinary ways. She has helped me make connections between my thoughts and reality. She always knows exactly the right questions to ask. She really seeks to understand, and challenges my thought processes. She opens my eyes to new perspectives, and provides me with valuable insights. She has made a significant impact on my life, and I am internally grateful for her guidance and support.

Keep in mind – sometimes finding a therapist, that is right or you, can be a bit of trial and error. You have to find someone you can trust wholeheartedly, and feel comfortable enough to fully open up to and allow yourself to be vulnerable with.

I understand that there may be financial constraints that may hinder your ability to access this type of resource or service (which is a big part of why I created this blog – a project that will hopefully come to light in the next couple of months, so stay tuned), but there is are many organizations that help connect you with “non-profit support services”. Just do a quick google search of the Mental Health Association or Organizations in your location! Hospital websites also provide information about available services that are located in their district. I will also list a few websites at the end of this Post.

Here are a list of common questions I had when I was debating
seeking help from a therapist.


WHY should I seek help from a Therapist?

  • You’re experiencing unexpected mood swings
  • You’re undergoing a big change.
  • You’re having harmful thoughts.
  • You’re withdrawing from things that used to bring you joy.
  • You’re feeling isolated or alone.
  • You’re using a substance to cope with issues in your life.
  • You suspect you might have a serious mental health condition.
  • You feel like you’ve lost control.
  • Your relationships feel strained
  • Your sleeping patterns are off.
  • You just feel like you need to talk to someone

Credit: Huffington Post

WHAT can therapy help me with?

Therapy helps individuals, couples, and families address personal difficulties by allowing you to talk openly and confidentially about concerns and feelings with a trained professional.

Therapy may be useful if:

  • You’re facing situations causing you stress, anxiety and upset.
  • You are experiencing intense or uncomfortable feelings such as anger, sadness, fear, frustration and depression.
  • You are behaving in ways that don’t fit your normal pattern, don’t serve your needs, or are problematic to you or others.
  • You are thinking thoughts that are peculiar, hard to understand, out-of-control or disturbing.
  • You’ve experienced a traumatic event, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, a serious accident or a criminal injury.
  • You are dealing with a relationship issue or family conflict.
  • You’re going through a difficult life transition, such as the death of a loved one, a life-threatening illness, divorce, separation, or a mid-life crisis.
  • You are challenged by family issues, such as parenting, child-rearing, adolescence, and aging parents.
  • You need help with an addiction such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex or gambling.
  • You have an eating disorder.
  • You are facing difficulties with matters of gender identity, sexual orientation, racism and oppression.
  • You wish to explore spiritual issues, questions of meaning or matters of faithCredit: Psychotherapy Ontario

HOW can therapy help me?

  • Understand your mental health condition
  • Define and reach wellness goals
  • Overcome fears or insecurities
  • Cope with stress
  • Make sense of past traumatic experiences
  • Separate your true personality from the moods caused by your condition
  • Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms
  • Improve relationships with family and friends
  • Establish a stable, dependable routine
  • Develop a plan for coping with crises
  • Understand why things bother you and what you can do about them
  • End destructive habits such as drinking, using drugs, overspending or unhealthy sex

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

WHO provides Therapy or Counselling?

Many kinds of mental health specialists may provide talk therapy. Some common professionals include:

  • Psychiatrists (MD)
  • Psychologists (PhD, PsyD, EdD, MS)
  • Social workers (DSW, MSW, LCSW, LICSW, CCSW)
  • Counselors (MA, MS, LMFT, LCPC)
  • Psychiatric nurses (APRN, PMHN).

Your ability to talk honestly and openly with your therapist, set
clear goals and make real progress are the most important things. Think
of your relationship with your therapist as a partnership. The two
of you will work together to help you feel better. You do not need
to feel ashamed or embarrassed about talking openly
and honestly about your feelings and concerns.

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

HOW do I get the most of my Therapy?

When you first begin therapy, make a list of the things that are bothering you and the issues you would like help with. Bring it with you to your first appointment. You might include:

  • Issues in your family or other relationships
  • Symptoms like changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Anger, anxiety, irritability or troubling feelings
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance


Additional Resources:

Ontario Society of Psychotherapist : Why choose psychotherapy?

American Psychiatric Association: Psychotherapy

Canadian Mental Health Association: Getting Help

American Psychology Association: Understanding Psychotherapy

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Institute of Mental Health: Help for Mental Health

Mental Health America : Find Help

Please Comment and Share Mental Health
Resources available in your Country.

Compulsive Worrying – Coping

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I have a confession, I am a compulsive worrier.
Ever since I can remember, I have always lived my days worrying about pretty much anything and everything.
I would imagine the absolute worst case scenario, conjure up a detailed motion picture movie in my head, and then I’d believe it as if it were currently happening. Negative assumptions would be preceded by a slew of negative feelings, which would be based off this unrealistic reality.
Eventually this thought process became very destructive and started to affect many different aspects of my life, and well-being.


Signs of Symptoms of Panic Attack Disorder:

Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
Sweating
Trembling or shaking
Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
Feelings of choking
Chest pain or discomfort
Nausea or abdominal distress
Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint –
Chills or heat sensations
Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization –
(being detached from oneself)
Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
Fear of dying

Signs of Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge
Being easily fatigued
Difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank
Irritability
Muscle tension
Difficulty controlling the worry
Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or –
restless, unsatisfying sleep)

Signs of Symptoms of Social Anxiety:

Feeling highly anxious about being with other people –
and having a hard time talking to them
Feeling very self-conscious in front of other people and worried about -feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected, or –
fearful of offending others
Being very afraid that other people will judge them
Worrying for days or weeks before an event where other people will be
Staying away from places where there are other people
Having a hard time making friends and keeping friends
Blushing, sweating, or trembling around other people
Feeling nauseous or sick to your stomach when other people are around


I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Unless you are a close friend, or family member, many people have (and will) find this shocking to believe. I became very good at keeping my feelings locked away in the closet. What people observed was a total inaccurate interpretation of how I actually felt. Inside, I felt like my brain was caught up in a storm of constant, repetitive, and racing thoughts, but that didn’t stop me from smiling. It was on fire. Eventually the anxiety led to Major Depression (and the smiling ceased to exist – for a while), which I will discuss another time.

The greatest accomplishment for me was being able to recognize that there was an issue, and that I needed help beyond peer social support, journal writing and self-help books.
There is so much stigma circling around mental illness, when it’s merely no different than any medically diagnosed condition. It should be treated with the same level of priority and importance. Medication, psychotherapy, and support groups are okay. No one should feel judged or embarrassed to seek support. The only way to break the stigma is to talk about it, spread awareness.


Here are some things that have helped me manage my cyclic worry:

Create a list – Identifying the things you are worried about allows you to acknowledge them for what they are (just thoughts), and it allows you to do something about them (or perhaps nothing at all).
Analyze (but don’t over analyze) – Determine whether your thoughts are productive or non-productive. Productive in the sense, can you do something about it now? Non-productive thoughts are typically worse case assumptions, “what if”, that cannot be changed.
Embrace Uncertainty – Accept your limitations, and let go, focusing on the things you do have control over and enjoy.
Bore Yourself Calm – Repeat the negative thoughts in your mind until they lose their importance, resulting in boredom.
Stop the Clock – Worry creates a sense of urgency. Become mindful, and focus on what you observe in the present moment. Practice mediation, deep breathing, music therapy, and/or journal writing.

Ask, “What can I do in this present moment to make my
life more meaningful and pleasant?”

Check out : Rejuvenate your Mind and Body with These Simple Practices
Lastly, Talk About It – I have to say, I am very thankful of the support I have in my life. I have the most amazing family and friends. BUT, sometimes we need professional support, in the form of psychotherapy, or talk therapy through certified therapists, psychologists and/or psychiatrists. Recognizing the need for professional help is key. If you notice your excessive worrying, or anxiety is starting to affect multiple areas of your life (ie. work, personal, relationships) then it’s highly suggested you reach out for additional support.


Helpful Resources

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Canadian Mental Health Association

Anxiety.Org


Rachel Page ♥

Please comment, provide feedback, like and share – it is greatly appreciated. ♥

No Blog Day

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I have had zero motivation to write a blog today.

I spent the better part of morning tirelessly trying to think of something, anything to write about.

I take comfort in knowing that I am not the only one that struggles with this ordeal.

What gives you guys inspiration?

My blog will be a place where I post material that people can relate to. Material that speaks truth and honesty. A place where we can all learn from each other and gain a deeper understanding, and perhaps new perspectives on life, love, and everything in-between. My vision is to create a space where people feel comfortable and free to discussion their feelings, views and beliefs honestly. A cozy atmosphere where people feel confident and safe to come for guidance and support, a place where we can lean on each other.

I recently turned to Pinterest for some inspiration. It has such great ideas.

Some topics, or personal experiences, that I will (probably) be discussing in the near future will be:

The horrors of online dating
Apps I live by

Nursing Notes
List of things that made me happy this month
Simple Pleasures
Someone I admire
Products I love
How to get through a break up
Unhealthy Relationships
Learning to embrace change
Organization / Productivity
First date Tips
Journey with painting
Stay in date nights
Dating on a budget
Deal Breakers in Relationships
Cancer   
Depression and Anxiety
My Love Language
Story of Compulsive Worrier 

Random thoughts, feelings, and views

Those should keep me occupied for a while.

Rachel Page ♥

A Letter to my Bully(s)

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It has taken me until now to be able to face up to the wrongful ways in which you treated me or acted towards me.

The mental abuse was like knives to my heart that has left deep scars that have only ever partially healed.

No one should have to endure that amount of suffering, for any reason, at any time in their lives.

I can recall countless times that I was humiliated by crude comments, degraded by the spread of false rumours, scrutinized by what I said or didn’t say, and belittled to make me feel less important.

Your cruelty made me bitter, unable to trust anyone, not even myself.

I was left feeling inadequate, empty and alone, and in complete silence.

There were days where I was terrified to go to school, struck with fear of the monsters that would be waiting for me.

I became fearful; I isolated myself from the world and people.

I lost interest of the simple pleasures of life.

I was only a young girl;

I felt helpless, worthless and alone.

I felt persistently sad, and empty. I became tirelessly worried but unable to sleep from the constant worry.

My weight greatly fluctuated between a battle of eating for comfort or feelings sickened with nausea from the overwhelming emotions. I became preoccupied and uncomfortable with my body-image.

I hated myself!

If the constant depressive state wasn’t enough, the anxiety was eating away at my mind and body.

I became highly anxious to be around people. Fear of being judged, rejected, or humiliated.

I would avoid places where my fellow peers would be.

When I did attend school, I would often tremble in fear.

Middle School and High School are supposed to be filled with joyous memories, but unfortunately mine are only of pain and suffering.

I remember the name calling, the shouting, and the hurtful messages written to me on object with permanent marker. I remember the disgraceful flyers (hundreds of them) that were spread around my High School, the disgusting signs and notes left on my locker, and the online mental trauma and empty threats.

I lost total self-esteem, self-confidence; I lost myself and the ability to love myself.

I started to act out, losing respect for my parental rules.

I started on risky journey and experimented with smoking, alcohol and drugs.

I cut myself to feel something, anything.

But with any life experience, good or bad, there are life lessons to be learned.

Because of you,

I gained insight and perspective.

I grew with strength and perseverance.

I vowed to always be kind, respectful, conscientious, empathetic, and soulful.

I learned to love blindly, wholeheartedly, and deeply.

I learned so much about the value of relationships.

I grew.

All because of you.

Thank you.

Today, I love myself.

Most importantly, despite everything, I forgive you.

-Rachel Page ♥

Please comment, provide feedback, like, and share – I truly appreciate it! ♥

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