The Mechanics Of Always Feeling Afraid

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Are you feeling scared all the time about almost everything that even your own family can’t seem to comprehend what it is you are feeling exactly? Have you ever imagined that this could be possible – a constant and continuous phobia or a persistent feeling of fear and anxiety?

“But, there are people whose physical makeup predisposes them to chronic anxiety, unrelated to threat. They worry about everything, no matter how unreal the perceived threat seems to be. They have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).” – Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.

Here’s a list of the descriptions that you may feel when you are confirmed to be feeling constant fear and anxiety.

·      Feeling scared all the time.

·      A feeling that you are in a state of fear every minute of every day.

·      You are always feeling afraid, and your reactions to everything always involved fear.

·      Feeling gloomy and paranoia that doom is always following you.

·      Your thoughts are filled with fearful thoughts that are unstoppable.

·      The feeling that there’s danger everywhere you go.

·      Your fear response is always turned on.

·      You are startled by almost anything, big or small.

·      A feeling like everything is a threat and a disaster.

·      You feel afraid over things you were not afraid of before.

·      Feeling dreadful all the time.

 

Causes Of Always Feeling Afraid

There are two primary causes of constant fear and anxiety: behavior and the physical, emotional, and psychological effects of stress.

John Kim, LMFT, wrote, “Most people are driven by their fears, leading them to make (or avoid making) particular decisions that pull them down a dark, sticky dead-end road.”

Behavior

This refers specifically to apprehensive or hesitant behavior, like the feeling of worry. This kind of behavior forms the physical, emotional and psychological state of being anxious, which is anxiety. When we act hesitantly, our body’s survival mechanism is turned on, more particularly, the stress response. We then release hormones that travel throughout certain parts of the body, resulting in bodily changes that heighten its capacity to handle the threat. This is the stress response or the fight or flight response.

 

The more worried we are, the more operational the stress response becomes. Therefore, constant worry consequently creates a state of anxiety or being scared all the time.

 

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The Physical, Emotional, And Psychological Consequences Of Stress

As mentioned above, behaving apprehensively turns on one’s stress response. When this happens, the amygdala or the fear center located in the brain also becomes active while the rationalization parts of the brain are suppressed, causing a heightened sense of fear and peril and a decreased capacity to think rationally. Thus, behaving hesitantly initially leads to a state of anxiety, and then the changes that affect one’s physical, emotional, and psychological aspects, which are the result of the activation of the stress response. Finally, the outcome is of constant fear and anxiety.

 

The explanation further supports that when fear occurs, it’s not that the brain is not functioning appropriately. On the contrary, it is functioning the way it should be when we think that we are threatened, in any form of danger, or when the body becomes too stressed. The constant fear, then, is caused both by behavior and the effect of apprehensive behavior.

 

Eliminating The Feeling Of Always Being Afraid

Obviously, if you want to stop the stimulation of the stress response and its accompanying changes, you’ll need to learn how to calm yourself down. And when your body recuperates from the stress response, you should expect a diminished level of excitement and a gradual return to your normal state. Remember that it takes more than 20 minutes for your body to recover from a stress response. This shouldn’t alarm you, as this is a normal occurrence.

 

However, when the fight and flight reaction originated from a hyperstimulated stress response, your body will need more time to return to its normal state, and the constant fear wanes and eventually disappears.

 

It is important to note that displaying a hesitant or angst-ridden behavior involves creating a change in behavior as well. For instance, instead of fearfully thinking about your future, you need to modify your behavior in a way that you can imagine your future in a more hopeful tone. If it’s not easy for you to do this or to change this bad habit, you might want to seek help from a mental health professional or a therapist to assist you in determining and tackling the fundamental factors that have resulted in you displaying such apprehensive behavior.

 

Basically, most individuals are not able to make the necessary behavioral changes by themselves. A professional counselor or therapist is usually recommended to evoke a meaningful and productive transition, especially for those who always have fear or anxiety issues. It will also take the support of family, friends, and significant others to achieve a positive outcome physically, mentally successfully, and emotionally.

 

Conclusion

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Linda Sapadin, Ph.D. poses a challenge: “Picture yourself standing at a fork in the road. You can choose the left fork…the right fork…or you can continue standing at the crossroads forever.”

A combination of excellent self-help data and working closely with a seasoned anxiety disorder or depression coach, therapist, or counselor is one of the most efficient methods of addressing constant fear, anxiety, and their symptoms. A person struggling with an anxiety disorder has difficulty controlling herself from becoming anxious again and again. The goal of the professional is to rid you of the symptoms haunting you and causing you to feel fear, hopelessness, and worry, and replace these with feelings and thoughts of determination, confidence, and hope for a better future.

 

 

 

 

Death Isn’t Just A Word: Death Is Real And Death Is Certain

How I Developed Thanatophobia

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“Put differently, short term death anxiety forces a pushing of death thoughts out of one’s mind, but it actually increases death anxiety over time.” – Nathan Heflick, Ph.D. 

The day my grandma died was one of the saddest days of my existence. We were inseparable. We even shared the same room until I was 12! I remember I used to pray that half of my life be added to hers, so she’d live longer. I was still a baby when my mom and dad got divorced. My mom had to work elsewhere, so she had to leave me with my grandma.

I remember she used to tell me about heaven, and how we’re all going to go up there one day if we live righteously. She was so calm as if she wasn’t scared, but I was. I was scared to lose her! I would imagine every night how we were going to die together, but I prayed that we wouldn’t get sick, because I don’t want to see her suffer, and I don’t want to suffer either. So I would imagine us holding hands climbing up white glowing stairs all the way to heaven.

Time passed, and my world got bigger. I started to have friends. I had a boyfriend. I was 17 then, and  I finally had a life of my own. I was always out, and I seldom had time to spend with her. She got old and one day got sick. I don’t know what had gotten into me, but I wasn’t scared at all. I thought she’d get better. I was too occupied with everything that was going on in my life. That time, I found out I was pregnant, and I was terrified! I didn’t know what to do. My boyfriend and I were not ready, and we both wanted to give “it” up.

One night, we were fighting outside the house when we heard a scream from the inside. It was my aunt! She screamed so loudly, “Mom! My mom’s gone!” We were stunned. I rushed into the house to see her lifeless body on her bed. “This isn’t happening. She can’t be gone. This can’t be possible!” Those were the thoughts I had in my head as I was looking at her shocked. I was waiting for her chest to rise again. I wasn’t even crying. I was just waiting for her to open her eyes, but she never did. She was really gone!

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Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. says, “Anxiety is physiological. But, it can be lessened or worsened by the ways that you cope with it. Thus, psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is needed.”

My mom who was away had to come home. She had to look after me when my grandma died. Little did she know that she’s going to be a grandma herself. Having had a baby that time made me cope up with my loss easier. I had someone new in my life, someone else I love more than anyone in this world. I love my son so much that at night I pray silently, “I pray that you didn’t have to get the half of my life to let my grandma live 92 because I want to live long. I want to see my son have a child of his own someday.”

Time went by, and I still miss my grandma. I wish she had met my little boy, but life had to move on. We lived with my mom because she was alone. But if you ask me, I think she would prefer to be alone than have us around. She wasn’t the mother like my grandma. She loved makeup, and she loved attention. Though I have to admit, she was absolutely beautiful! She would always go out with her friends and seemed to be enjoying her life like she never had me. There was a part of me who missed her, but there was also a part of me who hated her. We would always argue, and she couldn’t handle me. One time I overheard her say, “Mom, I wish you’re here. How can she be this hard?” At that time, I remember I wanted to hug her and say, “I’m sorry,” but I didn’t.

Me, my son and his dad moved to a farther place to live separately from my mom. At last, I’m going to be in charge. I can be the mother I should be without someone telling me to do this and that. But I never knew it was going to be that exhausting! I only knew a thing or two, and I would need to call my mom what to do or cook this and that. My relationship with my mom, I have to say, got better. We became closer as I was discovering about myself too.

My son was two weeks shy of turning one. I was busy preparing for his party when I got very ill. I went to the doctor, and I was shocked. She said I was six weeks pregnant! I couldn’t believe it. I came home speechless. I didn’t know what to think. I was in no position to act scared because it wasn’t my first time. I was sitting at the dining seat when my phone rang. It was my aunt from back home. “Hello?” Then her voice was trembling while she was saying, “Your mom. She had a stroke, and she’s in a coma.”

We took the first flight the next morning. When I arrived at the hospital, everyone in the waiting area was looking at me. It’s as if they were waiting for my reaction. Then I entered my mom’s room and saw her. Tubes were all over her. It was horrifying! The memory of my grandma’s lifeless body flashed back so vividly. “This isn’t happening! No, this can’t be happening, again!” Those were the words I was screaming inside of me, but I was just standing right beside her bed, my eyes wide open, and it felt like I was floating. I could hear people from behind talking, but they were speaking alien. I couldn’t understand a word. It’s as if everything around me was moving slowly.

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Then I heard a voice behind me, “We were just waiting for you.” It was my aunt. She said she had a ruptured aneurysm, and they couldn’t save her anymore. That machine is the only thing that’s keeping her alive.” She said we needed to decide if we’re going to keep the respirator which kept her breathing, or we let her go and put her out of her misery because there’s no chance she’s going to come back. I said I needed time to think. I didn’t have money to sustain her life support, and I wasn’t sure anyone would be generous enough to help me. I went home to our house to change.

When I got back to the hospital, she was not in her room anymore. My aunt said their eldest sister signed the waiver about putting her out of the respirator. Again, I was speechless. I didn’t even get the chance to bid goodbye or tell her I’m going to have another baby, just like what happened to my grandma.

I was in a dark place. I never realized life could be this painful. They were just here, and now, they’re gone. Death indeed isn’t just a word. It is real, and it is certain. Ever since I lost both of the most important women in life, I’ve never been the same. I always fear the inevitable. I fear my own death. “Will it be painful? Will I be able to say goodbye? What If I die tomorrow? What will happen to my kids?” These thoughts were restless, hovering above my head. I can’t stop thinking about them. There were times I would wake up in the middle of the night crying, and I would hug my kids. “I can’t die. They wouldn’t be able to handle it.”

I became so paranoid that even the littlest pain I felt get me so anxious. I would go to a doctor with a minor aching in my ear. I was worried I had throat cancer! That’s the closest I had with all the symptoms I was feeling. I was like a crazy person always searching the internet for any possible sickness I could get and could have. I couldn’t sleep whenever I hear tragic news on TV, especially when it’s about a mom dying on her young kids. I was fearful it could happen to me. It went on for a year, and I was starting to realize that the day my mom died which was a reminder of my grandma’s death was the day a part of me died too.

Source: healthline.com

I isolated myself and lived in darkness. I was living in fear of the future, which I certainly knew what. My husband got so worried because I wasn’t the happy soul who gave light to their lives. I was sad and empty. He decided he had to do something. He forced me to see a psychologist, and I was diagnosed with thanatophobia: the fear of one’s own death. I was referred to a psychiatrist and was prescribed with meds for my anxiety, depression, and sleeping disorders.

Now, I’m starting to get better. Though there will still be times when I would break down, I’m definitely better than I was yesterday. I am attending which helps me cope up with my fear. I am starting to understand that there are things we don’t have a choice but to accept. I can’t live my life thinking I would die because it wouldn’t be living anyway. It is the death of my soul, and it sucks the life out of the people around me. From now on, I have to make a choice, and I choose to live my life without fear but one: the fear of not living the life I’m supposed to be living.

To end, here something from Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW: “The issue of death is very real. Everyone you know will die and every baby that is born tomorrow will eventually die. Anyone who’s ever lived has either died or will die. It is a very deep issue that we all must grapple with.”

 

Agoraphobia: Home Is My Solace

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When you are experiencing panic attacks, you have a kind of anxiety disorder that is characterized by repetitive and usually unanticipated attacks. They can be described by the inflicted individual as having a gamut of fears that manifests as scary physical symptoms and devastating thoughts. An example would be a person experiencing shortness of breath, unintentional body shaking, increased heart rate and chest pains during a panic attack.

What’s worse is that the person may not want to be taken to the hospital because he feels more afraid and anxious about the thought that they might have a more severe condition, more so feeling that they might suddenly die in the emergency room.

Despite these frightening symptoms, people who have had panic attacks for quite some time learn to manage and overcome the challenges that they encounter under the circumstances. As of today, health experts have introduced many regimens that assist patients in recovering from their condition. Unfortunately, some of these people cope with a panic attack through unhealthy ways, and an estimated one-third of them progress to develop a distinct mental health illness referred to as agoraphobia.

 

Agoraphobia Defined

Agoraphobia is the severe anxiety and fear of experiencing a panic attack. The person involved is worried that he will not be able to manage his attacks if he is not at home or is in another circumstance or location that he is not familiar with. He is very anxious that he might embarrass himself in front of other people, and no one would be there to help him.

Steve Bressert, Ph.D. wrote, “Agoraphobic fears typically involve characteristic clusters of situations that include being outside the home alone; being in a crowd or standing in a line; being on a bridge; and traveling in a bus, train, or automobile.”

 

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Because of the intense anxiety and fear that agoraphobics feel, they often develop avoidance behaviors, wherein they prefer to stay away from specific locations or circumstances that they think will cause their triggers to appear. These behaviors may include fear of getting into a car, plane or other types of transportation, big crowds, or open spaces such as malls. Because of such behaviors, the lives of the people who suffer from agoraphobia may be tremendously limited, to the point that the safest and only comfortable place they want to be in is their home. They would rather feel isolated and lonely and miserable than to experience a bout of panic attack outside of their comfort zone.

However, there are some steps that agoraphobics can take to manage their symptoms.

 

Visit A Mental Health Professional

“The good news is that once you face your fear—and give the boogeyman air—rather than shove it into a distant compartment of your brain, it begins losing the ability to rule you and dictate your decisions,” says Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW.

It may be impossible for them, but yes, agoraphobia is curable. Seeking professional help is the first step to cure. The health expert will review the patient’s symptoms, give an official diagnosis, and formulate a treatment plan. Following the plan religiously has shown positive outcomes and improvements over the years.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Learning self-help techniques to reduce anxiety can be a big help to agoraphobics, especially because there are several times when they experience panic attacks without warning. Breathing and meditation are some of the methods that are easy to follow and very effective in producing a calming response.

 

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Find Ways To Reduce Stress

Ultimately, stress is the culprit of any individual who is depressed or anxious. And finding ways to alleviate stress would be very crucial in the life of an agoraphobic. It is also vital in improving one’s mental and physical well-being. Exercises like running, working out, and dancing are only some of the many ways to reduce stress. Recreational activities such as watching movies or television, family time, and travel are also very helpful in improving one’s mood and mindset.

“The first step,” says John Kim, LMFT, “is owning your fears and then identifying them. Then, of course, the question becomes, “How do I get rid of these fears?”

 

 

How Phobias Can Affect Our Everyday Lives

How Phobias Can Affect Our Everyday Lives

Contrary to what most people are thinking, phobia and fear are not the same. Though they both express the feeling of being scared of something, a phobia is more of an uncontrollable health condition, while fear is considered a healthy emotion. This is likewise explained in drycreekclovis.com/

Continue reading How Phobias Can Affect Our Everyday Lives

Too High, Too Scared To Look Down

 

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“Moreover, when you avoid something that scares you, you tend to experience a sense of failure. Every time you avoid a feared object or situation, your anxiety gains strength while you lose some; you accumulate another experience of failure and another piece of evidence attesting to your weakness.” – Noam Shpancer, Ph.D.

One of the most common fears that could strike a person is the fear of heights. Acrophobia, like any other phobias, is one form of anxiety disorder that can be disabling when a person is placed in an elevation that is several feet, or even just a few meters, off the ground.

This can be a disadvantage for people whose jobs require them to be at a certain height. Imagine if you have acrophobia and you work for a company whose office is located on a higher floor of a building, and your workstation is inconveniently situated near the floor-to-ceiling glass window.

 

The Symptoms

Heights are naturally something anyone can be afraid of. Not everyone can stand being way above ground and be comfortable looking down.

the feeling of irrational and paralyzing fear that often leads to panic attacks, causing the person to experience shortness of breath, palpitations or irregular heartbeat, hyperventilation, sweating, nausea, dizziness, and numbness of the knees and legs.

If you feel any of those symptoms whenever you are situated at a high place or just the thought of being at a certain height, then you most likely have acrophobia. lose your sense of balance that you are gripped with the urge to lower your body, often on all fours, and crawl.

When asked what was the distinction between panic attacks and anxiety, Greg Kushnick Psy.D., answered, “Panic attacks are not necessarily connected to a specific stressor. They may lead you to avoid certain places that bring on the horrific symptoms associated with a panic attack. If it feels like it came out of nowhere, it’s not connected to an event in the future and you need to escape a place you’re in, it’s probably panic.”

The Disadvantage

 

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Having acrophobia may pose limitations to your activities and lifestyle. Avoidance of being in a situation you fear may limit your choices, especially with the line of work.

If you wish to be an architect, you may think twice in pursuing your ambition since the work will require you to be on higher levels of a building under construction that leaves you with a clear view of the ground.

There is also the potential of placing yourself or anyone around you in danger. If you are suddenly overcome by fear once you find yourself on higher ground, panicking might be your initial reaction.

 

The Cause

Since being scared of heights may be considered generally normal because high places can be deemed as dangerous and thus triggers natural fear of falling, heightened reaction of that fear. It is also said that it may be a genetic counterbalance to a person’s natural instinct to remove or distance himself from danger.

Like some other phobias, acrophobia might also be the result of a past traumatic experience involving heights. They may have fallen from an elevated platform or have been left hanging from a certain distance above ground for a certain period that the incident has embedded a natural fearful reaction whenever they are placed in a similar situation.

 

The Treatment

Deal with the symptoms. As with other phobias, gradual desensitization may be utilized as a part of the therapeutic process which involves sequentially exposing you to the cause of your fear.  Since it may be improbable and treacherous to expose a person with “acrophobia to an actual ledge or any high place, some practitioners use the virtual reality approach.

 

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Cognitive therapy may also help you confront the distorted thoughts that flood your mind whenever you are exposed to heights and may change your behavior towards fear.

According to Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., “The basic premise of CBT is that our thoughts—not external events—affect the way we feel. In other words, it’s not the situation you’re in that determines how you feel, but your perception of the situation.”

There are ways to overcome acrophobia that you don’t have to live with it. Reach out to a specialist and seek help in confronting your fear of heights.

 

 

 

Trapped In A Box: A Look Into Claustrophobia

 

Do you often find yourself in a situation where you feel trapped, feel like the floor is rising, the roof is collapsing, and the walls are closing in on you? This causes you to panic to the point that you can’t breathe as if the air is stuck in your lungs and your head feels like it’s about to explode. Then a hand on your shoulder or a light touch on your arm reminds you that it’s all in your head and that you are actually in an elevator on your way up to the penthouse.

 

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Intense fear of closed-in spaces or crowded places is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  There will always be inevitable circumstances where a person will need to be in a place with limited space such as the subway or metro rail train, an elevator, a restroom cubicle, a car, an airplane or a doctor’s clinic. Being claustrophobic can be a hindrance and can affect how a person functions in a usually normal situation.

“They’ll be standing in a room, and it’s starting to feel stuffy, and there’s that closed-in feeling and they just need to get outside,” says Clinical Psychologist Reid Wilson.

Triggers and Causes

Claustrophobia can be described as a morbid fear of being in confined spaces or small rooms with no immediate access to any means of escape. This anxiety disorder causes a person to perceive that being in a cramped place means they are in imminent danger.

Aileen Nealie, LMFT, wrote: “Here are the claustrophobic situations commonly faced: being in a very small place, such as a helicopter, an airplane, a crowded concert or sports event, a crowded subway, an MRI, or an elevator that is stuck.”

A traumatic experience in the past involving closed-in spaces may be one of the causes for this condition to develop. Experiences such as having been trapped in an elevator for hours, or having been locked in a room by accident or any similar situation may leave a psychological imprint that can result in having an irrational fear.

Not all cases of claustrophobia stem from daunting experience though. Some may be caused by paranoia where a person is deluded with the thought that being in a restricted space puts them in a threatening situation.

 

When Anxiety Hits

A claustrophobic person doesn’t necessarily need to be in a confined space for fear to set in. Just the thought of being in that situation or the mere sight of the triggers such as a car or lift can cause severe anxiety, and the physical manifestations are often disabling.

 

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A person may suffer from any of the sensations known to accompany anxiety such as hyperventilation, palpitation, dizziness or lightheadedness, asphyxiation, chest pains, trembling, sweating, nausea, numbness, and disorientation.

 

Coping Mechanisms and Treatment

There are several therapies available to help deal with claustrophobia and many ways to cope with, one of which is facing your fear. Settle yourself in a place where your phobia is typically triggered while being monitored by a therapist or people you trust. Take even, relaxing breaths and distract your mind with thoughts other than your potential dangers that may arise. This is otherwise known as exposure therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to teach you to take control of the negative thoughts that usually plague your mind when fear is triggered. Antidepressants, relaxants and other medications may also be prescribed by a psychologist to help manage the consequences borne out of anxiety.

Taking baby steps is more advisable than rushing into it.

 

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Whenever you feel like you are trapped in a box, do not allow your fear to conquer you. Instead, strive to overcome your claustrophobia.

“If automatic alarm attenuation did not develop adequately, the answer is to train the brain to do it better by intentionally linking feelings of alarm to a memory of being with a physically and emotionally safe attuned non-judgmental person.” – Capt. Tom Bunn, LCSW. 

Resources:

 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/37062.php

https://www.healthline.com/health/claustrophobia#treatment

https://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/dealing-with-claustrophobia-info.html#close

 

 

 

 

Feeling Panicky? Maybe You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep

 

 

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In today’s fast-paced and connected working culture, people are spending more hours in the office and even still working during holidays, after office hours and weekends, this working habit is creating a toll in people’s sleeping habits. This can be the reason why you suddenly feel panicky or always on edge.

Current research done at Hult International Business School spearheaded by Professor Calpin studies the harmful effect of sleep deprivation on professions. The team examined the sleeping behaviors of 1,000 professionals and its impact on workplace performance. The research findings suggest that the lack of sleep can significantly hinder the ability to perform at its optimal capacity and can lead to damaging physical and emotional effects as well. The findings specified that:

“These findings help us realize that those people who are anxious by nature are the same people who will suffer the greatest harm from sleep deprivation,” said Matthew Walker, Ph.D.

Lack of sleep leads to poor performance and productivity

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The study showed that professional respondents’ average sleeping hours is only six hours and 28 minutes in comparison to the recommendation of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine of seven hours of sleep each night for healthy adults. The deficit between the actual and recommended might be too minute to matter; however, the survey says otherwise. The respondents reported more reduced performance because of tiredness. Almost 60% admits to having trouble maintaining focus in meetings, longer time to accomplish tasks and harder to brainstorm new ideas. Together with a lack of attention and dwindling creative capability, participants indicated less motivation to learn and less able to handle demands. According to National Sleep Foundation, the workforce allocated an average of 4.5 hours a week on finishing office works at home which might be indicative of a cycle that workers are tired and unproductive at work then they will have no choice but to conclude everything at home.

Candice Alfano, a clinical psychologist, believes that children who often lack sleep have a higher likelihood of developing anxiety and depression when they grow up. “We focus on childhood,” Alfano says, “because similar to problems with anxiety and depression, sleep habits and patterns develop early in life and can be enduring.”

Sleep deprivation affects physical health

 

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Reports of fatigue and tiredness are not a healthy condition and are considered as the typical symptoms of inadequate sleep. The respondents also shared other physical symptoms like palpitations and heartburn. The results are incongruent with many other establish research showing the association between the quality of sleep quality of physical health. In fact, lack of sleep can dampen the immune system thus making one more susceptible to disease. Take, for example; one study stated that people who average less than seven hours of sleep have almost three times more likely to get a standard cold. More important, it is backed by studies and research that long effects of sleep deprivation include obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Also, Psychologist Annika Norell-Clarke says, “Worrying over lack of sleep can lead to prolonged insomnia.”

Chronic tiredness harms social, emotional and psychological well-being

 

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Some of the identified psychological effects of sleeplessness are memory loss, manic behaviors, hallucinations, and paranoia. A good number of respondents reported that interpersonal aspects are difficult to handle when tired. In addition, frayed nerves, inattention, and moodiness related to sleep deficit can place a strain on the social element in the workplace. Significantly, 84 percent of survey participants feel irritable due to poor sleep, and half of the respondents experience a higher level of stress, anxiety, and feelings of frustration.

 

 

Don’t Stare, Don’t Watch – A Look Into Scopophobia

 

Most people dislike being stared at. It’s uncomfortable enough to leave anyone feeling self-conscious and wondering if there is anything on h7yy7his or her face that another person may have noticed. But if there’s actual intense fear involved where a person is afraid of being the focus of other people’s scrutinizing eyes, and it invokes disturbing emotions such as anxiety, then this may very well be scopophobia.

 

source: phobia.wikia.com

 

“Working to clear out a phobia will not remove the natural fear you have that is there to keep you safe and alive.  Removing one’s fear of heights will not make them long for bungee jumping, though certainly that might become something they choose to do.  What removing the fear will do is allow you to choose, rather than being flooded with an emotional reaction that becomes debilitating.” – Marlon Familton, LMHC.

“What is scopophobia,” you might ask. Scopophobia or Scoptophobia is anxiety and social disorder where a person experiences an overwhelming fear of being stared at or watched.

 

How to Spot the Symptoms

So you naturally feel discomfort whenever you draw attention to yourself but if it’s accompanied by an unsettling feeling clawing at you whenever you feel like being you’re watched, then you may be phobic. Your body and your mind’s response to the circumstance may help identify whether or not you have scopophobia.

Once placed in a situation where all eyes are focused on you, you feel unadulterated terror and a wave of irrational panic crashes over you. Your heartbeat races and you start experiencing shortness of breath. The knot in your stomach tightens that you feel like throwing up, and your nerves and muscles are losing sensation. Your mouth becomes dry, your throat constricted, and every part of your body trembles like a gong struck hard with a mallet. You go through a momentary detachment from reality.

When any or all of these symptoms strike at the most inopportune moment all because you see a person’s or several people’s eyes locked on you, then you have scopophobia.

 

Identifying Your Fear and Its Causes

 

source: wakingtimes.com

 

There is no general cause of scopophobia. It differs from every individual. Your fear may have stemmed from a traumatic experience, like being subjected to scrutiny while attempting to speak in public, or someone may have humiliated you in front of so many people that the memory of having eyes on you have left a negative mark in your psyche.

Having low esteem may make you susceptible to scopophobia. The lack of confidence prevents you from looking people in the eye, so you feel incredibly agitated when others look at you.

This phobia may be reinforced by other social disorders such as autism, stage fright or fear, and public speaking. Like any other phobia, scopophobia is often the result of exaggerated thoughts.

 

Is There Treatment Available?

“The good news is that you can do something about it,” assures Robert L. Leahy Ph.D.

Several methods are available to help treat scopophobia. The most common way is helping people deal with their fear, and this is often done through a series of therapies. Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC, says, “Getting help is often a difficult step — due to the pervasive stigma around mental health — but unfortunately phobias (as well as other mental health conditions) rarely get better on their own.”

Exposure is one of the most common strategies used in managing most phobias. This involves exposing you to your source of fear. This can be done gradually, increasing intensity as you progress. Your therapist may start exposing you to photographs and videos to train your mind in tolerating situations that trigger your fears typically.

Behavior therapy involves desensitizing from the usual effects of the symptoms.

Hypnotherapy or hypnosis has been used as an efficient way to treat most phobias. The process involves discovering the underlying cause for the fear and eradicating the usual response to the stimuli.

 

source: aviaryrecoverycenter.com

 

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most practiced form of therapy integrated into a treatment plan for helping individuals deal with phobias.

Energy psychology may be an ideal therapy for individuals suffering from any form of phobia as it follows a rapid and safe process that may have a long-lasting effect. It combines approaches of other therapies with holistic techniques of healing. It has the same groundwork as acupuncture, but no needles are involved.

Scopophobia is a social handicap that prevents a person from socializing. If this isn’t dealt with or you don’t learn how to overcome your fear, it can affect your way of living. You don’t have to suffer the consequences. Help is always available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depression Among Millennials: Effects And Management

 

 

Source: rawstory.com

 

“The truth is, although no one can really agree about the millennial generation, one thing is fairly certain: They’re stressed out.” – Loren Soeiro, Ph.D.

Reports show that millennials are suffering depression more than the previous generations and this condition has a significant impact on their ability to lead and succeed in the workplace. Depression is said to be the leading cause of both absenteeism and presenteeism. In absenteeism, it is causing industries to lose 23 billion dollars in productivity every year. Disregarding the financial losses, what is more, devastating is that almost half of mental health cases are left untreated.

When millennials are entrepreneurs or hold managerial and leadership positions, the stakes are higher. The expectations and pressures of leadership can worsen the symptoms of depression. When leaders aren’t able to efficiently guide their teams, the consequences can be colossal.

Also, Psychologist Kathryn Moore says, “I see many young adults who say they are social, but their social interactions consist of talking with people online while playing a video game for hours. These types of social interactions aren’t allowing for true sharing, connectedness, or feeling known.”

Experts claim that depression in itself is organic; some factors can intensify episodes and increase its frequency. As millennial leaders, they are seen as the backbone of the organization; the one to act as a support system rather than asking for support. Like any other millennials, they have struggled with regards to financial uncertainty and escalating student loan debts. Also, they are often neglectful of their physical and mental wellbeing. They usually have a poor diet and unhealthy sleeping habits. It has also created some forms of irrational fears that allow the individual to experience symptoms of a panic attack and inability to cope with certain situations. With top business leaders settling for just 3-4 hours of sleep of night, many millennials feel pressured to follow their footsteps and work more than 100 hours per week to be successful.

However, John Grohol, PsyD disagrees, saying, “An alternative view — and one worth considering — is that perhaps we’re focusing on millennials more because of a poor economy that is keeping such young adults from entering the workforce, finding a partner, marrying, and starting a family.”

Depression is considered a severe illness, but the good part is, it can be treated. The following strategies are specifically designed to lessen the impacts of depression on millennial leaders, their businesses and people who rely on them.

 

Absenteeism policies should support seeking help for mental illness.

 

Source: denmeditation.com

 

Depression is considered a chronic health condition with episodes and exacerbations. Individuals who have depression need ongoing care and therapy. Sadly, many companies don’t usually give the same accommodation for persons with mental illness as compared to those who have physical impairments. A fitting example of this is the time off policies. Due to these rigid systems, depressed millennials often force themselves to work to avoid penalties for being absent, but the level of presenteeism is questionable. It is recommended that companies adopt policies that encourage seeking health and productivity.

 

A paradigm shift in attitudes about self-care and wellness

People most especially millennials are given the idea that neglecting their wellbeing in favor of productivity and accomplishment is good quality. An employee who works despite sickness, pulls all-nighters, and eats lunch at the work desk rather than taking the sick days, clocks out on time and taking timely breaks is often labeled as a hard worker and go-getter. Somebody who prioritizes self-care is put in second best at times even seen as weak and not ambitious. The mindset is counterproductive in the long term. Taking care of yourself will result in a lesser likelihood of burnouts, depression, and suicidal ideations. Company leaders and managers should encourage self-care and be vigilant in making sure that employees are not overworked. It is important not to shame and criticize those who have healthy workplace boundaries.

 

Utilizing health techniques like meditation

 

Source: denmeditation.com

 

Most of the time, companies have set up a wellness initiative. These initiatives are often related to one’s physical health such as encouraging regular health screenings, healthier food options and incentives on a gym membership. However, these efforts often fail to include depression.  Mindfulness meditation, self-care, and coping strategies are just some of the crucial topics that also needs to be addressed.