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  1. Earlier
  2. Admit it: Daily commutes - those stops, the starts, all that stress - gets on your last nerve. View the full article
  3. hello i just joined today i found this site listing of phobias which helped me identify the correct name of what i fear https://www.healthline.com/health/list-of-phobias#common-fears i hope it helps
  4. Hi everyone i just joined today so just wanted to pop in and say hi before have a proper look around. The reason for joining is that the other day i had a panic attack and i felt so stupid afterwards. I had gone to drop off some desserts at my friends flat, since my mum made extra and gave me some but i am diabetic. I was diagnosised in November last year with type 2 diabetics. My friend lives on 8th floor and since I've gone there often enough i didn't need take my daughter with me. So i went up and i done the breathing in and out etc that i normally do even with someone with me, got off fine enough knocked on the door went in. I stayed away from the windows as normal and was fine. Once i left the bloody lift was taking ages and i started getting my normal symptoms breathing hard, thinking i was stuck up there etc then the lift said was out of service thats when i started shaking and sweating and panicking i felt weak in my knees and the other lift was on the next floor down as its odd lift system. My friend had to walk me along the corridor which is clear glass and down the stairs at one point i froze and couldn't walk i remember her saying for me to trust her. By the time i went down 2 flights of stairs and to the 7th floor outside the lift i was in full panic mode and she had to help me call the lift. It took me almost 15 mins to settle myself after i got to the ground floor. Its been a long time since last time i had this big of a panic attack i'd say about almost 4 years. I thought i was better and i feel so disappointed that this has happened. I have always had a fear of heights since i can remember i was told it happened after something silly happened when i was about 4 years old but in adulthood hearing it i consider traumatic. I decided seeking support online as i feel stupid going GP especially since its covid time and lots more pressing and serious things happening. I am just finding it hard and i live on the 2nd floor and i can't seem to go out onto my veranda or even when walking to the lift and back i feel nauseous and i can feel myself starting to have a panic. I was ok before getting the the stage i could go up to the 4th floor without worrying but now i can't stomach going up there or even being weary in my own flat. I am bidding for a bigger council housing and i'm terrified i may get a flat on a high floor that i don't even want to check sometimes what is on offer. not sure what to do about it
  5. Hi, I've never really delved into forums before for something like this but I'm feeling disturbed and confused by an image I saw. I believe I may have discovered my first phobia and I'm not sure why I feel extreme anxiety over it. The closest thing I could use to describe what I think it may be like is the fear of patterns/disturbing imagery? The thing is I'm no stranger to violent imagery, content, movies, video games, etc. But I came across a certain image involuntarily of a horse's hoof without the cap. I refuse to retrieve and post the image here because I cant stand thinking about or seeing it. If you dont think you'd be disturbed by it yourself it's most likely the first result in Google image search when I looked it up while talking to a friend to give him an idea of what I saw, why it gave me a nightmare, I cant get it out of my head and it disturbs me as much as it is. If anyone could help me understand why I feel how I do and why this is disturbing to the point of not having slept all night, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you
  6. Zoe

    Progress Tracking

    Days 4 & 5: Yesterday I found a place near me that does driving lessons and specializes in driving phobia/anxiety. The cost is steep, but not unmanageable. Something like $180 for one 2-hour lesson. It's not something I could do right now, but I've bookmarked it and once I have the budget for it I want to start with one per month, then maybe work in two per month, until driving feels more natural to me. I also added a lot more to my driving playlist... it's over an hour long now! For today, I found a video playlist of rules of the road in my state, so I'll spend some time watching those. I'm guessing it will help me feel more confident just to be reminded that I do know these things (even those I have a license and passed my driver's tests ages ago, I still find myself second-guessing what the "right" thing to do is in various scenarios). It's possible that I'll overthink it regardless until I learn how to manage my anxiety, but it's not a bad place to start
  7. Zoe

    Progress Tracking

    Day 3: Used Google street view to faux-navigate from my place to the mall, In-N-Out, and back home. It was nice doing little "test runs" like if I took a wrong turn, I'd try to figure out how to get back organically, not just skip to the right spot on the map. So that was helpful! And it makes me more enthusiastic about the idea of trying it out for real.
  8. Zoe

    Progress Tracking

    Day 2: starting super small this time; I'm sure I can build momentum as long as I stay consistent. Created a driving playlist and added five songs.
  9. Zoe

    Progress Tracking

    Day 1, Version 2.0! Hard to believe it's been almost a year since I last wrote in this! I got pretty discouraged and gave up last time. But I still do want to figure this problem out. So I'm going to try out some new strategies. 1) Driving lessons helped; this time I'll make it a priority to get some formal driving help, ideally from someone who specializes in phobias. I'll have to wait a little until this is financially possible, but I can put it on the top of my list. In the meantime, maybe there are people I know who would be willing to perform this 'instructor' role. I think the main thing is finding people who stay calm... 2) This is another thing that'll require some financial commitment and will be a longer-term goal, but I've never owned my own car, and I think this makes it harder. It's more stressful to think of damaging someone *else's* stuff. And if I get something I'm excited about (I'm thinking teal convertible) then it might tempt me to drive more. 3) I've noticed that the nature of the problem is twofold in terms of what happens for me mentally. First, I get really overwhelmed by the amount of things I feel I need to keep track of: whether there are pedestrians, what other cars are doing, what the rules of the road are in a given circumstance, what all the buttons do, figuring out how to navigate to a place when I'm honestly terrible with directions.... It feels like too much to track all at once. Then the social (embarrassment), financial (cost of damaging expensive stuff) and physical (injury or death) risks also overwhelm me and trigger a lot of stress. So a sense of overwhelm is the common factor. So what can I do to help keep myself out of that overwhelmed state of mind? -- Breathing and getting as comfortable as possible (physically) in the car. -- Maybe I can focus on learning only one of these things at a time until I'm pretty comfortable, then try putting them together later on. For example, I could spend a week just learning all the features/functions of the car before doing any driving. I could spend another week reviewing rules of the road, another week trying to get better at orienting myself in my surroundings, looking at maps, etc. -- It might help me feel less stressed if I felt I had more safe ways to take breaks. One thing that scares me about driving is the sense that once I start, I'm kind of stuck doing it until I get back home. Getting in the habit of pulling over in various places, even when I'm not stressed yet, just to show that it's an option, might help with that. -- Having a strong sense of what protocol is in the event of an accident or getting lost would also help. If I know a sequence of steps to do, I can just focus on the next step instead of focusing on the problem and how stressful it is. -- I can find ways to be more tolerant of my mistakes in this area. The risks feel so high when it comes to driving and so I find it challenging to accept that I might make bad choices or put myself in danger. Maybe there are ways I could develop more trust in myself and come to terms with the unsettling reality that I very well *could* hurt myself or someone else, cost myself a lot of money, totally embarrass myself, etc. I mean, doesn't every driver have to ultimately come to terms with these facts and risks? I wonder why it's so hard for me to accept. I feel a lot of internal resistance... Like, I really really don't want the chance of these things happening. But I could survive these things, barring a mistake that actually kills me. Most driving mistakes are upsetting and/or expensive but able to be fully recovered from. That's probably something to think about.
  10. In Sweden, approximately one in five adults suffers from dental anxiety or phobia. The number has decreased over time, but still, an important part of the population has major problems, according to a recent doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg. View the full article
  11. Phobiasupportforum

    Podcast: Depression Management Hints and Tips

    Can a never-depressed person truly understand what your depression is like? Or give you advice? Probably not. It’s like getting parenting advice from a non-parent. In today’s show, our two depressed co-hosts, Gabe and Lisa, understand the pain of depression and are here to share their experiences and offer some helpful tips. If you’re struggling with depression, tune in for a great discussion — from two people who have been there and understand what you’re going through. By the end, you’ll know you’re not alone. (Transcript Available Below) Please Subscribe to Our Show: And We Love Written Reviews! About The Not Crazy podcast Hosts Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations, available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from Gabe Howard. To learn more, please visit his website, gabehoward.com. Lisa is the producer of the Psych Central podcast, Not Crazy. She is the recipient of The National Alliance on Mental Illness’s “Above and Beyond” award, has worked extensively with the Ohio Peer Supporter Certification program, and is a workplace suicide prevention trainer. Lisa has battled depression her entire life and has worked alongside Gabe in mental health advocacy for over a decade. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband; enjoys international travel; and orders 12 pairs of shoes online, picks the best one, and sends the other 11 back. Computer Generated Transcript for “Depression Tips” Episode Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you. Lisa: You’re listening to Not Crazy, a Psych Central podcast hosted by my ex-husband, who has bipolar disorder. Together, we created the mental health podcast for people who hate mental health podcasts. Gabe: Hey, everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of the Not Crazy podcast. My name is Gabe Howard and I am your host. But with me, as always, is the great Lisa Kiner. Lisa: Oh, thank you, Gabe. And today’s quote comes to us from Atticus, Depression is being colorblind and constantly told how colorful the world is. Gabe: This speaks to me in ways that I just cannot explain, Lisa: I know it’s awesome, right? Gabe: Right? Lisa: I like it a lot. Gabe: I think that people think that they understand depression in the same way that people think they understand colorblindness. Right? Depression is the absence of happiness. Colorblindness is the absence of color. But. Lisa: Colorblindness actually doesn’t work that way. Gabe: Well, but you see what I mean? Lisa: Right, right, right, the analogy is even better than we thought. Oh, boom. Mind blown. Gabe: Exactly, the average person is like, oh, you see the world in black and white, but that’s not what’s actually happening. Just like depression is not this absence of happiness. It’s a painful feeling. It’s a weighted feeling. It’s being pulled into a dark hole. It’s loneliness, it’s emptiness. It’s shallow, it’s awful. It’s, it feels differently from person to person to person, just like colorblindness appears differently person to person to person and but everybody is wandering around like, well, I know what color blindness is. It’s like the whole world was a black and white TV. There. I got it. Solved the problem. Lisa: You are stunningly good at analogies. Gabe: I know, it’s like it’s my job. This leaves the person who is colorblind to think, wow, you don’t get me at all. But what’s worse is you are positive that you do and you won’t listen to me to explain that you don’t get it. I think that’s how people with depression feel. Not only do they not understand you, they’re 100% positive, that they do understand you and unwilling to listen to anything that we have to say to convince them otherwise, which, of course, just deepens that hole. It deepens that loneliness and frustration and, well, frankly, desperation. Lisa: Yeah, it makes it even sadder. Gabe: Today we’re going to talk about coping with depression and maybe some helpful hints, because frankly, I just I think that we can only get tips for dealing with depression from other people who have dealt with and manage depression. So congratulations, everybody, your depressed co-hosts of Not Crazy are here to save the day. Right, Lisa? Lisa: Absolutely. Gabe: Wow, just the most depressing. Lisa: I know Gabe: Absolutely ever, Lisa: Sorry. Well, because I have some Gabe: I just, your energy level is garbage. Lisa: Ok, stop, I want to say something. I want to respond to a point that you made earlier and I’ll figure out how to work it in. You know, I had a friend once who said. Gabe: You know, you don’t have to work it in, you can just you’re always thinking about how do I make a sound better? I think the audience knows that we’re dipshits by now. I don’t I don’t think we’re fooling anybody with our creative edits. They Lisa: You’re not helping Gabe: They know we suck. Make your point. Lisa: You’re not helping me get in the correct zone for point making. Gabe: You don’t need to be in a zone. The point is the point is the point. Your feelings Lisa: Ok, so Gabe: Are irrelevant to facts. Lisa: One time I said to someone, I feel like people who do not have mental illness, cannot understand mental illness, and I was specifically talking about doctors, I feel like my doctor who does not have mental illness does not get it. And she said, well, but isn’t that the truth with everyone? I mean, what if you had diabetes? Would a person who didn’t have diabetes understand it? And. Well, on the one hand, I don’t have diabetes, but yeah, I feel like they would. I feel like it’s not the same. And I don’t know why. I feel like mental illness is different than other things. I feel like I do have an understanding of all these other diseases, diabetes, a broken leg that I do not have. But I feel like I do understand it. But is that me doing the same thing that other people do with mental illness? I don’t know. Gabe: There’s an element of this, right, we’re all arrogant about things Lisa: Right, Gabe: That impact other people. Lisa: That’s the word I’m looking for, arrogance, is this just my own arrogance? I don’t know. Gabe: Somewhat, right? I think it’s all in how much we scratch below the surface, right? Think of like parenting, you know, how everybody who has no children is the perfect Lisa: Right, my kids would be perfect. Gabe: I’m going to pick on my sister because my sister, before she had kids, she just walked around judging everybody’s parents. My kid’ll never throw a temper tantrum in a parking lot. My kid’ll never do this. My kid will never eat that. My kid will never watch this. My kid won’t have that problem. My kid will never back talk me. Yeah. I love my niece. And what I love most about her is that she just proves my sister wrong every single day. Lisa: That does sound enjoyable. Gabe: Yeah, it’s awesome as her big brother, but I don’t have kids, so it’s fun to watch, but it’s not that my sister’s a bad person. She thought that she understood. She observed other parents. She thought about her own upbringing and she formulated these opinions. But when parents were telling her, look, lady, that’s not how it works. My sister was like, pretty sure that’s how it works. And yeah, she’s just done nothing but eat crow since little Eva was born. The difference is, is to my sister’s credit and to many people’s credit, they’re like, yeah, I was wrong. I was completely unprepared for this. I was completely wrong. I am just so wrong. And I think we get that in like other illnesses, like you said, a broken leg. I think that many of us have broken a leg or at least respect the thoughts, views and opinions of somebody who we know who has broken a leg. But when it comes to depression, when it comes to any mental illness, really, but the show’s about depression. People are like, look, you’re describing it incorrectly. And they’re like, no depression of mine will ever behave that way. Lisa: Yeah. Gabe: And they just walk away with all of the arrogance of a 20-year-old with no kids judging people who have kids because they’re positive that their child raising skills are superior even though they have no children. I think this allows us not to move forward in educating the public because they think they already know it. Lisa: And this leads to your point of the best place to get advice on how to deal with depression is from people who have depression. Gabe: Yes, and I don’t want everybody to, like, cancel all of their appointments with their therapists and doctors, right. As somebody who lives with depression, as somebody who manages depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, the first advice that I’m going to give you is work with your therapist and your doctor. Lisa: For your long, long term management, yeah, you need a therapist, you need a doctor, take your meds, do your therapy, we just want to talk a little bit, maybe more around the edges for when you’re having a bad day or things just aren’t quite where you want them to be. This is not about when you’re really bad, when you’re really sick, you’re really deep in the hole. Gabe: We also want to give you a few points, maybe, you know, your mileage may vary about how to talk to your therapist, talk to your doctor, talk to your prescriber, because so often, if they are dismissive, we sort of get handcuffed because we have this idea that perhaps we can’t argue with them. Lisa: Well, yeah, because it’s your fault, it’s on you, Gabe: Well, yeah, it’s on you. Lisa: It’s your mistake, not theirs. Gabe: Yeah, it’s nobody’s mistake, it’s an illness process, I hate this whole oh, my God, the patient is sick. Is it the patient’s fault or the doctor’s fault? It’s depression’s fault. It’s the illness’s fault. Why? Why are we blaming patient or doctor? You know, there’s a third party in the room, dumb asses. It’s the illness’s fault. Lisa: Well, people with mental illness are in a bad position because by definition, your brain is not working correctly or not working optimally. So when your doctor says something and it’s putting it on you, you’re like, well, that makes sense. I’m the problem here, clearly. You’re kind of stuck. Gabe: You’re kind of stuck, but I want people to understand that there are things that they can do to advocate for themselves, and the first thing is, is to tell your doctor, I don’t accept that. I don’t accept that this is my fault and I don’t accept that I am stuck. I want real goals. I want you to tell me what I need to do so that I can mark them down. And if I do those things and I’m not better, then we know it’s not me. In the deepest, darkest depression, and I know that’s hard, keep a lot of notes, find an ally, find a Lisa, find a friend, find somebody to help keep track of this. Don’t talk about depression in this abstract way. I’m depressed. What did you do? I went to a doctor. What’s the goal? To be not depressed. We need hard goals. You know, I’m depressed. What’s the goal? To get dressed in the morning? OK, I want to work with my therapist on how to get dressed in the morning. That’s a real manageable goal. And I’m going to give you a hint. Lisa: Ok, you have a hint? Gabe: I feel that we’ve beat to death this idea that you should work with your doctor, right, Lisa? Like nobody is saying that the Not Crazy podcast is a replacement for medical advice. Agreed? Lisa: Agree, Gabe: Ok, good. Lisa: Strongly agree. Gabe: All right. Let’s start at the beginning of the day. One of the problems that I often have is I just I can’t get out of bed in the morning. Now, I don’t like mean literally can’t. I’m not, like, laying in bed paralyzed or. I just wake up and I look around and I think I don’t want to do this. I don’t. And you remember these depressive episodes, Lisa. It was. Lisa: It was difficult, it was very difficult, but I bet that you have some tips for dealing with that. Gabe: The first thing I want to say is I think this is where severe depression sort of starts, right? This I don’t want to get out of bed or I don’t want to leave my couch or I don’t want to leave my house. Just this. Lisa: It’s an overwhelming apathy. Gabe: Yes, yes, and it’s this like you want to cocoon. Lisa: Yeah, in a big gray blanket. Gabe: Yeah, I don’t know what color my blanket was, but Lisa: Well, no, because it’s gray, because it’s depression. Gabe: Oh, I get it. Lisa: Yeah, a big gray, wet blanket. Gabe: Oh, I don’t know what made it wet, but, Lisa: Tears, Gabe: Yeah, Lisa: Though, not really. Gabe: I don’t think you’re far off, but I have some general tips for this. You know, one of the first things is, as you know, I thought to myself, OK, well, I need to get out of bed. Right. So, Lisa: Step one. Gabe: Yeah, step one, get out of bed. But that’s like really easy to say, right? It’s like, well, I’m depressed. What do I do? You just cheer up. Well, that’s not very helpful. How do you get out of bed? And I think there are some hints and tips to help with even that most basic idea of getting out of bed, put an alarm clock across the room. This has helped me because I have to physically get on my feet to turn off the alarm clock. And the alarm clock is so annoying that it overrides this general desire to stay in bed. Lisa: That is the only way I can get up is if I put the alarm clock on the other side of the room because otherwise, I just turn over and hit it off. But it really annoys my husband Gabe: Well, and. Lisa: Because it goes off so much longer than it would otherwise. Gabe: If you don’t live alone, you can ask a roommate to turn on a light for you. Lisa: Yeah. Gabe: Or open your window or, you know, do something like that. That’s what you would do, Lisa. You would come in and open the windows, turn on the light, open the door. But once you’re actually physically on your feet, like, that’s the least of your problems, right? You’re standing up. I mean, chances are having to go to the bathroom will get you out of bed. That part kind of works itself out eventually. So the big indicator for me was personal hygiene. Was showering, you know, am I taking a shower? Am I shaving? Am I brushing my teeth? And. Lisa: For unknown reasons, that was something that you fixated on, it just seemed really overwhelming to you. Strangely, you would do other things, but that particular thing just you couldn’t seem to get past. Gabe: It was so hard. So one of the goals that I made was to get dressed to get like real dressed like. Lisa: Yeah, not pajamas and robe dressed. Gabe: Right, like out in the world and here, here’s the helpful hint, guys, Lisa: Oh, yeah. Gabe: So many people say, well, my goal today is to get dressed OK, but that’s actually like a bunch of little things, right? Get dressed is the conclusion. There’s actually quite a few steps, right? There’s getting out of bed. There’s shaving, there’s taking a shower, there’s brushing your teeth, there’s washing your hair. There’s putting on clean underwear, clean socks and picking out clothes is even on there. And one of the ways that I helped myself a real great deal was I listed all of those things one at a time in order. Step one, get out of bed, step two, shave, step three, get in shower, step four, shampoo. And you’re thinking, wow, that’s like really cumbersome. But the one it is. But who cares? We’re moving forward. But it let me cross a lot of little things off the list. Now, you remember Lisa. Lisa: He would literally cross them off the list. Gabe: And I wrote them on the mirror in my bathroom because most bathroom mirrors, if you buy a dry erase marker, you can just write it right on there. Actually, I was wrong, pick out clothes was the first thing I put on the list. And I could usually cross that one off before I went to bed. Lisa: Getting a jump start on the day. Gabe: Yeah, yeah, I’m going to bed with a win. We tend to do this like people say, I want to graduate college, OK, that’s a good goal. But could you imagine if you showed up to college on your first day and you asked the admissions people are like, hey, what do I need to do? And they said, you need to graduate college. OK, but how? By going to college. Graduating college is the conclusion. Getting dressed, getting ready, facing the day. That’s the conclusion. Write it out. Give yourself credit along the way. Lisa: You did have like a five-point list that you wrote on the mirror almost every day. Gabe: Yeah. Lisa: And it was like shower, shave, brush teeth. And you went straight down the list with the marker and crossed it off as you went. It seemed to make you very happy. Gabe: I don’t know, there was something cathartic almost about accomplishing things, and you’re thinking to yourself, if you’re like me anyway, well, those are so stupid, those are stupid accomplishments. And if you’ve never been in the midst of really serious depression, I can understand that knee jerk reaction that that writing, you know, shave and then crossing it off is stupid. Lisa: It worked, though. Gabe: I’m telling you, the day before, I did nothing. Nothing. So, when all I did in a day was brush my teeth, comb my hair, shave, put on clean underwear, get dressed, that was an amazing accomplishment. And then I started building on the list, go get the mail, drive and get a Diet Coke or a cup of coffee. It just built until one day I realized that I was just doing this stuff automatically in the quote unquote normal amount of time and. Lisa: You didn’t need the list anymore. Gabe: I didn’t need the list anymore, and I would usually just realize, oh, huh, I didn’t write the list, life would just sort of move on. And we think to ourselves, well, why should I give myself credit for brushing my teeth? Because it’s hard. It’s hard for people like us. It’s an accomplishment for people like us. Don’t shame your success. Celebrate it. Well, other people don’t need to do this. First off, you don’t know what’s written on other people’s mirrors. All right? You just don’t. That’s number one thing. And number two, who cares? They’re not living your life. You’re living your life. This puts you in the best position. Lisa: You still do it occasionally, Gabe: Occasionally I do, Lisa: Yeah. Gabe: It’s still a coping skill that I use, you know, another coping skill that I use, Lisa, that that you taught me Lisa: Oh, Gabe: That. Yeah. Lisa: I’m sure this is a good one. Gabe: This is a super important, are you ready? Lisa: Ok, I’m ready. Gabe: Sleep hygiene. Lisa: We all know how much Gabe loves to talk about sleep hygiene. Gabe: Anybody that’s been a long-time listener of Gabe Howard knows how much I love sleep hygiene; I cannot overstate that I believe that sleep drives my mental health, my bipolar, anxiety, mania, depression more than anything else. It’s also an incredible predictor. But this all starts with respecting sleep and knowing how to manage it. And normally I give this whole big speech about everything that I know about sleep hygiene, but I learned it from Lisa. So, real treat everybody. Lisa is going to teach us sleep hygiene. Lisa: Ok, sleep hygiene means having a consistent routine and a consistent waking up and going to bed time, that can be so difficult when you’re depressed. Like Gabe says, nobody respects sleep. You should use your bed only for sleep and sex. That’s it. Don’t have your TV in the bedroom. Don’t be playing with your phone before you go to sleep. None of that. Sleep and sex, that’s it. Gabe: It’s so simple, it’s almost annoying, right? First off, sleep is just as important as food. Just hear me on that one. It is just as important as food. If you eat garbage all day, you will feel like shit. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will feel like shit. Those things go together. Lisa: Well, but when people talk about health, they always talk about diet and exercise, but no one ever throws in sleep. Diet, exercise and sleep, they should have equal footing. Gabe: They really, really, really should, but for some reason they don’t, so I am going to fix that. Like that’s my mission. A lot of people hear where are you supposed to go to bed and get up at the same time? And they’re like, well, but with depression, I can’t control when I fall asleep. And what if I stay up all night ruminating or, you know, anxiety follows my depression around pretty easily where I just get caught in this feedback loop and I stay up later and later and later. Yeah, it’s really rough when that same time in the morning comes around and I’ve only gotten two hours sleep and people say to me, well but sleep is so important, Gabe, then you should just sleep all day, otherwise you’re going to have a really bad day. You’re going to be irritable, you’re going to be grumpy, you’re not going to get that sleep. Yeah, all of those things are true except for the part where you don’t get up anyway and you’re thinking to yourself, why would I do that to myself for a day? Because otherwise you’re going to do that to yourself for two days a week, four days. You’re going to get your routine all messed up. You’re going to get your sleep cycle off. One bad day is awful. So, imagine seven bad days. I once got my sleep schedule, so out of whack, I don’t think I knew up from down for a month and that all could have been avoided by having one bad day. Now, Lisa, the only use your bedroom for sleep and sex thing really throws a lot of people because a lot of people use their bedrooms as a sanctuary away Lisa: Right, Gabe: From children, Lisa: Roommates. Gabe: Roommates. It would be nice if everybody listening had multiple rooms in their house and they could just dedicate a room. But there are still things that you can do in your bedroom to make sure that your bed is only used for sleep and sex. One thing is to have a chair in your room if you can. So if you are going to have a TV in there, don’t watch TV in bed, sit in the chair next to your bed and watch the TV. That way, when you’re in the bed, it still creates this demarcation. Lisa: Well, it even if you can’t do that for some reason, you have a really small apartment, have a consistent bedtime routine, that these are the things I do before I go to sleep. You brush your teeth, put on your jammies, whatever, sit in that chair and read for 20 minutes. You have a consistent routine that you do every night, no matter what. I personally sometimes do not give enough credit to sleep. When I get really depressed, you just start ruminating on those thoughts. And for me, I think staying up late is actually a form of procrastination. You know how you always tell little kids the sooner you go to bed, the sooner Santa will be here? Well, yeah, the sooner you go to bed, the sooner tomorrow will be here. And all the things that you have to do tomorrow will be here. So if you stay up, you can put that off. Yeah, it always is self-defeating. Gabe: Well, it’s self-sabotage, especially for you, Lisa. Lisa: Yeah, I get so much more emotional when I haven’t slept, I’m just on the knife’s edge and I can’t restore my equilibrium if I’m tired. Gabe: When we talk about managing depression, it would just be ludicrous to not just point out how important sleep is to managing mental health. Lisa: And no one ever talks about it. Your doctor will ask you about your diet or your exercise, they never ask you about your sleep. It’s weird. Gabe: But thankfully, Gabe and Lisa are on the case, honestly, you would be crazy not to get enough sleep. Lisa: And again, it’s one of those things that’s so simplistic. Really? I have this life-threatening illness and you want me to make sure to go to bed on time? Yeah, Gabe: Yes, Lisa: Yeah. Yeah, Gabe: Yeah, Lisa: I do. Yeah, Gabe: Yeah, yeah, I do. Lisa: It’s not bullshit. Seriously, I speak from experience. Gabe: We also need to think outside of the box. I am very fortunate I can use my bedroom just for sleep and sex. I’ve got the whole rest of the house. But when I travel, for example, if the hotel room has a chair, I sit in the chair to watch TV rather than sit on the bed. Now, if I have to sit on the bed, I don’t get under the covers and I stay in my clothes. So Lisa: That’s a good one. Gabe: The idea is to be creative around this so that you are setting up a routine so that when you get into bed, your body knows it’s time to sleep. Another thing that I highly recommend is a white noise machine. Turn on the white noise machine only when you’re ready to go to bed, turn everything else off. A fan is very helpful. Turn on the white noise machine and the fan when you go to bed, that air across your body, being under the covers, being in pajamas or all of these things just indicate this is what you do when you sleep. And then it’s repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat. We can say until we’re blue in the face that Lisa doesn’t respect sleep, but Lisa is not uncommon. Lisa, along with sleep hygiene, what are some other things that you think that people can do to manage their depression in a helpful and meaningful way? Lisa: Well, again, the idea of having a schedule is so important, so you’re getting up at the same time every day, and one of the things that might help you keep to a schedule maybe is a pet. Gabe: Really, you’re advising people to get a living creature. Should we start with a plant? Lisa: Well, maybe you should start with a plant, maybe a hamster, hamsters are really nice. Gabe: Well, you know, that’s very interesting, actually, I’m really glad that you pointed that out. You know, in my mind, dog. Everybody is going to run out and buy a 100-pound German shepherd. But you are right, there’s pocket pets. I said plant and you brought up hamster. Do you think that the I’m really trying hard not to say, hey, do you think depressed people can take care of hamsters? Lisa: Yes, actually, I do, because it gives you something else to focus on, something else to think about, something that isn’t just about you. It’s someone else, something else that is counting on you. And depending on the pet, especially right now, COVID time, if you’re not getting a lot of human interaction, you have your pet. You know, it’s something that provides you with affection and you could get that dog and cuddle with it and pet it and it’s just it’s very soothing. Gabe: Lisa, you had a hamster. Lisa: I did have a hamster as a child. I loved my hamster a lot. Gabe: I was hoping that you would just open yourself up and just confess to the people your love of your hamster. What was your hamster’s name? Lisa: Twitchell. Gabe: Twitchell. Tell everybody about little depressed Lisa taking care of little Twitchell. Lisa: I was a troubled kid, I had a lot of trouble with depression, I didn’t have a lot of friends, I was very lonely and I got a hamster. As I think back about it now, it’s actually really depressing. I’m actually feeling a little bit emotional. I’m 40 and I’m getting emotional thinking about the rodent I had that died when I was 10, but I was ridiculously attached to this hamster. Her name was Twitchell because her nose twitched. I thought that was incredibly clever. It just gave me something else to love, you know, because like I said, I was lonely and there was nobody else around. Gabe: And it wasn’t just about loving, it was also about the routine of caring for Twitchell. Lisa: Yeah, because you had to feed her, you had to take care of her cage, and of course, you want to do that at the same time every day and that you felt this responsibility. I have to be at least up and alert enough to do these things or I’m letting her down, you know, so you have this responsibility to someone else and maybe you don’t have the incentive to get up and get going for yourself, but you do for your pet. Gabe: Now, Lisa, you moved on from Twitchell when you were a little older, you got a turtle and now I was fascinated by this because when I met Lisa, she had a turtle and she was like, well, I’ve had that turtle since I was 10. I was like, that’s not true, that turtles don’t live that long. And she was like, turtles live like 50, 60 years. And I was like, well, I’ve only seen the little turtles. And Lisa said. Lisa: You know, I hate that. Oh, when I was a kid, I had the little turtles. Babies? No, no, no, not the babies, the little ones. Babies, those are babies. Everyone’s like, no, no, no. That’s a different breed of turtle that stays small. Yeah, it’s a baby. And then they’ll say things like, no, no, no. I had that turtle for like a year and it never got any bigger. Yeah, because you weren’t taking good care of it. It was a baby. Gabe: It’s extraordinarily important that any pet that you get, you make sure that you can care for the pet. Lisa: Yes. Gabe: And that you have a backup plan in the event that you cannot. Now don’t run out and grab a pet thinking the pet is going to solve all of your problems, make sure that you are ready for the pet and that you have a backup plan. Backup plans are very important when caring for living creatures. I cannot stress enough that you might want to start with a plant. This is not advice for the severely depressed. This is an advanced skill. We wanted to mention pets because the research is just clearly there, but we don’t want everybody running out getting a pet that they, you know, slowly torture and kill. I think that’s what we’re trying to say, Lisa. Lisa: Well, keep in mind, even among pocket pets, they could be a lot more difficult to take care of, especially reptiles and birds, people do not realize the amount of work and effort that’s involved in properly caring for them. And obviously, you don’t want to get a pet so that you can take poor care of it. So this is a bit of advanced skill. Make sure you do your research. I owned reptiles for decades and they just take a lot more work than most people think. Gabe: As somebody who suffers from depression, I got to tell you, my dog, I love my dog. My dog absolutely helps with my depression. It helps with my routine. I’ve got to care for this dog. I feel a sense of pride in watching him, caring for him, molding him, taking him to the vet. Lisa: And responsibility. Gabe: Yeah, I cannot be more clear that Peppy is a point of pride and success for me, but that said, I want to make sure that I do right by him even when I’m sick. It’s of vital importance to understand that. So we have sort of a happy medium, which is volunteer at the Humane Society, find a shelter. Lisa: Then you could pet things. Gabe: Then you can play with the pets, care for the pets, be around the pets, but also then you can go home. Lisa, you have, I don’t remember, did you ever volunteer for any sort of animal shelter? Lisa: Yeah, because I didn’t want to have a dog in my house and I couldn’t afford it, but I wanted to be able to pet them. Gabe: I remember that I fostered a kitten for a few weeks. Do you remember because when I fostered Lisa: I do remember. Gabe: That kitten, you were like Gabe got a kitten. I was like, I’m just a foster. Six weeks, and then the kitten was adopted. But that was a really good experience because, one, it was temporary. And two, I had the agency checking in on me. So fostering was actually a great step for me. And I got to play with the kitten. Lisa: And also, I’m sure if your neighbor or someone you know has a dog, they’ll let you walk it. Dogs can walk for days. If you say, hey, can I take your dog for a walk? They will totally let you do it because, yeah, no one can walk a dog as much as the dog wishes to be walked. Gabe: You know, I just thought of a service that Kendall and I use to take care of Peppy sometimes, I’m not going to mention the name, but it’s just an app. It’s sort of like Uber for people who walk dogs, take care of pets, you know, check in on them. You can play with other people’s dogs, walk other people’s dogs and make a little money. Just Google Uber of dog walkers. They didn’t pay us. And I’m not certainly referring them. I just I wonder, everybody so far that’s taken care of Peppy from that service has had a day job. I wonder how many of those folks are like, hey, I get to play with puppies and make a little extra money. Sort of reminds me of, like, people like I don’t join a gym. I’m a mover on the weekends. Lisa: That is an excellent idea that I might wow, think of all the money you’d save. But pets give you something else to focus on and they’re a source of uncomplicated affection. Gabe: Back in a minute after these messages. Announcer: Interested in learning about psychology and mental health from experts in the field? Give a listen to the Psych Central Podcast, hosted by Gabe Howard. Visit PsychCentral.com/Show or subscribe to The Psych Central Podcast on your favorite podcast player. Announcer: This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp.com. Secure, convenient, and affordable online counseling. Our counselors are licensed, accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions, plus chat and text with your therapist whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face to face session. Go to BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counseling is right for you. BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral. Lisa: We’re back, talking about depression management. Gabe: You know, Lisa, we’ve been kind of doing a combo deal here where we tell you how you can play with pets and volunteer, but volunteerism in and of itself is a way to help avoid, alleviate and lift yourself up out of depression. Lisa: Studies are very clear that volunteerism works, it gives you that something to regularize your schedule, it gives you a place to go, it gives you responsibility, and it gives you that social interaction. Gabe: It also gives you success, right? I just I used to be a volunteer manager and I called it the warm and fuzzy feeling. You know, everybody said volunteers work for free. No, they don’t. Volunteers do not work for free. They work for that warm and fuzzy feeling. You must connect their efforts with accomplishment, with success. That’s what they want. And I think this is really relevant and important for people who suffer from depression, because a lot of times we feel like we just feel like we’re not doing any good in the world Lisa: Right. Lisa: And volunteering gives you those positive accolades. Gabe: You know, Lisa, we’re very aware of all of the common volunteer activities, you know, volunteering in a soup kitchen or volunteering with animals. But, you know, the mental health community has so many open volunteer opportunities that I don’t think people look into. Now, you want to make sure that your own recovery is very stable and sturdy before you move into them. But I hate it when people who live with mental illness don’t volunteer for our causes because, well frankly, we do have a hard time securing volunteers. Lisa: Yes, it is a difficult thing, stigma is everywhere. And so, in your community, do you have a drop in center? Do you have a clubhouse program? Is there someplace that you could go to help out? Gabe: Also, don’t discount volunteering for a fundraiser. Lisa: Yeah, fundraising is what keeps the lights on. Gabe: My first foray into mental health volunteerism was for a mental health walk. Lisa: Yeah. Gabe: My volunteerism was I was a team captain. I put together a team, I raised some money. I showed up on Walk day, and then I grew from there. That was the first year, you remember it was called Gabe’s Group. Lisa: Yeah, we got matching T-shirts. Gabe: Yeah, we’re original at making names. The next year they asked me to do more, right. Not only was I a team captain, but I also gave a speech training other team captains and like getting people excited. And then the year after that, we volunteered to help organize the walk and put up signs. And there’s always stuff that you can do, like look around when you’re at a fundraiser. You know, at the end of it, everybody goes home, ask them if they need help tearing down, you know, all those sponsor signs that you saw along the walk path? Somebody needs to walk that walk path again and take them down. We love volunteers that can help do this. And it makes such a huge difference. I’m sure you can think of a dozen more easy mental health volunteer ideas that you can do no matter what level of recovery you’re in. Lisa: Yes, don’t discount. Just because you can’t do a lot doesn’t mean you can’t do a little. There’s all sorts of things you could do. Get on the list to help stuff envelopes, pass out literature. You know, how you go to the library and there’s a bulletin board and it has a flier for that group? Someone had to go there and put it there. Be the person who does that. There are so many opportunities. Gabe: The most important thing is to get engaged, call up the local nonprofits in an area that’s meaningful to you like mental health and say, look, I don’t know what I can do, but here is my skill set. Here is my available time. Utilize me. Now, remember, it’s not instantaneous right. They’re not going to be like, oh, my God, tomorrow, come in. It’s a slow build. And because you don’t know where they are, especially with COVID and the pandemic. Lisa: Yeah. Gabe: There’s a lot less, unfortunately, right now. But keep an ear to the ground, ask if they have an email list and get signed up for it. The point is, is giving back. It matters. It mattered to me. Lisa, I believe it matters to you. Lisa: Of course, and there’s actual evidence to back this up, studies conclusively show that volunteering helps depression. Gabe: One of the advanced volunteer activities, of course, is peer support, leading a support group, teaching classes. There’s a lot of national mental health charities that will train you to be a support group facilitator or coordinator or teach various classes that they offer. Now, I want to be very, very clear. You need to make sure that you are secure in your stability. Lisa: And you’re pretty far along in your own recovery. Gabe: Yeah, but it absolutely helps prevent relapse. It prevents depression, it gives you that, you know, that weekly you know, oomph, that success. Now, Lisa is a trained teacher. She taught classes. They were 12-week classes once a week for 12 weeks. I am a support group facilitator. Every Thursday for a year and a half, I sat in a church basement and facilitated a mental health support group. And we both can just not say enough about that. But we grew from smaller volunteerism. Lisa, why did you sign up to be a teacher? Lisa: The truth? Because I had attended the class and I thought it was great and it helped me so much and I talked to the director of the group and said, oh, my goodness, this class is amazing. You need to have more of them. You need to get more people to take this class. And she looked at me and said, we don’t have more classes because we don’t have enough teachers. And I thought, oh, walked right into that. I’m not going to be able to say no now. And how many years ago was that? And here we are. Gabe: Oh, yeah. Years and years and years, I just want to set the proper expectations of where you are in your recovery, will determine what kind of volunteer opportunities are available for you. When I first started, I liked the open ended. You know, we accept volunteers between noon and five, you know, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. If you’re here, great. If you’re not, you’re not. And then I built into OK, we’re counting on you. We need you here at noon every Wednesday. I build into that. And some volunteer opportunities, they come with training. Lisa, you had to take a, I believe, a forty-hour training class and like a certified peer supporter is, I believe, a 60-hour training class, at least in the state of Ohio. Different states have different things. To become a facilitator for the mental health support group that I led, I actually had to travel to another city, stay in a hotel for three nights and have a pretty intensive training over three days. Lisa: So, these are more of your advanced skills, but to get a start, stuff some envelopes, do some data entry, pick up litter on the walk path. There’s always something. Gabe: And this leads us straight in to stay connected. I know that when I was sick, I just wanted to shut the world out. Lisa: You didn’t have the energy. Gabe: I didn’t want anybody to see me and I didn’t want to see them and staying connected was so valuable, I was very fortunate. I did not cultivate a group. A group cultivated me. They were my mom and dad. They were my siblings who checked in on me. They were friends that even though I did everything I could to get rid of them. Well, Lisa kept coming over. I think that sometimes I could have dipped a lot lower, but people were banging on my door asking me if I was OK and I cannot stress how I just I did so little to deserve that. It’s not like something that I worked on. So my advice to you is if you have people that are banging on your door when you are well, thank them. Thank them so much. Just be like, thank you for checking in on me. When things are great, praise them for caring about you enough to show up at your house unannounced after you’ve ignored their phone call for four days. Lisa, thank you for showing up at my house unannounced. Lisa: You’re welcome. Gabe: After I ignored your phone call for four days. But what are some things that you can do to cultivate that group if you don’t have one, if you’re not as fortunate as I was? Lisa: Well, yeah, long term you’re going to want to cultivate that group and basically just go out there and make friends, and you could do that through volunteering, through joining activities that you enjoy, your family, your workplace. So that’s a long-term plan for long term management. But in those acute moments when you’re really sick, force yourself, even though you don’t want to. Get up and go out with the friend who’s inviting you or answer the door or answer the phone call, you just have to force yourself because that keeps you connected to that group. Gabe: Now, when we say force yourself, obviously, if you need medical attention, get medical attention, but if you’re wavering, I cannot tell you how many times I was like, you know what, I don’t want to. And I. Lisa: Because you feel like it doesn’t have immediate benefit in the moment, and you’ve got enough going on. You’re like, oh, I just can’t deal with that right now. It’s just not worth it. But it is worth it. It will definitely bring you long term benefits and it also brings you short term benefits. So, when you’re waffling, oh, God, do I have the energy for this? I don’t know. I’m just going to stay home. Don’t. It’s a bad idea. Gabe: And this is where cultivation really, really matters, one of the things that I did in my social circle was, again, when we were well. You know, so many, Lisa: When you’re well. Gabe: Yes. Lisa: You got to set this up when you’re well. Gabe: Nobody wants to discuss mental illness and mental health issues and depression when they’re well, they want to pretend that it’s never coming back. Listen, it’s going to come back. Lisa: It’s coming back, yeah. Gabe: So I cannot stress this enough. But Lisa and I, we know when to push each other and we also know when to be honest with each other. So I say to Lisa, hey, let’s go out to dinner and she’ll be like, you know, I just don’t want to leave my house. And I’ll be like, OK. See, the first thing that Lisa did right was tell me the truth. She told me, I just don’t want to leave my house. Lisa: Yeah, don’t try to find an excuse, because then they’re going to find out that your excuse isn’t real, then it’s going to be a whole thing. Gabe: Right, step number two is ask some questions. Hey, Lisa, what’s going on? Is there a reason that you don’t want to leave? Is there anything I can do? Is there something that I can do to make it better? You know, I suggested this really loud, busy restaurant late at night. What if we go more low key? What if we go to the local diner? What if we just go to a fast-food restaurant? What if we just go to a coffee shop and just sit and talk? Would that help? Lisa: Or maybe something super low key? What if I just come over with a pizza? Gabe: The point is, is by setting this up when you’re well, I know that I can trust Lisa to tell her the truth, which is that I just don’t want to leave my house. And Lisa knows that I have given her permission to push a little and say, you know, look, let’s alter the plan. You know, what can we do? If you don’t want to go out on a Friday night because it’s busy, let’s change to breakfast on Saturday, that kind of thing. And it doesn’t always work. You know, Lisa and I have, you know, certainly pissed each other off a lot by pushing, but it works more than you think. But for me, Lisa, trusting me enough to say, hey, look, I’m just too anxious, depressed, moody, whatever to leave my house, that’s like really meaningful when it comes to cultivating relationships because she trusts me with this. This is not the kind of thing that you tell somebody you don’t trust. This is the kind of thing that you tell a real friend. Your friends will pick up on this. But again, I have to stress. Lisa: Gotta, you got to cover your bases when you’re well, Gabe: When you’re well. Lisa: You’re going to need to build up credit, friend credit in the bank, when you’re well because you’re not going to be able to do it when you’re sick. To find that friend that doesn’t mind your bad moods or your dark moods, you’re going to need someone that you’re really coming through for when you’re well. And how well do you know your friends? If they’re saying, oh, no, I can’t do it, I can’t go out, I’m too depressed, how hard can you push? How hard can you insist? No, look, you need to do this. It’s for your own good. Come on, let’s go. And at what point do you need to back off? It’s a difficult skill. Gabe: I really can’t stress enough that part of managing depression is managing your support group, cultivating those friendships and managing the people around you, and this means that you need to have conversations when you’re sick, when you’re not sick, when you’re perfect, when you’re, you know, wavering a little bit. It just needs to be this constant communication. And one of the reasons that is, is because of their own boundaries as well. You know, maybe they’re willing to adjust their plans for you. Hey, Gabe, are you ready to go out this Friday? You know, I just really don’t want to leave my house, OK? Look, I’ve got tickets to my favorite music group or sporting event. And you being melancholy or dragging me down is not something that I’m willing to do with hundred- and fifty-dollar tickets. So you know what? I’ll catch up with you tomorrow. I love you. Thank you for being honest with me and thank you for not dragging down my event. They need to be aware of this as well. And you need to not be offended by that, because I got to tell you, Gabe: I have ruined more than one event for Lisa where she would have preferred that I not tried, that I would have stayed home and she would have caught up with me the next day. That’s why this constant communication needs to happen. It also needs to happen when you screw up. You know, Lisa, one of the things that causes me the most amount of depression is when I know, when I know that my depression has impacted you and not talking to you about it just makes it worse. The important thing to remember here is that you need to have ongoing communication with your support system, with your friends in order to cultivate a real relationship. You need to be talking about this always, not just when you need something, not just when you’re in crisis. It can’t be the elephant in the room. And people wonder when it’s going to wreck the day. You need to weave it into your relationships because it’s just so incredibly vital to who we are as people. We suffer from depression. That’s who we are. Lisa: We all think it’s not going to come back when we’re well and it is. It’s going to come back and you need to be ready for that. Gabe: And when you’re ready for it, it really, really lessens its impact and having these conversations with your friends lets you avoid things like biting off more than you can chew and ruining their event. It allows them to help you. But remember, it’s really important that when you’re well, you repay people and repayment is not give them money or buy them dinner. No, when things are going well, let them pick. If you wrecked somebody’s weekend, make up for it later. Don’t dwell on the fact that you wrecked it. Make a plan to fix it. You know, Lisa, I wrecked a great many. Lisa: Yeah, there was some high points. Gabe: Yeah, yeah, and one of the things that Lisa and I finally learned is, one, I need to be honest when I can’t do it, because that allows Lisa to make other plans of somebody that’s not going to wreck the plans. Right. We can all agree with that. Lisa: Those were expensive tickets, that’s all I’m saying. Gabe: But it also made me, when I was well, find things that Lisa wanted to do, you know, how many times I’ve gone to Red Lobster with Lisa? Lisa: Red Lobster is delicious. Gabe: I hate this place. Like there’s nothing in there that I like, but it’s one of Lisa’s favorite restaurants. It’s probably her favorite chain restaurant, right? Lisa: I can’t help it. Yeah, it probably is my favorite chain restaurant. Gabe: Yeah, I hate this place, it’s awful, it’s awful in every way, but but Lisa: Lobsterfest? Gabe: Yeah. Lisa: I’m so sad for you that you don’t have the joy of Lobsterfest. Gabe: But I go to these things because it’s meaningful to Lisa and Lisa is like, hey, Gabe has no reason to do this. He doesn’t want to. These are the kind of things that build you goodwill. And also an apology goes a long way. So many people are like, why do I have to apologize for my illness? Yeah, it’s not your fault, but. Lisa: It’s your responsibility. Whose fault is it? Gabe: Yeah, it’s not their fault either, right? Lisa, doesn’t it suck to have to apologize for something is not your fault? Lisa: Yeah, something that you can’t control, but, hey, life isn’t fair. Gabe: It really reminds me, you know, Lisa and I have a really good friend who gets migraines and she’s constantly apologizing when the migraines, frankly, interrupt our plans. But, yeah, it’s not our fault we didn’t give her a migraine. Lisa: Right. So what do you do with that? Gabe: Yeah, so she says, I’m sorry, we say we know it’s cool, what can we do to help? But imagine if she went the other way. Look, I have a migraine. It’s not my problem. All right? I didn’t do it. It’s not my fault. Could you imagine the reaction to that? Lisa: No one would tolerate that. Gabe: Yeah, we’ll be like, look, I’m sorry you have a migraine, but I didn’t do anything. You can almost hear it now. That’s how we have to be with mental illness. I know it’s rough because it feels like stigma. It feels like discrimination and it feels like one more thing that’s put upon us. But the reality is, is anybody managing any illness would probably have to apologize for it. I mean, look, you know, I threw up on Lisa’s mom. It wasn’t my fault, but I definitely owed an apology for it. Lisa: Well, longtime listeners know there’s more to that story, but of course, we don’t hold it against Gabe because he was so apologetic after it happened. Gabe: I felt terrible. Lisa: He definitely made amends. Gabe: But could you imagine if I would have said, hey, I’m five days postop, this ain’t my problem? Lisa: Yeah, screw you. I didn’t mean to. Gabe: I’m not going to offer to clean your car up. Nobody holds it against me because I apologized and because Lisa: And corrected it. Gabe: I was truly sorry and because I made amends and now it’s just, now it’s just a funny story that’s lying in another episode of the podcast that you can dig through and find. And I don’t come off so well, but much like managing depression, I did not manage my post op too well and well, that did give me just a slight bit of culpability. Lisa: But again, no one is holding a grudge because you apologized in a sincere way. Gabe: Lisa, to wrap all this up in a nice bow, you know, managing depression is difficult and it’s one more thing that we have to work on. If you could boil this all down to like one piece of advice, what would it be? What’s like the most important thing to remember when managing depression? Lisa: I don’t know if it’s the most important thing, but something that it was always very helpful to me that a doctor recommended years ago was to make sure that you take time to do things you enjoy. And you’re thinking, I’m depressed, I don’t enjoy anything. Well, try to think of things that you enjoy when you’re not depressed, stuff that you normally enjoy, even if you’re not having a good time with it now. A lot of times when I get depressed, I think, well, I don’t really want to go do that activity because it’s just too much effort. But also, I know I’m not going to enjoy it, and that just makes the depression worse. It becomes this cycle because now I’m not having a good time and I know that I should be having a good time, but I’m not. That’s just really depressing. And you feel like you’re almost wasting your effort. You know, I have a finite amount that I can do this. I’m not going to waste it when I’m in such a bad mood, but it kind of pulls you out of it. I was surprised at how well that worked for me. Forcing yourself to do things that you normally enjoy is extremely beneficial. Gabe: The reality is, is when we only focus on the things that we hate, dislike or that remind us of being lonely, then yeah, that’s all we can focus on. Find the little things, a rerun of a television show that made you laugh or that you have fond memories of just anything, anything to pull you out of it. It really does matter in just a really, really meaningful way. Lisa: And keep in mind, if you have reached recovery, you know it’s possible. I don’t want to say something so simplistic as, oh, this too shall pass, but it is cyclical. I have periods of depression and eventually, through treatment, it gets better. So, it can get better. It will get better. And you know that it will because that’s what has happened to you in the past and that will happen again. You just have to wait it out. Gabe: You know, Lisa, it really sounds like you’re saying that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Lisa: Ooohh, the best predictor of future success is past success, so you know, what you’ve done in the past that has helped and what has hurt? Try to focus on the helped. Gabe: Rinse and repeat, just like your favorite shampoo. Thanks, everybody, for listening to this week’s episode of the Not Crazy podcast. My name is Gabe Howard and I am the author of Mental Illnesses Is an Asshole and Other Observations, which, of course, you can get on Amazon.com. But if you want to get it for less money, if you want me to sign it and you want Not Crazy podcast swag, they’re really cool stickers, head over to gabehoward.com and buy it there. I will personally mail it to you with the help of Lisa. Lisa: I was going to say, you’re not doing that personally, I will mail it to you. Don’t worry, it will get there. Gabe: Wherever you downloaded this podcast, please subscribe. Also rank and review, write a review. Use your words and let other people know why they should listen. Lisa: And we’ll see you next Tuesday. Announcer: You’ve been listening to the Not Crazy Podcast from Psych Central. For free mental health resources and online support groups, visit PsychCentral.com. Not Crazy’s official website is PsychCentral.com/NotCrazy. To work with Gabe, go to gabehoward.com. Want to see Gabe and me in person? Not Crazy travels well. Have us record an episode live at your next event. E-mail show@psychcentral.com for details. The post Podcast: Depression Management Hints and Tips first appeared on World of Psychology. View the full article
  12. Thank you Dawn and Paul xXx
  13. To James & Jamsie Happy birthday, We hope you have a wonderful day, We hope you have loads of cards and prezzies. Love Dawn & Paul:) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  14. Thank you very much Dawn and Paul I will give you a ring soon x
  15. To Dino Happy birthday, We hope you have a wonderful day, We hope you have loads of cards and prezzies. Love Dawn & Paul:) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  16. What’s the worst that could happen? And who will you still be regardless of the outcome? In today’s podcast, Gabe talks with author Shira Gura about her newest method CLEAR, a tool we can all use to prepare for an upcoming event or situation that is causing anxiety. Worried about an upcoming exam, a date, or a party where you won’t know anyone? Join us to learn a great method to help CLEAR your head before you go. SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW Guest information for ‘Shira Gura- Mentally Prepare’ Podcast Episode Shira Gura is an emotional well-being coach. Her background as an occupational therapist, yoga instructor, and mindfulness teacher led her to create two powerful self-help tools: The unSTUCK Method® and The CLEAR Way®. She is the author two books: Getting unSTUCK: Five Simple Steps to Emotional Well-Being (which was awarded winner of the 2017 International Book Award in self-help), and most recently The CLEAR Way: Five Simple Steps to Be Mentally Prepared for Anything. Through her coaching, courses, and community, she guides people to live more deliberately. She lives in Israel with her husband and four children. About The Psych Central Podcast Host Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations, available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author. To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website, gabehoward.com. Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Shira Gura- Mentally Prepare’ Episode Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you. Announcer: You’re listening to the Psych Central Podcast, where guest experts in the field of psychology and mental health share thought-provoking information using plain, everyday language. Here’s your host, Gabe Howard. Gabe Howard: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of The Psych Central Podcast, I’m your host Gabe Howard and calling into the show today, we have Shira Gura. Shira’s background is as an occupational therapist, yoga instructor and mindfulness teacher. And it led her to write the book The CLEAR Way: Five Simple Steps to Be Mentally Prepared for Anything. She’s also the host of the Living Deliberately Together podcast. She makes her home in Israel with her husband and four children, Shira, welcome to the show. Shira Gura: Thank you so much. It is so great to be back. Gabe Howard: Well, I am very glad to have you back again now, given all that is going on in the world with COVID-19 being mentally prepared for anything seems more important now than perhaps at any other point, at least in my lifetime. How does your book fit in with everything that’s happening in the world? Shira Gura: Yeah, I actually think obviously when I was writing the book starting last year, this is before COVID hit and I had no idea that the publication of the book was going to come out at the same time during the hit of this pandemic. And it is a wonderful tool for the time period that we’re in right now, because as we’ll get into in the podcast, it’s a tool that helps prepare you before you go into any future moment. It really helps ground you and helps you be ready. Gabe Howard: It sounds like a great, happy accident, and I’m one of these people that I try to stay away from the extremes, you know, black and white thinking has gotten me personally in trouble. It’s interesting to me, because if I would have read the title of your book a year ago, Five Simple Steps to Be Mentally Prepared for Anything, I would’ve been like anything? Really, anything? But as we did the pre work for the show, I was like, look, if it works in a global pandemic, we might be as far along the path to anything as we can possibly get. So I’m so glad that you wrote the book. Shira Gura: I am, too. Gabe Howard: All right, as we mentioned at the top of the show, you’re a returning guest, so I want to spend just a couple of moments on your previous book and your previous episode where we talked about getting unSTUCK: Five Simple Steps to Emotional Well-Being. Just real quick, sort of baseline it for long time listeners to the show that have heard both episodes. What’s the difference between the unSTUCK method and the CLEAR Way method? Shira Gura: Both tools are really used for emotional well-being, but the unSTUCK method you would really use for something that happened in the past and the past could be a minute ago and it could be 10 years ago. I got stuck on anger. I got stuck on frustration or I was stuck on guilt, are things that already happened. And I’m stuck on them because I have an emotion attached to a story that already happened. I use the unSTUCK method in order to get myself out of the hole, out of that stuck spot. But the CLEAR way is a tool that you use for the future. If you are going into a presentation, if you are anticipating a difficult conversation with someone, if you are about to go to work, if you’re about to work with a client even and you want to just get clear for yourself before you start work, this is where the CLEAR way would be used. They are both powerful self-help tools that are step by step because they’re both based on acronyms, but they are really used for two different purposes. Gabe Howard: Can you give us some examples of where you would want to get clear in your life? Shira Gura: If you can think about any situation where you have a feeling of worry or concern or anxiety or fear going into that moment, this would be the tool that you would use. For example, I got clear before we started this interview. Gabe Howard: Nice. Shira Gura: I got clear. Yeah. And it’s not that I was having so much anxiety. I do interviews a lot. But again, it’s a future moment that I’m not sure what to expect. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if the Internet is going to work. I don’t know if I’m going to stumble on my words. So I need to get clear. Gabe Howard: Thank you so much. And when you pitched being on the show, you said, hey, would Gabe be willing to be a guinea pig and give his own problem and be walked through the CLEAR way? And I thought, hey, why not Shira Gura: We did it on the first episode, and it worked well with getting unSTUCK. Gabe Howard: We did, and it was a lot of fun and I learned some stuff about myself, and I really think that the listeners understood the example, so we’re going to try it again. So can you walk me through the CLEAR way? Shira Gura: I would love to do that, the first thing that we need to know is what do you need to get clear about? So you can think of anything. But we need to pinpoint one example in your life where you have feelings of anticipation, of worry, of concern, of fear going into a future moment. Gabe Howard: I think that’s perfect. I have my first live speech since March coming up in a week. Obviously, I’ve done virtual stuff and continued hosting the podcast, but Gabe Howard in a room with an actual audience whom could throw tomatoes at me, first time in many, many months in a week. Shira Gura: That’s fantastic, that’s a great example. Let’s do that. OK. Gabe Howard: Excellent. All right, what’s step one? Shira Gura: So this is an acronym, five steps, C L E A R, so the first step is C is for calm. It very much relates to the unSTUCK method with the first step, S, was stop. It’s basically the same thing. This is a step where you take a moment to redirect your attention away from the story, away from the future, away from all of the emotions that you’re feeling. And we’re going to bring it to the present moment so that you can allow your mind to rest for a moment. So we’re going to eventually deal with the emotions and kind of go to rational thinking. In order to do that, we really need to get ourselves in a place of calm. And this doesn’t need to be long. It doesn’t need to be a 30-minute meditation. It could be just one deep breath or a few deep breaths, but something even symbolic to say, OK, I’m getting clear. I’m going to start. And the first thing that I’m going to do is get calm. Gabe Howard: Yeah, I’m going to take a real big, deep breath. I don’t know if it will come through on the podcast, but I want to assure the listeners that that I’m doing it. Shira Gura: Ok, and while you’re doing it, if you want, you can close your eyes and you can imagine yourself in the place where you’re going to give the speech, you’re about, let’s say, to walk up the steps to the stage and you’re going to give your speech. And in that moment, you say, I’m getting clear. I’m going to first, I’m going to get calm. Gabe Howard: All right. Shira Gura: All right, the next step is L and that’s for Lighten. When you are going into a future moment, when you have all of these emotions, you probably have emotions that are feeling heavy, right? Emotions of fear and worry and anticipation. Those are heavy feelings and they affect us physiologically. So the next step L for Lighten is we uncover what are the thoughts that we have about the situation as we’re going into it? And then we see if we can lighten our thoughts by slightly changing our language. We’ll do this together. See if you can uncover a thought that you have that says something like, I know something is going to happen, some sort of negative thing is going to happen. Gabe Howard: I know that I’m going to be out of practice, I know that I’m going to stumble over words. I know that the delivery is not going to be as pristine. I mean, it’s been months. There’s just no way that it could be. Shira Gura: Yeah, great. Perfect, and that’s so important for you to uncover what those thoughts are, because they’re there. They’re there in your mind Gabe Howard: Yeah, they are. Shira Gura: And oftentimes we don’t even know or just it’s unconscious. So we’re uncovering them. Now, you’re saying I know I’m going to be out of practice. I know I’m going to stumble. I know my delivery isn’t going to be perfect. And the question is, do we really know that? Do we know what’s going to happen in the future? The truth is, we don’t know. We have no idea what’s going to happen. Right? And so we change our language to it might happen. It’s a possibility that might happen. But we take away like the I know, which is a really heavy thought. And it really kind of creates that reality, like I know it’s going to happen. So that’s what’s going to happen as opposed to I have a feeling that might happen. But you can even hear in my voice, it lightens. It lightens your thought and it affects you again physiologically. Can you try one or two of those changing the language? Gabe Howard: I’m pretty pessimistic by nature, but I can say that you’re right, saying I know is arrogant, right? I can’t see the future, so I can certainly see for Gabe Howard changing it from I know this is going to happen to I think that it might happen or even I’m concerned that it could happen, which I can hear the difference. I’m worried that something will happen. Is a far cry from I know it’s going to happen. I worry about a lot of things that don’t come true. Shira Gura: Yes. Gabe Howard: So you’re right. It does feel significantly lighter. Shira Gura: But the language that we use in our lives is so important for our emotional and mental health. I think it’s something that people just don’t even think about. But it is really important how we use our language. Let’s go to the next step, which is E and this is for Expect. And so here we’re going to uncover what are your expectations, what are your hopes, what do you wish for? What do you want to happen? Gabe Howard: I want, like a standing ovation and fireworks and people cheering. Reasonably, I want a good speech, a good presentation, an engaged audience, I want people to laugh at my jokes and, you know, nod at the serious parts. I want engagement, but I want the audience to behave how I expect the audience to behave. Shira Gura: Awesome. Those are wonderful uncovering of your expectations and it’s so important to uncover your expectations because this is typically what gets us stuck when our expectations aren’t met. You want a standing ovation, you want fireworks, you want cheering. You want a really great speech. You want engagement. That sounds like the most important thing is you want the engagement. You want the nods and the laughter and the Gabe Howard: Yes. Shira Gura: Ok, awesome. Right now we’re going to go to the next step. You ready? This one’s kind of tricky. OK. A is for Accept. In this step, we are going to radically accept the opposite of what it is that you want so that if the expectations that you actually want aren’t met, you’re not going to get stuck because you will have accepted in advance the possibility that that was going to happen anyway. In this step we’re not wanting, right? We’re not saying, we’re not wanting the opposite of what we want to have, that’s not what we’re doing. We’re just accepting the possibility that the opposite of what we want may happen because it might. And if it does, and that’s reality, what are you going to do with it besides accept it in that moment? Gabe Howard: So just to clarify a little bit, you know, in my case, I could accept that the crowd would boo and get up and leave, but I think that that’s too far, too extreme. I don’t really see any, I don’t, I don’t see any scenario where that would realistically happen. Realistically, the worst-case scenario is that the audience is bored. It’s probably important for somebody doing this method to not go so extreme. Like I’m going to accept that the audience throws tomatoes at me. That’s probably not a good use of the method. I’m going to accept that the audience is bored. Would that be better? Is like reigning that in smart? Shira Gura: Yes, amazing, so I hope that I’m going to have amazing engagement, right, and I can radically accept that I might not have amazing engagement. Right? Gabe Howard: I’m accepting that there ho-hum. They’re going to be polite. I’m not giving a speech to a hostile crowd, no matter how bad I am, they’ll give the cursory applause at the end. And yeah, I’ve never had tomatoes thrown at me and I’ve never been booed. But I’ve certainly looked out at the audience and seen a lot of people checking their phones and watches and that has happened before. If so, that’s the absolute worst-case scenario and it doesn’t happen very often, but it feels crummy when it does. Shira Gura: The question is, can you accept that now? Can you accept that that’s a possibility that might happen? Gabe Howard: I can, I can, Shira Gura: Ok, great. Gabe Howard: Yes, I can accept that, that they will think that I am ho hum. And they will politely golf clap as I leave the stage. Shira Gura: Good, so I can accept the possibility, right? Gabe Howard: Yes. I can accept the possibility that they may be bored. Shira Gura: Yeah, it’s just a possibility, right, again, not what we wanted Gabe Howard: Yes. Shira Gura: It, but it’s a possibility, Gabe Howard: Yes. Shira Gura: You can’t move forward if you’re being held back behind. So it’s really important that you can be able to just accept it as a possibility, which you did. Great Gabe Howard: We’ll be right back after we hear from our sponsors. Gabe Howard: Hey, Psych Central Podcast fans, before we get started, we’d love for you to take a brief three minute listener survey so we can better understand our audience, which is all of you. Go to PsychCentral.com/Survey20 to complete it now. Everyone who completes a survey will automatically be entered into a drawing to win one of two $75 Amazon gift cards. Special thanks to Savvy Co-op for their survey support. And that Web site again is PsychCentral.com/Survey20. Void where prohibited by law. And now, on with the show. Sponsor Message: Gabe here and I wanted to tell you about Psych Central’s other podcast that I host, Not Crazy. It’s straight talk about the world of mental illness and it is hosted by me and my ex-wife. You should check it out at PsychCentral.com/NotCrazy or your favorite podcast player. Sponsor Message: This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp.com. Secure, convenient, and affordable online counseling. Our counselors are licensed, accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions, plus chat and text with your therapist whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face to face session. Go to BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counseling is right for you. BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral. Gabe Howard: We’re back speaking with Shira Gura, the author of The CLEAR Way: Five Simple Steps to Be Mentally Prepared for Anything. Shira Gura: Last step, R. This is for responsibility. This is where you take responsibility for your way of being, not your way of doing and not your way of having, but your way of being. Who is it that you want to commit to being in an adjective form? So that no matter what happens, there’s not engagement, they don’t laugh at your jokes, you stumble, no matter what happens, you still stay grounded and committed to your way or ways of being. This is where you take responsibility for yourself and you release responsibility of anything outside of you that you don’t really have control over. There’s endless ways that we can be maybe one or three words. What kind of speaker do you want to commit to being? Gabe Howard: I want to commit to being a confident, professional, unflappable speaker. I really feel that the best speakers are ones that don’t attack their audience or their clients or. The best speakers also understand that let’s say that there’s 100 people in the audience and it only takes about 40 or 50 percent of an audience to make the audience seem like they’re uninterested. It’s certainly possible that you got through to 20, 30, 40, 50 percent of the audience. I like what you said about taking responsibility because so often I see speakers get angry at their audience. And I think that’s, that’s not the way this works. They don’t owe you anything. You’re there for them. They’re not there for you. So I like the take responsibility. I like that. I want to be a professional, unflappable speaker. Shira Gura: Good. Awesome. Now, wait a sec. Gabe Howard: Who projects confidence. Shira Gura: Awesome, awesome. I want you to know what you just said again. I really believe language is one of the keys to mental health. I want to be a professional, confident, unflappable speaker. That’s the last thing you just said. Right? I want Gabe Howard: Yes. Shira Gura: To be and listen to how different it is from I want to be that kind of speaker to I am committed to being that kind of speaker. You hear the difference? Gabe Howard: I do, I do. I want to be a good husband versus I’m committed to being a good husband. Like, who do you want to be or who do you want to marry? Somebody who wants to do it or somebody who’s committed to doing it? Shira Gura: Exactly. Gabe Howard: I think of my own relationships and yeah. Yeah, I don’t want somebody that wants to be in a happy marriage. I want to be with somebody who’s committed to being in a happy marriage. Shira Gura: Exactly. Gabe Howard: I think we all understand that in relationships. We’re spreading that out. Right to everything else. I know I’m asking a lot of like questions in between, but yeah, I, you’re right. If my wife came to me and said I want to be happy in our marriage, I think, oh, that doesn’t sound good. But if she said I’m committed to being happy in our marriage, I’d be like, all right, all right, let’s do this. Arm in arm. Let’s go. Nice. I like it. Shira Gura: It’s a different story, right? Gabe Howard: It is, it is. Shira Gura: And it’s like one word, it’s one word, but it changes the world, it really changes the world. So your ways of being are like an anchor to a ship. OK, that is how you are grounding yourself. They are in your ways of being. That’s who you are. So no matter what comes your way, if you’re on a ship and there’s going to be waves and there are going to be waves, right. Things are going to happen. It’s not going to be a smooth run in your marriage or in the talk or in this interview or whatever. Nothing is ever 100 percent smooth. So no matter what happens, your ways of being are your anchor. And so it’s exactly what you’re saying. It’s like I’m committed to doing this. It’s not that I want to be these ways, because if I just want to be these ways, the anchor is going to get unleashed. You know, you’re going to float away. But if you are committed to being these ways, that anchor is going to stay in the ground. So it’s perfect, it’s exactly what you said. And so that’s the last step. And of course, if you want to go more into this work in that last step, what you could do is you could visualize your future self. So what does a confident speaker look like? What does a confident speaker say or act or how does he behave? The next level would be creating your future self ahead of time, seeing yourself ahead of time, being that person and then manifesting it. Gabe Howard: I like it and I can see how it fits together now. Now, just to recap, CLEAR stands for? Shira Gura: Calm, Lighten, Expect, Accept, Responsibility. Gabe Howard: And again, it’s for stuff that’s coming up in the future, so this is what I’d use for my first day of work or my wedding day or even something as simple as my parents coming to visit or my spouse coming home from work. It’s broad appeal. Shira Gura: It could be anything. I worked with my kid last night, he started a new school and he’s 12. The kids in his school have been together since the age of three. And he’s the new kid on the block. And he tends to be shy and he wants to make friends. And no one is really approaching him. And he wanted to approach kids to ask them if they want to play baseball, because here in Israel, nobody plays baseball. They don’t even know what baseball is. But my kids have baseball mitts and they have a baseball. And he wanted to say, does anyone want to have a catch with me, but he was stuck. Right? He was stuck on fear of rejection. And so I sat with him last night before he went to sleep. I said, let’s get clear. Let’s get clear on who you’re going to be no matter what happens, no matter if they reject you and they say no or they say, yeah, let’s have I’d be happy to have a catch with you. Gabe Howard: I like that example a lot, so how can our listeners learn these tools, are they difficult to learn? My question is, is it difficult to learn? My listeners’ question is, is how can they learn? Shira Gura: Yeah, the tools are not difficult. They are simple, right? That’s one of the reasons I created these tools. I created them actually for myself. And then I of course, I teach them to other people, but they are simple to learn. And it’s not so much are they easy to learn or difficult to learn. It’s more of how can I get practice in using them? It’s one thing to acquire a tool. It’s another thing entirely to say I practiced in it. I know how to get unSTUCK from anything. I know how to get CLEAR from anything. And that doesn’t happen overnight. That happens over time in community with people, working with people. That’s really how this happens. So in terms of where you can learn about it, I have two books. Gabe Howard: Yeah, where do they find them? Shira Gura: You can find them on Amazon and you can find them on my website, ShiraGura.com. But what you can also find on my Web site is a course called The Living Deliberately Blueprint. And inside of this course are videos of me walking people through both tools step by step. There are worksheets. There are guided meditations. And in addition to lots of other goodies that are inside of that course, anyone who enrolls is invited into my private Facebook group and free monthly gatherings. So it’s a community, and then it’s, again, the practice. Gabe Howard: Shira, thank you so much for everything. Thank you for helping me with my speech. Next week, I’ll drop you an email and let you know how it goes. Shira Gura: I would love to hear and I would encourage you to get clear minutes before or half an hour before whatever. It’s not enough that we did it here. I would encourage you to do it again, like really have it fresh in your mind and really see yourself on that stage before you go up there. And good luck with it. Gabe Howard: You know, I really like that, and I like that it also becomes something to occupy your mind. As somebody who suffers from anxiety, my mind often ultra focuses on the worst-case scenario. It sounds like by going through the CLEAR method, I can keep my mind occupied on that. Now, again, if you don’t have anxiety or, you know, your mileage may vary, but for me, it gives me something proactive to do to concentrate on. Do you find that in your work? Is that accurate or am I just making stuff up? Shira Gura: No, absolutely, absolutely. In fact, I’m leading a challenge right now inside of my private Facebook group and every person in the challenge is practicing to being one thing. This is broad range. So one person is practicing to be a non-overeater, one person is practicing to be a nondrinker and one person is practicing to be friendly. I mean, it’s really broad. And what I recommend them to do is every single day wake up and affirm out loud who are you being? Because if we’re practicing to be somebody that we’re not typically being, then we’re going to forget. We’re just going to be our default selves. As you wake up every day, and you said, I’m committing to being a loving wife. I am committing to being a nondrinker. You really set the stage for the day by affirming who you are being every single day when you wake up. It sets you up for the day. And like you said, it gives the mind something to rest on in a positive way so that your mind doesn’t slip back into that default place of negativity, which happens for everyone, because that’s just how the human mind works. Gabe Howard: Anything that prevents people from slipping into negativity, I think is its own success. Once you start to think poorly about something, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. At least that’s been my experience. And certainly, being able to distract your mind with something proactive and positive, I have to imagine, creates a powerful end result. Shira Gura: It totally does, and I’m doing the challenge, by the way, I’m participating and I am committing to being a loving wife. It’s not that I’m like a mean wife or something like that, but I’m probably not like the most loving wife I could be. And I said, you know what? This is what I’m going to work on for 30 days. And I’m constantly finding myself saying this throughout the day. You are committing to being a loving wife, right? Because sometimes it’s not easy. And I just keep saying to myself, in the morning I say it, when my husband comes home from work, I say it, and I just and it’s great. It’s so helpful to have those words in my mind as a reminder, who is it that I want to be? Gabe Howard: Shira, thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate having you. Shira Gura: Thank you so much for the interview. It was really great to see you again. Gabe Howard: You’re very, very welcome. Hey, everybody, my name is Gabe Howard and I am the author of Mental Illness Is an Asshole, which is available on Amazon, or you can get a signed copy with all kinds of cool swag, including stickers from The Psych Central Podcast for less money just by heading over to gabehoward.com. Let me tell you about our super-secret Facebook page you should absolutely check out, just go to PsychCentral.com/FBShow. And remember, you can get one week of free, convenient, affordable, private online counseling any time anywhere simply by visiting BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral. We will see everybody next week. Announcer: You’ve been listening to The Psych Central Podcast. Want your audience to be wowed at your next event? Feature an appearance and LIVE RECORDING of the Psych Central Podcast right from your stage! For more details, or to book an event, please email us at show@psychcentral.com. Previous episodes can be found at PsychCentral.com/Show or on your favorite podcast player. Psych Central is the internet’s oldest and largest independent mental health website run by mental health professionals. Overseen by Dr. John Grohol, Psych Central offers trusted resources and quizzes to help answer your questions about mental health, personality, psychotherapy, and more. Please visit us today at PsychCentral.com. To learn more about our host, Gabe Howard, please visit his website at gabehoward.com. Thank you for listening and please share with your friends, family, and followers. The post Podcast: How to Mentally Prepare for Anything first appeared on World of Psychology. View the full article
  17. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today in a Drug Safety Communication that it is requiring an update to the Boxed Warning, the agency's most prominent safety warning, and requiring class-wide labeling changes for benzodiazepines to include the risks of abuse, misuse, addiction, physical dependence and withdrawal reactions to help improve their safe use. View the full article
  18.  Now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, more people than ever are experiencing anxiety, especially those who struggled with mental health issues before COVID-19. And to make things even worse, many of our coping mechanisms, like going to the gym or hanging out with friends, have been taken away. In today’s show, our host, Gabe Howard, talks with Dr. Jasleen Chhatwal, who helps explain why so many people are having anxiety symptoms and what we can do about it. SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW Guest information for ‘Managing Anxiety’ Podcast Episode Jasleen Chhatwal, MD, is Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Mood Disorders Program at Sierra Tucson, a premier residential behavioral health treatment center. Dr. Chhatwal also serves as Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Board certified in Psychiatry and Integrative Medicine, she is well versed in psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, psychopharmacology, neuromodulation including ECT & rTMS, and various emerging modalities. Dr. Chhatwal is active in the mental health community, advocating for her patients, colleagues, and profession through elected positions with the Arizona Psychiatric Society and American Psychiatric Association. About The Psych Central Podcast Host Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations, available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author. To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website, gabehoward.com. Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Managing Anxiety’ Episode Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you. Announcer: You’re listening to the Psych Central Podcast, where guest experts in the field of psychology and mental health share thought-provoking information using plain, everyday language. Here’s your host, Gabe Howard. Gabe Howard: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of The Psych Central Podcast, I’m your host Gabe Howard and calling into the show today, we have Dr. Jasleen Chhatwal. She is the chief medical officer and director of Mood Disorders Program at Sierra Tucson, a premier residential behavioral health treatment center. Dr. Chhatwal, welcome to the show. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Thanks for having me. I’m delighted to be here. Gabe Howard: Well, we are super excited to have you here today because you’re also an anxiety expert, and many people who aren’t used to feeling the effects of anxiety are because of COVID. I want to start with, are you seeing people that never had anxiety and stress issues before suddenly developing anxiety disorders because of the global pandemic? Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: I am noticing that there are a lot of people who notice anxiety type symptoms, and since they’ve never really experienced them before, they’re really taken aback and they don’t really know what’s going on. And so I feel like one of our big duties at this time is to help people become more aware, because I think once you can name the beast, then it’s a lot easier to tame the beast. And I think a lot of individuals will have a hard time if they don’t know what to call it or what to do with it. Gabe Howard: The Psych Central Podcast has been on the air for almost five years, PsychCentral.com has been around for 25 years. So we are well versed in mental health advocacy. And for the most part, it’s always sort of been in its own little corner. There’s the people that have a mental health issue or a mental illness and they understand it. There’s people who develop one or have a loved one who develops a mental health issue or a mental illness, and they’re searching for information. But by and large, the majority of the population was not discussing this openly. We’ve seen that change dramatically in the last six months where suddenly it’s sort of mainstream news about how adults that never had any mental health issues before are suddenly suffering from the symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and on and on and on. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: So a lot of people talk about anxiety like it’s a pathological thing. I really try to explain to people how anxiety is normal. You have to have the neurobiological fear response to be safe as a human being. Like you’re going to the Grand Canyon and walking over the skywalk, the fact that we don’t just climb over the rail and try to jump down is because we do have a biological response to anything that’s not within the normal human experience or scope. If you think about having a snake by your chair, you want to have an anxiety response so that you can quickly panic and run. And what will happen if you don’t have that fear response is you will die because the snake will bite you or you’ll have some pretty negative consequences of that. How can you not have anxiety when you’re being told all day on the news that you need to take all these extra precautions to just be safe, to not fall sick, to make sure your loved ones don’t die. That is something that just normally will cause some degree of anxiety. The difference between that type of anxiety and what can be called a DSM anxiety disorder ends up being that it becomes overwhelming to the point that you can’t function. And what we start to see is people who may have had a higher level of anxiety before, but were being able to do things to help themselves, like going to the gym to work out or going for a run outside or spending time with loved ones. All those people, their coping skills have been taken away. And that is where you start seeing that they now fall into more of that clinical anxiety disorder category. If you look at most mental health conditions, they are on a spectrum. And it just really depends on how far along the spectrum you are today. It could be that today it’s a disorder. But, you know, a week ago or two weeks ago, it wasn’t quite meeting the criteria. Gabe Howard: One of the themes that runs through The Psych Central Podcast is we try to explain that mental health and physical health actually are, they have a lot in common. Meaning most people have good physical health most of the time. But you can still get a cold. You can still get injured. And that’s a very temporary problem. But you can also have, for example, diabetes, which is severe and persistent and lifelong. Mental health is the same way. I think a lot of people think that you either have good mental health or you’re mentally ill and that there’s nothing in between. Do you believe that because of the pandemic, people are starting to realize that everybody has mental health and that you can have the equivalent of a cold, which in this case is stress and anxiety or panic? Do you think this is helping to educate people that we all have mental health and anything can trigger bad mental health? Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Yeah, I think reading a lot more content about that in very popular channels. Maybe your podcast or me like this is our world, but other people Gabe Howard: Sure, yeah. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: For whom this is not their world, we are seeing them talk more about mental health. And in my own world, I try not to talk about somebody having just mental illness. I think about mental health on a continuum. You can do things every day to improve your mental health and you can do things every day that may not really be serving it well. The kind of food that you eat, the places that you go to, the people you spend time with, each of those things can help build up that mental health. Gabe Howard: Dr. Chhatwal, thank you so much for establishing that more people are suffering from anxiety and that it’s a very real thing. We’ve been doing this work for a long time, so we’re not surprised by this. But I think that the general population is and one of the hallmarks of being surprised by something is that you don’t know what to do about it. Do you have advice for listeners who are overwhelmed, anxious and filled with stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: The one thing that we can all do and maybe do a little bit better is starting to become more aware. Naming what is going on for you is really important and naming not in the sense of saying, oh, I have so-and-so disorder or diagnoses, but more naming like how does it feel for me? How am I feeling in my body? What are the signs that I’m seeing for myself? What are the changes that I’m seeing in my behavior? So recognizing that you’re not as engaged, you’re not as motivated or fulfilled to saying, OK, well, I don’t really feel like doing my work or when my children ask me a question, I feel exasperated and want to roll my eyes that that can be a step to saying, OK, something is definitely going on. And now let me sit and think how I’m feeling physically. What are the emotions I’m feeling? Some of us have a broader language for emotion and some of us have a narrower language and words for emotion. And that’s OK. Even being able to identify I feel good, I feel bad. That may be a great place to start. And then starting to look at what are really options for you to start to change things that make you feel bad? Is it something related to your job, like either the hours are now feeling too much or the workload is feeling too much. Talking to your human resources department, or when it comes to your home life maybe getting together with your partner or people who live in the household with you, or if you live alone connecting with friends and starting to really talk through this and asking for the support that you might need. Another strategy can be then to start to follow some degree of a schedule, because we hear a lot about pajama sales are on the rise or that people are doing the zoom uniform with the formal top and shorts at the bottom. Gabe Howard: I love that. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Yeah, it’s comfortable and it can also give your mind a signal that you’re just supposed to be relaxing. However, what you’re doing is sitting in front of your computer and working. So now your mind is really confused. It’s like, well, I’m supposed to be feeling relaxed, but I’m doing work. So what we’re hearing from people is that they’re working longer hours because now they’re just connected on the computer all the time. They still have to take care of their children and now they have to go pick up their groceries and wipe them all down like everything’s become just a tiny bit or a whole lot more complicated. And so trying to at least get your life into a little bit of a schedule may make you say, OK, I start my workday at eight and then I am going to end it at five, just like I would normally clock out. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: And then maybe in that evening time you can start to recognize what are pleasurable activities that you can do in your home environment? I’m hearing from people that they can’t work out, but I can tell you, like doing push ups doesn’t take a lot of equipment. And so it may be deciding here right now I can only do five pushups a day. Within the next two weeks or a month, I’ll get up to ten. So setting realistic goals that make you feel like you’re being able to achieve something and that are in a direction of something. For myself, I think two or three months ago I was feeling like, oh, I’m just at home going to work, coming back. But I got myself an easel and canvas and I picked up something I hadn’t done in about a dozen years. I made a painting. It’s not great. I’m not going to sell it, but I did something that was enjoyable. Finding anything that you can do that serves your soul is really very important at this time. Gabe Howard: When all of this started, we sort of had this mindset that, OK, we just need to hunker down and get through it, it’s only going to be a couple of weeks or even a couple of months. Now, here we are and we’re starting to learn that we don’t really know when this is going to be over. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Yeah. Gabe Howard: So now we’re sort of in this kind of like a limbo state where we don’t know if we want to make new habits that we want to last for years or if we should still stay in this, oh, things are going to get back to normal tomorrow. The example that I always use is, look, if I lost my job, I would understand that that job’s not coming back and I would prepare for a new future. But if I was laid off from that job and they told me that as soon as things pick up, we’ll call you back. Well, now what do I do? Do I look for a new job? Do I wait for things to pick up and they call me back and I resume my life? We don’t know when this is going to end. We don’t have that hard stop. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: My advice to people and my thought for myself and my loved ones is that this is maybe a time for us to really start reinventing and reconsidering what our new normal is going to be. We know that not only has the pandemic obviously affected our way of life drastically but also that there’s a potential financial crisis that’s brewing. So really looking at restructuring our lives and seeing are we really on the right path? And even as a human species is the direction that we’re going really the direction we need to go? In all the things that we cannot control, the thing we do get to control is how we’re going to react and how we’re going to start to make our own decisions in our lives. Connection is fairly important. Make sure that there is a regular way to connect with other human beings, even if you’re working from home. I’ve heard these amazing stories about families that do Zoom sessions every week or who will play card games on Zoom or might even just turn on something like a video platform and have conversations throughout the day. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: We’ve done things like with my in-laws and family where we watch a movie at the same time. Also, I think, starting to look in terms of employment and what are sustainable ways to work, because as a culture, we work a lot. And I think a lot of companies are now realizing that maybe people don’t need to be clocked on or on site as much as we previously thought they needed to be. So starting to really see if that is OK for you, because for some people, like telework does not work, and for others, telework seems like the best thing since sliced bread. Gabe Howard: You’ve hit on a very interesting point there with your example of telework, some people absolutely love it other people absolutely hate it. We’re seeing this a lot with anxiety. Some people are handling this pandemic no problem. They have literally zero anxiety. Other people are falling apart at the seams. Why is it hitting some people harder than others? And then there’s this tendency, if you’re one of the people who anxiety is hitting you really, really hard to find somebody who’s managing this global pandemic like gangbusters and compare yourselves to them. And I imagine that makes it much more difficult to manage the anxiety and move forward. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Comparison has always been one of those things that kills your drive and really starts to make you feel deflated because we don’t know what that other person’s life looks like. We don’t know what their life experiences have been. In mental health, now, we’ve noticed for a long time that our early lives have a huge impact on how we respond later on. And some people who are more anxious than others either at this point don’t have access to their usual coping strategies or the other thing could be that a person who has more anxiety likely had more adverse childhood experiences or early life trauma. Some of that trauma can get relived when you’re isolated, alone, don’t have support. And then finally, it can also sometimes be that you’ve had a really comfortable and quote unquote, normal life. And when suddenly something comes and upends your way of life, it may be your first time really facing something that feels overwhelming. So you may not have had practice at managing that before. So the more we think that others are doing well, the more likely it is that we’re more focused on them rather than ourselves. Rather than just sitting and saying, well, you know, Tom seems to be doing really well and I see that Gabe Howard: Right. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Gabe’s kind of killing it, being more connected with yourself is probably your best bet in being able to find that new normal and move forward post pandemic. Gabe Howard: I really like what you said there about if we’re paying attention to others, were clearly not paying attention to ourselves and anxiety is not going to clear up by convincing it that Bob or Jane is living their best life and therefore I should be living my best life as well. It involves more nuance and work than that. Which leads me straight into my next question of how can I know if I’m being realistic about the risks and dangers and when I’m letting anxiety just simply get the better of me? Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Anxiety can get the better of anybody. It is a neurobiological response. We have this tiny area in our brain called the amygdala, whose job it is to give us fear signals. It’s really once you start feeling like you can’t quite function in your life, you’re not really being able to do the things that you typically can get done, or especially if you start having thoughts about suicide or not wanting to live or starting to feel like your life is not worth it. Those are danger signs and those are times I would say don’t even think, go seek help. There’s really no harm in seeking help. And if nothing else, most of our communities have what we call warm lines. And you can call those and speak to somebody and see if that starts to help you, because a lot of us may not be able to clearly think about what’s happening to us till we start speaking about it. I usually say, you know, if you go to a therapist, you can always decide you don’t go for the second visit. It’s not like they’re going to force you to come by. You at least start to tell your story and start to try that out as an option for if that’s going to help you or not. Gabe Howard: We’ll be right back after these messages. Sponsor Message: Gabe here and I wanted to tell you about Psych Central’s other podcast that I host, Not Crazy. It’s straight talk about the world of mental illness and it is hosted by me and my ex-wife. You should check it out at PsychCentral.com/NotCrazy or your favorite podcast player. Sponsor Message: This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp.com. Secure, convenient, and affordable online counseling. Our counselors are licensed, accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions, plus chat and text with your therapist whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face to face session. Go to BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counseling is right for you. BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral. Gabe Howard: We’re back discussing COVID-19 anxiety and stress with Dr. Jasleen Chhatwal. Gabe Howard: Now, Sierra Tucson has started a program called Health Care Heroes, and that’s specifically designed to treat doctors, nurses, and other frontline health care workers coping with the trauma of disease and death from coronavirus. How can you help health care workers heal from this tragic experience? Because up until now, we’ve been talking about just lay people managing the pandemic, but they’re literally on the front lines. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Health care workers are already at a greater risk of fatigue, burnout, suicide, and that was pre-pandemic. Most of us generally go to school and do years of training with the goal of helping other fellow humans. And so now that the pandemic has really challenged our own lives and we’ve also had to go to work with having increased anxieties about being exposed, most of us may also know fellow health care workers who may have contracted coronavirus and may even have lost their lives to coronavirus. From a health care worker perspective, I feel like life is more stressful than it has ever been. You are being called to really show up and help people. However, we also haven’t quite had all the tools that we typically need, for all the shortages of PPE, shortages of ventilators, increased hospital bed capacities. People are working longer hours. There is more expected of them and there’s less reward because we are losing our patients. We are seeing people be sicker. Health care workers themselves are experiencing helplessness. And there has been so much stigma around seeking mental health support for even lay people and then for health care workers, it’s compounded because we then have to start reporting it to our boards or we need to start telling people that we’re getting mental health treatment. A lot of health care workers are used to kind of putting on their armor and saying, I’m OK, I can work long hours, I can do what needs to be done. So, Sierra Tucson as a group, when we started looking through, how could we show up and help our community and help our people, we decided to try to create this program which we want to make it OK for people to say I’m not OK. That’s the message that we’re trying to give. It’s OK to need support. And we’re here for you. We are also health care professionals and we’re experts in trauma healing. And we’re uniquely positioned at this time to support our fellow health care professionals with a nurturing environment, trauma focused therapies, and then also additionally peer support. So finding ways to help them get back on that spectrum of mental health, to move closer towards mental wellness and further away from having a mental health diagnosis or mental illness. There are health care workers who already live with mental health conditions prior to this. So making it OK for them also to know that they can take time off and really care for themselves because they’re the most important person. Gabe Howard: From my perspective, it doesn’t serve the greater society to have a health care worker who is so stressed out, so overwhelmed or is suffering from a mental illness or a mental health condition, not seek treatment, because how beneficial are they going to be to my care if they themselves are in crisis or potentially in crisis? So, do you want health care workers who know that they’re at risk for a mental health issue, not seek help because they’re afraid of the stigma, the discrimination, the judgment? That doesn’t serve the greater good. Are people starting to realize that? Do you see a shift both in terms of health care workers being willing to seek help and in the general society understanding that, hey, health care workers are people too? Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Interestingly, it seemed like maybe the pandemic has helped, that people are more accepting that, oh, this is traumatic and you’re hearing the word trauma a lot more. I would like to say it’s slowly improving. And I think the more the general public accepts mental health conditions, the easier it will be even for health care workers. But it’s still very hard. It’s still not a good place. We’re not doing well by our people. I think the big piece of that is that we’re separating physical and mental health and you just can’t do that. One thing affects the other. Even with something like anxiety, which is what we’ve been talking about, you have physical symptoms. You feel like your heart is beating. You have chest pain. People show up to the E.R. thinking they’re having a heart attack when they’re having a panic attack. Unless we as a society, the health care system, insurance companies in their own areas start to really marry the two together and say it’s whole health, we really can’t get away from stigma. Like we said right in the beginning, everybody has mental health and everybody has physical health. And like the WHO says, there is no health without mental health. So we’ve got to get them together. Gabe Howard: I completely agree with your assessment that the pandemic does seem to be helping mental health understanding because so many people are in the exact same boat. They themselves are suffering from anxiety because of COVID. So therefore, they’re less likely to be judgmental against somebody else who’s suffering from anxiety. Also, if a global pandemic doesn’t cause anxiety, I don’t know what will. For some reason when somebody says I’m anxious, our first question is why? And then we decide if that’s a good reason, that’s very unfair. Right? To determine if somebody is allowed to be anxious based on the reason that they give — anxiety doesn’t work that way. Is that correct? Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: You’re exactly right, Gabe, anxiety can only be assessed by a person’s own barometer. So, myself, I’m not scared of heights. I used to skydive, but I have a friend. We went together to the Grand Canyon and they have a walkway on the Nevada side. And we were walking over it and she was like, nope, not doing it, not doing it. And I was like, oh, come on, we’ll walk and well, I’m trying to hold her hand. And she just couldn’t. So I can’t say she is more anxious than I am because it’s not the same for everything. She may not be anxious in a lot of other situations that I may be anxious in. And so anxiety is per your own context, and it is per the lessons you’ve learned in life for things that are fearful to you, the stories you tell yourself. And it’s usually from early life experience, you’ve either had a negative experience with something, so you’re more fearful of it, or you’ve been told stories about that thing that make you more worried. So there are all those components which fall into the nurture category. And then some people do have just a slightly higher sensitivity. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: And that becomes the nature element, which is your genetics, how your amygdala, which is the fear center, like how that’s tuned. And some people just have a more sensitive amygdala. Their fear response is greater. And then we also know that having negative experiences early on in life will make it that your fear center kind of reacts a lot quicker or may start to be easy to get stimulated. So if you’ve had a lot of early life trauma, it’s almost like your fear muscle is stronger so you can react a lot quicker and that is an evolutionary mechanism for human beings to keep themselves safe. So when we were hunter gatherers, if we were roaming around dangerous areas and there were going to be javelinas chasing us, then our fear around javelinas would need to be a lot more to protect ourselves. And for your listeners who don’t know what javelina is, you can Google it. It’s a wild animal. It’s a wild boar that we have here in Arizona. So that’s really my Gabe Howard: Oh, wow. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Closest context. They’re mean looking creatures. Gabe Howard: Dr. Chhatwal, I have one more question, which is kind of an ironic question, and that’s why I saved it to the very end. All of the content surrounding COVID-19, it can be overwhelming. It can be disturbing. It can be hard to listen to. How can our listeners balance staying informed with the information that they need to stay safe like this podcast, for example, but also not be overwhelmed by this onslaught of negativity brought on by just constant COVID-19 information? Much of it scary, quite frankly. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: It really is. I’ve recommended and I practice this in my own life to take sort of a news break or a news holiday to stop listening to the news. Because when people are sitting at home, they’re just listening to the news channels all day sometimes. So really giving yourself a sliver of time when you look at whatever content that you want to look at and then put it away. Also looking at platforms that maybe present this news in a more palatable format. So maybe like your podcast. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Everybody can tune in to Psych Central. You have a great sense of humor and you try to make it approachable. Some people listen to the late night comedy shows which will give you the information you need, but with a chuckle. You can also subscribe to news outlets now have daily newsletters that they can send you with the headlines. So maybe that you say, I’m not going to read all the news, I’m just going to get a newsletter and look at it once in the day. So that’s one way of reducing your exposure, not only in quantity, but also just in intensity. And then it’s good to balance it out with positive things, things that bring you pleasure, things that make you feel better about your world. I hope your listeners will do something to add value to somebody else’s life. And that may be in the form of helping out their neighbors who are elderly with their grocery shopping and may be checking in with their friends who are also stressed out. Creating some sort of a book club, whatever it is that is part of their own interest, but a way to start feeling better about yourself, because whenever we give value to somebody else, that’s really our best way of getting some positive back to us. That can be a way to move forward at this time with more kindness in our world and really being able to rebuild our communities in a more wholesome way and going in a direction, as a country, as a human species that will take us all in a positive direction with the lessons that we’ve learned from the pandemic. We can’t let these lessons go to waste. That would be a waste of a pretty awful condition. And usually, I think if there’s adversity, you want to try and get something out of that adversity, learn a lesson, build some resilience so that in the future you have more skills to move forward in your life. Gabe Howard: We want to find the silver lining in the cloud. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Definitely, yeah. Gabe Howard: Thank you so much for being here. Where can folks find you online? Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: I’m present on LinkedIn, which is one of the places I’m trying to get better at. I’m also on Twitter. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of Twitter yet, but I just started last week. That’s my goal for the next month. I’m going to try to learn this. And if any of your listeners are excellent at Twitter then I would say, please send me tips and I will help you with mental health education and sending you interesting information about mental health. Gabe Howard: That sounds like a great deal. Once again, thank you so much for being here. We really, really appreciate it. Jasleen Chhatwal, MD: Thanks so much, Gabe, it was so wonderful to talk to you. Gabe Howard: All right, everybody, my name is Gabe Howard and I’m the author of Mental Illness Is an Asshole, which is available on Amazon, or you can get signed copies for less money by going to my website at gabehoward.com. You can also subscribe to the show’s Facebook page just by going to PsychCentral.com/FBShow. Please remember to subscribe to the podcast. Share us on social media. Rate, rank and review. Use your words. Tell people why they should listen and remember, you can get one week of free, convenient, affordable, private online counseling any time anywhere, simply by visiting BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral. We’ll see everybody next week. The post Dealing With Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19 first appeared on World of Psychology. View the full article
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