Have you ever had a day where you feel as though you are not good enough? You swear you can sense people believe you are not good enough based on the looks they give you or the way they are acting. Sometimes it’s as if the voices never stop telling you how worthless, pathetic, and unimportant you are. Fortunately, and unfortunately, there is a term for this, and many people struggle with this very issue. The very issue I am talking about is shame.
Imagine you are on vacation at your favorite place. You probably feel rested, calm, happy, and peaceful. What if you could learn how to feel peaceful like that most of the time? Would you be willing to make the necessary changes to accomplish that goal? According to Wikipedia, “Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a deliberate state of psychological or spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressors.” Therefore, to some degree, inner peace is a choice that you can make most of the time.
“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.” ― Andy Rooney
Yesterday was Christmas Day or at least that’s what the calendar showed. Before 1991, Miss Lib has celebrated Christmas and all the other holidays with her husband and family members. After her husband’s death in 1992, her children left the house. 25 years later, Miss Lib, now 83 yrs old rarely leaves her own home. Coming of age in the Great Depression and WWII, Lib learned self-reliance and fortitude. Lib’s husband of many years died over two decades ago and her three adult children live over an hour’s drive away and seldom visit.
It’s that time of year again. That time of year filled with many holiday gatherings, things to do, places to go, and people to see. But now we are here and it’s the holiday season and everyone everywhere is wanting, wishing and hoping for a good time. We often have higher expectations for this season than for any other time of the year. The holiday season of “Great Expectations” can leave us feeling impatient, cranky, and — in some cases — depressed.
In previous blog posts this month, we have discussed depression and anxiety separately since they can be experienced independently and have their own distinct definitions and even diagnostic criteria when one’s functioning is impacted or impaired. However, there is some overlap between anxiety and depression and the two states have a sometimes-complicated relationship. For example, one of the major characteristics of depression is a persistent feeling of sadness or anxiety, which is shared in the list of depression. Also, the physical, somatic symptoms can often overlap.
Fear and anxiety are common, every day parts of living. Unknown outcomes of common events, such as interviews, tests, uncomfortable conversations, or just commuting to work have probably evoked those emotions in you sometime this month (if not this week!). However, anxiety can affect the day-to-day functioning and rise to the level of a diagnosable mental disorder for some. Since anxiety is a typical, if not necessary, part of modern life, it can be hard to differentiate typical anxiety that motivates us to perform, stay alert, or make plans to influence an outcome, and the level of anxiety that can reduce ones productivity, diminish the quality of life, affect other ways of coping or behaving, or sometimes be debilitating to an individual.