Teen Anxiety: Mental Health Awareness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and one of the things I’m really passionate about is mental health awareness among teens. I was a really anxious kid and it had a big effect on my growth as an adult. It’s important to break the stigma and normalize getting help and therapy. Here’s my story of teen anxiety from my anxiety workbook Breathe. I have had anxiety for almost as far back as I can remember. In 6th grade, I vaguely remember my mom taking me to the doctor for the stomach ache that would occur every morning before school. I missed a lot of school and got in trouble for it (which produced even more anxiety!). Everyone thought I was faking it because as soon as I didn’t have to go to school I was “magically” better. My mom took me to the doctor and I remember him asking if…

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How to Cope With Dental Anxiety

I talked about this on social media, but I wanted to talk about it a little more.Let’s talk about one of the hidden symptoms of anxiety and depression… it makes you lose your teeth. Not directly, but it’s often a symptom. For me, I was pretty depressed through out my teens and early 20s so oral hygiene wasn’t at the top of my list. And anxiety. Anxiety meant that to make a dentist’s appointment, I had to talk on the phone (horrifying) to a stranger (even more horrifying) and make an appointment that would give me anxiety every day up to the appointment. Then I had to go to that appointment and have a stranger digging in my mouth and judging me. The dentist was somewhere I went when I was in so much pain I thought I was going to die. By then, the damage was usually done and…

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5 Tips For Dining Out With Social Anxiety

Today we’re going to talk about dining out with Social Anxiety, that oh so wonderful dinner companion. When you walk into the restaurant, Social Anxiety leans over and points out that everyone is suddenly looking at you. When you try to make your order Social Anxiety starts giggling uncontrollably because it knows you’re about to trip over all of your words. And you want to ask for something extra? Why are you being so picky and demanding? No one likes customers like that. Oh, you want to go to a buffet? Everyone is judging you. Just let everyone go in front of you, you are so slow. You need to leave a tip. You’ve suddenly forgotten how to math. WHAT IS MATH?! AND WHERE IS THE BATHROOM? When you have anxiety, going out to eat is not about the delicious food you’re about to stuff your face with, it’s all about how you…

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It’s Okay To Take Up Space

There is nothing that I hate more than being an inconvenience to other people. I fear that people will be annoyed by me or not like me and it’s been that way for as long as I can remember. I can’t be in your face, I can’t be loud, I can’t be the squeaky wheel. When I’m at a restaurant and they get my order wrong I live with it because the thought of making someone feel bad about messing up their job makes me feel bad. A few months ago I was at McDonald’s and I got a coffee for myself and a large soft drink for my friend. The guy behind the counter gave me the medium cup for the soft drink and I had this moment of panic. Do I disappoint my friend with the medium cup or do I make this guy’s life absolutely miserable by…

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