“You’re just lazy”:Stigma against Anxiety

Anxiety.  It is an invisible illness that many individuals are affected by.  Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. (source: National Institute of Mental Health)

Anxiety-words

For those of us who endure anxiety disorders, it is quite difficult to explain to those who do not.

Phrases we often hear are:

  •  “snap out of it”
  • “you’re being ridiculous!”
  • “get over yourself”
  • “You don’t try hard enough”
  • “You’re just lazy”

People misunderstand anxiety disorders for laziness, or a person who is unmotivated to shape a better life for themselves.  This is untrue.  The truth is those with anxiety often do not have reasons for their behaviors, and do try to fight against them.

People who have this disorder will often exhibit many different behavior that society may misunderstand, or fail to recognize as a symptom.

Below are a few of them:

  • decline invitations, even if they wish to go somewhere
  • Imagine the worst possible scenario in every situation
  • compare their success to those who are close in age to them, such as friends and siblings
  • the feeling of being too mentally and physically weakened by the affects of their anxiety

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Read more here

It is important to change this stigma, because this can help those living with and without the disorder. Here is some information on signs, symptoms, and factors of anxiety disorders.

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If you are living with an anxiety disorder, know that you are not alone, and that help is available.

~Siren Cay

Here’s to our future

A letter to my future wife…

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My Dearest Serenity,

As the seasons change, so do our lives. I would like to assure you that in the face of it all, I would do my best to support any decision you come to form. I promise to be a safe harbor for those occasions when you need to break apart. I shall try to my very last breath to provide you bliss, joy, and peace of mind. In times of hardship, I will maintain an open mentality, so that our differences may never harm us. I vow to love you, even into our afterlife. You are my dream, and I will forever care and support you.

All my love,

Siren

Seized into Darkness

Where am I?  This obscure darkness is clouding any glimmer of light.  

Have I perished? Is this my eternal damnation?

My mortal frame will not shift.  My limbs are frozen as if I were a cement statue on display for anyone to glare and snicker.

 I no longer feel agony, merriment, or even irritation.  My physical form has become a ghost, a hallow shell that harbors my beating heart.  

Wait. Is my heart beating?  I no longer can comprehend.

What if the end isn’t near?  How will I be freed from these shadows?

Is solidarity eminent? I can’t end like…

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The excerpt above is written from a thought perspective.  

Like many people in the world, I am a person who has a seizure disorder.  I was diagnosed with Epilepsy when I was a little girl, and have lived with it for over twenty years.  In most recent years, it has actually become more difficult.  

Written above is what comes to mind when I think about what happens.  Even though I am unconscious when I have a seizure, I wake up feeling disoriented.  Usually, I have the feeling of “If I did not come out of that, I could have died”.  Not being able to utilize my motor skills is terrifying, discouraging, distressing, and tiresome.  Above are my thoughts on what I believe I would contemplate in my own consciousness during a seizure.

Click here for more information on seizure types and ways to help people with Epilepsy!

Hope you enjoy it, and thanks so much to all those who read my blog posts!!

~SirenCay

Moonlit Love

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“You love her, don’t you?” He asked as a small grin graced his face.

“Is it that obvious?” I smiled like a love struck teenager as I watched her walk away and wished for one last glance of her luminous, moon-like beauty.

To my surprise, she turned her head just enough that our eyes met.  My heart fluttered in my chest as my cheeks turned bright red.  She waved back at me, her eyes glistening under the lustrous crescent moon.  She turned her back to me and proceeded to stride further and further away, her long flowing brunette hair blowing freely in the wind.

I wanted to see her again.  Before she vanished out of sight, I hurried toward her.

“Princess!”

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I hollered out to her.  At the echo of my voice, she halted and spun around to meet my gaze.

“What is it?”

Shaking with unimaginable nervousness, I fell before her and took her soft, majestic, magic hands in my own and looked up into her clear, sparkling blue eyes.

 “Moon Princess.  I know, I must seem insignificant to you as I am, but a mere prince from this planet, but I…” I paused.  “I wB37NGYKant to know if I will ever see you again?”

A single tear slid down my face as I prepared for the worst.  The princess smiled, knelt down in front of me and wiped my cheek with her sleeve. Then she asked.

“Do you want to see me again?”

She stared at me with a look of curiosity on her face.  Without any hesitation, I graciously brought her hand to my lips and kissed it gently.

“I would love nothing more.”

~SirenCay

Pictures are from the hit anime Sailor moon crystal.  The first picture is fanart created by mimiclothing of Deviantart.

 

 

Daily grace: 5 things to be grateful for

I recently started reading a book called “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life”, written by psychiatrist, Daniel G. Amen. Dr. Amen works at Amen clinics with people who suffer from many different types of mental illnesses. These illnesses can range from anger, memory problems, depression, anxiety, and even ADD/ADHD.  In his book, he reflects on his previous clients, and how his particular regimen for helping them has worked in each case.

In one chapter, he mentions a study he assisted in with fellow colleague, Noelle Nelson. Ms. Nelson was working on a book titled: The Power of Appreciation.  In the study, Dr. Amen had taken what are known as SPECT scans of the woman’s brain during certain stages:

  • After thirty minutes of meditating on all things she was thankful for
  • After reflecting on major fears in her life several days later

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Pictured above are images of the SPECT scans from the study.  The left side of the image shows the brain while focusing on grateful and positive thoughts. The right side is the brain fixating on worries and dismay.  The image shows that, according to his studies, when our brains are concentrated on worries, fears, or other negative thoughts, it decreases activity in the temporal lobe and cerebellum. These areas of the brain are important for processing new information, balance, problem solving, and coordination.  They also affects mood, memory, and temper control.  These are problems which are associated with forms of dark thoughts and violence, but mostly depression and memory problems.

Dr. Amen reveals that thinking negatively affects the brain in a negative way, but shows that positive thinking helps our brains to become healthier.

Check out this talk given by the Doctor himself!

Exercise:

According to Dr. Amen, writing five things you are grateful for each day helps to solidify positive thoughts in your brain.  Research has found that people who express gratitude on a regular basis have a better sense of well being, are more confident, and and make more progress towards goals they have set for themselves.  Medical professionals who partake in this exercise have been shown to be more proficient at making diagnoses for their patients.

In order to be physically and emotionally healthy, it is up to us to take the first steps.  So, take them, and work towards becoming a better you.  Try it!

~SirenCay