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From Awkward to Empowering: Mastering Mental Health Conversations with Ease

anxiety depression Feb 12, 2024

In today's fast-paced world, it's essential to address the often-neglected topic of how to approach mental health conversations. Prepare to level up your communication skills and engage in those tough talks like a true champion!

Imagine this scenario: you notice a friend or acquaintance who seems off. They're not their usual self, and concern starts to gnaw at you. Well, it's time to step up and reach out because discussing mental health is a game-changer. Remember, it's better to express our thoughts and emotions than to keep them bottled up!

Creating the Right Environment:

Before diving into the conversation, let's set the stage for success. Picture a calm, neutral environment where both parties feel comfortable. Avoid choosing inappropriate settings like work events or wild parties. Instead, opt for a relaxed atmosphere where you can openly communicate. Normalizing these discussions is key!

Being Fully Present:

To have a truly impactful conversation, you must be fully present....

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EMDR VS EFT comparison

anxiety trauma Mar 15, 2023

Hey there, it’s Michael Burrows, and I’m excited to talk to you about two powerful therapeutic approaches: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

Both of these therapies aim to help people overcome trauma, anxiety, and other psychological issues, but they use different approaches to achieve this goal.

Let's dive in and take a closer look at both of these therapies.

What is EMDR?

EMDR is a therapy that was developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Francine Shapiro. EMDR aims to help people reprocess traumatic memories by using rapid eye movements, similar to those that occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

During an EMDR session, the client recalls a traumatic memory while the therapist guides them through a specific pattern of eye movements. The theory behind this technique is that the eye movements help the brain process the traumatic memory and shift negative emotions related to the event.

EMDR has been...

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The Cause of Claustrophobia

anxiety panic phobia Mar 07, 2023

Welcome, my friends, to my latest blog post, where we’ll dive deep into the subject of Claustrophobia, a fear of confined or crowded spaces, and how it links to panic attacks.

Many people don't realize that claustrophobia is one of the more impairing and disruptive phobias due to crowds and tight spaces, like elevators and public transport, being a common occurrence in our modern day-to-day lives. In fact, about 2.2% of the total population experiences claustrophobia, and it’s more common among women than men.

The intensity of claustrophobia can vary from person to person, but for some, even the thought of being in a confined space can be enough to make you squirm. Some common triggers of claustrophobia include elevators, public transport, markets, and shopping malls, small cafes, airplanes, and rooms with sealed or closed windows, just to name a few.

Symptoms of Claustrophobia

Now, let's talk about the effects of claustrophobia.

Some people may only experience mild...

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What causes a fear of cats? (Ailurophobia)

anxiety phobia Sep 07, 2022

What causes a fear of cats, or Ailuro-phobia?

Some people are not cat people, or may dislike cats.

If you’ve ever been scratched or bitten by a cat, you may be quite wary of them.

In either of these cases, you’re not going to go out of your way to spend time with them, but you’re also not going to spend a lot of time worrying about them.

Phobias are a lot stronger than dislike.

And today we are talking about Ailurophobia, Felinophobia, Elurophobia,

Gatophobia, Galeophobia or just straight, Cat Phobia.

Ailuro originates from the Greek word for cat.

Feline from Latin

And Gato from Spanish.

Lots of ways to say, “cats really freak me out!”

 

With ailurophobia you might spend a lot of time worrying about encountering cats and thinking about ways to avoid them.

This can be pretty disruptive to daily life, especially as cats are a very popular pet.

Speaking of, this fear is usually about domesticated cats rather than large predatory cats.

You may...

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Panic - The Real Cause of Claustrophobia

anxiety panic phobia Sep 06, 2022

Claustrophobia – a fear of confined or crowded spaces - has a little known connection to Panic Attacks.

Keep reading to find out more about the causes of Claustrophobia and how it links to panic.

The intensity of Claustrophobia can vary from one person to another.

It can cause severe anxiety and panic attacks.

And for some who struggle with claustrophobia, even the thought of being in a confined space may be enough to make you squirm.

In terms of numbers – about 2.2% of the total population experience claustrophobia. And it is more common among women than men.

It generally starts for people around 20 years old.

And most people don’t get any support for it (their entire lives), despite the fact that it’s one of the more impairing and disruptive phobias due to crowds and tight spaces (like elevators) being a common occurrence in our modern day-to-day lives.

 

Common Triggers

In fact, here are some of the common triggers of claustrophobia...

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What you need to know about anxiety recovery

anxiety Aug 01, 2021

 

If you struggle with anxiety and are want to do something about it. There are things you need to know about the journey that will change the way you see your progress and approach recovery.
 
I have been through the journey of recovery myself. Not only from intense anxiety, but depression, PTSD and Panic as well. I get it, and in this post I'm going to share with you what you need to know about Anxiety Recovery.
 

1. The first thing is, that it is not a straight upwards improvement

 
You're not going to start working on your anxiety and just get better and better by the day. Each day being filled with less and less anxiety, until its gone altogether. That's just not what people experience.
 
It's normal to have good days and bad days. Days where you notice your anxiety is significantly reduced. And then other days when it comes back up and is a struggle again.
 
I found it really helpful early on to see a graph that was a sawtooth, sometimes up and...
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Am I going crazy?

anxiety gad ocd panic worry Jul 18, 2021

Sometimes when people come to see me, they can be worried that, given the wrong push, they’ll go crazy.

They’ll end up hurting someone, embarrassing themselves, or thrown in the looney bin.

There are actually 3 distinct types of anxiety that I see cause this fear of going insane.

  1. Panic
  2. Generalised Anxiety
  3. OCD

With Panic fears, sometimes people can be afraid that if their anxiety goes any higher, they’ll lose it. They’ll go insane, or lose the plot.

This can be a fear of temporary insanity, where they panic and run out of a board meeting or punch and kick people in a desperate effort to leave a plane.

Or it can be a fear of more permanent loss of faculties, resulting in drooling in bed or in a Psych ward for the rest of their lives.

 

Now with Generalised Anxiety, we’re talking about what’s called Type 2 Worry.

This is when someone worries about the effect of all the worrying they’re doing.

In this instance, it’s the worry that...

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How to Tell the Difference Between a Panic Attack and a Heart Attack

It’s not uncommon for people to have anxiety about Heart Attacks, or a Heart Attack fear.

Especially amongst people struggling with Panic, as Panic Attacks can feel very similar.

Often you’re left wondering, “Am I having a Heart Attack or a Panic Attack?"

 

You might notice your chest tighten, your heart start pounding or fluttering and you start to sweat profusely.

Often people’s minds start racing to quickly figure out what’s going on, and with far more publicity on heart attacks than panic attacks, it’s easy for the mind to jump to that conclusion.

It’s that much more frightening and confusing if you’ve never had either a heart attack or panic attack. But even if you have had panic attacks before, you may wonder, “how do I know it's a panic attack and not a heart attack?”

 

So what’s the difference?

 

What’s a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is when part of your heart doesn’t get...

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What does a life free from anxiety look like?

anxiety Mar 14, 2021

 

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you were free from anxiety?

If it didn't constantly rear its ugly head , when your just going about your day.

If it didn't get in the way of what is most important to you, or impact on your significant relationships.

What if you could go for that opportunity you have always wanted without it getting in the way?

I can tell you want that means to me in one word...

Freedom

Anxiety, with all its restrictions, can free like a cage.

A cage that gets smaller and smaller the more the anxiety grows.

However, what if there was a way to escape that cage?

To be free from limits in your life imposed by anxiety and really get to live again.

Have freedom from Anxiety

We all know there is more to life than the barriers erected by anxiety.

That life could be better with less fear and restriction, and a good dose more meaning and joy.

But it so often feels like it isn't a life you have access to, when you struggle with anxiety.

Maybe the...

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What not to say to someone with anxiety

anxiety Mar 05, 2021

So I'm sitting in this psychiatrist’s office.

And sharing some thoughts I’ve been having and he turns to me and says...

"Well that's an unhelpful thought, just don't think like that."

Example of “What not to say to someone with anxiety”

 

If you're more of a visual person and want to hear me talk about this on video, you can watch here:

 

I'd been struggling with intense anxiety, lots of self negative thoughts, and pretty crippling depression.

I was in his office because attempts to "just not think like that" or "pull it together" hadn't worked.

If I’m honest, things had gotten pretty bad.

And I’m sitting with that man, struggled with an intense desire to just lie and tell him I did all the things he asked me to do last time.

Seriously, I just wanted those appointments to be over.

I wanted to hide.

I wanted to stay quiet.

I kept having this thought it was just me and I just needed to stop it.

Stop being anxious.

Stop overreacting.

Stop...

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