Anxiety Archive

Articles

Co-regulation: Helping children and teens navigate big emotions

Co-regulation is a process in which caregivers can help young people learn better ways to regulate their emotions during the inevitable upsets and challenges of life. But before a caregiver can help a child, they need to understand their own emotional skills and limitations. 

Afraid to visit the doctor?

Medical anxiety is a fear of doctors and medical settings. Nearly half of American adults in 2023 reported feeling anxious before a doctor's appointment, and four in 10 said their anxiety compels them to put off seeing a doctor. Medical anxiety can stop people from seeking preventive care or necessary treatments, jeopardizing their health. People with medical anxiety may be fearful of needles or shots, a painful test or procedure, or receiving bad news or a serious diagnosis.

How well do you worry about your health?

It's impossible to never worry about your health — but are you worrying about the right things? Popular fears and Google and TikTok searches suggest our top concerns may bypass common health issues. So what should concern us and what can we do about it?

Bad bedfellows

The use of sleep tracking devices is increasing, but using a sleep tracker can contribute to anxiety and insomnia. Data from the device can influence how a person feels after awakening, even if the data aren't accurate. Sleep trackers can make people more aware of their sleep patterns and potentially help identify sleep disorders, but the data generated can be confusing and lead people to ignore how they feel after sleeping. A special form of cognitive behavioral therapy called CBTi is designed to improve insomnia and anxiety around sleep.

Break the cycle

Rumination consists of a repetitive stream of negative thoughts or themes. It often involves mentally replaying a past scenario or conversation or trying to solve a vexing problem. But rumination can also damage mental and physical health, increasing the risk of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and inflammation. People can thwart rumination by finding distractions, changing location, relying on relaxation techniques, confiding in a friend, or taking action. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also help.

Chest pain: Causes other than the heart

Most cases of chest pain don't signal heart problems. While chest discomfort of any kind should never be ignored, many conditions can trigger it. These include gastroesophageal reflux disease, gallstones, asthma, ulcers, anxiety, COVID, esophagus spasms, costochondritis, pulmonary embolism, pleurisy, aortic dissection, and pericarditis. Chest pain is likely to be unrelated to the heart if it's brief, triggered by eating, doesn't worsen with exercise, occurs only with movement, coughing, or breathing deeply, or it's localized to one spot.

Blasting through mental health misperceptions

An estimated 58 million American adults live with a mental illness such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. More women than men receive treatment such as medication or counseling. But despite its pervasiveness, mental illness remains stigmatized. Scientific advances are helping dismantle damaging public attitudes about mental illness. People with mental health challenges can help combat stigma by embracing treatment, not taking other people's offhand comments personally, and sharing their personal stories.

Chronic stomach pain in children: What's the most common cause?

Mind and body are tightly connected. If a child experiences stomach pain lasting two months or more, it may be functional abdominal pain caused by stress, depression, or anxiety. While common, this is challenging to diagnose and treat.

Slowing down racing thoughts

Everyone has moments when their brain feels like it's gone haywire. When these racing thoughts take over the mind can't stay focused, feeding into a cycle of anxiety. But there are things you can do to break this cycle and regain control.

Anxiety overload

Anxiety often brings physical sensations ranging from dry mouth, nausea, or sweaty hands to more severe symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, or a racing heart. Extreme symptoms can manifest as anxiety attacks and cause people to avoid everyday activities. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the gold standard treatment for extreme anxiety. One common form of CBT involves exposing people to stressful situations to learn how to cope.

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