Allergies can wear us out

Allergies and Stress: There Is a Connection

Posted Posted in Anxiety

Achoo… cough….snort…! The sounds of allergies are everywhere, it seems. Many of us cannot escape allergies this time of year. According to the American College of Allergy and Immunology, ragweed pollen usually reaches peak levels in mid-September, impacting up to 23 million Americans with allergy symptoms, roughly translating to 20-30 percent of people. But what […]

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Psychologist Post: Flashbacks Are More Common than You May Think

Posted Posted in Anxiety

Flashbacks are experienced when people relive or remember something very frightening. Flashbacks are often experienced with increased physical and psychological arousal. Physically, the person may sweat, their heart rate increases, and breathing may become shallow and rapid. Subjectively, it can be described as “panic,” or “terror.” Some people report feeling “frozen,” or like they are “flinching.”

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Child Psychologist Post: Helping Your Child’s Separation Anxiety

Posted Posted in Anxiety

Separation Anxiety is common, yet can be very frustrating and upsetting for children (and their parents). Oftentimes, children have difficulties separating, and can experience panic in these situations. They may feel sick, and feel worried or guilty about not being with their families. Often children wonder what their parents or loved ones are doing and whether something terrible has happened to them, like death, a car accident, or a shooting. As a result, they have great reluctance or refusal to separate from their parents. They may have difficulty sleeping in their own room or different parts of the house. When they come home from school or camp, they may be irritable, tired, and upset, as it takes a lot of energy to hold that level of stress/anxiety in all day. Oftentimes, a loved one will make a simple request, and then the child will yell, cry, or tantrum.

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Psychologist Post: 8 Coping Skills to Survive During the Holiday Season

Posted Posted in Anxiety

The holidays are a beautiful time of year. We get time to spend with our families, we eat great food, and we most likely we have some warm holiday traditions that may also include meaningful or spiritual values. When handled well, holidays can be a time of connection and emotional reward. But, for many people the holidays can also be terribly stressful.

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Child Psychologist Post: 7 Ways to Help Your Child’s Anxiety In Standardized Testing

Posted Posted in Anxiety

Bottom-line: It seems like standardized tests are here to stay. But the key to our children doing their best on them is NOT adding pressure or fear to the situation. Instead, it is teaching our children tools to manage their fears and thoughts. It is supporting them in their individuality, and helping them find the good things in their present world. And it’s helping them remember that some of the best things in life are not measured, but rather are experienced with kindness, love, and support.

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Child Psychologist Post: Helping Your Child Through the Unknown

Posted Posted in Anxiety

For many people, unknown things can feel bad or scary. It seems that when we don’t know what to expect, we prepare for all the bad things that could happen. It makes sense; biologically, our bodies are perfectly wired to avoid danger. So when something frightens or upsets us, our hearts beat, our lungs take in more air, and our muscles tense, preparing for “fight or flight.” We try to process the information, make sense out of it, and stop it from happening. We are primed to keep ourselves safe.

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Helping Your Family Recover from Community Violence

Posted Posted in Anxiety, Children and Adolescents, Parenting, Resiliency, Trauma

Last week in Iowa City, there was a community experience of violence. Episodes of horrible violence also happened in other places, such as South Carolina. Community violence is something that many of us will experience. Recent research suggests that 39-94% of children will witness an episode of violence in their community at some point in their childhood.

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Psychologist Post: Uncertainty Does Not Have To Hold You Back In Life

Posted Posted in Anxiety

Life is full of uncertainties. As humans, we encounter new things or unknown outcomes every day. Just simple things, like the weather, vary from one day to the next. And then there are the bigger things, like our health or the health of our loved ones. Other large uncertainties can include our job outlook, our financial outlook, or whether our relationships will end with a break-up or divorce. Students may wonder if they will graduate, get into college, or get a good job. It can be overwhelming at times. The list of uncertainties never ends.

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Anxiety in Children: What Parents Should Know

Posted Posted in Anxiety

If you are reading this, you or your child (or both of you) probably has some anxiety. You may be surprised to know that everyone has some stress, anxiety, or fear. It is part of the human condition. Our biology wires us to recognize and perceive danger. These are survival instincts, and actually quite miraculous. Anxiety allows us to stop, rather than walk out into traffic. It allows us an opportunity to question whether we should make decisions involving safety or taking risks. Anxiety can help us consider the feelings of others when we make decisions.

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Psychologist Post: 7 Absolutes for Good Self-Care if You or a Family Member Has Anxiety

Posted Posted in Anxiety

Many people have anxiety or a child or family member who is anxious. It might be that there is a history of worrying or stress. Maybe the person avoids doing things that are scary, like approaching dogs, making speeches, or driving. Maybe the person tends to be overly careful or repetitive about hand-washing or cleaning. If the anxiety is distressing to the person, or interferes with the way s/he wants to live her life, she may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are common, and recent research has found that 1 in 3 people are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.

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