My teenage daughter has a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder because of her intense fear of germs. She is really worried about getting sick. She washes her hands until they bleed. She misses a lot of school, especially in the winter, because she is afraid of the other kids who come to school sick. It has really been disruptive in our lives. After going to a few therapists, we finally found a place that specializes in OCD. They are doing something called “exposure therapy” for her germ phobia. I am a little confused about some of the things that we have to do. For example, I can no longer give her hand sanitizer to take to school or even offer it to her if we are out to dinner, which doesn't make sense to me because I don't want her to get sick either. Have you heard of this?
Anxiety often shows itself in unexpected ways. Contrary to popular belief, most Anxiety Sisters don’t feel “anxious;” instead, we have stomach distress or we feel our hearts beating fast or we may even feel like we are not fully in our bodies. Many of us have come to expect and accept these kinds of symptoms, but it […]
I’m one of those people that has always been hypervigilant about my breasts–getting yearly mammograms and ultrasounds, checking myself constantly, and getting felt up (by my doctor) as often as my health insurance would allow. I’m also one of those people that has dense, lumpy breasts, so I often felt something, which always turned out […]
Last week, I came down with a nasty cold—clogged sinuses, sore throat, coughing—that kept me home for several days. Various friends and family members called to check on me, and each said a variation of the following: “You better see a doctor. You could have the flu!” No matter how much I tried to argue […]
Many of us Anxiety Sisters struggle with what is commonly known as Social Anxiety. But that name doesn’t accurately capture the true nature of this particular anxiety disorder. Actually, the irrational fear of being judged and scrutinized in social situations is a phobia; we believe this distinction is important, especially when it comes to treatment […]
Years ago, when I was new to the anxiety scene, I had absolutely no idea what was going on inside my head. I understood vaguely that I had some kind of mental issue, but, back then, Panic Disorder as a diagnosis didn’t really explain much. Here’s what I did know: I was having lots […]
The only thing worse than my flying phobia was listening to everyone explain how flying is statistically safer than driving. During my most phobic years, I always wanted to turn to these good Samaritans and say, “Listen, you idiot, I am a semi-intelligent adult; I know planes are the safest mode of transportation and I […]