A Guided Meditation For The Anxious Mind


By Casey Johnston,

Welcome to your Buddha Buddy five-minute guided meditation. During this practice, we will focus on your body and breathing awareness, in an attempt to soothe the mind. Find a comfortable seated position somewhere in nature. Now close your eyes and take a deep breath. Picture your front door. Did you lock it when you left? Even if you did . . . well, we can’t guarantee anything.

As you let your breathing settle into a steady pattern—eyes closed, arms at rest, palms face up—ask yourself, is that a pain in your forearm? You haven’t even done anything yet today. How can your forearm hurt, when there are hardly any muscles in there? Resist the urge to poke it. If you poke it, the pain won’t go away, and it might even get a little worse. Yes, it does feel worse. Do blood clots cause pain?

Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let it out—slowly, very slowly—through your mouth. Draw another breath in, and feel your belly fill with air. Your pants are awfully tight. You haven’t been to the gym in several days. Has it been two weeks already? It seems like you’ve been extra bloated after your last three Seamless orders from the Thai place downstairs. Food poisoning can cause bloat, can’t it? On your next inhale, fill your belly just a little bit less. Stop at, like, eighty per cent full. Maybe not just when you’re breathing, but when you’re eating, too. Just a thought. Now let it go.

Breathe in, to the count of five, and slowly exhale. Again, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Feel the air on your skin—it’s a little cold, actually. You probably shouldn’t sit here for too long. Winter is coming and you never got that hole in the sole of your boot fixed. You could buy new boots, but there are, like, a million pairs to sort through online. You could go to a store, but if you go to a store you’ll feel pressured to buy something—it’s how you ended up with these cheap boots in the first place. It shouldn’t be this cold yet. Extreme weather. Global warming. The Earth is dying, but you woke up this morning at 11 a.m. and ate a bowl of cereal.

Clear your mind—sometimes it helps to focus on a peaceful image from your past. You loved the beach as a child. You’d play and play until your face was sunburned lobster red. Your mother always tried to put sunscreen on you, and you wouldn’t let her. Hence all the wrinkles you’ve been noticing lately. It doesn’t help that you always make that face when you’re reading something on your computer—or that you’re always reading something on your computer. You’ve never been checked for skin cancer. Why? You have a lot of freckles, and surely a worrying mole somewhere. Are doctors supposed to just notice, or are you supposed to notice and point them out?

As you continue to breathe in and out—not that fast; that’s hyperventilation—draw your focus away from the outside world and into yourself. Now sense that someone just sat down next to you. Does this person think that you’re weird, sitting on this bench with your legs crossed and eyes closed? Do not peek. It’s a man. He wasn’t looking at you before, but he is now.

As we hastily reach the end of the meditation, start to bring life back into your limbs. Move your fingers—but not too much; don’t attract the man’s attention—and wiggle your toes. Your foot is asleep. Now that you’ve centered your being and calmed your breath, you’re ready to begin your day. Actually, your whole leg is asleep. You really can’t get up. You can’t even do nothing right.

Source of study: newyorker.com

A Completely New Human Organ Has Just Been Officially Discovered

Last year – although a rather grim one by other measures – was a splendid one for research. From gravitational waves to cooing dinosaurs, we’ve uncovered a lot about the world around us, but as a remarkable new study has revealed, there’s a lot within us we’ve yet to discover too.

Writing in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, scientists have officially announced the discovery of a new organ inside the human body. That’s right, there’s a brand new organ hiding in our abdomen and it’s only just been classified.

Known as the mesentery (meaning “in the middle of the intestines”), it can be found in our digestive systems. Leonardo da Vinci actually gave one of the first descriptions of it back in the day, but until around 2012 it was thought to be a series of separate structures keeping the intestines attached to the abdominal wall, like a series of support girders.

A team from the University of Limerick, however, used complex microscopy work to confirm that the structures are all interconnected and appear to be part of one overall structure. Much of the research was conducted on patients undergoing an operation to remove most or all of their colon.

Having been taught to medical students since 2012 as being a new organ, it has now been added to the famous Gray’s Anatomy textbook and described in this new paper.

“In the paper, which has been peer reviewed and assessed, we are now saying we have an organ in the body which hasn’t been acknowledged as such to date,” Calvin Coffey, a professor of surgery at the University of Limerick and coordinating author of the study, said in a statement.

Anatomical diagram of the mesentery. J Calvin Coffey/D Peter O’Leary/Henry Vandyke Carter/Lancet

Rather wonderfully though, apart from its supportive nature, medical experts aren’t any the wiser as to what the mesentery actually does. Its proximity to the intestines may give researchers a hint, but no definitive conclusions have yet been made.

“We have established anatomy and the structure. The next step is the function,” Coffey added. “If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you have disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science…the basis for a whole new area of science.”

Blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatic tubes – carrying a blood plasma-like fluid that is rich in white blood cells – go via the mesentery to the intestines, so it clearly has an active function. Far more research needs to be done to actually find out what it does, though.

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8 Foods You Should Never Eat If You Have Joint Pain

Joint pain can be characterized from mild to severe, acute or chronic. It can cause discomfort, pain or inflammation from any part of a joint. The

most common causes of joint pain include gout, arthritis, injuries, broken or dislocated bones, fibromyalgia and lupus. If you suffer from joint pain, the foods you eat may be aggravating your inflammation. Here are eight foods you should avoid to help keep joint pain at bay:

1. Sugar

As good as those donuts, chocolate bars and other desserts look, you’ll want to resist if you suffer from joint pain. Processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers known as cytokines. This includes sugar in candy, sodas and cereals and other snacks. Excess sugar in the body also puts pressure on the joints and can lead to weight gain.


2. Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate or MSG is a flavor-enhancing additive that is most commonly found in soy sauce and Asian foods. But it can also be found in fast food meals, prepared soups and soup mixes, salad dressings and deli meats. MSG can trigger inflammation in the body and worsen joint pain.

3. Alcohol

Alcohol isn’t just hard on your liver. Excessive alcohol consumption also has a negative effect on joint pain. Beer contains purines. These are converted into uric acid in the body, which is extremely detrimental to joint pain. Beer also contains gluten, which can be harmful to fragile joints.

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4. Refined Carbohydrates

White flour products such as breads and crackers, white rice, white potatoes and many cereals are refined carbohydrates. Studies have shown that processed carbs may be one of the main causes of obesity and other chronic conditions. These foods have a high glycemic index. They fuel the production of AGE, which stimulates inflammation.

5. Red And Processed Meats

Both red and processed meats contain purine and nitrate. These chemicals aggravate pain and inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that red and processed meats not only trigger inflammation, they also support cancer growth.


6. Dairy Products

For most people, dairy is a highly inflammatory food. Studies have shown that the majority of adults have at least some difficulty digesting milk, whether they know it or not. Making dairy a large part of your diet can trigger an inflammatory response. If you suffer from joint pain, it’s best to keep dairy products out of your diet.

7. Salt

Many packaged and pre-made foods contain excessive amounts of salt and other preservatives in order to promote longer shelf lives. Refined salt is high in additives and chemicals that disrupt the fluid balance in the body. Pay attention to what’s in your food. Avoid junk food and microwaveable meals. If you want to use salt when cooking, replace your table salt with Pink Himalayan sea salt.


8. Corn Oil

Many snacks and baked goods contain corn oil or other oils that are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Studies have shown that these oils can lead to inflammation. Avoid soy, peanuts, salad dressings and grape seed oil. Replace foods containing omega-6 fatty acids with anti-inflammatory omega-3 alternatives such as olive oil, nuts, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.

Source of the study: www.davidwolfe.com

Contraceptive Pill Appears To Significantly Increase The Risk Of Depression

By Robin Andrews,

A new study has provided compelling evidence that women who regularly use the most common type of contraceptive pills – those combining two hormones – are 23 percent more likely than non-users to need antidepressant drugs at the same time.

Multiple forms of female contraception were investigated by the University of Copenhagen, not just the most common type of pill. The progestogen-only pill, for example, appears to increase the risk of using antidepressants by 34 percent.

The contraceptive patch increases the risk by a staggering 100 percent, whereas the vaginal ring ups the risk by 60 percent. Use of an intrauterine system (IUS) increases the risk by 40 percent.

Adolescent girls were the highest risk group – those between the ages of 15 and 19 on the combined pill were 80 percent more likely to require antidepressants.

“We have to realize among all the benefits, external hormones (also) may have side effects. And the risk of depression is one of them,” study co-author Dr Ojvind Lidegaard, clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Copenhagen, said in a statement.

Published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, the authors do make it very clear that the pill may not directly cause depression – there’s no clear evidence for that yet. They just point out that there is indeed a worrying correlation that should be investigated further.

The study was the largest of its kind, featuring more than 1 million Danish women between the ages of 15 and 34, whose health records were traced over a 13-year period. The physical side effects of the pill are fairly well known, but this research is the first of its kind to comprehensively find a link between the contraceptive method and potential mental health issues.

It also should be clearly noted that this study does not conclude that the pill is not a good form of contraception. It is over 99 percent effective if taken correctly, and it’s possible that other factors, including concerns over pregnancy for example, may be related to the uptick in antidepressants.

Depression isn’t just sadness. It’s a complex ailment just as serious as any other physical illness. Arkela/Shutterstock

Nevertheless, this finding is noteworthy. As reported by The Guardian, women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men post-puberty. The fluctuating levels of two female sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone – have been implicated, the very two that are affected by the use of the combined pill. It’s thought that higher levels of both can lower mood in users.

The take-home message here is that people should be informed about the potential side effects of their medication, which in this case almost certainly includes depression. This is a serious disorder that is often overlooked by many members of the public, and it’s one that is very poorly understood by the layperson and many medical professionals alike.

More than 350 million people worldwide have depression, and a significant proportion end up taking their own lives or self-harming if left untreated or undiagnosed. Although seen for some time as a psychiatric disorder brought about by environmental causes, many studies are giving credence to the theory that it also has a biological cause related to inherited genetics.

It’s complicated and it has a range of symptoms, but clinical depression is an illness, one that’s just as serious as any physical ailment. It’s deeply unfortunate, then, that forms of female contraception appear to bring with them increased risks of depression.

More than anything, this study boldly underlines just how clear GPs need to be when prescribing them to potential patients. It also highlights that the burden of contraception is far greater on women than it is on men, and that much more work needs to be done to eliminate this unfair imbalance.

GPs may need to begin advising that depression is a potential – if unproven – side effect to taking the pill. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

One Night Inside the Head of a Person With Painsomnia

woman lying in hospital bed giving thumbs up sign

By Aanchal Chopra,

It’s 5:45 a.m. as I’m beginning to write this. While my mom’s phone is buzzing with alarms and I can hear the frantic noises coming from my neighbors who are probably getting up to go to school or work, I’m lying here, wrapped up in my blanket and thinking of ways to manage this terrible pain. I have had insomnia from ever since I fell ill, almost six years back and over time, it turned into painsomnia, a condition where you are unable to sleep because of physical pain.

This is nothing new for me because I spend nearly every night like this, waiting for the pain to pass, waiting for sleep to come.

Last night was the same. I lay in bed on time and have since been shifting and turning, changing positions in hope for the one that finally makes me fall asleep. Some nights it’s just insomnia without much pain, yet most of the nights from past few months have been spent literally wriggling in pain, sometimes groaning and crying and praying for Lord to grant me at least some sleep.

This night was no different. I lay in bed, burning pain travelling up and down my spine and radiating into my shoulders, arms and hands.

You must be wondering why I just don’t take some medicine?

You see, because I also have severe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), taking almost all medicines causes side effects (and before you suggest, let me tell you that I have tried everything I could to help me fall asleep already).

woman lying in bed

And because I can absolutely not bear anything related to my IBS, I prefer to stay in pain most of the time. But there are days and nights (because we are talking about nights here) when I give up and take medication for my pain. It hurts in other ways but at least I get a couple of hours of sleep. Today, however, I am not doing it. I’m going to bear this pain because I’m not well enough to handle the side effects just to be free of pain for a few hours. It’s always a choice for me: to bear the symptoms or the side effects. It just depends on what I choose that day.

It’s difficult to be chronically ill in general, to be in immense pain and to have your body behave in a way you never thought was possible. But it’s even worse at night, when everyone’s asleep and you are curled up into a tight ball, clutching yourself hard as if trying to shove away the pain and other horrible symptoms.

As I lie here, I can’t help thinking about how different it would be if I was well; if I didn’t have to go through this; if I could just lie on bed and fall asleep instantly without my illness interrupting every few minutes to make sure I didn’t forget it.

Sometimes I feel like talking to my illness, like to practically seize it up and tell it that it has been living inside me for almost six years and it’s time now to go away forever and never once show its ugly face again.

I wish that was possible and that I didn’t have to spend tonight; every night struggling to stay sane, forcing breaths into me and trying to be quiet as I sob tearlessly into my pillow fearful of waking up my family and causing them unnecessary worry.

Even though they are the most caring people one could come across, I feel like I should let them take some rest given how they spend every minute, day after day taking best possible care of me.

The sun is beginning to come out and outside the window, sky is a mix of bright yellow and very dull blue. The constant chirping of birds and chattering of people is enough to let me know that another long night has passed without the tiniest hint of sleep.

It’s 6:14 a.m. now and I know this sounds like a diary entry more than an article, but I wanted to give a true account of how I struggle through endless nights wishing for sleep and peace.

I wanted to let you all know that you are not alone. If you are reading this while struggling in pain and wishing for a peaceful night, know that many others are, too.

By sharing this little account of my pain-filled night, I aim to let people know that millions of us are together. We are together in our pain, together in our nausea, together in our dizziness, together in our fights.

While it may seem like you are alone when you lie on your bed fighting painsomnia/insomnia, it is certainly not the truth.

We are all together.

With this, I would like to leave (well, because my pain is beginning to increase and so is my brain fog which has begun to clog up my head now, blocking any coherent flow of words).

I hope my little experience makes someone realize that there is someone out there, struggling just like them.

And I hope you know that you are never alone; that you will get through this; we will get through this.

Until then, one day at a time.


One night at a time.

Find me @its_little_ayra on Instagram where I share my chronic illness journey and the ups and downs that come with it.

This article was published by The Mighty.

The Depression Problem No One Talks About

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About two years ago, my near-engagement fell apart. I wasn’t just sad; I was vehemently angry. I not only cried, but I lashed out. I spent large portions of my days in a cloud of my own dark thoughts — dazed and confused. I managed to hold down a full-time managerial job, and for a while, I was able to keep up with social obligations. I sought professional therapy, but it wasn’t enough. So, I leaned on my closest friends, probably too much. Eventually, one by one, they dropped off.

Here’s what I learned the hard way: Mental illness is one of the last true societal taboos. Although we’ve made progress in talking about mental health issues, which include everything from depression and anxiety to addiction, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, the stigma of mental illness remains. But fighting that stigma starts with simply caring for the people around us.

While people tend to rally around one another in times of tangible need — say, the loss of a loved one or a major physical illness — mental illness scares some people. It angers them. You can’t see depression the way you can see the symptoms of cancer or kidney disease. It affects the brain, which affects behavior, so it often gets dismissed as “drama.” But “depression is a mental and a physical disease,” says Deborah Serani, PhD, a psychologist in Smithtown, NY. “It is not a result of laziness, attention-seeking, or weakness. Research points to specific neurobiological origins. To tell a depressed person to just ‘snap out of it’ or ‘shake it off’ is just like saying this to someone who lives with diabetes or muscular dystrophy.”


Even if someone wants to help in general, it’s not uncommon for them to back away when the real, damaging symptoms appear. Depression is depressing. Who wants to be depressed?

“I can’t have this conversation anymore. It just cycles,” one of my best friends said. And she was right; cycling thoughts — the inability to roll an idea around in your head until you come to a logical conclusion — is a hallmark of depression (as well as many anxiety disorders). “I need to surround myself with positive people,” proclaimed another close, intimate friend, who had recently become pregnant. When I tried win her back, she told me to stop being “so emo.”

But I’m not talking about just “feeling sad.” Sadness is spending a weekend in your pajamas watching Netflix amidst a sea of your own junk food wrappers, or a couple of weeks of tear-soaked blues after a bad breakup. “Everyone gets the blues,” Dr. Serani says. “But if you’re feeling sad, irritable, or depressed for more than two weeks, that’s the defining line for a clinical disorder.”

The exact symptoms of clinical depression may be different for different people. But for me, true depression means I can’t get out of bed, literally, for days. And when I do, it’s because I’ve mustered all the energy inside me just to relocate to the couch. I can’t remember the last time I showered or brushed my teeth, because my mind is consumed with doomsday scenarios: No one understands me. There’s no hope for me. Nothing means anything, and my life is over. I’m fighting against a “reality” that isn’t real — and depression usually wins.

In a moment I’m not proud of, I reacted to a third friend’s engagement with snark, instead of joy — which was unusual for me. This friend had worked hard for her happiness. She’s a warrior who battled cancer six years ago at age 24. Though she was understandably absent from my life during this period, I did everything I could to support her, including raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation and running the New York City Half Marathon in support of her fight (she finished the race before me — a testament to her strength).

But after I crapped on her happy news — and quickly apologized profusely, reminding her I was not in a healthy state of mind — she wrote me off completely. I even tried to educate her about depression’s stranglehold on a person’s emotions and actions, to no avail. “Many [people suffering bouts of clinical depression] say things they normally would not say,” says Melinda Gallagher, PhD, a psychologist in New York City. “It’s important that loved ones understand this as a symptom of the disorder and that with treatment and time, she will feel better and more like herself.”

So, if it’s the sufferer’s job to seek help during a serious case of clinical depression, what’s the role of friends, family, and other loved ones who feel helpless, drained, or overwhelmed? It’s simple. Dr. Gallagher says the simple gesture of acting with compassion can go a long way toward healing. That means doing your best to understand the emotional state of this person you love and what they’re going through, even — especially — if doesn’t make sense to you.

You don’t have to fix someone with depression. That’s not your job. You don’t even have to interact with that person if it’s too much for you. But if you truly do love the person and you want to maintain a relationship in the long run, listen with compassion, that desire to understand, and help in the ways you actually can. Communicate your boundaries with compassion. Don’t take the illness as a personal affront and certainly don’t abandon them; that’s probably the worst way to react.


The best you can do is have empathy and trust that they’ll come through the other side. Eventually, you’ll recognize them again, and you’ll remember that they’re a person — not an illness.

As for me, I’ve taken a fair amount of time to reflect on what my friends may have been feeling as I indulged my impulses to heal through oversharing (something I was unable to do in a heightened emotional state). And I get it. No matter how much someone loves me, they also needs to love themselves — and that can involve drawing boundaries when they feel my depression is overwhelming. As their friend, I’m required to love enough to understand and accept that.

But there have also been the friends who have stuck it out with me all along: Incredible women who not only stood by me during the worst of times, but also took time out of their busy days to check in on me daily, visit me, listen to me, and even try to distract me. At first, I called them my “true friends.” But I no longer think that distinction is fair. In fact, it’s a bit obnoxious.

The truth is, everyone does what they need to do to get by, whether that means backing off or stepping up to the plate. I don’t think any of the friends who abandoned me during my low points love me any less. I certainly don’t love them any less. But now, I realize we all do the best we can. The best I can do right now is to help spread awareness about an affliction that affects an estimated 14.8 million American adults at some point in their lives. And you know what? Doing my part to fight the stigma about it makes me happy.

This Brilliant Comic Perfectly Illustrates The Struggle Of Depression And Anxiety

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Depressions and anxiety are two of the most misunderstood mental health issues. Nick Seluk, the artist behind the Awkward Yeti comic, partnered up with Sarah Flanigan, one of his readers, to explain what it’s like to struggle with these two disorders daily.

At some point or another, we’ll all likely experience anxiety and panic attacks, as well as bouts of depression. What doesn’t help is having people say things like “Why don’t you get over it?”

“As someone who’s experienced and has been around anxiety and depression, it was easy to illustrate in a way that complemented the storyteller,” Seluk told Bored Panda. “Sometimes those who haven’t experienced the extremes don’t understand what it’s like, almost to the point of resenting it.”

Source of study: http://www.higherperspectives.com/

Heartbreaking Final Letter Of Bullied Schoolboy Who Commited Suicide


Warning: Distressing content.

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These are the heartbreaking words written by a bullied schoolboy before he took took his own life.

Daniel Fitzpatrick, 13, was mercilessly bullied over his weight and grades, and pleaded to his school for help.

He believed that his old friends at Holy Angels Catholic Academy had stopped talking to him and didn’t like him.

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“I gave up,” Daniel wrote on lined paper. “The teachers either they didn’t do ANYTHING!” he scrawled in the note.

As teacher after teacher and even the principal too at Holy Angels Catholic Academy refused to get involved, he grew overwhelmed by the torment and hanged himself, his family said.

You can read the note in full below:

4d532c6557afb4a2fee8633ecf6d1a8d Heartbreaking Final Letter Of Bullied Schoolboy Who Commited Suicide
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Daniel wrote the note two weeks before his death as he was desperate to start at a new school at the beginning of the new school year.

Daniel’s father, also Daniel Fitzpatrick, posted a video to his Facebook page on Saturday to thank people for their support and condemn the boys who allegedly ‘tormented’ his son and the Catholic school.

“No parent should have to bury their child. No child should have to go through what my son went through. To the parents of the boys that tormented my son, all I have to say is I hope you never have to feel what my family is going through right now. You get to hold your children every night and day for the rest of your lives and their natural lives. I don’t get that anymore. Your little monsters took that from me and my wife.”

Daniel’s mother, Maureen Fitzpatrick told the New York Daily News said she remembers her son saying he wanted the bullies to ‘know what they did to me and how I feel’.

His bullies, who were mentioned in the letter, allegedly threw balls at him in gym class and called him names.

Maureen told the Daily News:

“Danny was always left out. He used to come up to me and ask me to get kids to play with him. The other kids would say they thought he was weird. He felt like the whole school knew what was going on and was laughing behind his back. They humiliated him.”

daniel fitzpatrick suicide note left by bullied teen Heartbreaking Final Letter Of Bullied Schoolboy Who Commited Suicide

The Fitzpatrick family has set up a GoFundMe page to give Danny a ‘proper memorial to shine a bright light’ on bullying.

R.I.P. Daniel.

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Lady Gaga Opens Up About Her Struggle With Chronic Pain

By Arti Patel,

Chronic pain isn’t easy to talk about, but when someone does, it can be comforting for so many people who live with it.

Last week singer Lady Gaga opened up about her struggle with chronic pain after posting two images of herself on Instagram.

“I was so overwhelmed by the empathy, confessions [and] personal stories of chronic pain in response to my previous post I thought what the hell. Maybe I should just share some of my personal remedies I’ve acquired over the past five years,” she wrote in one of her posts.

In the first picture, the 30-year-old “Bad Romance” singer is seen in a infrared sauna with an electric blanket.

“I combine this treatment with marley silver emergency blankets that trap in the heat and are very cheap, reusable and effective for detox as well as weight loss,” she continued.

“[SIC throughout] In order to not overheat my system and cause more inflammation i follow this with either a VERY cold bath, ice bath (if u can stand it, it’s worth it) or the most environmentally savvy way is to keep many reusable cold packs in the freezer (or frozen peas’ n carrots’!) and pack them around the body in all areas of pain.”

lady gaga

According to the Institute for Chronic Pain, “chronic pain starts with an acute injury or illness.” If this pain lasts more than six months — sometimes, it can last for years — it is considered chronic.

“Patients tend to report some combination of fear, irritability, anxiety and depression. Patients also tend to express that they have lost their sense of direction to life. They are stuck. These problems are all common when living with chronic pain,” the institute notes.

The “American Horror Story” actress also posted another Instagram picture of herself, this time talking about the frustration that comes along with the pain.

“Having a frustrating day with chronic pain, but I find myself feeling so blessed to have such strong intelligent female doctors. I think about Joanne too and her strength and the day gets a little easier,” she wrote.

Fans of Gaga, especially those who are dealing with chronic pain, thanked the singer for being open and making their day.

Last year, the “Poker Face” singer also revealed her battle with depression and anxiety for a piece in Billboard.

“I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life, I still suffer with it every single day,” she wrote in the magazine. “I just want these kids to know that that depth that they feel as human beings is normal. We were born that way. This modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected? That‘s not human.”

Source of the study: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

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How To Explain Anxiety To Someone Who Doesn’t Get It


Anxiety is such a complicated matter. It seems as if everyone experiences the symptoms differently. However, for every person who suffers from the condition, there is another person who completely doesn’t understand it.

As someone who has lived with this illness for many years, I have found myself explaining the condition time and time again. It isn’t as if these questioning individuals are challenging my mentality, but rather, they simply just don’t understand it. So, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, I wanted to explain what anxiety feels like for me.

1. What Is Anxiety?


According to Webster’s Dictionary, anxiety is “fear or nervousness about what might happen.” Even though this is a literal definition, I’ve found that many of my own anxiety attacks don’t have a trigger. Simply put, it can be an overwhelming feeling of panic that can happen at any moment.

Besides an attack (which is usually a sudden burst), anxiety is usually pretty underlying. For me, I feel as if my own anxiety is always a part of my own thoughts. Not so much a fear or nerves, but more as a desire to get through things quickly.

2. What Causes It?


Once again, it’s not usually a specific thing that I’m focusing all of my energy on. It’s more like a collective of bad thoughts that I can’t escape from. For me, this differs from depression as it leaves me with a sense of rampant energy instead of a lull in life.

I feel as if I have to gain control over my stressors or else I will be consumed by them. It’s different for everyone, but anxiety tends to be more energy driven.

3. What Does It Feel Like?


Have you ever felt as if you were running a race without ever leaving your seat? Yup, that’s what anxiety feels like. It’s overwhelming, consuming, and hard to escape. It takes your breath away with zero effort, and leaves you feeling completely exhausted.

4. What Do You Think Of Yourself During An Attack?


Let’s get one thing straight – no one wants to have anxiety. No one wants to feel like they are out of control of their own body. When you have an anxiety attack, you are not only focused on your own fears, but also on yourself. You may realize exactly what you are doing, but you have very little control over the matter.

5. What Does It Feel Like Afterwards?


I’m sorry you just had to see me freak out/cry/shake, but honestly, I didn’t want to be there either. For me, I’m aware of my own anxiety, but at the same time, that doesn’t mean I can’t control it.

6. Have You Taken Your Medication?

Don’t do it. Don’t ever ask someone this question. Not only is it demeaning, but it also makes the person feel small, worthless, and crazy. While medication may help the situation, every person is entitled to their own actions, reactions, and feelings. Be kind towards others by validating their feelings.

While I may not be a doctor, I have lived with anxiety most of my life. I’m aware of how it affects me, and how it affects those around me. When it comes to dealing with your loved one who suffer from anxiety, don’t be so quick to judge. You never know what someone else is going through until you ask.

Young woman with anxiety disorder sitting on the floor