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Blog posts and information on Anxiety

by Maureen Salamon, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—Women with an anxiety disorder may have less blood going to their heart when exercising, according to a new study— and researchers suggest doctors may sometimes miss signs of heart disease in these women.

 In women who had never been diagnosed with heart disease, researchers found that those with anxiety were 75 percent more likely than women without anxiety to have reduced blood flow to the heart during activity.

Study author Kim Lavoie says the findings may indicate that anxiety symptoms such as chest discomfort or palpitations—which can overlap those of heart disease—may mask heart disease in women. This could lead to misdiagnosis, she said. Continue reading

“Ignorance is bliss” is an old saying that has been around for years. What it really means is that when people are unaware of things – situations, events, circumstances – they have nothing to cause them any worry or anxiety. But some research now seems to point to the conclusion that these individuals may in fact be less bright, as shown by IQ testing.

The research also seems to show that those people who have anxiety, even chronic, tend to score higher on IQ tests. Continue reading

Public Health Agency of Canada health organizations say rates of anxiety in Canadian children on the rise

Anxiety has been called the most prevalent mental health issue among Canadian children, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Sara Dimerman, a Toronto-based psychologist, said her practice has seen a surge of anxiety in children in recent years and believes there are many contributing factors.

“Unlike when we were growing up, children are bombarded with second-by-second real time news events that are often catastrophic, and it’s really hard to protect them from the information and images when social media is all about that,” said Dimerman. Continue reading

There are certain terms that escape concise, user-friendly definitions. Irony is one. Anxiety is another.

Irony could be described as such: setting out to write a mental health column for your university newspaper while simultaneously being hauled into the emergency room for a long-overdue psychiatric evaluation. The doctors concretely diagnosed me with “complex post-traumatic stress disorder.” It was a frame that made my anxiety seem comprehensible—or like I had crawled from the trenches of a war-ravaged combat zone.

The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” It’s a pretty broad, grey definition. They also say anxiety usually involves recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns, avoidance of stressful situations and physical symptoms like a rapid heartbeat. Continue reading

Imagine experiencing bouts of sudden, extreme fear, and lack of control without any specific reason for feeling that way.

That’s what a panic disorder is like. A panic disorder is a “spontaneous, seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attack” with no apparent or reasonable cause, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

Rita Zoey Chin, an acclaimed author, has been dealing with panic disorder for a while.

“There was a time when basic things — like driving, climbing a flight of stairs, taking a shower, or going through the checkout line at the grocery store — landed me somewhere between mortal unease and full-throttle terror,” Chin wrote for the ADAA.“It all began with a single panic attack that seemed to strike out of the blue. Mistaking it for a heart attack, I called an ambulance, but I quickly learned that there is no ambulance for an alarm of the mind.” Continue reading

Ask artist Gemma Correll, and she’ll tell you living with anxiety is like living in a real-life horror movie. Actually, don’t ask her — simply click on her recent comic book-style illustrations and you’ll see an anxiety attack can begin when someone decides to call you instead of text. The illustrations are based on Correll’s own “anxieties and neuroticisms,” she told Mashable; she herself has been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and depression. Not only does finding the humor in her situation help her cope, but it doubles as education for other people who have no experience with these disorders.

Consider the list here an extension of that — education. Who does anxiety typically affect? When does it present itself? What treatment is available? Is there still stigma? Ultimately, a deeper understanding of anxiety disorders will make it easier for people like Correll to open up about their struggles, and show others their anxieties are nothing to be ashamed of. Greater visibility leads to greater social support. Continue reading

I have generalized anxiety disorder, which my dogs help soothe by loving me unconditionally and making me feel connected to the world.
Kezia Willingham

I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember, but I only realized there was a name for the condition when I was in my 30s. One day at the library, I found a book aptly titled Overcoming Anxiety for Dummies. As I flipped through the pages, it was as if the author described all of the quirkiest components of what I previously had thought was simply my personality. It turns out that generalized anxiety disorder is so common that it is an actual diagnosis shared by millions. If misery loves company, then I suppose the knowledge that I am not alone in my mental illness provides some twisted sense of relief. Continue reading


The National Institute of Mental Health offers more information about anxiety disorders at

Under “Health & Education,” the website describes these signs and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD:

People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms often include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, hot flashes and feeling out of breath. Continue reading


What is an Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is a general term that encompasses five specific anxiety disorders; social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias. It can be treated with medication, various types of therapy, or a combination of these; CBT is the most common form of therapy treatment for someone with an anxiety disorder.

Everyone’s anxiety disorder is different, and each person will experience anxiety in a different way; people can experience very debilitating to very mild anxiety in their daily life. Sometimes, individuals experiencing anxiety may have difficulty finding employment, often because of barriers in the workforce. Having an anxiety disorder does not mean that you are incapable or unable to obtain and retain meaningful employment, and someone with an anxiety disorder is no different than any other employee. Continue reading

Hello to all you amazing Canvas readers!  Remember me?  Maybe?  Just a little?  Clearly it has been a long time since I showed my lovely face around these parts.  Some of that has been life, part of it has been Blog For Mental Health 2014, but most of it. . .  Well, here goes. The last post I wrote for Canvas, well, I […]

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