What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

Anxious woman

Approximately 18% of people in the United States live with an anxiety condition each year. This means that each and every day, roughly 40 million people go through their daily routine coping with a high degree of stress and anxiety. Many of these people might have what we consider “high-functioning anxiety.”

Psychology is often most concerned with function or dysfunction. Medicine overall looks at illness or diagnosis as a problem (pathology) to be solved. In the past, the mental health community has also viewed mental illnesses as pathology, but as more research has been done and the knowledge of mental health professionals has increased, we’ve come to understand that many mental health conditions exist on a continuum of functioning. Updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM V) captures this ongoing shift in thinking Continue reading What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

What is Dysthymia?

Woman looking out of window

One of the most difficult parts about struggling with mental illness is that unlike many physical disorders, there are often no outwardly visible signs. To the outside world, a person in the throes of depression may appear completely normal — “high functioning” — when in reality they’re wrestling with deep inner turmoil. Dysthymia, also know as high-functioning depression, allows someone in anguish to hide in plain site.

I know from experience. When I was first officially diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety disorder in my early twenties, I had spent a very long time doing everything I possibly could to seem fine. For years beginning in adolescence, I strived to suppress and conceal anxious and depressive feelings to create a facade of normalcy. “Fake it till you make it,” I told myself. Continue reading What is Dysthymia?

‘Am I Anxious?’ 6 Common Signs of Anxiety

Man in plane

Some people just know they have anxiety the same way they know they have blonde hair, or blue eyes, or a fondness for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. But for others, the signs might be more subtle — or, if you grew up in a family or culture that places less emphasis on mental health, you may not even know what signs to search for.

If you’re debating whether you have anxiety, let’s start with the simple truth: You probably are. Most non-anxious people don’t worry about if they do or do not have anxiety!

But if you’re still wondering whether you’re anxious, below are some symptoms to clue you in. Continue reading ‘Am I Anxious?’ 6 Common Signs of Anxiety

What Does It Mean to be Conscientious?

Couple smiling at each other

When you imagine a conscientious person, you likely conjure up someone dependable, diligent, and self-controlled. They likely have a strong awareness of their surroundings, their own thought process and the perceptions of others, making conscientiousness a key predictor for many tremendously positive outcomes, such as developing healthy, stable relationships and good job performance. It is not surprising, therefore, that many strive to become more conscientious, and there are actionable ways to build up this valuable personality trait — even if being conscientious doesn’t necessarily come naturally for you. Continue reading What Does It Mean to be Conscientious?

What To Do If You Don’t Approve Of Your Friend’s Partner

Odd couple

Your friend met a new guy, and she’s head over heels about him. He’s all she talks about, and she’s over the moon to have met him. You, as her friend, are happy for her — until, that is, you meet him. You want to scream “You can do so much better!” because you know this guy isn’t worthy of her time. But, the question is, should you? We can’t choose who our friends date, so is it worth speaking up?

For the sake of your friendship, it’s best to give the new partner a chance (or two… or three…), after all, your friend sees something in him or her, and the new partner could be nervous or slow to warm up. But if something still feels off, you might want to share what’s on your mind. Continue reading What To Do If You Don’t Approve Of Your Friend’s Partner

4 Reasons Your Friends Might Not Approve of Your Partner

Friends hanging out

When you’re newly in love, you want to share the news with everyone. Your hope is that your friends will find your partner as amazing as you do, and that the two of you, as a couple, will have close ties with the friends that you love. For some lucky people, things work out this way. Their friends approve of their partners right from the get-go, and build closer connections over time. Sometimes, your partner even makes closer connections with some of your friends than you yourself have! Continue reading 4 Reasons Your Friends Might Not Approve of Your Partner

How to Talk to Your Partner About Money (Without a Meltdown)

Crumpled up receipt

Even the best relationships, conflict is inevitable, and it’s no surprise that money ranks as one of the top issues causing stress and division between partners. How to earn money, how to spend it, how to save it, where to keep it, who gets it, and what it means day-to-day are all aspects that couples must address and re-address over time.

It’s not an easy conversation to have. We all bring different habits — often influenced by how we grew up and our family — into romantic relationships and that can quickly create friction. It’s important that couples commit to addressing any conflicts about money in the right way. So how do you start the conversation? Get going on some self-examination and then make sure you’re rested, have a full stomach, a quiet place, and that you’re both really ready to dive in. Continue reading How to Talk to Your Partner About Money (Without a Meltdown)

The State of Mental Health

The state of mental health

Talking about mental health isn’t easy — but that’s starting to change.

More employers are investing in mental health programs, increasing access to care, and helping to decrease stigma in the process. Governments are beginning to approach mental health as a public health issue. Celebrities like Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson, and Lady Gaga (among many others) are coming forward about their mental health journeys to raise awareness. The tides are turning.

Continue reading The State of Mental Health

How Your Partner’s Past Might Impact Your Future

Hand holding black and white picture

For better or for worse, everyone’s got a past, and let’s be real — not everyone’s past is rainbows and butterflies. Our pasts make us who we are and shape our lives, and when we’re in a relationship, we take on our partner’s baggage and interpret it in our own way.

Unless you’re the very first person someone’s dated (unlikely), you’re going to have to also deal with their past relationships, too — the good, the bad, and the ugly ones. What your partner has dealt with in their life has shaped who they are now, and it’s certainly possible that your partner’s past could impact your future together. Continue reading How Your Partner’s Past Might Impact Your Future