What It’s Like to Have ‘High-Functioning’ Anxiety

High-functioning anxiety looks like…

Achievement. Busyness. Perfectionism.

When it sneaks out, it transforms into nervous habits. Nail biting. Foot tapping. Running my fingers through my hair.

If you look close enough, you can see it in unanswered text messages. Flakiness. Nervous laughter. The panic that flashes through my eyes when a plan changes. When anything changes.

High-functioning anxiety feels like…

A snake slithering up my back, clamping its jaws shut where my shoulders meet my neck. Punch-in-the-gut stomach aches, like my body is confusing answering an email with being attacked by a lion.

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Caring for My Body With Peripheral Neuropathy

I went to the doctor yesterday. It’s not unusual for me to be there, between seeing my eating disorder treatment team and my primary care physician, but yesterday was an unusual experience for me.

I was diagnosed with genetic peripheral neuropathy a few months ago. It’s a diagnosis that I’ve constantly been working to understand. I don’t experience the typical neuropathy pain most people with this diagnosis do, but I do experience a complete lack of sensation from my mid-calf down to both of my feet.

I’ve always been an active person, so I’ve tried to maintain my activity levels with progressively less feeling in my legs. I went rock climbing with my friends a few days ago, and I landed wrong and heard my ankle pop. I didn’t feel any pain, and I still don’t, but I felt like something was off. I wanted to make sure that everything was OK with my ankle to continue being active.

When I went to the doctor, I asked for an x-ray despite the lack of clinical indication for one. I had to explain to my doctor that I don’t feel the pain that comes with the injury, and I was anxious that I had damaged my ankle without knowing it. After an hour and a half, my ankle was noted as sprained, and I was sent home with the instructions to rest for a few days.

Many people have told me they wish they wouldn’t feel pain. The reality is, as my peripheral neuropathy continues to evolve, anything that happens to my lower legs or my lower arms now demands a trip to the doctor’s office. There is no “too careful” in terms of making sure my body is OK and able to continue my daily activities. I’m still adjusting and learning this is OK. I’m allowed to take care of myself, even if that means going to the doctor more often as my neuropathy progresses.

There is no shame in doing what is needed to take care of your body. I will continue to tell this to myself as often as necessary. I am living in my body for as long as I am alive, and my body deserves my care and attention.

Are You Mistaking Machiavellianism For Narcissism?

Narcissism is a widely discussed topic in the world of personal development, but this personality type has been handed a much wider remit than it probably deserves.

There are various traits that are often, wrongly, attributed to narcissism and which should, in fact, be recognized as being a part of the Machiavellian personality type. 

This website has been guilty of doing just that – as have many others – because it is not uncommon for a person to exhibit characteristics of both a narcissist and a Machiavellian. 

But that’s not to say that every narcissist is a Machiavellian or vice versa. Knowing the difference will allow you to identify which one you are dealing with.

First of all, let’s look at the traits that actually are associated with narcissists.

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The Pain I Feel in a Day With Diabetic Neuropathy

According to the American Chronic Pain Association, there are at least 26 million Americans living with diabetes. And more than one in five of those have diabetic nerve pain, also known as diabetic neuropathy. I am one of them.

As much as I try to correct my diabetes, the damage it’s done to my nerves is irreversible. It has forever impacted my ability to sleep, exercise, walk, work and engage in everyday activities.

Throughout the course of a day I can experience everything from burning, stabbing, stinging, jabbing, numbness or tingling, prickling or pins and needles, electric shock-like or shooting pain, and extreme tenderness and sensitivity to touch. And this is with pain medication. Can you imagine the descriptions I would use if I didn’t take pain medication?

I have to be careful with what materials I put on my feet. Some days I can wear shoes, other days there is no way in hell. As for socks, the insides of them must feel like rayon. When I shop for socks, I have to put my hand inside them to feel if they are soft enough. If they don’t feel like silk or rayon, then I don’t get them.

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22 Brutally Manipulative Examples Of Gaslighting In Action

Has anyone ever said something to you that stopped you in your tracks and made you question your very sanity?

Did it make you doubt your memories and your perception of reality itself?

Chances are you’ve been the victim of gaslighting. 

Gaslighting is one of the most harmful forms of mental and emotional abuse. It takes aim squarely at a person’s sense of self-confidence, gradually whittling away at it until they are left questioning whether what they experience, think, and feel is real or some fantasy their mind has made up.

The aim is clear: to confuse and disorient the victim so that the perpetrator can gain total control over them. The more seeds of doubt that can be sown in the victim’s mind, the easier it becomes for the perpetrator to dictate every situation to their liking.

Gaslighting also degrades a person’s ability – and desire – to challenge their abuser because each time they do, the goalposts are moved yet again in order to turn their arguments against them.

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4 Brutally Honest Things Survivors Of Narcissistic Abuse Want To Say To Their Abusers

Whatever the root cause of their behavior, a narcissist will cause untold suffering to those they abuse. They are spirit crushers; they take an individual and control, confuse, and torment them with a bewildering array of verbal and physical weaponry just to gratify their insatiable, egotistical mind.

Upon escaping this toxic personality, it can take a survivor a great deal of time to recapture some semblance of their former identity, but they will never quite resemble the person they were before. 

Despite this, they will eventually reach a place where they are able to look back on their experiences at the hands of a narcissist with some small amount of acceptance. They will never fully understand why they had to endure such suffering, but they will no longer be imprisoned by the lingering influence of their narcissist.

While it is recommended that someone who has been through such an ordeal never again make contact with the person in question, there are a few things that many would love to be able to say to their abuser.

Here are four such statements that might be said.

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Fighting the Madness: Autoimmune Depression

Autoimmune Encephalitis can be a devastating, life-altering diagnosis not only for patients themselves, but for their spouses, children, caregivers, and families. While there are many forms of AE, all AE patients have one thing in common; their own bodies have turned on them. Patients experience a host of symptoms, ranging from psychosis to autonomic dysfunction. The symptoms sometimes come on suddenly in the middle of the day, without warning; while others suffer silently for months. AE impacts people of all ages, gender, and race. There is no discrimination when your body is silently waging war on your once healthy brain. Like war, it’s very unlikely for a person with AE to walk away unaffected. Every single part of your life is impacted in some way. Most report loss of personality characteristics, careers, mobility, memory, cognitive function, spouses, family members, and friends. Patients spend weeks, months, and even years in hospitals or long term rehabilitation centers learning to function normally again. Treatments for AE can be harsh on the body; as many receive chemotherapy, steroids, and IVIG at rapid rates to help stop the body’s attack. Or be subjected to plasmapharesis where the body’s blood is filtered through a machine and the offending antibodies are removed. AE drains your energy, and sometimes your spirit.

Sometimes life with AE feels impossible, especially when you are surrounded by people who don’t believe your disease is real, or that you “can’t possibly be sick, you look fine!” No one could possibly understand the great amount of energy it takes for AE patients to get out of bed in the morning, put on a smile, and fake it through the day. It may be true that most AE patients don’t look “sick” in the way we expect, and because of this I feel there is pressure for them to try and be as “normal” as possible. This constant pressure, lack of support or validation for how they are feeling, combined with the physical and emotional symptoms of this disease, leaves most suffering in silence with a host of emotional issues, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.

In the next few months, I will taking a look at different mental health issues as they pertain to Autoimmune Encephalitis. These posts are designed to provide support, and resources for AE patients and caregivers who may be one of the ones suffering in silence. I say suffer no more, because you are not alone!

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Depression May Influence Progression of Crohn’s Disease, Study Finds

Depression is a psychological condition that is twice as prevalent in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) than in healthy people. Despite its high incidence, there is no clear evidence supporting the hypothesis that depression could promote IBD progression, according to a recent report.

The review article, “Systematic Review and Meta-analysis: The impact of a depressive state on disease course in adult inflammatory bowel disease,” was published  in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Researchers from Imperial College London and St George’s, University of London, found that depression is associated more with the progression of Crohn’s disease (CD) than in ulcerative colitis (UC).

“This study is about investigating whether stress and depression make inflammatory conditions worse,” Dr. Sonia Saxena, author of the study, said in a news release from Imperial College London written by Ryan O’Hare.

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Iron Supplements & Autism

Iron deficiency appears to be associated with autism, although researchers aren’t yet sure why. Autism is a developmental disorder that occurs in the first three years of life and affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Treatment options include behavior and communication therapies, educational therapies and medications. Alternative treatments, such as special diets, are being researched to determine safety and beneficial effects.

Deficiency

Iron deficiency is more prevalent in children with autism, according to a 2002 study published by A. Latif and colleagues in “Autism.” Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, impaired growth and intellectual development and gastrointestinal tract abnormalities. It may also cause mood changes and poor concentration. However, iron deficiency in children with anemia is not linked with severity of autistic symptoms, developmental level and behavioral problems, according to a 2010 study published by Ayhan Bilgiç and colleagues in “Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.”

Effects

Many autistic children have insufficient dietary iron intake. Iron therapy can significantly improve the sleep disturbances common in children with autism, according to a 2007 study published by Cara F. Dosman and colleagues in “Pediatric Neurology.” Dosman and colleagues suggested that children with autism spectrum disorders be routinely screened for iron deficiency.

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The Rollercoaster Of Recovery From Narcissistic Abuse

A viciously intense rollercoaster of emotions and experiences is how most victims would describe their time spent with a narcissist. You’d hope, then, that once you break free of their grip, this unpleasant ride would come to an end…but you’d be wrong.

The ups and downs tend to continue long after you’ve left them behind, as if their poison still courses through your veins. Recovery from narcissist abuse is just like any other form of mental or physical recovery – it takes time, work, and determination for the wounds to heal.

There are so many elements of this process that it makes sense to address each one separately.

Feelings For Ex Partners

Despite everything they put you through, you can’t simply flick a switch and turn off the feelings you have for a romantic partner. This is doubly true for a narcissistic ex because of the levels of manipulation they use to induce powerful emotional states in their victims.

Leaving them was no doubt a struggle in itself, but staying away from them is just as difficult. Like with any relationship, you will experience a sense of loss and even one of grief.

You will probably find yourself fighting the desire to rekindle the flame that first drew you to them; you will wish to return and “make things work” even though you know they can’t. Your heart will pull you back in while your rational side will remind you of all the bad times that made you leave in the first place.

This process of longing for your ex while simultaneously reliving the torturous time you spent with them can be extremely painful. You will feel conflicted and confused just as you did during the relationship itself.

This is made all the worse when the narcissist comes back into your life to try and win you back. They will pour on the charm once more and you will have to fight against your urges and stand your ground; it’s not always as easy as it sounds.

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