How I Finally Conquered My Panic Attacks (and you can too)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

We all acquire anxiety issues a little differently. We all get through things a little differently as well.  Some use cognitive behavioral skills, including humor techniques, deep breathing, thought replacement, self compassion, mindfulness and vocalized defensiveness to get through their panic attacks or scary thoughts. Today my guest poster takes you on her journey towards healing. 

By: Misty Browne

As I step out of the SUV at the airport, my boss’s mother asks me if I’m feeling OK. 

“I’m fine, just a little under the weather,” I respond. 

In line for security I get the same question as the wand runs across my body. I nod and move on. By the time I’m at my gate I can’t breathe. I rush to the bathroom. “Maybe I’m getting the flu,” I tell myself. I splash cold water on my face. Outside of being a touch pale, the mirror reflects green eyes and brown hair falling neatly over my shoulders, the same as always. But I feel different. I feel like I’m going to die. I can’t breathe and my heart is pounding so hard I can hear it....  continue reading

"I'm Not in the Mood." The Usual Decline of Sexual Interest (and what do do about it)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under Sexuality/Relationships

“I just want a quickie.”  

“I feel used.” 

“I think we should have sex more often.” 

“I think you need to show me more emotional support first.”

“How about just a blow job?” 

“How about a back rub?”

“Why do you always want sex?”

“Why don’t you want it more?”

“God, I’m just so…bored.”

Sound familiar? If you're like thousands of other couples this Valentine's Day, you might be having one of these conversations. We can't all be like Shannon and Morrison in my second novel, Conviction. (Rawr.)

Sexual issues come up often in relationship counseling, and they can be tricky to tease apart, unlike your husband’s legs. (Ba dum dum, ching). While sexual activity is at a peak in early relationships, it tends to decline over time. But why? We surely love our spouse more now than we do when we met them, don’t we?

Why would our sexual desire so reliably go down (and not in the fun way)? There are quite a few reasons, and obviously all of them cannot be discussed in one post. But while this isn’t a universal truth for everyone, there are a few, very common reasons for a loss of desire. And while I will be addressing the ladies here only because I more often see couples where women have lower drives, keep in mind that these roles can be reversed. 

Come with me. (heh) Let’s check this out....  continue reading

The Pain Disorder That Saved My Life

Thursday, February 02, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

Pain and depression can go hand-in-hand because of the way brain chemicals like serotonin affect both of those conditions (more on depression here). But did you know anxiety can follow similar patterns? So much overlap. Neurotransmitters are kinda jerky like that. Some people even experience panic attacks related to food sensitivities

And sometimes we stumble upon these relationships by accident. Today I have a guest post from a lovely woman who found out just how closely linked pain and anxiety can be....  continue reading

Are Criminals Blameworthy Or Are They Victims? American Justice, Mental Illness and the Illusion of Free Will

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 by Meg   •   Filed under General

Justice. 

It is an uncomfortable topic, particularly once we begin to explore mental health issues within the context of American prisons. There are currently ten times the number of individuals with serious mental illness in jails and state prisons than there are in state mental hospitals1. Prisons are currently our way of housing the mentally ill, de facto institutions when we find ourselves without appropriate healthcare facilities for long-term commitments.

Most prisoners are worse off biologically and emotionally when they emerge, increasing rates for re-offense. Not that this bothers us much; we assume that one who has been put away is a menace to society anyway, an individual who will surely do more harm than good. After all, you have to do something to get locked up. It is that action that we judge in our courthouses. 

But neuroscientist David Eagleman has a slightly different take on the notion of justice in Incognito. Ealgeman argues that it is not simply the act committed that we should look at during sentencing. To judge an individual, we must identify how blameworthy they are. 

And that, my friends, is a more difficult subject than most realize....  continue reading

F*ck Brock Turner. Here's How I'm Giving Back.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under General

I was going to stay out of it, I really was. There are already so many beautiful and poignant writings about the Stanford rapist at this

juncture, including a moving letter from the victim herself.

But now that Brock Turner’s father has gotten involved, noting that a paltry six month sentence is “a steep price to pay for twenty minutes of action,” I’m too pissed to stay out of it. We all should be.

Daddy went on to shift fault to the university:

“In hindsight, it’s clear that Brock was desperately trying to fit in at Stanford and fell into the culture of alcohol consumption and partying. This culture was modeled by many of the upperclassmen on the swim team and played a role in the events of Jan 17th and 18th 2015.”

Dan, your son was not on trial for drinking, you rape-enabling fuck. He sexually abused an unconscious woman.

Now, it is true that the culture of hyper-masculinity encourages more aggressive behaviors in men and boys. It is true that most rapists have abuse in their own pasts (ahem). It is also true that alcohol clouds judgment.

But your son is a predator.

He is not a victim....  continue reading

Being Transgender Isn't the Problem. We Are.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 by Meg   •   Filed under General

Transgender identity, as a broad term, is the idea that some people do not conform consistently or unambiguously to the typical (or accepted) notions of “male” or “female”. When we hear the term, it is often used to describe someone like Caitlyn Jenner whose gender identity (sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. However, not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender atypical will identify as a transgendered. Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show isn’t necessarily transgender just because he loves women’s lingerie. He could just be a proud dude in panties.

But the issue is far beyond dressing a certain way or acting a certain way. The transgendered population is under attack at every turn due to forces they cannot control. I mean, why are we so worried about where people can pee for fuck’s sake?

Gender identity, like sexuality, exists on a spectrum. And as a society, we disregard anyone who doesn’t fit into these little tiny boxes of “normal.” We label them as mentally ill. We try to take away their inherent human rights. And that is a huge part of what triggers depression and anxiety and suicide in misunderstood and persecuted populations. 

In short, being transgender isn’t the problem. We are....  continue reading