Stuck in My Anxiety

Many people are still struggling with the anxiety that began for them with the onset of the COVICD 19 pandemic. Even though the pandemic is under much better control, masks are no longer required everywhere, and people are returning to work in person, for some folks their anxiety is lingering like an unwanted guest. Like a COVID-induced PTSD. Like a cloak of worry that won’t go away.  It is hard to get back in the swing of commuting, sitting in an office, and being around a lot of people? It … [Read more...]

Breaking Through the Pandemic Blues

So you handled the past year pretty well. You were able to work virtually, you talked to your friends online, and you found satisfaction in things like baking, reading, and listening to virtual concerts. You even felt that you had turned a corner as the weather began to improve, and then – WHAM! – you suddenly didn’t care if you got things done. You slept more than you should, and let the bills go unpaid. You stopped returning phone calls from friends, and couldn’t concentrate enough to read a … [Read more...]

Delayed Grief

Recently I read an article in the New York Times by Nicole Johnson called” My Mother Died When I was 7.  I’m Grieving 37 Years Later  (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/17/well/family/delayed-grief.html ) it took me back to an experience I had many years ago. I was engaged to get married and was observing the death of my father by lighting a memorial candle.  Suddenly, I was overcome with sadness and tears and felt overwhelmed with the thought that my father would never know my wonderful … [Read more...]

COPING WITH THE “WHAT IF” OF ANXIOUS THINKING (Part 2)

In the previous blog (https://dralisonblock.com/coping-with-the-what-if-of-anxious-thinking-part-1/), I talked about the value of Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP) often used for OCD. But could E/RP be used for other diagnoses where people struggle with “what if” thinking, such as social anxiety, panic disorder, separation anxiety, and others? Some authors think that it can be a help. If life is uncertain and if our "what-if" thinking is due to that uncertainty, then it would be … [Read more...]

2021: What Kind of Year Will You Create for Yourself?

Traditionally, at the end of the year, we talk about making resolutions. What are the things we want to do to change our lives? We make a list and start out with good intentions, but within 30 days that list has usually gone into the garbage pail. It’s not that we don’t have a desire to change, it is that the list is too long, not prioritized, and we haven’t figured out the “why,” the real reason we want to do those things.    But after a year like 2020, a year of a presidential … [Read more...]

Getting Through the Winter & Holiday Blues

As we get closer to Christmas, with the days shorter, darker and colder, many people feel anxious or blue. With the COVID pandemic imposing a layer of isolation on top of those feelings, the experience of being down or lonely can turn into depression.    While there is no cure-all for feelings of sadness and a sense of loss, there are things that you can do to hang on to some emotional balance during this difficult season.   Watch what you eat. Enjoy the foods that you … [Read more...]

Video Therapy vs. In-Person Therapy

Many clients have asked whether video therapy or telehealth virtual therapy sessions are considered as effective as therapy that is done in person.     I have expressed that I would prefer to see their entire faces on a screen than to be in-person in an office and only be able to see their eyes since mask-wearing is required. Facial expressions, especially smiling, frowning, or looking sad, are key elements of understanding what a client is feeling. Being hidden behind a mask and sitting at … [Read more...]

Coping with the “What If” of Anxious Thinking (Part 1)

    We all play the “what if” game at some time.  What if I miss the train, what if my mom forgets to pick me up, what if I fail my test, what if I don’t get asked to the prom.  At different ages, different kinds of “what if” thinking are more prominent. What if I don’t get the promotion, what if something bad happens to my children, what if I don’t count my bites of food and something happens to me. But when “what if “thinking paralyzes people, it keeps them from truly living their lives. When … [Read more...]

GRATITUDE

   Thanks to Tara Parker-Pope for this eloquently worded statement of gratitude. I too give thanks to all of the people whose names I do not know, who made my life easier during the pandemic. And thanks also to the friends and family who were there virtually and in-person whose support was invaluable. Stay safe and healthy everyone. "GRATITUDE: I want to close this newsletter with an expression of gratitude to all the people who have helped us cope this year. Let’s start with our health care … [Read more...]

Alone On Thanksgiving Day?

  Whether you are alone because your family lives far away or because the COVID-19 pandemic prevents you from being together, it is important to think about how you want the Thanksgiving holiday to go. For many single individuals, who make up about a third of all households, Thanksgiving (and Christmas or Chanukah) can feel gloomy or sad if there is no one to share it with. It is hard to ignore all those family scenes in commercials, and joyous songs just don’t make up for a shared meal and hugs … [Read more...]