What is anxiety? Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal reaction to stress. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.
What is my anxiety? Use the following table to access your anxiety level. A score of 5 or more is significant.
Over the last two weeks, how often have you been bothered by the following problems?
Not at all 0 Several days 1 More than half the days 2 Nearly every day 3.
Feeling nervous, anxious, or on edge 0 1 2 3
Not being able to stop or control worrying 0 1 2 3
Worrying too much about different things 0 1 2 3
Trouble relaxing 0 1 2 3
Being so restless that it is hard to sit still 0 1 2 3
Becoming easily annoyed or irritable 0 1 2 3
Feeling afraid, as if something awful might happen 0 1 2 3
What is depression? Do I have it? A score of 5 or greater on the Patient Health Questionnaire can help determine if your depression is significant.
"Sadness, feeling down, and having a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities are familiar feelings for all of us. But if they persist and affect our lives substantially, the issue may be depression."
Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems? Not at all 0 Several days 1 More than half the days 2 Nearly every day 3.
Little interest or pleasure in doing things 0 1 2 3
Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless 0 1 2 3
Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much 0 1 2 3
Feeling tired or having little energy 0 1 2 3
Poor appetite or overeating 0 1 2 3
Feeling bad about yourself — or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down 0 1 2 3
Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television 0 1 2 3
Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed? Or the opposite — being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual 0 1 2 3
Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way 0 1 2 3
Have you experienced any emotional trauma as a child? If so, these types of experiences can repeat themselves as adults and can create patterns that destabilize your life. See the following ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) questionnaire can help determine your score.
While you were growing up, during your first 18 years of life:
1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often … Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often … Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Try to or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal sex with you? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
4. Did you often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
5. Did you often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
7. Was your mother or stepmother: Often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes or often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic or who used street drugs? Yes No If yes enter 1 ______
9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill or did a household member attempt suicide? Yes No If yes enter 1 ________
10. Did a household member go to prison? Yes No If yes enter 1 __
A score of 4 or higher is common with 80% of those who seek counseling/therapy. Might therapy be right for yo
Do you know your MBTI? It can be a helpful way to better understand how you orient to the world? Take the test here: https://www.humanmetrics.com/personality/test
What is co-dependency and do I have it?
Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive. Co-dependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior.
Who Does Co-dependency Affect?
Co-dependency often affects a spouse, a parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker of a person afflicted with alcohol or drug dependence. Originally, co-dependent was a term used to describe partners in chemical dependency, persons living with, or in a relationship with an addicted person. Similar patterns have been seen in people in relationships with chronically or mentally ill individuals. Today, however, the term has broadened to describe any co-dependent person from any dysfunctional family.
What is a Dysfunctional Family and How Does it Lead to Co-dependency?
A dysfunctional family is one in which members suffer from fear, anger, pain, or shame that is ignored or denied. Underlying problems may include any of the following: • An addiction by a family member to drugs, alcohol, relationships, work, food, sex, or gambling. • The existence of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. • The presence of a family member suffering from a chronic mental or physical illness. Dysfunctional families do not acknowledge that problems exist. They don’t talk about them or confront them. As a result, family members learn to repress emotions and disregard their own needs. They become “survivors.” They develop behaviors that help them deny, ignore, or avoid difficult emotions. They detach themselves. They don’t talk. They don’t touch. They don’t confront. They don’t feel. They don’t trust. The identity and emotional development of the members of a dysfunctional family are often inhibited. Attention and energy focus on the family member who is ill or addicted. The co-dependent person typically sacrifices his or her needs to take care of a person who is sick. When co-dependents place other people’s health, welfare and safety before their own, they can lose contact with their own needs, desires, and sense of self. From http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/codependency Handout compiled by Teresa Kleffner, MSW, LCSW. St. Louis Counseling and Wellness. www.stlcw.com
How Do Co-dependent People Behave?
Co-dependents have low self-esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better. They find it hard to “be themselves.” Some try to feel better through alcohol, drugs or nicotine - and become addicted. Others may develop compulsive behaviors like workaholism, gambling, or indiscriminate sexual activity. They have good intentions. They try to take care of a person who is experiencing difficulty, but the caretaking becomes compulsive and defeating. Co-dependents often take on a martyr’s role and become “benefactors” to an individual in need. A wife may cover for her alcoholic husband; a mother may make excuses for a truant child; or a father may “pull some strings” to keep his child from suffering the consequences of delinquent behavior. The problem is that these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual to continue on a destructive course and to become even more dependent on the unhealthy caretaking of the “benefactor.” As this reliance increases, the co-dependent develops a sense of reward and satisfaction from “being needed.” When the caretaking becomes compulsive, the co-dependent feels choiceless and helpless in the relationship, but is unable to break away from the cycle of behavior that causes it. Co-dependents view themselves as victims and are attracted to that same weakness in the love and friendship relationships. Characteristics of Co-dependent People Are: • An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others • A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue • A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time • A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts • An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship to avoid the feeling of abandonment • An extreme need for approval and recognition • A sense of guilt when asserting themselves • A compelling need to control others • Lack of trust in self and/or others • Fear of being abandoned or alone • Difficulty identifying feelings • Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change • Problems with intimacy/boundaries • Chronic anger • Lying/dishonesty • Poor communication • Difficulty making decisions
Questionnaire To Identify Signs Of Co-dependency
This condition appears to run in different degrees, whereby the intensity of symptoms is on a spectrum of severity, as opposed to an all or nothing scale. Please note that only a qualified professional can make a diagnosis of co-dependency; not everyone experiencing these symptoms suffers from co-dependency. 1. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments? 2. Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you? 3. Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem? 4. Have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you? 5. Are the opinions of others more important than your own? 6. Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home? 7. Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends? 8. Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be? 9. Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others? 10. Have you ever felt inadequate? 11. Do you feel like a “bad person” when you make a mistake? 12. Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts? 13. Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake? 14. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts? 15. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done? 16. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss? 17. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life? 18. Do you have trouble saying “no” when asked for help? 19. Do you have trouble asking for help? 20. Do you have so many things going at once that you can’t do justice to any of them?
When Co-dependency Hits Home
The first step in changing unhealthy behavior is to understand it. It is important for co-dependents and their family members to educate themselves about the course and cycle of addiction and how it extends into their relationships. Libraries, drug and alcohol abuse treatment centers and mental health centers often offer educational materials and programs to the public. A lot of change and growth is necessary for the co-dependent and his or her family. Any caretaking behavior that allows or enables abuse to continue in the family needs to be recognized and stopped. The codependent must identify and embrace his or her feelings and needs. This may include learning to say “no,” to be loving yet tough, and learning to be self-reliant. People find freedom, love, and serenity in their recovery. Hope lies in learning more. The more you understand co-dependency the better you can cope with its effects. Reaching out for information and assistance can help someone live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
What is an attachment style and what is mine? Attachment styles refer to the particular way in which an individual relates to other people. The style of attachment is formed at the very beginning of life, and once established, it is a style that stays with you and plays out today in how you relate in intimate relationships and in how you parent your children. How to assess your attachment type: https://www.attachmentproject.com/blog/four-attachment-styles/
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