Medication.

Buspirone, to be precise. It’s a mild anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drug in the azapirone class, meaning it works on the neurotransmitter serotonin, but in a slightly different way from standard SSRIs like Prozac and Lexapro. I really thought I was done with medication, but two weeks ago, after meeting with my doctor, I agreed– after much hesitation– […]

Strike a [Power] Pose

Years of dance training have taught me that the shapes we make with our bodies can have a profound influence on our moods and emotions. Perhaps nowhere has the mind-body connection more been more evident to me than in the dance studio; the way a student feels about a step, a correction, or a part […]

The Agoraphobia Workout

Let’s briefly revisit December 2012, almost three and a half years ago, when three consecutive days of panic attacks took me from a fearless life alone in Washington Heights to a sobbing, nonfunctional heap on my childhood bed. This was one of the most difficult, terrifying periods of my life so far. In the weeks after […]

The Starbucks Enigma

I am thrilled to announce to you all that after a long and difficult journey, I am finally ready to make the following proclamation with absolute confidence: I love coffee. Groundbreaking, right? I know. Coffee is in many ways the quintessentially american addiction. Especially in my age bracket of overscheduled twenty-somethings, caffeine intake has reached a status […]

Another Reason to Quit Smoking:

This just in: A lot of people smoke cigarettes to calm down, or to lose weight. New research shows that smoking actually has negative effects on both emotion and metabolism: In case the now common-knowledge health risks of smoking aren’t deterrent enough, new research shows that smokers have a 70% higher risk of anxiety and depression […]

Busy Getting Dizzy

A lot of my anxiety has centered on physical symptoms. The knowledge that I sometimes experience the world in a bizarre and distorted way that other people don’t just freaks me out. That’s the nature of any symptomatic disease or disorder, but the truth is that everyone experiences reality differently, and it doesn’t have to […]

Chiaroscuro

Chiaroscuro: Light and shadow. Perhaps the most powerful creators of mood, tone, atmosphere. The slow, seeping brightness of early dawn.  Dappled, yellow morning light, filtering down through leafy branches. The mid-afternoon sun throwing everything into shadowy relief. A candle glowing on a frosty windowsill. Silver-pale moonlight throwing long shadows across fresh snow.   Light and […]