Dr. Debra Kissen's Blog Archive

Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Mar 20, 2017
HowtoTake the Power Back fromIntrusive ThoughtOCD Step 1:See through OCD’s scare tactics. OCD is the fear network of the brai...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Mar 24, 2016
I wear many “hats “ in life, from taxi driver to short order cook, to healer, to coach but if I had to summarize my two main roles it would be psychologist and mother. As a psycho...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Oct 27, 2015
I am writing this blog as I sit here, in my warmed robe, in a soothingly decorated waiting room, waiting for my mammogram results. I don't know what else to do to keep my mind in check as...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Feb 9, 2015
My favorite clients to work with are individualsstruggling withharm-relatedobsessive- compulsive disorder(OCD). Without exception,every client I have seen wh...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Sep 4, 2014
A dear friend of mine wrote the beautiful poem below about her journey through anxiety. I hope you find it as healing as I do. Freedom from anxiety soaring through clouds Freedom ...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Aug 17, 2014
It is once again that dreaded time of year... no it is not tax season...it is back to school season. It is time to put away the out door furniture, put the beach chairs in storage and get org...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Aug 2, 2014
When struggling with trichotillomania, it is helpful to create a "Trichotillomania Survival Kit". Find diffferent objects that are satisfying for your hands. What is most impo...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jul 24, 2014
I will never forget the day my battle with panic came to a head. I set up an appointment with a lovely, seemingly well-informed psychologist to attempt to get help with a maddening array of m...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jul 24, 2014
I will never forget the day my battle with panic came to a head. I set up an appointment with a lovely, seemingly well-informed psychologist to attempt to get help with a maddening array of m...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on May 22, 2014
If you are feeling anxious about your anxiety, I have some good news for you. There's actually nothing to be afraid of. I have looked under the bed and there is no boogie man. Anxiety is all ba...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on May 22, 2014
If you are feeling anxious about your anxiety, I have some good news for you. There's actually nothing to be afraid of. I have looked under the bed and there is no boogie man. Anxiety is all ba...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on May 6, 2014
Anxious Parents Raising Anxious Children There is a high likelihood that anxious adults will pass on their anxious chemistry to their children. This is not a death wish for your chi...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Feb 25, 2014
When caught in the grips of anxiety, it is nearly impossible to think clearly and rationally, given that your brain is operating in pure survival mode. Therefore, I encourage my clients to co...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Feb 22, 2014
Have you recently found yourself contemplating, "Is it time to break up with my therapist"? Here are some signs that it is likely a good idea to take a break from therapy...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Dec 18, 2013
I have been seeing an increasing number of school refusal cases in my clinical practice. I have yet to read any studies which provide empirically based findings as to why this challenging set of be...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Dec 18, 2013
I have a confession to make. I have not been to the gym in many years. As a busy mom of three young children and a clinical psychologist, I have justified my lack of formal workouts by tellin...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Dec 9, 2013
Clients of state that they have "tried relaxation training" such as deep breathing and it has not worked.I find the timing of when I introduce relaxation training to be critic...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Sep 26, 2013
If you are like 23 percent of woman, you may be taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), such as Luvox, Lexapro, or Zoloft, to manage your anxiety or depression. You may also be cont...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Sep 6, 2013
Question for Dr. Debra: I feel like nothing is real and like I'm watching a movie. I really don't know what's wrong. Answer: It sounds like you a...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jun 27, 2013
Many anxiety specialists offer home based assistance for clients who experience severe agoraphobia and therefore have too difficult a time leaving there home to go to a doctor's office. &...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jun 26, 2013
My clients often ask me if they will ever be cured of their anxiety disorders. The short answer to this is No. The longer and more helpful answer is that an anxiety disorder can get smaller and smal...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on May 24, 2013
Many individuals with panic disorder fear they will pass out from a panic attack, due to feeling dizzy, short of breath and lightheaded. The good news is that it is near impossible to pass out duri...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Apr 24, 2013
Question for Dr. Kissen: I often feel the compulsive need to hurt or injure myself (though I've never done any serious harm) and my emotions tend to surge, either towards anger or des...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Apr 21, 2013
Question for Dr. Kissen, Director of the Light on Anxiety Treatment Center of Chicago: I feel like nothing is real and I have outbursts of random noise Response: Two of the mo...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Apr 16, 2013
Question: I have seen so many doctors, tried so many different medications, have suffered through so many panic attacks, I am beginning to feel that life will always be this unbearable and that I w...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Apr 7, 2013
Are you currently experiencing an intense period of fear, discomfort or terror? Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms, which appeared to come on “out of the blue”...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Mar 29, 2013
Question:I suffer Panic Attacks regularly and it seems as though they are increasing. Now I am starting to avoid certain public transportation routes, for fear of having an attack--especially...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Mar 27, 2013
What is the difference between “Normal Stress” and an “Anxiety Disorder”? To be alive is to experience “stress“. We are living in an age of rapi...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Mar 4, 2013
Question: I've been living with panic/anxiety now since I've been 12-13 years old I feel it's taking over my life I can't do normal things like I did when I was a child. I'v...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Mar 4, 2013
Test from apple store
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Feb 12, 2013
Question: I am worried that encouraging my child to do things that she fears will only make her more scared. I remember when I was young, my parents forced me to do things that scared me ...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jan 20, 2013
Have you asked for a referral to see a therapist? There is effective treatment for panic disorder and I am so sorry to hear of your continued suffering. Keep advocating for yourself and deman...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jan 3, 2013
Question for Dr. Debra: I am a mother of two young boys. I am also a working mother. How can I help myself reduce the panic that I am experiencing? Answer: The key to moving beyond pani...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Dec 12, 2012
I have noticed a concerning trend in my clinical practice. When I ask parents to develop a list of potential rewards, for their children to earn, for engaging in the hard work of cognitive behavior...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Dec 12, 2012
What is the difference between “Normal Stress” and an “Anxiety Disorder”? To be alive is to experience “stress“. We are living in an ...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Dec 7, 2012
A panic attack is an alarm, a very loud and powerful alarm, going off in your brain. It sends you the signal, "You are in immediate danger. You must do something right now to either fight,flight or f...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Dec 7, 2012
A panic attack is an acute period of intense fear. Panic disorder is characterized by intense fear of panic and preoccupation with having future panic attacks, leading to decreased overall functionin...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Nov 22, 2012
What is OCD? OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. To determine if you are experiencing OCD like symptoms, feel free to complete this brief OCD assessment tool. There is much freedo...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Sep 19, 2012
One of the first questions prospective clients often ask me is, "What is CBT for Anxiety?" CBT for anxiety isactive, hands onand emphasizes a problem solving approach to m...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Sep 19, 2012
One of the first questions prospective clients often ask me is, "What is CBT for Anxiety?" CBT for anxiety isactive, hands onand emphasizes a problem solving approach to m...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Aug 30, 2012
All of my clients begin treatment terrified of their anxiety symptoms.  The first few sessions are jam packed with statements such as, "You are going to think I am crazy if I tell you this..." or "I ...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Aug 27, 2012
QUESTION: My panic attacks really scare me. Could I pass out due to a panic attack?
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Aug 24, 2012
QUESTION:I have been struggling with panic disorder for over 10 years and am beginning to lose hope. I no longer go out and do the things I used to love, for fear that I will have a panic attack. Not...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Aug 24, 2012
QUESTION: My child was recently diagnosed with OCD. I am trying to support her and love her very much but am struggling to understanding why everything is so difficult for her. It is emotionally exha...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Aug 12, 2012
Looking at the proud, beaming smile on little Alexandra's face almost makes me forget about all of the whining, tears and drama that built up to this moment. It was the last day of camp and Ale...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Aug 4, 2012
I often update my blog with the trials and tribulations of parenting. What I fail to mention, but what I know is a given, for all of my parent readers, is the joy and sheer delight that I obt...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jul 26, 2012
Have you ever wished you had a remote control for your child? Imagine, at your finger tips, the ability to fast forward past temper tantrums, rewind the sweet moments, mute the "nails on chalk...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jul 23, 2012
Today has been a loooooonnnnnggggg day, filled with parental ups and downs, with more downs than ups. The downs: Alexandra crying for mommy at camp drop off Alexandra getting frus...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jul 22, 2012
It is amazing how teeny tiny environmental shifts can create mammoth behavioral changes. As a mom and as a pychologist (momchologist), I try to look for small entry points to reduce problematic beh...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jul 17, 2012
Ugh...Where to begin with the morning play back? Why oh why is it so hard to get out the door and to camp on time? This is obviously rhetorical, as there are 8 billions obstacles getting in the way of...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jul 8, 2012
They say necessity is the mother of invention but I think motherhood is the mother of invention. What else could inspire the creation of a napkin "captain america"? But when little ...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jul 7, 2012
Ahhhhhhh......words do not do justice to the feeling of relief and peace that I am currently experiencing. You may be wondering what could provide a busy mom/psychologist ( Momchologist? ) with thi...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jun 28, 2012
No one says it is easy to be a parent and it is alll the more challenging to raise an anxious child. As a mother of an anxious child, the irony of being an anxiety expert raising an anxious little ...
Dr. Debra Kissen of Light on Anxiety posted a blog on Jun 27, 2012
This morningwas like any other morning. I wasdriving to an appointment, speaking on the phone (using speaker phone but still never a good idea, in my humble opinion) and thinking ...