Anxious Adults Create Anxious Children + The Think Traffic Challenge

image pill popping mom

Greetings from America! The land of opportunity, mom’s apple pie, baseball, and anxiety.

Call us Xanax Nation, for short.


  • 46 million prescriptions for the anxiety drug Xanax (and its generic form Alprazolam) were written in 2010
  • 40 million+ adults are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder every year
  • 3 million+ “anxiety” queries are searched monthly via Google


image Google search Anxiety






(Click to enlarge image)

  • 311million+ = population estimate for 2011
  • 75 million+ =population under the age of 18

That’s a lot of anxious adults raising anxious children.

And I’m not criticizing the parents–it’s an anxiety-provoking gig. My son was born 11 years ago and that’s the last time I enjoyed a good night’s rest.

I’m one of the fortunate ones, however. I’m a mental health practitioner trained by amazing clinicians who taught me about self-care, how to spot a narcissist, and the importance of ‘no’, among other things.

I honestly don’t know what my life would be like without these life lessons.

When I was younger I knew I had to be educated and successful in order to be happy. I figured if I was smart and played my cards right, everything would fall in place. I assumed that educated and successful people were more calm, cool and collected than the rest of us…


Some of the most psychologically addled, stressed out, and overwhelmingly anxious people I’ve met have been educated and successful…psychotherapy clients.

Just because you made valedictorian in law school or graduated from Harvard Business School doesn’t mean your emotional health is Ivy League material.

It’s often the opposite–professionals who’ve spent years studying Beethoven or rocket science have done so at the expense of developing their emotional intelligence.

Why mention this?

Because people with external resources have access to external resources when the anxiety shit hits the fan.

And what becomes of those less fortunate, but no-less deserving of external resources?

I don’t know.

But one thing I’m sure of is people live online.

Global searches for anxiety top 5.5 million every month.

A few other truths I know after 13 years of being a psychotherapist:

  • Telling people to “Stop being anxious” doesn’t work
  • Anxiety is not always a bad thing. Our ancestors thrived because of the fight or flight response. But we don’t need to outrun a bear, or hunt for dinner. Nowadays, we’re safe and we’re fat. Far too many are waging a war inside their minds, and are starved for solid anti-anxiety strategies
  • Corporate America sells you the cure for social anxiety in Chanel’s “little black dress” or the BMW X1
  • The stigma of mental health disorders prevents many individuals from visiting a psychotherapist
  • 46+ million prescriptions of Xanax in 2013 will not help people get to the root of their anxiety
  • Parenting is a bitch on some days, and a supportive network to access useful information, to vent, to cry and to laugh goes a long way in building connections and bolstering self-esteem
  • If we don’t offer better coping skills to anxious adults, we’ll continue to raise anxious children. And children have one shot at childhood
  • “You’re not alone” is a message that more people need to internalize

The Think Traffic Challenge: 

Corbett Barr of Think Traffic posted a mentoring giveaway I would love to win.

Corbett and company have got this traffic and online business thing on lock. And I can write a mean treatment plan on mental health.

For this reason and for the above-mentioned reasons, I think I deserve to win this amazing competition. In the past couple of months, I’ve paid a lot of attention to growing my blog’s presence (Thanks Fizzle!).

  • Traffic has increased by 40%
  • Newsletter subscriber numbers are up over 60%
  • Facebook page ‘likes’ and engagement is climbing, too.

I’m not the best therapist in America–far from it. But I’ve gained a loyal and intrepid following over the past two years by providing quality content delivered in an authentic, honest and straightforward voice.

Remeber this post, Corbett? ;).

My dream is to create a non-corporate wellness community which spreads the good mental health word, reduces the stigma of psychotherapy, and offers affordable, accessible mental wellness products online.

I’m thinkin’ podcasts, video series, eBooks, and webinars.

Thank you Corbett and company for your consideration of TalkTherapyBiz.


Now it’s your turn–I’d be forever grateful if you’d visit the comments box below and share:

~Why the world needs more accurate, honest and quality mental health content online.

~What would you like to see offered as an online resource for anxiety?

Lastly, if you could share this post on your favorite social media site by clicking that sexy share strip in the <–left side bar.

Thank you!




About Linda Esposito

Hi there! I'm an Anxiety Saboteur and the creator of the soon-to-be retired If you want to join me on Wired for Happy click this link to subscribe for details.

30 Responses to "Anxious Adults Create Anxious Children + The Think Traffic Challenge"

  1. jess @UsedYorkCityNo Gravatar says:

    This is fantastic, and you definitely have my vote to win!!! You so deserve it!

    As far as the questions go, I think informative online sources that discuss anxiety (such as your website) are brilliant. Not everyone has the time nor resources to actually seek help for their anxiety via in-person sessions with therapists, but most do have access to the internet. I would love to see more videos discussing this topic!

    Best of luck, we in NYC are cheering for you!:-)

    • Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

      I’d love to see more videos around anxiety, too Jess! That’s one of the reasons I joined Fizzle–the three Cs, Corbett, Chase and Caleb are super techies. Great point–many people don’t have the time, the resources and the accessibility for traditional 1:1.

      Thanks so much for your support. I really appreciate it!

  2. irenesavareseNo Gravatar says:

    I hope you wind Linda and congratulations for your increased traffic!

    There is a lot of confusion about the causes of anxiety and what to do about it. Do we trust pharmaceutic companies to provide us with information or do we trust mental practitioners like you?

    For me there is no doubt who I am listening too!

    • Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

      Aww–your support makes my heart sing! And I certainly trust you when I have a question/issues around couples therapy.

      Thanks Irene :).

  3. Susan giurleoNo Gravatar says:

    Linda, you know I think this approach to online mental health support is very much needed. So much of what people can find online for information and support isn’t provided by licensed mental health professionals and is misinformed, if not downright wrong and potentially dangerous. In a world where we know and can see the real tragedies that stem from untreated mental illness, I wish you the best in implementing the programming you outline above. Best of luck on the challenge.

    • Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

      Susan–and that’s exactly why I do what I do. To inform people, and mostly to offer practical tips and strategies to reduce mental stress. So sad that so many jump to the pharmaceuticals w/out giving talk therapy or holistic remedies a chance.

      Your insight and blessing mean so much. So glad I found you via Google three years ago :).

      *Virtual hugs*

  4. RachelNo Gravatar says:

    Brava, lady! Yes, we need more honest, straightforward mental health information, especially for anxious parents (me included). It is so important to know that you are not alone in the fox hole – but it really feels like that sometimes. Many of us (myself included) have moved away from extended family and friends for work opportunities. While that can be exciting, it can be pretty lonely without parents, aunties and trusted friends to turn to when life gets tough or your child bites you for the 80th time that day! Yeah, I got one of those kids, bless his heart. Anyway, sometimes a web search at the end of the day can ease my mind with a little advice or a shared experience from another anxious parent who just wants to make sure she is doing the best thing for her family.

    • Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks for the insight, Rachel. There’s far too many parents–across the socio-economic, educational, racial, vocational spectrums that feel like this. “Feeling alone in the foxhole” best sums up the bad days, not to mention the sleepless nights.

      In the end, it’s all about taking care of your family. And ‘family’ has many interpretations…:).

  5. BensonNo Gravatar says:

    You got my vote, hands down.
    Good luck!

  6. Alison GoldenNo Gravatar says:

    You know you made me realize? I am waking up every morning, more anxious than I’ve ever been. And it’s because I’m about to launch a book and I’m terrified of bad reviews. The people I’m anxious about making those harsh judgements are anxious themselves! We are feeding each other, shoving anxiety down each other’s throats. What a system!

    Yesterday I found a great tool to block out certain, ahem, websites while I work on the stuff i should be doing. immediately I felt my sense of control increase. I didn’t feel I had to use willpower or keep myself in a vice type grip in order to get my work done. Those sites are now physically off limits and I hopefully can pursue my work unencumbered by their calling my name (while being vigilant to others who would like to take their place in my psyche.)

    Help for those of us who work at home, mostly isolated, totally reliant on ourselves for our motivation, income and accomplishment. Tools I can use to tell myself to stay calm, reminders to go out and arrange a lunch with a friend, to get some exercise and not get so focused on the minutiae of my life (which is about anxiety) that I miss the important stuff. Your advice that there is enough time and to breathe got me through some crazy times at the end of 2012 and I need more of that, luvvie! Please. :-)

    • Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

      Alison–what an apt description for the anxiety you’re feeling. As an anxious person, I can certainly vouch for the frenetic energy and the like-mindedness. It’s sad, really. And pathetic.

      Glad you’ve found a system which works. That’s the vexing thing about life, and life with anxiety, it’s all about preparing and planning and trying new and different things, given the circumstances.

      You don’t know how happy you make me whenever you remind me that “there is enough time,” and “breathe” reminders are helpful to you :).

      I’ll do my best to deliver more.

      Thank you, friend!

  7. Your Questions About Definition Of Mental Health Disorder says: What is a mental health disorderQuiz Help PlzHealth & Human Services upcoming webinars….Anxious Adults Create Anxious Children + The Think Traffic Challenge [...]

  8. JoAnn JordanNo Gravatar says:

    In this web searching world, we need voices of reason that are providing appropriate and safe information. Having it delivered in your cheeky style makes it fun to read. Here’s to you and your goals. All the best with the contest.

    • Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

      Cheeky! I love it, JoAnn–in fact, if memory serves me correct, my middle high school leadership teacher was the last person to refer to me as ‘cheeky.’

      Thanks for the support!

  9. Ian whiteNo Gravatar says:

    Dearest Linda,

    You know you definitely get my vote to win all the way! As a long term reader of your site and twitter feed I have found what you write of great inspiration. Not only in my personal life, overcoming my inbuilt anxiety traps, but in my work life, re-training as a mental health nurse; also my academic life using quotes from your work in my dissertation on mental health recovery.

    On a personal level though I use the relaxation tools Linda provided daily when I feel I need to reset my mind and gain some calm and focus. Can’t thank you enough.

    • Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

      Ian–I love you! That is such a sweet, heartfelt message and I cherish your thoughtfulness. When I feel like I’m spinning my anxious blogging wheels, I’m going to re-read as inspiration. Sending positive vibes for your March training exams–you got this!

  10. KrisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, Linda!

    As we all know from the reluctance our parents have with regards to seeking professional mental health care or even admitting that they need it, ours is a blessed generation: most people of our age recognize the need to see a therapist (THE first step), even if they do not go in the end. I would think that those who don´t are conditioned mostly by financial limitations. Not so much for the “stigma” related to not feeling well with one´s self and wanting to better their situation. Ridding our minds of that stigma has been a true victory.

    Our society is ill. If we reach these people, they will, in turn, reach out to their family members and others… be better parters and parents… and, little by little, we would be working towards a collective cure and, in the best case scenario, a prophylaxis against future, non-organic, mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

    Access to quality online mental health advice and being shown “the road to…” are imperative if that population of willing but economically incapable individuals are to receive the help that they need. Also, I strongly believe that, in a group forum atmosphere, people realize that they are not alone: our afflictions, although varied, all basically boil down to the same ones and are thus receptive to established treatment protocol.

    I love your website. I love your style… the way that you make it seem like we can just say whatever we want… sometimes with pain, sometimes with humor. You are so wont to use examples from your own life, and that makes us feel close to you. I have learned so much from your Linda Wisdom… those small and large pearls that make up the necklace of knowledge that I proudly wear as an adult today. I thank you for the gems. For the help. The ear, the compassion and the empathy. The tips that you give are things that everyone can do without a dime. In their daily lives. How many times have I heard your voice… 1. Breathe 2. Breathe deeply… and, thanks to that, I was able to continue on, recover my serenity, go back into the Ring.

    I am sure that many, many people would agree that you have been decisive in their lives. You have certainly been in mine. For that, I can´t thank you enough ever.


  11. Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

    Kris–you are a gem. And that is such an eloquent and heartfelt commentary that you provided. Holy Shit! I wish I could be 1/2 as insightful and incisive, as you. So happy and proud to serve my loyal, intrepid blog readers. We’re all in this life game together and we all have something to offer. I love, love, love when you stop by via España and share your experience, your pain and your hope.

    xxx, xxx

  12. Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli)No Gravatar says:

    I love your website! And you definetly have my vote to win! Your posts rock! Love to see more case studies of personality disorders (Narcissism, borderline,etc) it w/b interesting!

  13. Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

    Gracias, Kathy! Posts on personality disorders, it is! I marked this topic for the end of the month–I love when people are specific :).

  14. ValeskaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Linda,

    Congrats on your website and you definitely have my vote! I for one like the idea of having more accurate anxiety resources online because with my wacky schedule, I rely on the virtual community to expand my knowledge. We do live in an anxiety, angst ridden, multi-tasking, social networking, instant messaging, facebookin, tweeting, instagramin, texting, fast paced society which makes it very difficult to just slow down, breathe and stay in the present. My brain can only handle so much in this brave new techie world and yes my anxiety skyrockets when I can’t balance work, parenting and personal demands. More online anxiety tips to help balance it all? YES, Please! Oh, and with your dose of humor por favor ;)

  15. Uriah GuilfordNo Gravatar says:

    Great idea Linda! I work mostly with kids and teens in therapy. You are absolutely right about anxious parents creating anxious kids. I work a lot with anxious Moms and their teenage sons and I would love to see more resources for them. Whether it is videos, audio or text based support I think it has to be easily accessible on iPhones/iPads/mobile devices (maybe even an app).

    Good luck and I hope you win!

  16. DanNo Gravatar says:

    Rocking good stuff, Linda!! You definitely deserve to win this one!

    What do I want to see – I large, therapeutic, hammer to pound into into the minds of physicians that Benzo’s and the like are NOT the cure for anxiety!! Diet, exercise, meditation, cognitive restructuring – there are TONS of better ways to deal with anxiety than numbing yourself out of it!

  17. Linda EspositoNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you so much for all the positive support and well-wishes for spreading the good mental health word. I appreciate your responses and feedback–especially those of you who responded in a timely manner.

    I did not win the Think Traffic Mentoring Contest, but I challenged myself by entering and I’ve learned a few wonderful life and business lessons in the process.

    Please take a minute (1:29, to be exact) and watch Richard’s winning entry. I’m sure he’ll take his business into the stratosphere, and I look forward to watching the evolution of his endeavor:

    Peace, love and mental health!

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  19. Jennifer Dattilo WattsNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Linda!

    I just read this and it would be so awesome if you win this award! I’ll be crossing my fingers and toes for you ;-)

    Here’s my two cents for what it’s worth since I’ve not worked with a ton of clients yet:

    Two huge things that I think might help with the anxiety problem are: (1) teaching people to listen to their bodies to pinpoint WHEN they are experiencing anxiety and (2) Self-Care.

    I really truly feel that people are taught by society to disconnect from what their body is trying to tell them. Instead the average person will take medication to make said “tell” go away and proceed on with their daily stuff. If people can be taught to listen to their body’s “tells” then they can also be taught techniques and coping methods to help relax their bodies. They can then proceed to calming the racing thoughts that accompany anxiety.

    Self-care goes along with this in my mind, but so many adults don’t understand what self-care even is. You have to develop boundaries to be able to tell what your limits are. And so many adults don’t develop good boundaries for whatever reason. If an adult doesn’t realize they have the right to say No to something, they don’t have good self-care. Not really sure how to deal with that other than offer easy to read education on how to develop boundaries and a good self-care regimen.

    Hope that helps!

  20. VictoriaNo Gravatar says:

    I am shocked after reading the statistics that you’ve provided. After reading your post, I agree to the fact that the treatment of abnormal childhood anxiety is not only important for its own sake but may help prevent adult disorders. I have read almost all your anxiety related articles and I am pretty impressed with the knowledge you have and that you share with us. I am glad you participated in the contest and gained some good lessons. Thanks for sharing this post!

  21. KevinNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with you on the point that the most successful and educated people are more prone to unstable mental health, I believe that happens because these people become so successful that they enter a different world altogether and can’t be on normal terms with the present world, sad but true.

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  23. Aras AndrockNo Gravatar says:

    As a highly anxious person, I find this post very informative. Also, I agree with you. The “stop being anxious” is not really helping.

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