Archive | June, 2011

Reducing Stress and Anxiety

People have their own ways in reducing stress and anxiety. This primarily depends on what really triggers their stress and anxiety. Research has shown that 1 in every 10 people has experienced anxiety every year. This makes it as the most common mental illness that people can experience.

What is really the difference between anxiety and stress? Anxiety is simply the reaction of an individual to stress. In other words, they both go hand in hand. This suggests that the less stress you are, the less anxious you will be.

Though common, the effects of stress and anxiety differ from person to person. Some people experience extent effects of this condition. This is the reason why you should take the first step in reducing stress and anxiety as early as you can. When left unattended, it can lead to a serious mental problem. There are various ways on how to reduce this kind of mental illness.

 

  • Know the Factors of your stress

Managing and reducing your stress and anxiety starts when you have identified what triggers your stress. On one hand, there are times that it’s easy to identify the major source of stress for jobs, family problems, and negative life events. On the other hand, some stressors are complicated and difficult to identify. This is the reason why you should identify the factors of your stress as early as you can.  Also, this will be a great start in reducing stress and anxiety.

 

  • Practice the 4As

Some of you might not know what is the 4As. These are Avoid, Alter, Adapt, and Accept. This 4As can help you handle a situation that can cause stress in you. Moreover, with this 4As, you can somehow change the situation and your response to such situation.

 

  1. Avoid

There are instances that you can really avoid the factors and situations that can cause your stress. You have to learn how to say “No” to the things that you think can stress you out. In addition, if you have a chance, avoid those people who cause stress in you.

 

  1. Alter

There are times that you can’t avoid a certain situation. If this happens, try to alter it instead. You may do this by changing the way how you will connect and work in your daily life.

 

  1. Adapt

Another thing that you can do is to directly adapt to your stress. There will be situations where you can change it. In these cases, try to change yourself instead and adapt to such situations. Through this, you can control and handle your stress effectively.

 

  1. Accept

Coping up with your stress is great in reducing stress and anxiety. There are some stressors that are unavoidable. An example of this is the death of a loved one and other unexpected life events. In cases like this, the best thing to do is to accept things as they are. This might be difficult for some but this will be easier than going against an inevitable situation.

 

  • Try to Connect with Others

Spending quality time with the people who cares about you is extremely an effective way in reducing your stress. These people can be your family and friends. Being with them can make you feel safer, calmer and understandable. Additionally, you can share with these people what’s going on and receive positive and calming thoughts from them.

  • Check Your Diet

What we eat and what we drink largely affects our emotional states. Beverages with caffeine and alcohol can trigger your stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that even consumed in small amounts, caffeine can cause anxiety. Moreover, it increases the one’s level of nervousness and irritability.  Likewise, alcohol dehydrates the body and ultimately affects the level of stress and anxiety.

 

  • Be positive

Thinking of positive thoughts can also help you reduce stress and anxiety. This practice upsurge our emotional state which then decreases the level of stress. Ultimately, this lowers the body’s stress hormones and boost endorphins, a brain chemical which helps one’s mood.

 

  • Relaxation Techniques

Relaxing activities like yoga, walking, and biking can ease the level of stress and anxiety of an individual. This is why it is considered as a natural stress reliever. It is advisable to include these activities in your daily routine as it boosts the enjoyment and equanimity that a person feels.

 

  • Have Enough Sleep

Enough sleep energizes the mind and body. Moreover, it helps you relax and feel calm. In contrast, feeling tired can increase your stress and anxiety as it causes your mind to think irrationally.

 

Stress and anxiety can cause a lot of effects to an individual. Know the ways in reducing your stress and anxiety. Being a stress-free person can help you live your life to the fullest.

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10 Natural Anxiety Cures

If anxiety symptoms are already interfering with day-to-day life, try these simple natural anxiety cures at home:

  • Drinking chamomile tea three times a day. Chamomile contains two ingredients that help in promoting relaxation: luteolin and apigenin. According to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorders experienced a significant decrease in their symptoms after eight weeks of taking chamomile supplements compared to those who are taking a placebo.
  • Consuming at least 1 to 3 grams of Omega-3 every day. Studies show that fatty acids from Omega-3 sources could help in easing symptoms of anxiety and in lifting up one’s mood by lowering chemical levels of stress in the body such as cortisol and adrenaline. Canned fishes such as salmon and tuna along with flax seeds and walnuts are all good sources of omega-3.

Another study found out that students who are taking fish oil supplements experience fewer anxieties compared to those who aren’t taking it. Fewer anxiety levels of these students were measured by the following: cortisol levels; their mental states as well as their sleeping and eating habits.

  • Receiving a massage with lavender oil. One study shows that receiving a massage with lavender oil can help people experience less anxiety and feel more upbeat. In addition, a lavender massage can help in lowering high systolic blood pressure which is also related to stress. To achieve an immediate calming effect when feeling anxious, simply inhale few drops of lavender oil in a bowl of boiling water or dab a small amount directly on the skin.

In the absence of lavender oil, vanilla is proven to be the ideal alternative in alleviating anxiety symptoms. One study confirmed that inhaling vanilla-scented air reduced the patients’ anxiety levels to 63% than those who inhale unscented air.

  • Incorporating L-lysine to one’s diet. The amino acid L-lysine serves as one of the building blocks of neurotransmitters in the brain. Supporting studies reveal that taking supplements with L-lysine reduces anxiety symptoms as well as the stress hormone levels. Apart from being sold as a supplement, L-lysine is usually found in foods such as beans, fish, and meat.
  • Getting at least 15 minutes of exposure to natural sunlight a day. Vitamin D helps in decreasing anxiety symptoms. One of the natural ways to increase Vitamin D levels in the body is exposed to sunlight in the morning.

One Japanese study also added that taking a 20-minute walk in a forest reduces stress hormone levels. For those who are stuck in urban areas, try to look for quiet parks or tree-lined streets and stroll.

  • Exercising for at least 20 minutes significantly reduces anxiety symptoms. Doing regular exercise isn’t only good for the heart, it also allows the body to release endorphins. Researchers also found out that exercise increases body heat which helps in boosting one’s mood and increasing relaxation levels.
  • Using Epsom salts when taking a hot bath. Hot baths raise body heat which results in regulated mood and calm feeling. Add some Epsom salts to the hot bath and experience additional benefits such as lower blood pressure. To add a more calming feeling, one may also add vanilla or lavender oils to the bath water on top of these salts.
  • Cutting down caffeine intake. While caffeine boosts one’s energy, it also makes a person feel anxious and jittery. For some people who can’t live without taking caffeine, reducing caffeine intake per day will help in decreasing their anxiety symptoms.

If possible, stay away from too much caffeine content in one’s diet by skipping drinks like chocolate drinks, soda, artificial juices and iced tea. Instead, switch to alternative drinks that are healthier and contain less caffeine like green tea.

  • Examine one’s diet. It’s important to watch out for the following since they are contributing factors to increased anxiety levels: added sugars; alcohol; deficiencies in zinc, Vitamin B12, and magnesium; processed meats; fried foods; foods with high saturated fats and chocolates.

For vegetarians and vegans, Vitamin B12 levels should be monitored regularly since this vitamin is only present in animal products. Remember not to starve too much because this may lead to a drop in blood sugar which can trigger anxiety attacks.

  • Eat certain foods that help in providing anxiety relief. Peaches and blueberries are found to have nutrients that provide calming effects beneficial to relieve stress. Whole grains contain rich tryptophan levels, a nutrient that can be converted to serotonin which is responsible for improving one’s mood.

Oats are rich in fiber and they are responsible for increasing serotonin production and for preventing an increase in blood sugar. Milk, eggs, meat, and avocados are some of the foods packed with Vitamin B complex that also helps in preventing anxiety.

With all these natural anxiety cures, managing it and other stress-related symptoms is becoming easier.

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What are Anxiety Attacks Causes?

Over time, the list of anxiety attacks causes gets broader yet more specific. The prevalence of these anxiety attacks differs between countries and cultures. In an international study conducted, the prevalence of anxiety attacks in a person’s lifetime has a prevalence rate ranging from 0.4% in Taiwan to 2.9% in Italy with a median prevalence rate of social anxiety disorder in Europe at 2.3%.

 

Anxiety is the body’s normal response to stress, threat or pressure. In fact, anxiety is the body’s effective method of keeping the anxious person focused and alert under a stressful or dangerous situation. Normal anxiety responses are palpitations, sweating, an upset stomach, dry mouth or difficulty concentrating. However, these symptoms may aggravate under intense fear or panic leading to an anxiety attack.

 

An anxiety attack becomes a disorder when these feelings, fears or symptoms interfere with a person’s daily activities and relationships for more than six months. Most of these fears are irrational and trigger anxious responses to the individual.

 

The onset of these anxiety attacks is sudden and very unpredictable. Some attacks are brought by obvious stimulus such as being stuck inside a car on the subway. Anxiety attacks usually climax within 10 minutes and remain for more than 30 minutes. These attacks give you the uncontrollable fear of dying or the fear of losing total control of yourself.

 

So, how does an anxiety attack begin? When a stimulus for anxiety is determined by the brain, such as a stressful situation of being stuck in an elevator, the body’s sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the fight-or-flight response releases hormones, neurotransmitters and peptides to produce the physical symptoms of an anxiety attack.

 

The cause of an anxiety attack is a dysfunction in the brain’s neurochemicals causing autonomic imbalances. Anxiety attacks causes are physical, chemical and emotional triggers surrounding an individual. Listed below are the common anxiety attacks causes:

 

  1. Physical Anxiety Attacks Causes:
    1. Thyroid Gland Problems

Anxiety attacks have been connected to hyperthyroidism. When the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, this alters the brain chemistry leading to symptoms seen in a panic attack.

  1. Heart Problems

The symptoms of an anxiety attack are most commonly mistaken for a heart attack because both have similar physical manifestations. Also, patients who have had a heart attack or a heart surgery mostly experience anxiety attacks due to their recurring anxious thoughts of their near-death experience.

  1. Physical Injuries

Physical stresses on the body such as a fractured bone brought by an accident trigger an anxiety attack from the fear that these situations might repeat in the future. Moreover, an injury causes the release of stress hormones that activate the body’s sympathetic response mimicking symptoms of an anxiety attack.

  1. Genetic factors

Recent studies have shown that there are people who are prone to an anxiety attack as brought by their genes. If a parent is more prone to an anxiety attack, children should be careful in managing stresses and anxiety in their lives.

 

  1. Chemical Anxiety Attacks Causes:
    1. Alcohol and Illicit Drugs

Alcohol or drug withdrawal causes anxiety attacks.

  1. Caffeine

Caffeine stimulates the body’s fight-or-flight response relating these symptoms to an anxiety attack.

  1. Medications

Medications such as thyroid drugs, asthma drugs, OTC decongestants and combination of cold remedies trigger an anxiety attack due to its effects on the body’s sympathetic nervous system leading to hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances. Moreover, abrupt discontinuation of taking anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines causes anxiety attacks, too.

  1. Weight Loss Supplement

Due to the excessive caffeine content in their ingredients, weight loss supplements are associated with anxiety attacks. Green tea which is famous for its suppressing effects on appetite and Guarana, a common ingredient in some OTC diet supplements, contain twice the caffeine content as a regular cup of joe. Certain Weight loss supplements mimic physical symptoms of an anxiety attack such as Saint John’s wort’s insomniac effect and ephedra’s increased heart rate and anxiety effects.

 

  1. Emotional Anxiety Attacks Causes:
    1. Stress

Stress in life such as interpersonal conflicts or loss causes anxiety attack due to the body’s response to stress. It causes the release of stress hormones by the adrenal glands. These hormones activate the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system causing brain chemical imbalances leading to the manifestations of an anxiety attack.

  1. The psychodynamic theory explains that an anxiety attack is caused by the conflict between the id and the ego.
  2. Cognitive theory has explained an anxiety attack as the tendency of the mind to overestimate the potential for danger.

 

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Help for Panic Attacks

Help for Panic Attacks

panic attacks

Finding help for panic attacks is always a more fruitful endeavor if you do it before the situation gets out of control. Of course, no matter how severe the symptoms may be, there is no wrong time to seek out help for panic attacks. This can be a downright debilitating and hellish experience, and learning how to not only cope with it, but how to actually take the necessary steps to eradicate it altogether is very powerful, indeed.

The most frightful thing about panic attacks is their self-perpetuating nature. Extreme anxiety leads to physical symptoms which leads to greater anxiety which leads to more intense physical symptoms... and this cycle can continue until the afflicted individual hyperventilates, passes out, “rides it out,” or actually makes a trip to the ER, which is not rare by any means.

The good news is that there are many ways to handle panic attacks, and they have all been proven effective to some extent. The most obvious ways to find help for panic attacks is to seek medical or psychological assistance. There are numerous prescription anti-anxiety medications designed to balance out the activity of neurotransmitters in your brain. These drugs will usually have a therapeutic, calming effect on the individual.

There are also psychological therapies that which include gestalt therapy, group therapy, hypnotherapy, and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). These therapies are designed to not only help you cope with your own thought patterns and lessen your symptoms, but to also help you reprogram your mind so that the coping process becomes automatic and unconscious.

Perhaps the most effective treatment option of all is a lifestyle change. Aerobic exercise combined with strength training will allow you to work the tension out of your joints and muscles, oxygenate your body, and release endorphins and other natural, “feel good” chemicals throughout your body and mind. Likewise, a diet consisting of mostly raw, organic produce and whole grains will feed your brain, balance your hormones, and restore your body to optimal functioning.

One more note about diet: When you eat chemically processed, prepackaged, high-sodium, high-sugar, trans fat laden “foods,” you don't do yourself any favors at all. This includes hormone-pumped meats, fast food, microwave meals, chips, candy, soda, caffeine, and anything else that our bodies don't recognize as natural. Many of these foods mess up your hormones and give you a mild form of insanity, while others are viewed by the body as poisons. When your body feels like it's being poisoned, it panics... and therefore, YOU panic!

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Positive Help For Panic Attack Victims

To persons with anxiety attacks, it is fundamental for them to realize that there are help for panic attacks. Some people under these attacks may feel like there is no escape, but an anxiety attack is very treatable.

 

Anxiety attacks produce emotional and physical symptoms as the body’s natural way of adapting to a stressful stimulus such as a pressure or a threat. In fact, anxiety is the body’s effective method of keeping the anxious person focused and alert under a stressful or dangerous situation.

 

The following are the help for panic attacks:

  1. Learning the illness. A person should be oriented to the causes of an anxiety attack. It is a dysfunction in the brain’s neurochemicals causing autonomic imbalances. Anxiety attack causes are physical, chemical or emotional stimulus surrounding an individual. By being aware of the symptoms and the illness process of a panic attack, a person can easily determine when an attack is from its onset.

Awareness lessens fear.  Emotional symptoms of an anxiety attack include excessive fear and worry, irritability, or feeling like your mind’s on freeze. Physical symptoms of an anxiety attack are brought by the body’s fight-or-flight response. Common physical symptoms of an anxiety attack include hyperventilation, tachycardia, profuse sweating, headaches, stomach irritability, and shortness of breath. Often times most people suffer from insomnia.

  1. Breathing techniques are a help for panic attacks. These breathing techniques allow you to control your breathing making your heart rate return to its normal rate and lowering your blood pressure. One common breathing technique is deep breathing. Inhale air for 5 seconds. Hold your breath for 2 seconds. Then exhale for 5 more seconds.

 

  1. Practice muscle relaxation techniques. This technique involves tensing your various muscles then relaxing them. This method helps lower tension and stress levels.

 

  1. There is pharmaceutical help for panic attacks. Common anti-anxiety medications are benzodiazepines such as alprazolam, lorazepam, and diazepam. These medications are rapid acting anti-anxiety medications that take effect within 10-30 minutes.

 

  1. Exercise to distract your mind. Studies show that exercising is an effective way to keep your brain busy and sets your focus away from a panic attack. You can also choose other activities to distract your mind that suits your preference.

 

  1. Learn to give positive self-talks. A person should keep in mind that he can help himself control an anxiety attack. By providing positive self-talks, this gives the person a sense of reassurance that he is in control of his body.

 

  1. Have something to keep you in reality. Some people have something to hold on such as keys to keep them from the derealization or the feeling of being disoriented. By focusing on these objects, a person under an anxiety attack minimizes the feeling of floating that occurs during a panic attack.

 

  1. If symptoms become worse, seek medical attention. Some medical consultants prescribe long-acting medications for a panic attack such as clonazepam, oxazepam, and chlordiazepoxide. Doctors often prescribe SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors as a long-term treatment for panic attack symptoms.

 

Pharmacotherapy for anxiety disorders are given for at least 6 to 8 weeks to determine the efficacy and will be continued up to 6 to 12 months if proven effective. A patient will be placed in a trial taper from the medication to monitor the patient from relapse tendencies.

 

  1. If symptoms become uncontrollable, work with a cognitive behavioral therapist. This type of therapy uses five fundamental focus of psychotherapy. The following are the five areas of focus:

 

  1. Learning what an anxiety disorder is. When a person becomes aware of what the illness is about, he can expect what is happening to his body and this gives him control thus lessening the fear that stimulates or aggravates an anxiety attack.

 

  1. Keeping a journal. In these journals, a person is asked to log details of the anxiety attack such as the date and time when it occurred and the moments before an anxiety attack.

 

  1. Breathing and relaxation techniques.

 

  1. Reevaluation of the episode helps change the perception of an anxiety attack to distinguish what is realistic from catastrophic.

 

  1. Repeat exposure to the places, events, and triggers in a controlled environment and training your mind and body to react differently.

 

Anxiety attacks or panic attacks are treatable. Although an anxiety disorder may recur under physical or emotional stress, the new technology and numerous research studies being conducted to combat anxiety disorders provide patients suffering from these attacks a sense of peace that there is a positive treatment and that they can return to their normal lives.

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Anxiety Depression Syndrome

There is no escaping anxiety depression syndrome by way of gender, age, or race. It can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. Of course, there are a few lifestyle choices an individual can make to greatly decrease their chances of being afflicted. But for the public at large, everyone is fair game. This article will discuss a few interesting facts about anxiety depression syndrome that everyone should be aware of. This will help you understand the condition better, and may provide you with something that can help if you're already suffering from chronic anxiety and/or depression.

Q: What is the worst thing a person can do if they think they may be afflicted with anxiety?
A: Nothing.

An alarming number of individuals, knowing full well that something isn't right, will go on attempting to live their lives normally. Ignoring the feelings and symptoms associated with this condition can be incredibly dangerous. For starters, this disorder has claimed lives. Left untreated, there have been many cases of individuals who simply couldn't take their internal turmoil and resorted to suicide as a means of escape. This is not to suggest that you would personally go this route, but it has happened.

The two primary things that generally separate individuals with normal, healthy amounts of anxiety or depression from people with a debilitating condition are the severity of the symptoms coupled with their persistence and duration. Obviously, the severity is important, but not everyone has anxiety so intense that they can't interact with others or face the real world. However, it may be wearing them down slowly because it just won't let up. Kind of like being “softly” punched in one area of your body over and over and over again.

Of course, no matter how extreme or persistent the anxiety depression syndrome may be, there are still countless individuals who fail to seek professional help, either medical treatment or psychological support. I would assert that this is because the condition itself prevents them from doing so. They are literally too anxious and depressed to go get help for their anxiety and depression. It truly is a catch 22.

There are things that an individual with this affliction can do to improve their symptoms at least enough to be able to follow through with seeking out professional help. And what tops the list of effective anxiety and depression treatments? Exercise! When you work up a nice sweat, either with aerobics, weights, or a combination of these, you get your endorphins flowing, your muscular tension absolved, and your overall stress lowered dramatically.

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Anxiety Attack Symptoms

Anxiety or panic attacks can happen to children, teens, and adults; however, anxiety attack symptoms are similar to all ages. These symptoms may be triggered by some situations involving fear but most of the time, anxiety attack symptoms are felt in a sudden and for no apparent reason at all.

The duration of an anxiety attack may be different for each individual, but it usually lasts for 10 minutes. Every anxiety attack is indeed distressful for every sufferer.

To know if you or someone is having an anxiety attack, be observant of the following signs and symptoms listed below. Raising consciousness about anxiety attack symptoms will help you understand those who suffer from anxiety attacks and will keep them away from judgment. At the same time, being aware of the proper actions to address such issue is essential.

  1. Overwhelming fear. This can be the cause or effect of having an anxiety attack. Either provided with or without a reason to experience this or simultaneously undergoing a series of symptoms would leave the person in terror.
  2. Loss of control. The feeling of losing control of one’s body is stimulated from failed attempts of calming one’s self.
  3. Having palpitations. This is often described as having the feeling of rapid, irregular, and/or pounding heartbeats. Pulsing in the ear and throbbing on the head can also be felt.
  4. Chest pains. Palpitations will eventually lead to chest pains since it is where the heart is located. Some may feel that they are having a heart attack especially when they start to find difficulty in breathing. Heaviness on the chest area is most likely felt.
  5. Having difficulty in breathing means that one is hyperventilating. On the other hand, dyspnea is defined as the shortness of breath.
  6. Shaking, trembling or twitching muscles. This is uncontrollable and normally happens during the phase of nervousness. However, the feeling of nervousness increases during anxiety attacks; thus, making it last longer and more uncontrollable.
  7. Unlike the normal perspiration that happens after a tiresome activity or being under the sun for a long period of time, sweating during an attack is uncontrollable and excessive even if a person is at rest. Some other signs may include cold flushes on the skin accompanied by a cold sweat.
  8. This is an abnormal feeling of numbness in some parts of the body. A tingling sensation or “pins and needles” may also be felt throughout the attack.
  9. Heat or ice flushes. Both may occur all at the same time. A rising temperature may build on the facial area especially the cheeks and also the neck. While a cold feeling dominates the body especially the arms and legs which will send shivers, goosebumps, and hairs standing on its ends even if the room temperature is normal.
  10. An abdominal distress will cause strong contractions of the upper stomach, which leads to the feeling of vomiting. A choking sensation may also accompany the victim of an anxiety attack. A dry mouth or an increased amount of saliva flow alongside these symptoms may also happen.
  11. As well as light-headedness are signs of an anxiety attack. It may also be characterized as having slight vertigo. One might feel like passing out or might even actually faint any moment. An indication is the sudden paleness of the person experiencing an anxiety attack.
  12. Listed as an anxiety symptom, this feeling is subjective and complex. It is said that this causes someone to feel that his or her surroundings and the current situation are unreal and that something is different or wrong. Another one is the feeling of being detached from the world. Not all people feel this and those who experienced it might find it hard to actually explain what they truly felt or what they were thinking during the event.

 

The list of anxiety attack symptoms may be long but the conclusion can be drawn after simultaneously experiencing at least four symptoms: a sudden feeling of overwhelming anxiety, fear, or discomfort. It is also noticeable that these symptoms are connected with each other. It is impossible to feel a single symptom without having to go through the other ones.

Although having an anxiety attack won’t potentially harm you, be wary of how frequent each attack happens. Also, take note of how constant attacks affect you afterward. Consult a doctor for more information about the panic attack disorder. Cure and medications are also available for anxiety or panic attacks.

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Panic Attack Medication

Panic attack medication will help in reducing the frequency of attacks and lessen the severity of panic attack symptoms. However, there are no over-the-counter medications for anxiety or anxiety attack. It is best to consult a doctor and wait for the prescription. Nevertheless, listed below are effective panic attack medications along with its side effects. It is said that the most used medications are antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

  1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This is a type of antidepressant that is often recommended for treating panic disorder as well as panic attacks. Not having any risky side effects make it generally safe. Side effects may occur after having the first intake or skipping a dose. Stopping the medication in a sudden will make the symptoms worse for some patients who must take it on a long-term basis. While there are those who just need to stop frequent panic attacks. For this reason, the doctor’s order is of utmost importance.

 

The side effects indicated below are somehow similar to panic attack symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Losing of appetite
  • Sweating

 

This panic attack medication increases the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical responsible for the mood to maintain its balance. There are certain drugs under this group, which are suitable for panic attacks. The generic names are fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline. The trusted brand names are Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, respectively.

 

 

 

  1. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). This is another type of antidepressant that increases the amount of both serotonin and norepinephrine. Known as the stress hormone due to its use as a response to stress, norepinephrine or also known as noradrenaline is responsible for a person’s mood and concentration. The common side effects include:
  • Nausea that may lead to vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Vision changes
  • Having a dry mouth
  • A headache accompanied by dizziness
  • May increase anxiety for awhile
  • Insomnia or occurrence of unusual dreams
  • Heart palpitations
  • Frequent sweating or increase of sweat
  • Change of appetite that leads to weight changes
  • Trembling or shaking

 

Like the first medication, these side effects are somehow similar to panic attack symptoms. If it worsens, seek medical attention immediately. Follow the doctor’s instructions about the medication intakes to avoid danger. The generic name of the drug under SNRI, which is appropriate for the case is venlafaxine hydrochloride and the known brand name would be Effexor XR. However, this medication is only for people who have severe cases of panic attacks, like the disorder itself.

 

  1. Known as tranquilizers, benzodiazepines are sedatives. It acts on the nervous system and is said to lower anxiety levels. However, making a habit to take this medication can make a person become dependent on it that could turn into an abuse. Strictly following the doctor’s prescription can prevent one from becoming addicted to this kind of drug. The side effects vary from the other panic attack medications and only appear after withdrawal or during the abuse. Some of these are:
  • Vision changes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slow heart rate
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Hypotension
  • Skin rashes

 

Alprazolam, lorazepam, diazepam, and clonazepam are the generic names of the approved drugs, which can be used for panic attacks. While the trusted brand names (in order) are Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin. These will bring relief to panic attack symptoms.

  1. Tricyclic antidepressants. Similar to SSRIs, this medication is a cyclic antidepressant that increases the amount of noradrenaline and serotonin in the brain. Although it can act as a sedation, unlike benzodiazepine, taking this is not addictive at all. The side effects listed below may slightly vary from the other medications.
  • Vision changes or having a blurred vision
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight changes (gain and loss)
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty when urinating
  • Tiredness
  • Skin rashes
  • Significant drop in blood pressure may occur in some cases

Keep in mind that higher doses will most likely increase the number of side effects. The generic and brand names of the drugs often prescribed to deal with panic attacks are imipramine (Tofranil) and clomipramine (Anafranil).

  1. This is an anticonvulsant that is most commonly used for treating epilepsy. However, it can also cure panic disorder and has the same side effects as SSRIs excluding nausea.

Medications affect an individual differently. This is why there are different kinds of medications to choose from, depending on which is best for the patient. If none of these worked for you, there are other medications for panic attacks that your doctor may suggest. Aside from drugs, an alternative treatment is undergoing psychotherapy.

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anxiety

Anxiety 101: Everything You Need to Know about Anxiety

anxiety

You start pacing back and forth in the comfort room anxiously, practicing, again and again, the responses to possible questions the interviewer will throw at you. But no matter how hard you try to shake off the anxiety, you just can’t get rid of it even if you know that being nervous would reflect badly on your performance.

In this situation, being anxious is normal. After all, it’s your body’s way to make you feel more awake and ready for any situation, making you edgier than usual. Unfortunately for some, anxiety became their worst nightmare.

What is Anxiety?

In psychology, anxiety is defined as a feeling of extreme uneasiness, fear, and something that might cause physical changes like an increase in one’s blood pressure.

Anxiety could be one of the symptoms of different mental illnesses like depression. This could result in anxiety-depression syndrome, which causes somebody to feel the symptoms of depression while having to deal with anxiety.

Anxiety disorder, on the other hand, is a group of mental conditions that creates various fears and anxiety. Conditions like a phobia, separation anxiety, and panic disorders are under anxiety disorders.

What is Panic Disorder?

 Panic disorder is characterized by sudden reoccurring panic attacks. Some people might describe it as having a heart attack since some of its symptoms include chest pains, difficulty in breathing, and sudden occurrence that is almost akin to a heart attack.

Panic attacks are mostly confused with anxiety attacks. True, the symptoms might be similar, but the causes vary. Anxiety attacks have triggers; they appear whenever the patient encounters an event, object, place, or person that makes him or her anxious. When these causes go away, the attack will slowly dissipate.

Panic attacks, on the other hand, are sudden and unexpected. It could happen anytime and anywhere that in most cases, patients will fear for the next attack. This might cause them to avoid places where they had an attack, fearing that it might happen again.

Do I have an anxiety disorder?

Although it’s not advisable to self-diagnose, it is wise to be aware of your own behavior.

Here are some of the symptoms of an anxiety attack:

  • Difficulty in breathing; short, rapid breaths
  • Pain in chest area
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Feeling of “not being there” or getting detached from oneself
  • Confusion
  • Extreme urge of getting away
  • Weakening

Symptoms might vary depending on the person. However, it is important to remember that anxiety attacks are caused by triggers. These triggers can induce anxiety and fear in the person’s mind, increasing stress. Identifying these triggers can make the attack stop.

How can I help somebody experiencing panic attacks?

Although there are already some medications available for panic attacks, there are still some unavoidable cases. If you encounter a person having a panic attack, here are some things that you could do:

  1. Keep calm. It would not be a good scenario if you are also panicking. Stay calm and don’t panic.

 

  1. You might have background knowledge about anxiety, but it is still better to ask the person what you could do. Ask if the person is taking during attacks and the other things he/she might need.

 

  1. Make the person focus. Ask the person to look you in the eye and focus on his/her breathing. You can also do this by breathing deep breaths together while counting up to ten. Do repetitive actions like saying repetitive statements (“You’re doing good. Just focus on me, okay?”).

Through this, you could keep the person from losing control and can help maintain his breathing. Repeat these until the person manages to breathe steadily and is coherent enough to answer you.

Is there hope for people with anxiety disorders?

 Yes, there is. Anxiety disorders are curable. There are some medications like antidepressants that could help minimize the symptoms. There are also some psychotherapy sessions that could help reduce stress and anxiety, the two main causes of anxiety attacks.

If you had anxiety or panic attacks in the past, do not hesitate to seek professional help. They can help you understand more about your condition as well as offer you support and medication.

If you’re anxious to go and see a doctor, talk to a friend or somebody you’re close with. Anxiety disorders can affect relationships, and deal with it as soon as possible can help save you.

If you know somebody who has this disorder but is afraid to ask for a specialist, do not hesitate to talk to them. Victims of anxiety disorder tend to have these fears and talking to them while supporting them will help alleviate the effects.

Keep reassuring them that these fears will disappear. After all, anxiety disorders are curable.

 

 

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