Archive | Anxiety

Anxious About Anxiety

Anxiety is a part of life. It is normal to feel anxious before an exam, before a job interview or before any big day in life. It keeps one on their toes. But if it becomes a hindrance to daily life, it may have developed into a disorder. For people with anxiety disorder, the feeling of fear or worry does not go away and may even worsen for some.

This prolonged overwhelming feeling of fear, panic and/or worry is called an attack. Some may say that this is only ‘in the mind’. However, doctors might say otherwise.

There are three main types of anxiety attacks namely panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Each type has a distinct set of signs and symptoms and treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of each type

It is important to identify the type in order to correctly address it. Therefore, knowledge on the signs and symptoms of the different types is essential. The signs and symptoms listed below may, however, differ from person to person.

Panic Disorder is characterized by palpitations, accelerated heart rate, pounding heart, trembling, shaking, excessive sweating and shortness of breath. Some people may even experience choking and smothering in some instances.

Individuals who have experienced past episodes of panic disorder may have intense and repeated attacks of fear. There may also be a feeling of the worry of when the next attack may happen and a fear of the place where the previous attack happened.

Those people experiencing generalized anxiety disorder may feel restless, wound-up and/or on the edge. They may also feel irritable and tensed. They also have a difficult time going to sleep. Because of the lack of sleep, most people experiencing a generalized anxiety disorder are also easily fatigued and distracted.

Individuals with social anxiety disorder are very awkward around other people. The disorder is also called as ‘social phobia’. Hence, those who are experiencing this one feel highly anxious and conscious when in a large crowd. They are easily overwhelmed at the sight of a crowd. They tend to worry when a big event is impending. Those with this disorder usually opt to stay on the sidelines during big events and may experience profuse sweating, blushing and trembling around people. Other patients may even experience nausea.

These signs and symptoms usually peak within 10 minutes and last 20 to 30 minutes.

Causes

The cause of panic disorders and panic attacks are still unclear, however, some studies suggest that it is hereditary. The signs and symptoms of panic attacks and disorders may be caused by the following diseases so it is important that the doctor rules out the following first:

  1. Medication withdrawal
  2. Hypoglycemia
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Stimulant use (cocaine, caffeine, amphetamine)
  5. Hyperthyroidism
  6. Mitral valve prolapse

Self-help tips

Anxiety attacks may occur anytime and a doctor or a medical facility may not be present during such time. The following are some self-help tips during a panic attack episode.

  1. Do relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques such as muscle relaxation, meditation, and deep breathing exercises will help a lot in calming yourself down. Practice these relaxation techniques every so often.

  1. Lessen caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake

Caffeine is a stimulant. It is, therefore, advisable to cut down on the intake. Some doctors even advise to completely cut it off from your system. Stimulants, as its name suggests, stimulates the brain and may make the attacks worse. Nicotine and alcohol also work similarly. Hence, it would be wise to completely cut these products from your system permanently.

  1. Sleep

Get a good night’s sleep. This is a cardinal rule in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Exercise

Exercise is not only a way to lose weight and stay fit. It is also a good way to help you from keeping the anxiety away. When one exercise, the body releases endorphins also called as happy hormones. Try to at least get 30 minutes to one hour worth of exercise every other day.

  1. Talk it out with others

Those suffering from a social anxiety disorder may have a hard time facing crowds, but it is advisable to try and talk with one or two confidantes about the struggles he is having. This will help him overcome this feeling. A support group is essential in these types of disorders.

 

Medication

Aside from the aforementioned self-help tips, there are also medications that can help treat the signs and symptoms of panic disorders and attacks. Physicians usually prescribe antidepressants such as Benzodiazepines and beta-blockers. There are also therapy sessions such as cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy.

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What You Need to Know about Anxiety

When it’s already your turn to defend your thesis in front of a panel, you might have felt anxious. Your heart beat faster than it normally did, your stomach dropped, and your breath hitched. You just wanted to get over with everything as soon as possible.

ANXIETY: WHAT IS IT?

 Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness or nervousness that one feels in either unfamiliar, edgy, or tense situation.

It is common to become anxious, just like in the abovementioned example. After all, it is your body’s way of telling you to be prepared for an anticipated event or scenario. Feeling anxious from time to time is normal, but too much of it might lead to something more.

ANXIETY DISORDERS: WHAT ARE THEY?

 Anxiety disorder is characterized as a mental illness that causes various levels of nervousness and fear depending on the triggers. These usually prevent a person from functioning normally, and might even affect one’s relationship with others.

There are multiple conditions classified under anxiety disorders, ranging from phobias and panic disorders. Some could even partner with other mental disorders like depression. One such example is anxiety depression syndrome.

 Anxiety depression syndrome occurs when anxiety symptoms appear alongside depression, making the patient passive yet anxious at the same time.

 ANXIETY ATTACK VS PANIC ATTACK

These two might be the same disorder and have similar symptoms, but they are distinctly different from each other.

An anxiety attack usually has triggers, while panic attack comes unexpectedly and generally, the symptoms would be severe.

ANXIETY ATTACKS: HOW DOES IT FEEL?

 Here are some of the symptoms of an anxiety attack:

  • Intense fear
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Urgency to escape
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains and palpitations
  • Detachment from reality
  • Hot and cold flushes

The list could go on and on. However, the fact that somebody having an anxiety attack might not be able to calm himself/herself still remains. To understand an attack, you must know what causes it.

 ANXIETY ATTACK: WHAT TRIGGERS IT?

 Unlike panic attacks, anxiety attacks do have triggers. It’s just a matter of knowing what. It could be anything, like a situation the person truly dreaded or an object he or she truly feared.

When these triggers show up, one’s stress level will spike and his/her anxiety will go through the roof.

ANXIETY ATTACKS: HOW CAN I HELP?

Anxiety attacks are caused by triggers and can be alleviated when the cause goes away.

If somebody is having an attack, it’s good to know what are his/her triggers. Is it a certain place like a roller coaster or a situation like people fighting?

When you get to identify the causes, it would be easier to assist somebody experiencing anxiety attacks.

PANIC ATTACK: HOW DOES IT FEEL?

 Panic disorder causes panic attacks. A panic attack is out of the blue; it doesn’t have any trigger at all. What’s worse is that patients diagnosed with panic disorder usually feel severe symptoms.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Extreme chest pain and beating of the heart
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Intense fear
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Because there are no triggers, people with panic disorder usually fears for the next attack. They tend to avoid these places, thinking that it may cause an attack again.

PANIC ATTACK: IS THERE A CURE?

 Panic attacks are downright terrifying. However, it is curable. Here are some ways on how to deal with it:

Medication

 Antidepressants are usually used to alleviate the symptoms of panic attacks. However, never try self-medication. Always consult a doctor first before taking one.

Psychotherapy

Information, support, and relaxation are key in psychotherapy. Here, you will know more about your disorder, how to deal with it, and how to decrease the chances of another panic attack.

Other therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy could also help a patient face anxieties through behavioral change. You could also learn some relaxation techniques to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Panic attacks could be dangerous when not properly medicated. If the symptoms are starting to show, don’t hesitate to seek help from a specialist.

ANXIETY: WHAT CAN WE DO?

 Mental disorders worsen when people hesitate to approach someone about it. They feared judgment, and most of the time, ignorance can fuel the fire. This is why when dealing with mental illnesses, one must be knowledgeable about it.

If you know somebody who might have an anxiety disorder, approach them and talk about it. It might be challenging, but they would be truly grateful if you would be patient enough to support them. Arm yourself with information about anxiety attacks to better understand a person’s situation.

Remember, anxiety disorders can be cured. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional.

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Anxiety Attacks: Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Anxiety Attacks Treatment

 

Anxiety attacks are intense, sudden feelings of worry or fear that can result in a total loss of control for that fear. It has no clear cause and it usually occurs without any warning. It’s so sudden that it can even wake an individual from his sleep.

Apart from the intense, sudden feeling of fear, the attacks are also accompanied by the following symptoms: light-headedness, increased heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, and irrational thinking. The duration of an anxiety attack can last from a few minutes to an hour or more.

Although the feeling of fear experienced during the attack seems terrifying, it’s not deadly. Specific approaches to managing the frequency of the attacks often begin with a thorough medical evaluation for other potential underlying cause then followed by recommended treatment plans.

Fast Facts about Anxiety Attacks

 

Below are some of the key points to remember:

  • It usually occurs when a person’s body experiences sudden and out of proportion adrenaline surges to anything that is perceived as threat or danger.
  • Often times, the cause of the attacks is unexplainable.
  • While the occurrence of the attacks isn’t fully understood, research suggests that environmental, psychological, biological and genetic factors could make a person more prone to anxiety.
  • It can be an indication of having a specific disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
  • Individuals who had a single anxiety attack have higher chances to experience subsequent ones.
  • There’s no specific pattern on how frequent anxiety attacks can happen. Some individuals could have them on a daily basis while others may only experience few attacks per year.
  • Typically, an attack lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes but residual effects may persist for a much longer time.
  • Panic disorder is considered when the attacks are occurring repeatedly together with the preoccupation of experiencing more attacks.
  • The attacks are present in any anxiety disorder especially when they are triggered by recollections or occurrence of feared situations or circumstances.

 

Anxiety Attack Symptoms

 

Certain situations or events such as public speaking or performing may trigger an anxiety attack which is normal but most attacks suddenly occur without any apparent reason.

One main symptom of an anxiety attack is the intense feeling of irrational fear. Whether it is triggered or not, the feeling can be described like an incredible scare for an impending doom. Furthermore, here are some of the symptoms associated with an anxiety attack:

  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Heat or chilling sensation
  • Shaking
  • Racing or pounding heartbeat
  • Choking sensation
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest discomfort
  • Feeling of Passing out
  • Nausea
  • Feeling of detachment or avoiding reality
  • Crazy feeling about feared situations
  • Fear of dying especially when feeling weird symptoms

 

Anxiety Attack Causes

 

There’s no obvious cause of anxiety attacks but it is believed that the attack happens after the body has experienced sudden adrenaline surge from perceived dangers or threats.

The adrenaline hormone is usually involved in the body’s fight or flight response. Its sudden release prepares a person’s body to confront or escape the danger.

Normally, adrenaline levels immediately revert back to normal after the fear subsides but this doesn’t happen during the attacks. There are cases when the anxiety and its symptoms could last for hours which give the person a difficult time to fully recover.

 

Complications

 

Symptoms of an anxiety attack should be evaluated by a medical professional to determine other potential underlying causes. Usually, these symptoms are similar to other disorders and a health condition that’s why an evaluation from a health care professional is essential.

Some conditions that mimic the symptoms of anxiety attacks include:

  1. Respiratory problems
  2. Heart problems
  3. Irregularities in the hormones
  4. Abuse of drugs, caffeine, and other stimulants

 

Treatment

 

Occasional bouts of anxiety symptoms don’t require immediate medical evaluation or intervention. Instead, individuals should just recognize what triggers those anxiety levels and they should learn how to manage or overcome them.

For recurring and severe attacks, one standard treatment or approach is combining cognitive-behavioral therapy with mindfulness and medications like beta blockers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic pills.

Another significant factor in treating anxiety disorders is a lifestyle change. According to one study, doing simple exercises, meditation, yoga and tai chi together with having a healthy diet and good sleeping habits has helped in alleviating the anxiety symptoms. The study concluded that these are more effective instead of taking a placebo and other mainstream medications.

 

Aftercare

Anxiety attacks can be spontaneous and may recur in certain episodes but they definitely go away over a period of time. They are not life-threatening and can be successfully managed no matter how severe they are. Just always remember to see a doctor regularly to monitor other possible causes of the attacks. More than that, it pays to learn various ways of managing the anxiety symptoms and preventing possible attacks in the future.

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Battling Anxiety: Anxiety Attack Information Sheet

Anxiety attacks information

Anxiety attacks information is essential to battle out the disorder. Looking at the word ‘anxiety’ can already make a person anxious. Anxiety is one of the many feelings a person experiences throughout his daily life. It is a normal emotion. It comes at the most inconvenient times – during a job interview, an exam or a date. However, if these attacks become more frequent, repeated and prolonged, the mere feeling of anxiety may have evolved into a panic attack or disorder.

Anxiety disorders are a set of mental disorders that mainly has a symptom of an overwhelming feeling of fear, anxiety, and worry. However, aside from this feeling, it is also accompanied by physical signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, palpitations and shaking.

According to scientific studies, about 12% of the world population suffers from panic disorders and panic attacks each year. This anxiety attacks information sheet contains material on the types, signs, and symptoms, causes and possible treatment for the said group of mental disorders.

Classification

Anxiety attacks and disorders have around 10 classifications namely Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Specific Phobias, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-traumatic Panic Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Situational Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Selective Mutism. However, this anxiety attacks information sheet will only discuss three of them, namely – Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

In Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the patient is distracted with constant worries and fears of day-to-day activities. These activities are usually just normal in nature, however, the patient has an overwhelming feeling of fear and worry towards it. The GAD persists for long periods of time and may peak during stressful situations.

People with Social Anxiety Disorder have a hard time dealing with large crowds. These people fear of socializing with other people. Stage fright or performance anxiety is the most common form of social anxiety disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by the lack of control due to unwanted thoughts and worries. People suffering from these often worry that they might have done something wrong or something hurtful to others such as forgetting to turn the stove off or forgotten to turn off the lights. People suffering from OCD may even at times, perform something over and over again to make sure that they did it right.

Signs and Symptoms

Those suffering from General Anxiety Disorder may experience the following: fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, restlessness and feeling of being on the edge or wound-up and difficulty in concentrating.

People suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder may feel clammy, nauseated and shaky when faced with a dreaded task. They may also experience blushing, trembling and profuse sweating. They may feel self-conscious and anxious around people. They also have a hard time making friends or stay away from people altogether.

Those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may have the urge to constantly check and count certain things. They also repeatedly arrange and clean items. They may experience repeatedly doing certain habits usually against their will.

Causes

The causes of panic attacks and disorders are still generally unclear. A study on a compilation of anxiety attacks information, however, reveals that this may run in the family especially for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Some scientists also suggest that it can be triggered by a combination of environmental stress and changes in the brain. Studies show that prolonged stress and worry can change the make-up of the nerves in the brain thereby causing these panic attacks and disorders.

Use of stimulants such as drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are also contributors. Withdrawal from such substances can also cause panic attacks and disorders.

Treatment

The following treatments suggested by this anxiety attack information sheet are just general ones. It is still advisable to consult a physician for further diagnosis and better treatment plans.

Engage in self-help treatment care plans. Self-help treatment plans usually comprise the practice of breathing exercises and techniques, regular exercise and healthy eating. The body releases a chemical called endorphins after exercising. Endorphins are called happy hormones and help in uplifting one’s spirit.  Getting a good night’s sleep is also a good way to reduce stress, fear, and anxiety.

As aforementioned, the intake of stimulants such as drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine are contributors to panic attacks and disorders. It is, therefore, advisable to cut down or permanently cut off these substances from your system.

Doctors also prescribe certain medications such as beta-blockers, anti-anxiety medications such as Benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Aside from these medications, patients may also opt to do therapy sessions such as exposure therapy and cognitive behavior therapy.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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