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Anxiety 101: Everything You Need to Know about Anxiety

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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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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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