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Jan 20

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Anxiety 101

 

ANXIETY101

Anxiety 101

We all learned in Anxiety 101 that feeling anxious is a normal physiological and mental response for a person, especially if they are facing something new or something very important that could have a great impact on their life. However when the anxiety affects the person’s behavior and interferes with the ability to function properly, it becomes a problem.
Anxiety is a psychological state that is manifested with feelings of concern, worry, or fear. This state affects behavior, emotional state, and the mental status of a person. It will influence the person’s personality, and the way they behave emotionally or socially. It will also change the way they see life, can greatly disturb their routines and the way they interact with other people, either family or friends.
In simple terms, anxiety is used to describe a state when a person’s reactions exceed that of what is considered normal or appropriate to the situation.

Anxiety Disorders

There are many different classifications of anxiety. Here are a few anxiety disorders:
Panic Attacks – Panic attacks are characterized by a sudden feeling of extreme fear that leads to difficulty in breathing, confusion, dizziness, palpitations, and chills.
OCD – Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by repetitive cycles or rituals. These rituals are performed to relieve feelings of fear that have led them to obsess on certain issues.
PTSD – Post traumatic stress disorder is a form of anxiety caused by traumatic events that happened in the past and now has a deep effect on the person.
Phobias – Phobia is defined as an intense yet irrational fear about a specific place, item or situation. This fear is avoided at all costs to avoid having panic attacks. For example, some people may have a fear of heights, spiders or fear of driving or flying.
GAD – Generalized anxiety disorder is a general fear or concern about many things in life that occur daily. There are often no valid reasons for these concerns, but the anxiety often cannot be controlled.
Social AnxietySocial anxiety disorder is the fear of being embarrassed or ridiculed by other people in social situations. This type of fear will cause the person to keep away from other people and avoid everyday situations that include others.

Treatments

When possible the ideal way to manage anxiety is through natural methods. This can include cognitive behavior therapy, parental anxiety management for children and herbal remedies. These methods tackle the root of the anxieties as well as the symptoms. Over time this can lead to a lessening of the anxiety, as well as desensitization to the causative triggers.  But, many times anxiety worsens or is not able to be controlled through natural methods.  Then the next step would be a consult with a medical health provider who can provide medications.  Only through a trial will you know if medications will be effective.   Many people do not have any problems with medication therapy and it provides great relief.

Anxiety medications are available to treat anxiety disorders. Benzodiazepines are the traditional drugs used to treat anxiety. Others use anti-depressants and beta-blockers.
Though effective in providing relief from symptoms of anxiety disorders, these medications do not serve as cures. Also, these medications can be addictive in large doses and the withdrawal symptoms can be very intense. If a course of medication is begun, medical advice should always be sought before ceasing the treatment.
Common side effects of anxiety medications are slurred speech, confusion, disorientation, depression, impaired thinking and judgment, memory loss, slow reflexes and lack of energy.  These symptoms often lessen and disappear with time.

There is treatment available and sometimes a combination of cognitive and medication therapies work very well.   Only you will know when you have found the right path of treatment for yourself.   The main thing is, if you suffer from anxiety that is disrupting your life, you need to seek a mental health consultation.

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20 comments

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  1. 1
    Karen Glatt

    It is so good to treat this crippling disorder to bring peace to a persons life. I have had crippling anxiety and the medication really helps me cope.

    1. 1.1
      Colleen

      Me too Karen, I couldn’t do it without meds.

  2. 2
    DJ

    Biofeedback therapy also helps a lot with anxiety.

    1. 2.1
      Colleen

      Yes for some it may be all they need. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of those

  3. 3
    Deb E

    Yes I tend to avoid situations rather than confront them, but do tackle them in very small steps. It does help to read/talk with others and see what works for them. Also helps to feel you’re not alone with issues like this.

    1. 3.1
      Colleen

      You are NOT alone with issues like this! These things are much more common than people want to admit.

  4. 4
    Erin Will

    I have dealt with anxiety my whole life and have tried all different ways to cope. What works best for me in a low daily dose of medicine. I think some people might be scared to talk to their doctor and have a “label” put on them but treatment can really make your quality of life better!

    1. 4.1
      Colleen

      I agree Erin! People are afraid to be labeled and don’t want to be seen coming out of a doctors appointment “for this”.

  5. 5
    Rosie

    This is really good information, I learned so much!!! Thanks!

  6. 6
    Pauline Gorczycki

    Anxiety is something very hard to cope with. I have very high anxiety but there is no doctor in NJ that will give the medication. So to cope i stay in my house and DON’T GO NO where. IF I HAVE to go out I TRY hard to cope and not be long. I do NOT leave out OF MY apartment for nothing. I send my children to the store IF I NEED SOME thing.

    1. 6.1
      Colleen

      Oh Pauline I am so sorry. Have you tried some of the over the counter products that are a great help for anxiety? There are also great online support groups.

  7. 7
    Linda Manns Linneman

    I suffer with anxiety at times so I found this article very informative and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing this

    1. 7.1
      Colleen

      I am so glad you found this helpful Linda! Lots more coming on Anxiety.

  8. 8
    BRANDI DAWN

    This is a good summary article. I have bookmarked it for future reference, thanks! I suffer from these diagnosis and I could not get through without having the people who are close to me understand the triggers and symptoms. I also have a great doc a great therapist and the right meds too though!

    1. 8.1
      Colleen

      Thanks for sharing Brandi. It really helps to have good support system doesn’t it.

  9. 9
    Cindy

    Great article….Glad I read it.

  10. 10
    Tara L

    I hate having aniexty and the part I read over that says

    “PTSD – Post traumatic stress disorder is a form of anxiety caused by traumatic events that happened in the past and now has a deep effect on the person.”

    I think that is what happened to me because my grandmom passed in 2002 and ever since then I started having them one night and they are not fun.

    I’ve been on maybe 3 types of medications in the past and finally found the right one for now lets hope. It’s tough. I don’t try and think about it because my mom mom says it’s all in your head and you think about it to much which I probably did back then but now I just always have water with me to calm me down.

    1. 10.1
      Colleen

      Were you close to your grandmom Tara? It is odd this would happen after that event. Maybe try one thing that has helped many – write a letter to your special person that has passed away. I had to write one to my dad. I cried like a baby trying to write it… I put it in his flower holder at the grave. It really helped lower my anxiety. Can’t say it will magically take the symptoms away but it really did help and writing a letter has helped others.
      Glad you have found a medication that seems to have helped. It can be a trial and error finding the right medication.

  11. 11
    KATE SARSFIELD

    My sister has started to suffer from panic attacks in the last couple of years. These can be so severe that she passes out. Thankfully she now has an excellent CBT support group and I’m now studying CBT because I was so impressed with the results.

    1. 11.1
      Colleen

      Fabulous thanks for sharing. I have horrid night panics. Only thing that helps me is Klonopin at night. Without it I will wake from a sound sleep and not know who or where I am. Even not be able to move or talk for a short period of time. It is so horrid to experience that I take the drug anytime over trying to go without medication!

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