Sunday, August 01, 2010
It is reported that 18% of U.S. adults/19 million are affected with anxiety disorder. But that is not to mention the countless others that may not have been diagnosed as yet, or will ever be diagnosed.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times where they may feel nervousness or anxiousness when faced with everyday common problems (i.e work deadlines, test taking, making very important decisions). But to have an anxiety disorder is when the fear and worry actually interferes with normal everyday human functioning. It is a form of mental illness. But stigmas are associated with any mental illness therefore others may view a sufferer as being weak or assuming that attacks may be due to the sufferers family upbringing. But that is far from the truth of the matter.
Chemical imbalances may be partially blamed, and scientists are realizing that many of these disorders are caused by a combination of factors, including changes in the brain and environmental stress.
There are several types of disorders under the anxiety disorder umbrella which are general anxiety disorder of unrealistic fear and worry, panic disorder which can elicit physical symptoms such as profuse sweating or hyperventilation, OCD/Obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder/PTSD, social phobias or anxiety, specific phobias like arachnaphobia/fear of spiders.
Common symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
- Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
- Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
- Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand washing
- Problems sleeping
- Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
- Shortness of breath
- An inability to be still and calm
- Dry mouth
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Muscle tension
Diagnosis must be made by a mental health professional. Fortunately, they are trained to recognize the symptoms and distinguish them from just a normal stress reaction.
There are various methods of alleviating these symptoms which conventional medicine may prescribe such as use of medications and psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, and forms of relaxation therapy are the alternative used to manage such symptoms.
As a holistic practitioner, I am a strong proponent of getting to the root cause of the symptoms and to help my clients recognize what the underlying cause of their stress may be. Solely treating symptoms is like putting a bandaid over a recurring wound.
Prevention is better than the cure. You can help reduce incidents by eliminating or reducing caffeine from your diet, use of relaxation techniques such as creating art, going for a massage or energy work therapy such as reiki, talking it out with a support group or counselor, prayer and meditation, and avoidance of any stressors you are aware of that seem to constantly trigger an episode.
If you are in need of an alternative form of therapy for any of the disorders mentioned here, you owe it to yourself to improve your quality of life and achieve optimum wellness.
Call us today to set up an appointment for our wonderful relaxation therapy of reiki healing touch!
For online tutorials on relieving an attack click here