Postpartum Anxiety Causes And Risk Factors
Like postpartum depression, there is no one cause of postpartum anxiety. Anxiety can stem from drastic hormonal changes to sleep deprivation to feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for a new baby.
Though it is very common for women to feel postpartum baby blues, it is not as common for those feelings to turn into full-blown anxiety. There are a number of risk factors that may cause the baby blues to evolve into an anxiety disorder.
Finding The Right Resources To Answer Your Questions And Meet Your Complex Needs
Just as anxiety and depression tend to be worse when occurring together, treatment of these disorders is most effective when both conditions are addressed at the same time.1
Hartgrove Behavioral Health System provides integrated care that treats these and other mental health issues simultaneously. As part of our comprehensive care, medical specialists and therapists work together to help bring healing and balance in our patients lives a feeling of being in charge of their inner self again.
Tone Your Inner Power Daily
Think of your inner power as a muscle just like any other muscle. The more you use it, the more toned it becomes and the more you are able to accomplish. Every time you practice a healthy life strategy, you actually increase your ability to conquer your anxiety. What you couldnt do yesterday, you can do today. With practice, your new skills will become automatic. This is how you create lasting freedom from anxiety.
In the words of Aristotle: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
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What To Do When Your Anxiety Wont Go Away
If you are having a challenging time finding peace of mind, or if you struggle to stay calm and generally free from irrational worries or fears, you may want to consider seeking professional help for your anxiety.
Working with a professional has several benefits. First, you can have your symptoms examined and diagnosed properly so that you know what kind of anxiety you have. Based on your evaluation results, a mental health professional can advise you on the therapies and medications that can help you.
Part of managing a mental disorder is learning about it. With the right information in hand, you will be informed as you create strategies to help you manage your anxiety. There are a lot of resources you can use to help you.
A mental health provider should consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition when evaluating your symptoms. This helps ensure you receive the right diagnosis and treatment. It also rules out other possible causes of your condition.
When you meet with your medical or mental health provider, have questions ready as well as an account of what you have been experiencing. Your doctor will also ask you questions to help them understand your symptoms and how they affect you.
NIMH also says exposure therapy is another approach to helping people cope with an anxiety disorder.
If you notice a change in your physical or mental state when taking medications, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
What Are The Differences
Here are some of the features that distinguish them.
An anxiety attack, or anxiety:
- can have a specific trigger, such as an exam, workplace issues, a health issue, or a relationship problem
- is not a diagnosable condition
- is less severe than a panic attack
- usually develops gradually when a person feels anxious
- involves physical symptoms, such as a racing heart or knot in the stomach
A panic attack:
- often occurs suddenly and unexpectedly and last between a few minutes and an hour, although the negative impact may continue
The term anxiety attack is not listed in the American Psychological Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition .
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Causes Of Anxiety Disorder
Some causes of anxiety disorders are:
- Genetics. Anxiety disorders can run in families.
- Brain chemistry. Some research suggests anxiety disorders may be linked to faulty circuits in the brain that control fear and emotions.
- Environmental stress. This refers to stressful events you have seen or lived through. Life events often linked to anxiety disorders include childhood abuse and neglect, a death of a loved one, or being attacked or seeing violence.
- Drug withdrawal or misuse. Certain drugs may be used to hide or decrease certain anxiety symptoms. Anxiety disorder often goes hand in hand with alcohol and substance use.
- Medical conditions. Some heart, lung, and thyroid conditions can cause symptoms similar to anxiety disorders or make anxiety symptoms worse. Itâs important to get a full physical exam to rule out other medical conditions when talking to your doctor about anxiety.
Learn Mindfulness And Meditation
Being mindful means stepping back, tuning out the inconsequential, and paying attention to whats happening in the moment.
Meditation can take some practice. Try downloading a meditation app or taking a meditation class to help you learn. Itll also come in handy when you need help in moments of stress.
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Anxiety Attack Symptoms Include:
- Feeling of losing control or going crazy.
- Heart palpitations or chest pain.
- Feeling like youre going to pass out.
- Trouble breathing or choking sensation.
- Nausea or stomach cramps.
- Feeling detached or unreal.
Its important to seek help if youre starting to avoid certain situations because youre afraid of having a panic attack. The truth is that panic attacks are highly treatable. In fact, many people are panic free within just 5 to 8 treatment sessions.
Realize That Now Is The Perfect Time To Start Feeling Better
And finally, realize that your anxiety and fear will not go away until you stop waiting and start learning. There are many resources available to you to help you overcome your anxiety books, courses, doctors, counselors, support groups, and more.
Some of you have been waiting for the perfect time to conquer your anxiety. You may be saying to yourselfI cant tackle my anxiety right now. Ill wait until my symptoms arent so strong to make changes in my life. Or Ill start making changes when my life is less hectic. The list goes on and on.
Heres what Ive discovered: Youll be waiting a lifetime for these things to happen. Because when you wait for something else to happen to improve your life, youre giving away your power. You feed your anxiety and feelings of loss of control.
The only perfect time to conquer your anxiety is right nowthis moment. You do not need to feel symptom-free or confident or energetic, or anything else to begin. All you need to do is take the first step.
Practice these six habits daily, and youll see your skills improve as you take back your power from anxiety.
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Every Time I Think My Anxiety Is Gone For Good It Comes Back Worse Than Before Can You Help Me
From time to time I get an email asking for advice on how to make anxiety go away. For some reason, Im reminded of a rude houseguest or a family member that lingers and looms. Perhaps the connection isnt completely off base.
For the most part, anxiety is a condition that comes and goes. But for some, anxiety never goes away completely. Thats the bad news. The good news is you can manage the symptoms so they dont manage you. If it’s helpful, consider your anxiety as a chronic condition that needs constant monitoring. Miss a day of treatment and you may throw your system off. Having a plan means your daily to-do list includes anti-anxiety strategies.
Because anxiety can occur at three levelsbrain, behavior and subjective experienceit makes sense to tackle numerous fronts.
Here are nine things you can do on any given day to get on the right side of calm.
Anxiety Vs Anxiety Disorder
Before we discuss anxiety treatment and the prevalence of anxiety as a whole, we need to make an important point. There is a big difference between anxiety and anxiety disorder. Most people experience anxiety at some point in their lives. A job interview, a first date, or an important stage performance are all potential causes of anxiety. The symptoms are temporary though, and they usually go away once the event is over.
General anxiety disorder and other anxiety disorders involve a much more persistent form of anxiety. The symptoms occur frequently, sometimes without any trigger at all. If there is a noticeable trigger, the anxiety may still last much longer than the scenario that sparked the feelings. In other words, you may feel anxious after you logically should feel anxious.
The first type of anxiety will go away on its own. The second may not. Most people with anxiety disorders never fully eliminate their anxiety. However, they can learn how to control their feelings and greatly reduce the severity of their anxiety through therapy .
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How Anxiety Disorders Affect People
For people dealing with anxiety disorders, symptoms can feel strange and confusing at first. For some, the physical sensations can be strong and upsetting. For others, feelings of doom or fear that can happen for no apparent reason can make them feel scared, unprotected, and on guard. Constant worries can make a person feel overwhelmed by every little thing. All this can affect someone’s concentration, confidence, sleep, appetite, and outlook.
People with anxiety disorders might avoid talking about their worries, thinking that others might not understand. They may fear being unfairly judged, or considered weak or scared. Although anxiety disorders are common, people who have them may feel misunderstood or alone.
Some people with anxiety disorders might blame themselves. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed, or mistakenly think that anxiety is a weakness or a personal failing. Anxiety can keep people from going places or doing things they enjoy.
The good news is, doctors today understand anxiety disorders better than ever before and, with treatment, a person can feel better.
Risk Factors For Anxiety Disorder
Some things also make you more likely to develop an anxiety disorder. These are called risk factors. Some risk factors you canât change, but others you can.
Risk factors for anxiety disorders include:
- History of mental health disorder. Having another mental health disorder, like depression, raises your risk for anxiety disorder.
- Childhood sexual abuse. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect during childhood is linked to anxiety disorders later in life.
- Trauma. Living through a traumatic event increases the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder , which can cause panic attacks.
- Negative life events. Stressful or negative life events, like losing a parent in early childhood, increase your risk for anxiety disorder.
- Severe illness or chronic health condition. Constant worry about your health or the health of a loved one, or caring for someone who is sick, can cause you to feel overwhelmed and anxious.
- Substance abuse. The use of alcohol and illegal drugs makes you more likely to get an anxiety disorder. Some people also use these substances to hide or ease anxiety symptoms.
- Being shy as a child. Shyness and withdrawal from unfamiliar people and places during childhood is linked to social anxiety in teens and adults.
- Low self-esteem. Negative perceptions about yourself may lead to social anxiety disorder.
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Stay Socially Engaged And Get Support
Maintain a strong social network. Social interactions can distract you from your own stressors and give you someone to turn to when you need to talk.
You might also find it helpful to connect with others who are dealing with anxiety. Youre not limited to in-person connection, either. You can reach out online, on the phone, or through video chat.
Finding help for anxiety
The Difference Between Anxiety And Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety is a normal reaction to different kinds of situations and events in life. Anxiety is the bodys response to stress, threats, and fears.
A manageable amount of anxiety from time to time can actually be helpful, as it can alert you to a specific danger or motivate you to get something important done, such as studying for a final exam. Even happy events like moving to a new place or celebrating a milestone can bring up some anxiety about the future its normal.
However, anxiety is a problem when its overwhelming, debilitating, and chronic. The main difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder is the source and frequency of anxiety and the duration of symptoms.
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
- Increased heart rate
- Sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
- Excessive sweating
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the problem
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Normal anxiety is usually related to a specific problem, lasts only as long as the problem persists, is proportionate to the situation or problem, and is a realistic and appropriate response to the problem or situation. On the other hand, the anxiety that someone with an anxiety disorder experiences usually occurs unexpectedly is a stronger response than appropriate for the situation, persists even after the problem has been resolved, and may cause the person to avoid situations that may trigger the feeling.
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Listen For Your Symptoms
It took me 39 years to realize that the nausea, light sensitivity, and migraines I’d been experiencing were the ways my generalized anxiety disorder expressed itself. Learning how to tune in to your symptoms will allow you to sense when anxiety is affecting you, and take actions to take care of yourself.
Living With Chronic Anxiety
While the disorders differ, chronic anxiety is best described as anxiety that you experience most days without a clear and reasonable trigger. Someone that works in a dangerous part of town and has to walk home alone at night isn’t experiencing chronic anxiety because it has a trigger . Someone that gets nervous every once in a while when they talk to strangers isn’t experiencing chronic anxiety because it doesn’t happen very often.
Chronic anxiety is more like an illness. It’s something that weighs on your mind and thoughts often and doesn’t require any obvious outside trigger. Those with chronic anxiety often experience both physical and mental symptoms such as:
- Mental: Excessive worries, such as worrying about someone getting hurt, worrying about social situations, worrying about worst case scenarios, or even worrying about their own anxiety.
- Physical: Shaking, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, leg weakness and tingling, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and more.
You may experience some or all of the above symptoms, depending on your personality and the type of anxiety you’re suffering from. Those with generalized anxiety disorder are more prone to worrying thoughts. Those with panic disorder are more prone to physical symptoms. But there is a lot of overlap between all of these disorders.
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