Lgbt People Need Compassionate Informed Mental Health Support
The culmination of these internal and external experiencesâcontinual threats to housing and job security, the need to hide ones identity, leading a double life, lack of support from families, long term effects of bullying and violence, and low self-esteemâall contribute to escalated levels of anxiety in the LGBT community. Being LGBT doesnt guarantee a diagnosis of anxiety or a more serious mental health diagnosis, but the societal conditions and internalized messages surely guarantee higher levels of anxiety in the LGBT community.
For many heterosexuals, families provide the first instance of support during periods of mental health crises. However, this avenue of support isnt an option for many LGBT people. Large numbers of the LGBT community have been kicked out of their homes and/or ostracized by their families. A prominent sign of this rejection is the number of homeless LGBT youth: in Southern California alone, LGBT youth account for 40% of the homeless youth population. Almost 90,000 LGBT youth in Southern California are homeless at any given time. A lack of family support and the risk of being ostracized by ones family certainly provokes higher levels of anxiety in the LGBT population.
Providers looking for resources can turn to the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association. Providers in major metropolitan areas can also find resources at local LGBT Centers, and through colleagues who already serve the LGBT community.
Suicidal Thoughts And Self
Suicidal thoughts and self-harm arent mental health diagnoses. But they are related to mental health. Over the course of someones lifetime :
Women are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and make suicide attempts than men . But men are 3 times more likely to take their own life than women .
What Is An Anxiety Disorder
An anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread. You may also experience physical signs of anxiety, such as a pounding heart and sweating.
Its normal to have some anxiety. You may feel anxious or nervous if you have to tackle a problem at work, go to an interview, take a test or make an important decision. And anxiety can even be beneficial. For example, anxiety helps us notice dangerous situations and focuses our attention, so we stay safe.
But an anxiety disorder goes beyond the regular nervousness and slight fear you may feel from time to time. An anxiety disorder happens when:
- Anxiety interferes with your ability to function.
- You often overreact when something triggers your emotions.
- You cant control your responses to situations.
Anxiety disorders can make it difficult to get through the day. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for anxiety disorders.
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The Impact Of Toxins In Our Food Supply And Environment
25% of U.S. residents eat at a fast food restaurant daily. And the food at those restaurants is processed, heavy with sugar and salt and highly inflammatory to the body and brain. A study in Tehran showed that the more processed food young adults consumed, the more likely they were to be anxious. Multiple studies have shown a reduction in the symptoms of ADHD, depression and anxiety when kids are fed a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, essential fatty acids and healthy protein. We are also exposed to over 50,000 chemicals in our environment, water and food supply that were not present merely 60 years ago . A sampling of the umbilical cord blood of infants born in the U.S. revealed more than 200 industrial chemicals. Of the 297 chemicals detected, 180 cause cancer, 217 are toxic to the brain or nervous system, 208 cause birth defects. We have been conducting the biggest experiment on industrialized food and toxic exposure that has ever been seen in human history. And increased rates of learning disorders, depression and anxiety in our youth are likely consequences of this experiment.
These are a few tips to get started in supporting yourself or supporting a teen you love, with anxiety. Want more? Stay tuned for Part II: Treating Your Anxious Teen or 20-something with Integrative Medicine.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety becomes a disorder when its irrational, excessive and when it interferes with a persons ability to function in daily life. Anxiety disorders include:
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Social phobias fear of social situations
- Specific phobias for example a fear of open spaces or enclosed spaces
- Panic disorders frequent and debilitating panic attacks.
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Any Anxiety Disorder With Impairment Among Adults
- Of adults with any anxiety disorder in the past year, degree of impairment ranged from mild to severe, as shown in Figure 2. Impairment was determined by scores on the Sheehan Disability Scale.
- Among adults with any anxiety disorder, an estimated 22.8% had serious impairment, and 33.7% had moderate impairment.1
- A majority of people with any anxiety disorder experienced mild impairment .1
How To Stop The Physical Anxiety Symptoms
When you suffer from the physical symptoms of anxiety, your goal is often to stop them as quickly as possible. One of the issues that affects people during treatment is that they generally want to treat the symptom that bothers them the most, but not the anxiety itself.
For example, those with digestive stress because of anxiety often take Tums or other over-the-counter stomach aids. Those with headaches tend to take pain killers, and so on.
Often these treatments have no effect at all, and those that they do affect they will only relieve temporarily. Ideally, you need to make sure your anxiety is under control, and the physical symptoms will go away with it.
Start with the following:
From there, you really need to learn to deal with your specific anxiety issues, and for that, you need to learn what kind of anxiety you have as well as recognize how its affecting you.
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Get Involved In Your Community
Find a way to volunteer or be active in your community.
Science shows that helping others may influence levels of oxytocin in the brains of volunteers, according to a study in Hormones and Behavior by Michael J. Poulin and E. Alison Holman. Oxytocin helps the body manage stress.
Helping others also allows people to focus on something other than their anxiety.
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When Does It Happen
In some people with social anxiety disorder, the fear is limited to one or two particular situations, like speaking in public or initiating a conversation. Others are very anxious and afraid of any social situation.
Anyone with social anxiety disorder can experience it in different ways. But here are some common situations that people tend to have trouble with:
- Talking to strangers
- Eating in front of other people
- Going to school or work
- Starting conversations
Some of these situations might not cause a problem for you. For example, giving a speech may be easy, but going to a party might be a nightmare. Or you could be great at one-on-one conversations but not at stepping into a crowded classroom.
All socially anxious people have different reasons for dreading certain situations. But in general, itâs an overwhelming fear of:
- Being judged or watched by others in social situations
- Being embarrassed or humiliated — and showing it by blushing, sweating, or shaking
- Accidentally offending someone
- Being the center of attention
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Basic Activities That Most People Are Able To Do Are Challenging For People With Mood And Anxiety Disorders
- Of people with mood and/or anxiety disorders, 27% reported that their disorder have affected their life “quite a bit” or “extremely” in the past 12 months.
- The degree to which their disorder limited their activities varied by type: activities such as recreation, leisure or hobbies were the most limited, followed by social activities with family and friends .
Figure 1: Level of difficulty experienced with basic activities by type of activity among those with mood and/or anxiety disorder, 18 years and older, Canada , 2013
The percentage of those with mood and/or anxiety disorder who reported being limited “a lot”, “a little” or “not at all” as a result of their disorder by type of activity in the past 12 months is presented in Figure 1 and in the table below.
The degree to which individuals’ disorder limited their activities varied by type of activity. Activities such as recreation, leisure or hobbies were the most limited, followed by social activities with family and friends.
|Type of activity|
Statistics On Anxiety Treatment
While anxiety disorders are fairly common across the globe, not everyone who needs treatment receives it. Statistics on the treatment of anxiety show that around one-third of people with an anxiety disorder get treatment, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Fortunately, treatment for anxiety disorders is available and effective. These treatments may involve medication, counseling or a combination of the two. People with anxiety disorders can also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy to help them replace irrational thoughts and fears with more productive, realistic thoughts.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a co-occurring anxiety disorder and substance abuse, The Recovery Village can provide comprehensive services to meet your needs. Reach out to an admissions representative today at to begin the treatment process.
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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Anxiety
Anxiety is a response to uncertainty and danger, and the trigger can be almost anything, or nothing in particular, just a generalized, vague sense of dread or misfortune. High on the list of anxiety-generating situations is having to give a talk or presentation or being called on in class, where people risk loss of social standing by being judged negatively.
People can feel anxious because their neural circuitry has become so sensitized it perceives threat where it doesnt exist. Too, there are substancescaffeine is oneand medications that stimulate the same physical sensations as anxiety. People differ in their susceptibility to anxiety, as a result of their biological makeup, their parental inheritance, their own life history, personality factors, and the coping skills they acquire or cultivate.
How Generalised Anxiety Disorder Is Treated
GAD can have a significant effect on your daily life, but several different treatments are available that can ease your symptoms.
- medicine such as a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
With treatment, many people are able to control their anxiety levels. But some treatments may need to be continued for a long time and there may be periods when your symptoms worsen.
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What Happens In The Brain With Anxiety
Neuroimaging studies reliably show changes in brain function among those who experience chronic anxiety, and they involve dysfunction of connectivity among areas of the brain that work together to orchestrate emotional response. Under normal circumstances the brain region known as the amygdala flags threats and, in an act of protection, sends out a signal to many parts of the brain. The stress response system kicks in immediately, preparing the body for action. On a slower track, signals travel to the prefrontal cortex, the so-called thinking brain, where the threat can be evaluated and, if needed, action planned to ameliorate any potential danger. But in anxiety, often because the amygdala has been sensitized by early adverse experience, it overresponds, overwhelming the capacity of the PFC to rationally assess and manage any threat, however remote or hypothetical.
Researchers have recently identified a tiny brain region known as the BNST, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, as a major node in brain circuits of anxiety. About the size of a small sunflower seed, it is considered an extension of the amygdala. Its primary function is to monitor the environment for vague, psychologically distant, or unpredictable threatssay, imagining that youll stumble badly and embarrass yourself when you give that upcoming talk. And when activated, it sends out alarms prompting alertness and hypervigilance to potential dangerthe hallmarks of anxiety.
Professional Care Is Essential In The Management Of Mood And Anxiety Disorders
In the past 12 months,
- 77% reported having seen or talked to a health professional about their mood and/or anxiety disorder, with family doctors or general practitioners being the most commonly consulted and
- Almost one-quarter of respondents reported that they did not consult any health professionals about their disorder.
Figure 2: Percentage of those with mood and/or anxiety disorder, 18 years and older, who consulted a health professional about their disorder in the past 12 months, Canada , 2013
*Psychologist, social worker, counsellor, psychotherapist or other health professional. Percentages do not add to 100% because an individual can visit more than one type of health professional in a 12 month period.
The percentage of those with mood and/or anxiety disorder who consulted a health professional about their disorder by type of professional in the past 12 months is presented in Figure 2 and the table below.
Family doctors or general practitioners were the most commonly consulted health professionals.
|Type of health care professional||Consulted|
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Prevalence Of Any Anxiety Disorder Among Adolescents
- Based on diagnostic interview data from National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement , Figure 3 shows lifetime prevalence of any anxiety disorder among U.S. adolescents aged 13-18.3
- An estimated 31.9% of adolescents had any anxiety disorder.
- Of adolescents with any anxiety disorder, an estimated 8.3% had severe impairment. DSM-IV criteria were used to determine impairment.
- The prevalence of any anxiety disorder among adolescents was higher for females than for males .
- The prevalence of any anxiety disorder was similar across age groups.
Anxiety Disorder Statistics And Facts
Anxiety Disorders affect 18.1 percent of adults in the United States . – National Institute of Mental Health .
Current estimates put this number much higher – approximately 30 percent – as many people don’t seek help, are misdiagnosed, or don’t know they have issues with anxiety.
Approximately 33.7 percent of Americans will have an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Some researchers believe this number is closer to 50 percent .
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