How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed
If you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider. Theyll start with a complete medical history and physical examination.
There are no lab tests or scans that can diagnose anxiety disorders. But your provider may run some of these tests to rule out physical conditions that may be causing symptoms.
Where Benzodiazepines Fit In
Benzodiazepines are used as a sleep aid and anti-anxiety medicine. They help treat symptoms such as decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, unusual talkativeness, increased activity, agitation, or distractibility, which may be part of a manic or hypomanic episode in people with bipolar disorder. There is a risk of addiction, so these medications are usually limited to short-term use for temporary relief of these symptoms.
Help Someone Who Is Anxious To Temper Their Thinking
Youll be a more useful support person if you educate yourself about cognitive-behavioral models of anxiety, which you can do by reading or attending a therapy session with your loved one. But, in lieu of that, you might try using some techniques that can be helpful to people suffering from anxiety.
Typically, anxious people have a natural bias towards thinking about worst-case scenarios. To help them get some perspective on this, you can use a cognitive therapy technique where you ask them to consider three questions:
- Whats the worst that could happen?
- Whats the best that could happen?
- Whats most realistic or likely?
So, if your loved one is anxious that they were supposed to hear from their parents hours ago but havent, you can suggest they consider the worst, best, and most likely explanations for the lack of contact.
Take care not to overly reassure your loved one that their fears wont come to pass. Its more useful to emphasize their coping ability. For example, if theyre worried about having a panic attack on a plane, you could say, That would be extremely unpleasant and scary, but youd deal with it. And, if your loved one is feeling anxious that someone else is angry with them or disappointed in them, its often useful to remind them that you can only ever choose your own actions and not completely control other peoples responses.
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Anxiety Attack: The Most Common Symptoms
- Insane, overwhelming strike of panic
- Dizziness, feeling faint or light headed.
- Accelerated heartbeat or heart palpitations
- Numbness, particularly in your feet and hands.
- Feeling detached and unreal. Basically, you feel like you are going crazy.
- Fearing youre dying.
An anxiety attack can roll in with most of the above or just a few symptoms, coming one after another or all at once.
The symptoms can last from a few seconds to a terrible half an hour, though the average number is 10 minutes says, Doctor Merav Gur.
Anxiety Attacks: How They Happen And How To Deal With Them
Anxiety disorders are mental health disorders characterized by excessive and persistent fear and apprehension about everyday situations. When these feelings of worry, fear, and tension start to disrupt your normal functioning, anxiety becomes a problem.
Anxiety disorders are a common medical condition faced by several people. They are highly treatable, but to do so, you need to educate yourself and others about what anxiety is and how everyone can play their part to help patients with this mental health disorder cure it. Therefore, it is important to know what happens when one suffers from an anxiety or panic attack, its potential causes, various symptoms, the different types of anxiety disorders, coping strategies at home, and when to seek professional help.
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Limit Caffeine And Alcohol If You Are Prone To Panic Attacks
Many people in society have an occasional drink in the evening to relax, but just because it is rare doesnt mean it cant become a problem. Excessive drinking can lead to an increase in panic attacks. The caffeine in items like soda drinks and coffee can also increase anxiety levels. A person might be tempted to drink more when they are feeling anxious, but this only worsens the problem.
Everyone experiences anxiety and hormone imbalances, and there is nothing wrong with that. The occasional panic attack can be a normal occurrence for people who over-analyze situations and think about the what ifs. However, these attacks can come so frequently as to become debilitating. Panic disorder is characterized by recurring episodes of panic, as many as one hundred times each month, as well as sudden feelings of terror without being able to identify any trigger.
Those prone to panic attacks should abstain from caffeine, alcohol, and other drugs. Alcohol is a depressant which can depress the nervous system to trigger a panic attack. Caffeine has been shown to have antagonistic effects on the nervous system, so those who are prone to panic attacks should avoid it also. Finally, drugs such as marijuana and cocaine can cause paranoia and may trigger panic attacks in those who are prone to them.
Understand Differences In How Anxiety Manifests
Because of evolution, were wired to respond to fear by either fight, flight, or freeze. For different people, one of these responses will typically dominate. For instance, my spouse tends to freeze and will bury her head in the sand rather than deal with things that make her feel stressed and panicky. I tend more toward fighting, and will become irritable, excessively perfectionistic, or dogmatic if I feel stressed.
When you understand that anxiety is designed to put us into a mode of threat sensitivity, its easier to understand someone who is feeling scared and acting out by being irritable or defensive, and to find compassion for them. By paying attention to how anxiety manifests in the person you care about, you can learn their patterns and be in a better position to help.
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How Is Panic Disorder Treated
First, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor should do an exam and ask you about your health history to make sure that an unrelated physical problem is not causing your symptoms. Your doctor may refer to you a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Panic disorder is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you.
Psychotherapy. A type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy is especially useful as a first-line treatment for panic disorder. CBT teaches you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the feelings that come on with a panic attack. The attacks can begin to disappear once you learn to react differently to the physical sensations of anxiety and fear that occur during panic attacks.
For more information on psychotherapy, see .
Medication. Doctors also may prescribe different types of medications to help treat panic disorder:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
Another type of medication called beta-blockers can help control some of the physical symptoms of panic disorder, such as rapid heart rate. Although doctors do not commonly prescribe beta-blockers for panic disorder, they may be helpful in certain situations that precede a panic attack.
How To Deal With Anxiety
Dealing with anxiety is not easy. One of the benefits of professional help is that it gives you someone to keep you accountable, and provides you with validation that what you’ve done thus far has been working.
It is possible to deal with anxiety on your own. But in order to do so, you have to be able to commit to lifestyle changes, avoid some of the most common anxiety fueling behaviors, and be ready to hold yourself accountable for your changes.
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Identify And Learn To Manage Your Triggers
You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious.
Long-term problems, such as financial or work-related situations, may take some time to figure out is it a due date, a person, or the situation? This may take some extra support, through therapy or with friends.
When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can. If you cant limit it like if its due to a stressful work environment that you cant currently change using other coping techniques may help.
When Should I Go To The Emergency Room For An Anxiety Disorder
Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can resemble symptoms of a heart attack or another health emergency. If youre experiencing an anxiety attack for the first time, or youre concerned in any way about your health, call 911 or head to the nearest ER. A healthcare provider will check you for serious or life-threatening conditions.
If youre having an anxiety attack and unsure whether you should head to an ER or not, its better to go. Healthcare professionals can make sure youre OK and give you any necessary treatment.
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Talk To Your Doctor About Medication
Sometimes fighting anxiety requires more than staying positive. If you feel you need help battling the illness, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription.
It is annoying when you want to move on with your life, and you feel like anxiety keeps taking you a step back. Saying living with anxiety disorders and panic attacks is easy would only be a white lie. However, by using the above tips life becomes easier and you may not even feel overwhelmed as you did before trying them.
Keep Lavender On Hand
Lavender is known for being soothing and stress-relieving. It can help your body relax. If you know youre prone to panic attacks, keep some lavender essential oil on hand and put some on your forearms when you experience a panic attack. Breathe in the scent.
You can also try drinking lavender or chamomile tea. Both are relaxing and soothing.
Lavender should not be combined with benzodiazepines. This combination can cause intense drowsiness.
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Ways To Deal With Panic Attacks And Anxiety
Looking for effective ways to deal with panic attacks?
Are you suffering from overwhelming anxiety or stress?
Disclaimer: I am not a trained healthcare professional and the advice offered in this post has come about based on my own personal experiences. If you struggle with anxiety, please seek support from a qualified mental health professional.
What Is Panic Disorder
If you’re having lots of panic attacks at unpredictable times and there doesn’t seem to be a particular trigger or cause, you might be given a diagnosis of panic disorder. It’s common to experience panic disorder and certain types of phobia together. People who experience panic disorder may have some periods with few or no panic attacks, but have lots at other times.
Panic disorder and high sensitivity
Some research suggests that people who have panic disorder might be very sensitive to sensory experiences , but there’s not enough evidence yet to say for sure.
Also it’s not clear whether having a high level of sensitivity to these sorts of things is something that might cause you to develop panic disorder, or whether it may be an effect of having it.
“Never knowing when I was going to have a panic attack was the worst feeling in the world.”
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Panic Attacks
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is considered to be one of the leading psychological treatments for panic attacks. All of our online courses use CBT strategies to help ease symptoms of panic disorder. Click below to see if CBT can help you tackle your symptoms to improve the way you feel.
Strategies for Dealing with Panic Disorder
People with panic disorder can be overly sensitive to physical sensations that remind them of panic attacks, like tingling, dizziness, or shallow breathing. This is because they tend to worry that these symptoms are a sign of an impending panic attack. As a result, they tend to mentally scan their bodies for any unusual symptoms. They can also have unhelpful and inaccurate beliefs about panic attacks, for example, that panic attacks can cause heart attacks or insanity. People with panic disorder also underestimate their ability to cope with panic attacks, for example, worrying that they wont be able to calm down or get help. Cognitive strategies are designed to help people identify and change these unhelpful ways of thinking. By learning to challenge and overcome these kinds of thoughts, people can start to be less afraid of panic attacks, more hopeful, and more confident in themselves.
Coping With Symptoms of Panic Disorder
Interested in learning more?
How To Deal With Anxiety Attacks: 10 Truths You Need To Know
Because of the continuously growing complexity of the world that we live in, more and more people suffer from different mental disorders, anxiety becoming one of the most common of them.
As a person that has had to deal with anxiety for a large part of my life, I know firsthand how devastating this problem can get, making some of the most basic tasks in life, inexplicably horrifying.
The good news, however, is that you can learn how to deal with anxiety attacks. Anxiety is not something that you have to live with forever. Its not set in stone, nor is it a prison ball and chain that you will have to drag behind you for the rest of your life. And why do I say this? Because I am living example of a person that has managed to take anxiety so much under control that I hardly ever notice it. Its become a vague shadow of what it used to be in the past.
This week I was incredibly fortunate to be a guest of Linda Yoonjin and Gabi Petrylaite on their YouTube channel Brain Education TV, to discuss this incredibly important subject with them anxiety. On the episode, we talk about what it is and where it comes from, but I also share the story of how anxiety has impacted my life and what were some of the things I did to tame it. I am sure you will find the episode very helpful, so be sure to check it out below!
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Stopping Panic: What To Do When Youre Having A Panic Attack
Here, some strategies that have worked for others that may help you: