What Are The Types Of Anxiety Disorders
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including
- Generalized anxiety disorder .People with GAD worry about ordinary issues such as health, money, work, and family. But their worries are excessive, and they have them almost every day for at least 6 months.
- Panic disorder. People with panic disorder have panic attacks. These are sudden, repeated periods of intense fear when there is no danger. The attacks come on quickly and can last several minutes or more.
- Phobias. People with phobias have an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Their fear may be about spiders, flying, going to crowded places, or being in social situations .
Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol
For many of us, a cup of coffee at the start of the day gets us going, and a glass of wine in the evening will help us relax.
But too much of either can seriously affect our bodies ability to manage anxiety.
Caffeine can trigger cortisol production, the hormone that triggers the fight or flight stress response.
And as for alcohol, drinking too much will change your brain chemistry over time, thus lowering its ability to cope with stress.
Are You Suffering From Anxiety
Take our 2-minute anxiety quiz to see if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.
For example, the person who is immobilized at the thought of flying might, in an exposure therapy treatment, might begin by reading a story about a plane crash, and gradually work up to going to an airport without boarding a plane, then boarding a plane without taking off, then finally taking a short flight
With repeated exposure in a safe place, such as a therapists office, to the event that created the trauma, the anxiety level subsides.
Natural Strategies To Balance Hormones And Ease Anxiety
Last updated on by Alisa Vitti
Do you often feel anxious ? Does your anxiety feel bigger than it used to? More pronounced? Or do you feel relatively calm some weeks and unbearably anxious during others? It could be your hormones.
We tend to think of anxiety as all in our head, but many factors fuel this painful feeling, including external circumstances, imbalanced brain chemicals, nutrient deficiencies, and one often overlookedthough very significantroot cause: hormone imbalances and how they affect the cyclical female brain throughout our 28-day hormone cycle.
Just like our bodies and brains shift in how they feel and function during the 24-hour night-day cycle, our hormones shift during our 28-day hormone cycle. And our naturally fluctuating hormones have a profound impact on our bodies, minds, and emotionsincluding our susceptibility to anxiety throughout the month.
Listen To Soothing Music
Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.
Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.
Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too .
Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why theyre often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
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Integrative Treatment For Anxiety In Children
An integrative treatment plan includes several elements that fit nicely together like the pieces of a puzzle. Prescription medications are only one piece of the puzzle. The rest includes lifestyle changes, nutrition, supplements, herbs, stress management, and other interventions like massage, homeopathy, Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
- Make sure kids dont get hungry or thirsty. As a pediatrician, I often write notes for the school to allow children to have snacks or drink more water.
- Keep a routine in their daily schedule. Allow for frequent breaks and do not over-book their calendar.
- Make sure they get enough sleep and establish a healthy sleep routine. Turn off all electronic devices two hours before bedtime.
- No TVs in the bedrooms. Limit screen-time to less than 1-2 hrs/day.
- Exercise children should play outdoors at least an hour every day!
Nutrition & Supplements
Herbs to Help Soothe a Childs Anxiety
- Chamomile and lemon balm can be used for anxiety as teas, tinctures, or capsules.
- Regarding other herbs and supplements like valerian, rhodiola, passion flower, L-theanine there are few studies in adults but insufficient data in children to recommend routinely. Its best to discuss their use for childhood anxiety with an experienced integrative pediatrician.
Mind-body Techniques and Stress Management
How Is Panic Disorder Diagnosed
Medical or mental health providers can diagnose panic disorder. Your provider may diagnose panic disorder when you have repeated panic attacks and you:
- Persistently worry about having more panic attacks or their consequences.
- Obsess about losing control during a panic attack.
- Change your behaviors to avoid situations that may trigger a panic attack.
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How Can I Prevent Panic Attacks
Your healthcare provider can help you identify triggers that bring on panic attacks. During psychotherapy, you learn strategies to manage triggering events and prevent an attack. You can also take these actions to lower your odds of having a panic attack:
- Cut back on caffeine.
- Talk to your doctor before taking herbal supplements or over-the-counter medications. Certain substances can increase anxiety.
Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of experiencing another episode. Agoraphobia, the fear of being somewhere where escape or help would be difficult in the event of a panic attack, may also accompany a panic disorder. If you have agoraphobia, you are likely to avoid public places such as shopping malls, or confined spaces such as an airplane.
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Thought Challenging In Cbt For Anxiety
Thought challengingalso known as cognitive restructuringis a process in which you challenge the negative thinking patterns that contribute to your anxiety, replacing them with more positive, realistic thoughts. This involves three steps:
The Effects Of Fear And Anxiety
Fear and anxiety often overlap. As noted above, they share many of the same symptoms. But someone that has anxiety will have a more sensitive fear trigger. Even situations that dont present an immediate threat may cause feelings of fear.
For example, imagine that you are in an office and see a group of coworkers chatting casually. This stimulus is fairly innocuous. However, if you have anxiety, you may begin to experience racing thoughts, nervousness, and have trouble saying hello to them. Do your coworkers pose a threat?
In this case, yes. There is no immediate threat or inherent danger your colleagues arent about to run you over or attack you . But if you, say, are concerned that they may be talking about you, youre responding to the perceived threat. Your response is appropriate for what might happen, not whats happening now.
So whats wrong with that? People gossip, right? And werent they probably talking about you? You wouldnt feel this way unless it were true, right? Not so fast.
We assume that our emotions are triggered in response to a certain stimulus. In other words, we react to whatever is happening around us, and we trust our emotions to give us feedback on what we see. However, thats not true.
Why this extra step? Through our experiences and learning, your brain has gotten quite good at predicting. Its helpful because a reactive brain would be too slow to get you out of danger efficiently.
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault, or other life-threatening event. Symptoms can include anxiety, depression, flashbacks and nightmares.
These conditions often require help and treatment from medical professionals, and can be the cause of frequent episodes of poor sleep.
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Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body.
Fear can create strong signals of response when were in emergencies for instance, if we are caught in a fire or are being attacked.
It can also take effect when youre faced with non-dangerous events, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. Its a natural response to a threat that can be either perceived or real.
Anxiety is a word we use for some types of fear that are usually to do with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, rather than right now.
Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases they can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can hold you back from doing things you want or need to do, and it also affects your health.
Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. It can be hard to break this cycle, but there are lots of ways to do it. You can learn to feel less fearful and to cope with fear so that it doesnt stop you from living.
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Fill Your Plate With Anti
Science is discovering more about the gut-brain connection. Researchers often refer to the belly as the second brain, since about 95% of serotonin receptors are found in the lining of the gut. Science shows that foods containing certain vitamins and minerals may help reduce anxiety, so when youre thinking about natural ways to help anxiety, consider filling up on these:
- Leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, which are rich in magnesium. Evidence suggests that magnesium may have a beneficial effect on anxiety.
- Oysters, liver, and egg yolks contain the mineral zinc, which has been linked to lower anxiety.
- Wild Alaskan salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce anxiety.
- Turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which the body needs to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin that helps regulate sleep and mood.
- Berries, apples, prunes, cherries, plums, broccoli, beets, and spices like ginger and turmeric are all high in antioxidants. Anxiety is thought to be correlated with lower levels. Artichokes and asparagus, which is widely used in Chinese medicine, are known for their anti-anxiety properties.
If you have anxiety, its a good idea to limit caffeine and alcohol both of which can aggravate symptoms.
Causes And Risk Factors
Anxiety is a normal response to stress or a dangerous situation and its often referred to as the fight or flight response. Its also the most prevalent mental health condition. Anxiety becomes problematic when it is constant or in reaction to inappropriate circumstances, which over time can negatively affect your day-to-day life. In fact, there are a number of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
Causes of anxiety include:
- inability to socialize
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Take A Moment To Slow Down
Take moments throughout the day to relax and center yourself. Deep breathing or taking part in an activity you enjoy can help break the anxiety cycle.
What would be great is if we practice the deep breathing, the relaxation technique throughout the day, said OMara. Set an alarm for morning, noon and night for five minutes.
Take a walk, listen to music, get a massage or practice yoga on your lunch break. Taking mini breaks will help take your mind out of stressful moments and make you more productive, too.
Michelle Llamas has been writing articles and producing podcasts about drugs, medical devices and the FDA for nearly a decade. She focuses on various medical conditions, health policy, COVID-19, LGBTQ health, mental health and womens health issues. Michelle collaborates with experts, including board-certified doctors, patients and advocates, to provide trusted health information to the public. Some of her qualifications include:
- Member of American Medical Writers Association and former Engage Committee and Membership Committee member
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Literacy certificates
- Original works published or cited in The Lancet, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and the Journal for Palliative Medicine
Try Some Aerobic Activity
During periods of anxiety, your body is filled with adrenaline. Putting that adrenaline toward aerobic activity can be a great way to improve your anxiety. Exercise has numerous advantages for controlling your anxiety symptoms:
- Exercise burns away stress hormones that create anxiety symptoms.
- Exercise tires your muscles, reducing excess energy and tension.
- Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which can improve overall mood.
- Exercise is linked to healthier breathing.
- Exercise is a healthy distraction.
Aerobic activity, like light jogging or even fast walking, can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your anxiety symptoms, as well as the anxiety itself.
Treatment Options For Patients With Anxiety
There are two primary treatments for individuals with anxiety:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy , which involves learning how to lower anxiety and face distressing situations.
- Medication management with antidepressants, which works well on its own but even better when coupled with CBT.
During therapy, continue to show your support by:
- Asking your loved one what you can do to help them.
- Asking if you can attend a therapy session to learn some skills to better support them.
- Making time for your own life and interests to sustain your energy.
- Encouraging your loved one to try another therapist if the first one isnt a good fit.