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.
Referral To A Specialist
If you have tried the treatments mentioned above and have significant symptoms of GAD, you may want to discuss with your GP whether you should be referred to a mental health specialist.
A referral will work differently in different areas of the UK, but you’ll usually be referred to your community mental health team.
These teams include a range of specialists, including:
- occupational therapists
- social workers
An appropriate mental health specialist from your local team will carry out an overall reassessment of your condition.
They’ll ask you about your previous treatment and how effective you found it.
They may also ask about things in your life that may be affecting your condition, or how much support you get from family and friends.
Your specialist will then be able to devise a treatment plan for you, which will aim to treat your symptoms.
As part of this plan, you may be offered a treatment you haven’t tried before, which might be one of the psychological treatments or medications mentioned above.
Alternatively, you may be offered a combination of a psychological treatment with a medication, or a combination of 2 different medications.
What Is Anxiety And Who Should Care
Anxiety is fear about what might happen in the future. Everyone is anxious at times, but the medical problem of anxiety happens when worry becomes intense and just wont go away.
Troubles with anxiety often begin in childhood and may continue throughout life. As we grow older, the types of situations that cause anxiety, and the types of worries we have, change.
In all cases, normal worrying turns into medical anxiety when it starts getting in the way of life.
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Psychological Therapies For Gad
If you have been diagnosed with GAD, you’ll usually be advised to try psychological treatment before you’re prescribed medication.
You can get psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy and applied relaxation on the NHS.
You can refer yourself directly to an NHS psychological therapies service without a referral from a GP.
Or your GP can refer you if you prefer.
How Can I Treat Anxiety Naturally
Unless you experience adverse side effects, don’t be too quick to abandon treatment because it doesn’t provide instantaneous results. Weeks may pass before you detect improvement. Discuss all side effects with your mental health provider it’s often worth sticking with treatment and seeking out ways to reduce or eliminate any negative side effects. Importantly, never stop taking medication without consulting your doctor first because an abrupt stop may cause other health problems.
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Distinguishing Gad From Other Mental Health Issues
People with depression may occasionally feel anxious, and people who have a phobia worry about one particular thing. But people with GAD worry about a number of different topics over a long period of time , or they may not be able to identify the source of their worry.
Causes of and risk factors for GAD may include:
- a family history of anxiety
- recent or prolonged exposure to stressful situations, including personal or family illnesses
- excessive use of caffeine or tobacco, which can make existing anxiety worse
- childhood abuse
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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How Do I Know If I Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The first step is to rule out the possibility that your symptoms are being caused by a medical condition that is not psychiatric. Among the conditions that produce symptoms similar to those of anxiety are hyperthyroidism or other endocrine problems, too much or too little calcium, low blood sugar, and certain heart problems. Certain medicines also can sometimes cause anxiety. A thorough evaluation by your health care provider will determine if any of these conditions are the cause of your symptoms.
If no other medical culprit can be found and the symptoms seem out of proportion to any situation you are facing, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
How To Help Someone With Anxiety
All of us worry and get scared from time to time. But those with anxiety may feel consumed by fears of things that might seem irrational to others. It can be hard to relate to these concerns, and as a result, many people dont know how to best help someone with anxiety. People are often dismissive of people experiencing anxiety, says Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine. With other medical illnesses, you may be able to see physical symptoms. But with anxiety, you dont necessarily see what the person is dealing with. So its important to be sensitive to what the person with anxiety is going through, even if it doesnt make sense to you. Its distressing to watch a loved one experience panic attacks and face anxiety every day, but there are things you can do to help. It starts with recognizing the signs of excessive worry and understanding the best ways to support your loved one.
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How Does Medication Treat Anxiety Disorders
Medications cant cure an anxiety disorder. But they can improve symptoms and help you function better. Medications for anxiety disorders often include:
- Anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, may decrease your anxiety, panic and worry. They work quickly, but you can build up a tolerance to them. That makes them less effective over time. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for the short-term, then taper you off or the provider may add an antidepressant to the mix.
- Antidepressants can also help with anxiety disorders. They tweak how your brain uses certain chemicals to improve mood and reduce stress. Antidepressants may take some time to work, so be patient. If you feel like youre ready to stop taking antidepressants, talk to your provider first.
- Beta-blockers, usually used for high blood pressure, can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of anxiety disorders. They can relieve rapid heartbeat, shaking and trembling.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to find the right medication combination and dosage. Dont change the dose without consulting your provider. Theyll monitor you to make sure the medicines are working without causing negative side effects.
There Are Effective Treatments For Anxiety
Treatment is tailored to the diagnosis. Effective options include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as skipping caffeine, exercising regularly, and avoiding medicines or substances that might cause anxiety symptoms.
- Mind-body approaches, such as deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and techniques to ease muscle tension and promote calm.
- Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. CBT teaches people to challenge and reframe distorted or unhelpful anxious thinking, because thoughts influence feelings and actions. Exposure therapy helps people tolerate and calm anxiety by gradually exposing a person to feared situations or objects under guidance from a therapist.
- Medicines, such as short-acting drugs called benzodiazepines, which are taken as needed when anxiety spikes. Low doses of some antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , help relieve anxiety when taken daily.
Often, a combination of approaches is best. Relieving anxiety with medicine while using CBT or exposure therapy to strengthen coping skills and help retrain the brain can do much to make anxiety manageable.
Mindfulness And Applied Relaxation
Mindfulness and applied relaxation are alternative types of psychological treatment.
Mindfulness focuses your awareness on the present moment. It allows you to acknowledge and accept certain feelings. It can reduce anxiety associated with the fear of actual situations or sensations. It helps to counter the sense of tunnel vision that may develop during anxiety.
Applied relaxation focuses on relaxing your muscles in a particular way. A trained therapist teaches the technique which alleviates anxiety and involves:
- learning how to relax your muscles
- relaxing your muscles quickly in response to a trigger
- practising relaxing your muscles in situations that make you anxious
When evaluating a patient for a suspected anxiety disorder, it is important to exclude medical conditions with similar presentations . Other psychiatric disorders use of substances such as caffeine, albuterol, levothyroxine, or decongestants or substance withdrawal may also present with similar symptoms and should be ruled out.5
What If I Don’t Feel Better
Your doctor should offer you regular appointments to check how you’re doing, and see how well any treatment is working for you.
Different things work for different people, so if a particular medication, type of talking therapy or particular therapist doesn’t work for you, your doctor should offer an alternative.
If you’ve tried a range of treatments and none of them have helped, your doctor might refer you to a community mental health team . This is made up of a number of different healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. Your CMHT can assess you separately and offer you a personalised treatment plan.
This is particularly recommended if:
- your symptoms are making it very difficult to carry out everyday activities
- you have a serious physical health problem or another mental health problem
- you’re having thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
It’s important to remember that recovery is a journey, and it won’t always be straightforward. For example, you might find it more helpful to focus on learning more about yourself and developing ways to cope, rather than trying to get rid of all your symptoms.
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What Is A Home Remedy
Any treatment that you can perform from the comfort of your own home can be seen as a home remedy for anxiety. Herbal supplements are an example of a common home remedy. People seeking to treat their anxiety may use herbs such as:
- Valerian Root3
These are believed to be somewhat effective at reducing anxiety in certain cases – more than any other type of natural supplement. In addition, there are many vitamins that are also highly beneficial for anxiety. Magnesium is perhaps the most valuable, 25% of the country is magnesium deficient and that deficiency may cause anxiety and anxiety symptoms . Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B1 may also be valuable according to some nutritionists. You can add these vitamins in food or in supplement form. In the rest of this article, however, we’ll look at behavior-based remedies for coping with anxiety.
Relaxation And Mindfulness Meditation For Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Many people who experience excessive worry report that they dont know how to relax. Regular practice of a relaxation technique, such as progressive muscle relaxation , can help to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.Mindfulness meditation, the practice of focusing our attention on the present moment, involves both physical relaxation and creating a calm and peaceful state of mind. During meditation, the brains activity when mapped by a device called an electroencephalograph is different to any other measurable state of consciousness, including sleep. The brain waves produced are called alpha waves, and this brain state has been found to promote relaxation of the entire nervous system. Scientific studies show that the regular practice of meditation can be a powerful tool in anxiety management.
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Treating Anxiety Without Medication
If you suffer from anxiety, the constant, nagging feelings of worry can be troubling and hard to control. These feelings are usually intense and out of proportion to the actual troubles and dangers in your everyday life. They can make it hard to function at home, at work, or in social situations.
Anxiety can be treated with medication, but several mind-body approaches may also be effective.
Hypnosis is sometimes used along with cognitive behavioral therapy to treat anxiety. It can help people focus their attention, rethink problems, relax, and respond to helpful suggestions. Hypnosis relies mainly on your ability to concentrate and on the trust you have in the therapist. If you are interested in hypnosis, discuss it first with your psychiatrist or psychologist. She or he can help you find a qualified practitioner.
Biofeedback measures specific body functions, such as heartbeat or breathing, and feeds this information back to you in the form of sounds or lights. This can help you become aware of your body’s responses and learn to control them using relaxation and cognitive techniques. You can practice different relaxation techniques while attached to biofeedback equipment and get immediate sensory input about which techniques produce the desired results, such as slowing the heart rate or relaxing tense muscles. The hope is that this extra feedback helps people find and refine techniques that can calm the body and reduce anxiety.
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.
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What Is General Anxiety Disorder With An Example
Generalized anxiety disorder is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition as a mental illness. The Mayo Clinic characterizes GAD as severe ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities. Anxiety is a normal emotional reaction in response to stressful situations. The American Academy of Family Physicians explains that generalized anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, and can negatively impact a patients quality of life and disrupt important activities of daily living. An adolescent that struggles with GAD will likely experience a large percentage of his or her waking hours excessively worrying about something, even when there is no specific threat present. Reports have noted that GAD affects nearly eight percent of teenagers in America.