Anxiety

Information on How to Overcome Anxiety 0

Anxiety is a disorder, and a generic word used to describe feelings of worry, fear, and apprehension. Every individual experiences anxiety, some experience it less frequently and with lesser intensity. In most cases, anxiety dissipates soon and automatically. We all deal with scenarios that may cause worry, phobias, and apprehension. For most people, anxiety and its symptoms last only as long as the scenarios, since we associate fear and worry with certain scenarios.

On the contrary, severe anxiety is frightening, debilitating, and it soon takes a toll on every aspect of one’s life. In fact, the more severe forms of anxiety can actually begin to cause and display physical symptoms. Severe anxiety affects one’s daily routine, hampers sleep, and the feeling of wellbeing. There are also severe anxiety cases due to no specific reason, and symptoms become chronic.

This disorder is quite common, so much so that numerous individuals throughout the world seek tips on how to overcome anxiety. One can combat this disorder through counseling or through medical treatments. It should be borne in mind that anxiety cannot be cured completely related to feelings and experiences. The unwanted and excessive symptoms, however, can be alleviated through treatment.

Causes of anxiety

To learn how to overcome anxiety, one needs to be aware of its causes. All the factors and causes are listed below:

  • Mental conditions:

Disorders related to one’s mental health that can cause anxiety are:

  • Panic disorder: Anxiety is a symptom of having a mental disorder related to panic. Other symptoms one experiences due to panic disorders are shortness of breath, dizziness, and palpitations.
  • Stress disorder: Chronic stress disorders lead to anxiety, as both are correlated.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder: Sufferers of this disorder experience uncontrollable and excessive apprehension and fear. It is also known as GAD and can lead to anxiety as they are interrelated.
  • Phobic disorders: An irrational and chronic feeling of fear may also contribute to anxiety.
  • External factors:

External factors that cause anxiety are listed below:

  • Stress from personal and professional matters
  • Stress caused by financial issues
  • Emotional turmoil caused by the death of loved ones
  • Adverse effects of the medication may lead to anxiety
  • Use of illegal and harmful drugs
  • Other health issues that may be hard to cure
  • Symptoms of ailments that cause distress and ultimately lead to anxiety
  • A general lack of oxygen in one’s system adds to the feeling of anxiety

Treatment for anxiety

Quite a lot of sufferers of anxiety disorders employ self-help techniques that work quite effectively for them. However, when the intensity of symptoms increases, medical attention is sought. Individuals who suffer from chronic anxiety disorder resort to medical treatment as it provides relief much sooner than alternative treatments. Three types of treatments that work exceptionally well are listed below:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Medication
  • Combination of a certain degree of medication and behavioral therapy.

Behavioral therapy concentrates on the behavioral aspect of patients and not on any underlying psychological conditions. Behavioral therapy requires time to exhibit effectiveness. A time period of 5 to 20 weeks is enough to notice improvements. This form of therapy can be further divided into two types, which are:

  1. Cognitive behavior therapy- This therapy aims to comprehend behavior and thoughts to treat anxiety disorders. Irrational beliefs and negative thinking patterns of the patient are challenged through this form of therapy.
  2. Exposure therapy- A controlled yet the safe environment is provided to a patient after which, he/she is encouraged to face his/her fears and apprehensions. By gaining repeated exposure, patients learn to develop a sense of control, and eventually, anxiety is replaced with a more positive and confident outlook.

Types of medication employed

Anxiety medication includes anti-anxiety drugs that are also known as tranquilizers. Benzodiazepines are a commonly used form and help relieve symptoms of anxiety by reducing brain activity. Antidepressants are also used to treat anxiety disorders. These antidepressant drugs consist of four primary types and have been listed below:

  • SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (like Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, and Celexa)
  • MOIs or Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • TCAs or Tricyclic Antidepressants
  • Atypical Antidepressants

The reason why antidepressants are preferred for the treatment of anxiety disorders is that the risk of abuse is greatly reduced, and so is the level of dependency. The drawback of using antidepressants is that they require time to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Anywhere between 5 to 6 weeks is needed to experience improvement. Therefore, antidepressants fail to provide relief instantaneously. They need to be continued to keep forms of anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder under control.

Another drug that effectively treats anxiety disorder is Buspirone, which is available as BuSpar. This drug acts as a milder form of antidepressants and increases levels of serotonin while decreasing dopamine. Unlike Xanax, this drug takes time to produce noticeable results. While Buspirone is being used, one does not experience a lack of coordination or memory impairment. Also, Buspirone is not as heavily sedating when compared to older anti-anxiety drugs. When usage is stopped, negligible withdrawal effects are experienced. There are, however, adverse effects, which include:

  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea

Buspirone has limited side effects and offers limited effectiveness. It can only treat generalized anxiety disorder and fails to treat panic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Beta-Blocker is another alternative to drugs that can efficiently treat symptoms of anxiety. Beta-Blocker is especially helpful for treating the physical symptoms of this disorder. Trembling hands, trembling voice, dizziness, sweating, and a rapid heart rate can all be controlled using Beta-Blockers. The effects of a stress hormone named norepinephrine are blocked when this drug is used. Beta-Blockers were originally used for the treatment of heart problems and high blood pressure. After one learns about the various forms of treatment and the drugs used to accomplish the treatment, one will no longer have to look for information on overcoming anxiety.

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Here’s How to Stop Panic Attacks 0

A panic attack is a sudden period of excessive fear and apprehension. Individuals who suffer from panic attacks experience other symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, and heart palpitations. In fact, some patients find it extremely hard to breathe when suffering from an attack. Patients perceive everything around them as surreal during a panic attack. A panic attack is also referred to as an anxiety attack. The nature of panic attacks is abrupt, and the peak of attacks is reached after 10 to 20 minutes. It has been observed that in some cases, panic attacks last for several hours. Despite the duration of panic attacks, physical harm has not been observed. These attacks are not considered dangerous. Still, several individuals who suffer frequently often question how to stop panic attacks. After an attack, numerous patients suffer from impaired psychological functioning for a while. Symptoms of impaired psychological functioning subside quite soon.

A majority of the individuals who experience a panic attack for the first time mistake it for a heart attack or in some cases even a nervous breakdown. Most sufferers fear two instances the most. The first scenario that causes panic attacks among patients is impending death, while the second is losing one’s sanity. These two instances are said to be part of the most prevalent psychological theme that has been observed in patients. Individuals who suffer from attacks are advised to seek medical attention at the earliest since; if these attacks are neglected and left untreated, individuals may develop disorders related to panic. Frequently occurring panic attacks may lead to panic disorders. Individuals suffering from this disorder are compelled to abstain from daily activities as fear and apprehension take over every aspect of their lives. Tools for the efficient screening of panic disorders are used to assess the severity and to suggest further diagnostic assessment.

A panic attack is distinguished from other forms of anxiety disorders based on the abrupt and episodic nature. Panic attacks are often experienced, along with some other psychological conditions.

An overview of symptoms

To learn how to stop panic attacks, one needs to comprehend the symptoms of an attack. Hence, these symptoms have been listed below:

  • Faintness
  • Flashing vision
  • Tunnel vision
  • Nausea
  • Numbness in the entire body
  • Hyperventilation
  • Heavy breathing
  • Loss of control over one’s body
  • Trembling
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Burning sensations in facial and neck regions
  • Cold flashes
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hot flashes
  • Sweating
  • Tingling sensations
  • Difficulty in moving or partial loss of mobility
  • Smothering or choking sensations
  • Derealization

Basic steps to stop these attacks

  1. Acknowledge and accept: The first step is to acknowledge an oncoming or ongoing panic attack. When you have an attack, acknowledge that an attack is or will soon be taking place. Learn to gradually acknowledge the fact that you are afraid. Abstain from thinking that you are in danger as that will trigger your brain to associate this attack with danger. Focus on accepting that a panic attack will cause suffering for some time and that it should not greatly affect you. Accept a panic attack as if it was a headache, and you will soon be adept at how to stop panic attacks.
  2. Wait & watch: Waiting for a panic attack to take its toll is a smarter choice when compared to choices like struggling or fleeing. When you experience a panic attack, its symptoms temporarily overpower you. In this case, the best thing to do is to wait, followed by watching your symptoms, their effects, and the time they take to subside. You can stop your future panic attacks by observing and recording what your panic attack does to you and what you do to end it. Remember to not struggle and let things run their course.
  3. Focus on actions: This step includes the vital actions that you need to perform during an attack.
  • Your first action should be to engage in diaphragmatic breathing. Long and deep breaths that expand your diaphragm help you ease symptoms and discomfort.
  • Next, communicate with yourself and stay focused on relaxing. Encourage and support yourself throughout the attack. Understand and remember that you are facing discomfort, and that discomfort does not mean you are in danger.
  • The next action will help you stop the attack almost instantaneously. Focus on what you were doing before the attack. No matter what you were doing, continue it, and overcome the attack. Learning this step does take time but work on it diligently, and soon you will be able to master it.
  • Next, concentrate on relaxing the tensest body parts. First, tense the muscles in your neck, jaw, shoulders, legs, and back and then relax them. Do not hold your breath or stay rigid. Focus simply on gaining full control over your body. Start small if you are unable to tense several muscles simultaneously.
  1. Repeat if needed: If your first attempt failed to stop the attack entirely, repeat the steps mentioned above as many times as needed. Following these steps stops the attack; however, you cannot continue seeking medical attention right away.
  2. End: You will likely be able to put an end to your attack by repeating these steps. Concentrate solely on your end goal, which is to stop the attack.

Medication to stop panic attacks

The two types of medication that are commonly used for treating panic attacks are:

  • Antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines

Antidepressants require time to show noticeable effects. They cannot be consumed when one is having a panic attack, as they will do nothing to provide relief. Antidepressants require at least 5 to 6 weeks to start showing effects; hence, they should be taken daily and continuously.

Benzodiazepines are a form of antidepressant. However, their action and benefits are quicker. To provide relief, Benzodiazepines require 30 minutes to an hour. They can be consumed during an attack, and symptoms are overcome within an hour.