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Friday, March 9,2018

ANXIETY

Possible causes and management

By Larisa Klein  

Anxiety is fully recognized as a health hazard today. While causes cannot be directly linked to any one thing in particular, stress, biology, and hormones are strong factors in the development of conditions like anxiety, general anxiety disorder (GAD), and panic disorder.

Anxiety symptoms include feelings of fear, nervousness, shakiness, insomnia, chills, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, dry mouth, dizziness, and any other feelings one experiences from actual danger. When suffering from anxiety these feelings happen without cause. Anxiety can progress to GAD, chronic feelings of anxiety without cause. This progression happens especially in developed countries where women are three times as likely to experience GAD.

More serious complications are panic attacks, sudden feelings of fear with intense symptoms of the autonomic nervous system. They do not necessarily have a specific trigger and women are two to three times as likely as men to suffer from panic disorder. Men also experience anxiety, but the US National Institute of Mental Health reports that anxiety rates are 60 % higher in women; anxiety often occurs with depression.

Studies suggest anxiety may be affected by hormonal shifts, particularly estrogen and progesterone. It seems that when estrogen levels are low it may lead to depression and when estrogen levels are too high it may lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Women who are hypersensitive to these feelings generally believe that the anxiety itself is suggestive of illness, a belief which increases risk of developing panic disorder.

Stress is another major factor which contributes to anxiety.This is supported by many studies which show strong connections between stress exposure and anxiety disorders. It is believed that repeated acute or chronic exposure to stress triggers or causes anxiety. This happens via biological hormonal responses when the body is under stress.

While the symptoms are easily recognizable, there are no lab tests to diagnose anxiety. Once a doctor rules out physical illness, a psychiatrist or psychologist can evaluate a person for an anxiety disorder. Treatments includes medication, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (recognize and change thought patterns), lifestyle changes, and relaxation.

Surveys do show that people suffering from anxiety often use alternative therapies. Harvard Medical School conducted an interview showing the most popular alternative methodologies to be cognitive feedback such as relaxation techniques, oral medication such as herbal medicines, physical treatments such as Yoga, and other therapies such as aromatherapy or other lifestyle intervention programs.

Anxiety and severe depression were two of the four conditions for which people sought alternative therapies. Spiritual healings and relaxation techniques were the most used therapies and were found to be very helpful. In addition, a particular herb was found to be an effective treatment of depression and, indirectly, anxiety. It must be acknowledged that combining alternative and conventional therapy can be dangerous due to possible interactions between herbs and conventional medications. This, however, could be prevented by clear communication between patients and doctors.

Other studies show that exercise has excellent effects on mild to moderate depression. Evidence also shows positive effects of relaxation and meditation on the reduction of depression and anxiety. Yoga has also been shown to calm the nervous system and the mind by lowering levels of stress hormones.

Other lifestyle changes to reduce anxiety include eating a healthy diet to achieve healthier hormonal balance, avoiding stimulants such as caffeine, avoiding alcohol and smoking, increasing relaxation time, spending time outdoors, and helping others. Furthermore, learning how to view this condition as temporary due to changing internal weather, could lead to drastic reductions of its occurrences. Mindfulness mediation can create this awareness and observational skill.


Larisa Klein • Wellness Achieved Studios • 3000 E Commercial Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33308 • www.wellnessachieved.com • 954-600-9828 Larisa has been training in Yoga, Pilates, and functional weight training for 20 years since. 1997. She has extensive experience working with cancer survivors, people with various physical special conditions (joint/spinal injuries/operations/replacements/MS/etc.), internal special conditions (schizophrenia, drug/alcohol addictions) as well as triatheletes and Olympians. She is a black belt with full competition experience, a current practitioner of Kung Fu, and has an MA in Mathematics and a second BS in Alternative Medicine.

 

 

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