Propranolol and Anxiety Disorder Blog

Overcoming Anxiety Disorders

There is absolutely nothing wrong in being anxious. When faced with a problem or a situation, people experience anxiety. Most people have the tendency to worry when trying to finish a deadline that seems impossible to beat like cramming for final exams, or when preparing for a job interview. Just like other emotions, such as fear, anger, sadness or happiness, anxiety is a normal reaction that helps a person cope and deal with the present situation. It is common and plays a significant role in relation to a person’s ability to adapt and survive. It is when anxiety gets out of hand and leads to an unreasonable fear or worry of daily activities that it becomes an anxiety disorder.

There are several types of anxiety disorder: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Recent advances in research have done a great deal in developing new ways to treat anxiety disorder. Improved therapy methods can now help people with anxiety disorders to lead full and productive lives.

Joining support groups help people by encouraging them to share their problems as well as their achievements. Opening up helps a person unload feelings that are bottled up inside. Meditation and relaxation, on the other hand, ease anxiety through its calming effect that enhances the benefits of the therapy.
Two previous studies comparing meditation to other relaxation techniques had been reviewed to reveal that both alternative therapies were equality effective in reducing anxiety. The first study compared meditation with biofeedback, while the second study compared mindfulness meditation to yoga.
Transcendental meditation involves focusing the mind on an object to achieve stillness. EMG (electromyography) biofeedback measures muscle relaxation and teaches people to control their own level of muscle relaxation. Mindfulness meditation teaches awareness of one’s thoughts while maintaining detachment. Kundalini yoga includes a meditative form of breathing known as pranayama.

Both studies proved that meditation was comparable to other forms of relaxation therapy in reducing anxiety. However, while no side effects were associated with meditation, about 33%-44% of the participants involved in the studies dropped out, suggesting that people with an anxiety disorder may have a hard time sticking to a meditation regimen. But the small number of people involved in the studies makes it difficult to draw any firm conclusions about the effectiveness of meditation and relaxation techniques in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Further studies are recommended to determine the roles of alternative therapies in treating anxiety disorders.

Other findings are as follows:

  • All relaxation and meditation techniques resulted in improved scores on measures of anxiety, current mood, and symptoms of distress, but sleep disturbances did not improve.
  • Work, social functioning, and family relations also improved among all treatment groups, but marital relations and sex life were not affected.
  • Kundalini yoga wasn’t as effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorders as mindful meditation, although participants who practiced this form of yoga had more improvement on scores of perceived stress and purpose in life.

At the first sign of the disorder, consult your family doctor to determine whether the symptoms that alarm you are due to an anxiety disorder, or could be another medical condition, or both.

Basic Anxiety Information

It is normal for a person to be anxious. Anxiety often triggers whenever an individual encounters distressing and aggravating experiences or events in their lives. It is basically a part of a person’s innate response to life problems and worries. Anxiety is also one way of indicating possible dangers that might happen.

However, it is no longer normal if the anxiety condition comes with extreme worrying and fear that prevents a person from living the accustomed life they would want to. When this happens, that person may have developed an anxiety disorder.

Today, having or experiencing anxiety disorders is quite common among stressed individuals. Fortunately for people diagnosed with anxiety disorders, there are already a number of compelling treatments for these types of conditions. As such, knowing the basic anxiety information will aid people in the foremost details of this disorder.

Defining anxiety disorder

Anxiety disorder generally covers different types of aberrant forms of phobias, fears, and worries. One may have sudden worrying attacks for no reason at all. A person may experience consuming panic attacks that often trigger without any warning. Anxiety may also come in the form of compulsions and obsessions, or one may develop a phobia of a situation, event , or object that normally do not bother other people.

Although anxiety disorder comes in many types and forms, it is basically the same in one thing: they are persistent and they trigger quite powerfully. The severity and cycle of these anxiety disorders can be disruptive, immobilizing, and distressing.

Signs of anxiety disorders

One of the most important aspects of basic anxiety information is to know the symptoms and signs of this condition. Anxiety disorders have varied physical and emotional symptoms.

Emotional or psychological signs include:

  1. Dread and uneasiness
  2. Avoidance
  3. Irritability
  4. Strong desire to escape
  5. Confusion
  6. Jumpiness or nervousness
  7. Insecurity

Physical symptoms include:

  1. Chills
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Fatigue
  4. Insomnia
  5. Headache
  6. Muscle tension and aches
  7. Clammy hands
  8. Heart palpitations

The symptoms enumerated above are only a few of the common emotional and physical indications of having an anxiety disorder. Since there are quite a number of physical symptoms associated to anxiety disorders, some people tend to assume that they have health issues. Hence, it is really best to know the many physiological aspects of anxiety to avoid confusion.

Treating Anxiety

People who are suffering from anxiety disorder have really no excuse for consulting their conditions because there are a lot of acknowledged treatments today that are actually quite effective. Among the top recommended treatments for anxiety are cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication.

  • Medication
    Most doctors prescribed medications like anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs as short term treatments for anxiety. Medications are recommended among patients suffering from this condition as they act as supplementary treatments once other types of therapies are taken. However, anxiety drugs and medications may become addictive when abused.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
    One very effective form of anxiety treatment is the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT. This treatment aims to change the behavior and cognition patterns of a person suffering from severe case of anxiety. This treatment is generally conducted within 12 to 20 weeks, with the patient undergoing either in an individual or group therapy.
Anxiety Check

Exhausted from all the job-related tasks that you have to deal with everyday? Have the papers piled up so high that you can no longer see the person next to you? Do you now see your job as a drag? Just maybe, you may no longer be enjoying your work. You are now bored and somehow expect to be in the middle of a work performance catastrophe. In the back of your mind, you already know that your poor performance may lead you back to the unemployment line.

Stress and anxiety brought by everyday challenges at work can affect a person’s interest and skills in the office. Even if most people are aware of how much competition there is out in the market where only the best lands a job, the stress and anxiety can really take a toll on even the most promising professional. Stress and anxiety, no matter how one tries to avert it, is like a hovering vulture that persistently waits to feast on a “dead-tired” person.

But nobody in his right mind would just give up. Even those who say they already hate their job try to revive all the passion they once had for their job or the company. So instead of just waiting to get axed, why don’t you try and consider the following tips on how to get back your drive for work:

Check on your ego. This is the first thing that you must look into as you go along your self-check routine because one’s ego is the hardest thing to overcome. Aside from stress and anxiety at by work, being egocentric brings unnecessary worries and apprehensions. It is but natural to hear unsolicited comments or advice from some colleagues and superiors. While some comments may be harmful and unfounded, a little criticism taken in a positive way can actually help improve your performance.

Check on what you know. Updating one’s knowledge is very essential to improving one’s craft. Competition in the workplace leaves no room for mediocrity. Those who do not try to improve themselves are actually more prone to stress and anxiety. Jealousy, intrigue, and unfair competition can hurt not only the employees but the company as well. A worker that strives to improve his performance will have lesser things to worry about since he lets his work and outputs do the talking.

Managing stress and anxiety in the office can be done through many ways. It is the same way with improving one’s work performance. Getting ahead does not always mean being in a frenzy. Improving one’s work and reducing anxiety may actually entail the act of “slowing down.” This is best illustrated in the story of a young woodcutter who tried to impress his boss by always hitting trees in full force every time he swung his axe. On his first day on the job, the young woodcutter fell the most number of trees. He was trying to show his commitment to the job by never taking breaks. He just kept swinging at the trees with his axe. But after the third day, the Chief Woodcutter approached the young apprentice and asked, “How come you now cut less number of trees as you did during the first two days? Even if you did not take breaks, you still finished at the bottom in our team of woodcutters.”

Finally, the Chief Woodcutter asked the young lad, “Did you sharpen your axe?”

Find out more about getting support for anxiety and depression.

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From a religious stand-point, Jesus once asked his 12 disciples: “Which of you by worrying can add a single strand of hair to your head?” Now, you may be of a religious background or maybe not, but, think about that statement and you’d see why worrying, a main symptom of anxiety depression is quite unnecessary.

Reduced to its simplest form, what is worry? It is simply an unhealthy and destructive mental habit that- believe it or not folks-you were not born with but simply acquired out of practice. The good news is, with aggressive actions, as with any habit and acquired attitude; we can be worry free and eliminate it from our lives successfully.

In the words of Dr. Smiley Blanton, a noted Psychiatrist: “Anxiety depression is the great modern plague.” Other psychologists go on to say ‘worry’ a noted symptom of any form of depression, is the most subtle and destructive of all human diseases. When we worry excessively, we disintegrate our inner workings as humans and really put a lot of things out of order. Needless to say avoiding worry as a step of treating depression and anxiety will be the first step for our own benefit.

Anxiety Depression: Steps to take to be Worry Free:

The following steps should be used to deal with anxiety depression and its main symptom, worry. When used wisely and effectively, you will inevitably be successful at these natural depression help techniques.

  1. Practice Mind-drainage: Empty your mind of pessimistic and negative thoughts, especially before going to and after waking up from sleep. This involves some degree of imagination friends. (the same imagination-mind you-that you are actually using to aggravate your present situations…didn’t realize that eh?). This mind-draining strategy cannot be overemphasized as I will let you know, if you fear something for a long period of time, it may actually come to pass. “For the thing which I feared has come upon me…” (Job 3:25)
  2. Fill up the mind with powerful thoughts of faith and success to fill up the vacuum now left in the mind. You become a worrier by practicing it, you can be worry-free by practicing the opposite.
  3. Say positive things about those things you previously spoke negatively of.
  4. Never participate in a worry conversation. Induce your conversation with faith and worry-free statements.
  5. Make friends with optimistic people, practice prayer and meditation.
  6. Exercise and eat right. You’ll be making yourself look and feel better and consequently stronger through the process for overcoming depression, anxiety and becoming worry free.

No one is saying things will be automatically changed overnight. No, it takes work. However with direct and equally aggressive actions as the destructive worry habits one may be indulging in, anxiety depression can be overcome and you too can be worry free if you believe in your mind you can.

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Reflexes go awry, bodily reactions prove to be dysfunctional, and behavior patterns seems meandering – a blend of these unusual occurrences and, by no doubt, you’re having anxiety attacks. Anxiety is characterized to be continuous – and often times poignant – fears and worries that tends to interfere with normal human behavior or activities. Anxiety, as proven medically, though may seem to be inconsequential, may cause severe problems like alcoholism and low self-esteem. These complications, as studies prove, may lead to lethal consequences.

Though anxiety, or its possible repercussions, may pose to be lethal, studies show it’s curable in nature and responds to treatment well. Medical breakthroughs and scientific researches offers a wide array of answers that ranges from anxiety treatment to coping with anxiety.

Anxiety treatments can be done through medications such as anti-anxiety drug, anti-depressants, and beta-blockers. Anti-anxiety drugs are prescribed for brief relief against anxiety attacks and it is also used to hamper anxiety’s severe effects. Anti-depressants give the brain a boost to let it combat mind-paralyzing effect of anxiety. Beta-blockers, which are fondly used by performers to deal with stage fright and “weak” knees, are good combatants against physical symptoms of anxiety.

These may seem to be the positive contribution of anxiety treatments through medications but medical people wary in too much dependence on it. Anxiety medications can promote drug dependence and, with this, incalculable possible adverse effects are not had to imagine. They also advise people to take precaution by consulting their regular physician or family doctor.

What’s the real story?

Herbal medication alternatives and other natural forms of anxiety-curing regimen are also encouraged as forms of anxiety treatment. CBT or Cognitive Brain Therapy is one of the leading anxiety treatments. If a person is suffering from anxiety problems, CBT will help that individual to identify and overcome the traumatic experiences and notions that inhibits the individual from working through his fears. Constant exposure with this therapy would help you acquire certain skills that will strengthen your sense of emotional equilibrium and thus, you gain control over of your anxiety dilemma.

Coping with anxiety, however, is not that easy as it sounds. The tricky part here is that you must allow yourself to get ahead of the dilemma when in fact you did not manage to circumvent it. With this, medical professionals enjoin individuals to earnestly seek and religiously abide by a doctor’s advice. The practical and medical based pieces of advice will help an individual navigate properly the in’s and out’s of anxiety dilemma.

They also encourage those relatives of those who are coping with anxiety to offer relentless support and multitudinous amount of patience understanding that this state of recovery is vital for them. Extending extra care and effort just to let them know that they are not alone in this battle. This is very important to know because one major manifestation of anxiety is seclusion.

Coping with anxiety, also, as said by doctors, has no “sure fire” formula. It takes careful planning and constant follow-up to be able to really give the best support and care for people coping with anxiety.

With this, let us put in our minds that, anxiety can be treated and it does respond accordingly to treatments. No matter how critical problem may be, just say, “Anxiety? no need to worry.”

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Women and babies have been interrelated since the very beginning. It is a natural phenomenon and there is nothing unusual about it. All young women want to bear a child or in other words become a mother. These days even for a career woman the desire to give birth to a child and become a mother is bound to catch up and no other joy can ever replace the joy of becoming a mother in the hustle bustle of everyday life. There are several expectant mothers who suffer from severe stress and emotional turmoil and now the question arises that can pregnancy and the anxiety related to becoming a mother can bring her joy and contentment, equally?

The answer to this question varies from woman to woman. A part of the past life of the expecting mother is always to be brought to light especially when she is going to give birth to a new life.

What things might make it more stressful?

During pregnancy, a woman spends most of her time thinking and being drowned in her thoughts most of the times. The common thoughts during this time are will her new born be normal? will she fail as a mother? Will her baby have to go through the same problems as she had to go in her adolescence? etc etc.This is quite expected as this is a preparatory stage for the mother to love the baby who is growing inside her womb and also her body is preparing to adapt to the changes to meet the demand of the new life which is growing inside of her.

It is seen in most cases that the anxiety during pregnancy triggers stress in the woman. The other factors that might lead to rigorous stress during pregnancy are:

  • ·A current miscarriage: This shakes the woman’s confidence and the woman tends to wonder whether she will ever experience the joy of becoming a mother and see her baby cry for the first time.
  • ·A uncertain income during the pregnancy
  • ·An inconsistent relationship with the baby’s father
  • ·No emotional and moral support
  • ·Unexpected and unwanted pregnancy that might mess up other plans of life.

It is very essential to be mentally stable during pregnancy and settle all the worries and doubts with her close friends, family members and doctors. It is not impossible to deal with anxiety and pregnancy. Like other crisis of life, pregnancy and anxiety can be very easily dealt with. The pregnant woman is the right person to determine what is best for her baby. No matter what all expecting mothers want to emerge as the best mother and would always want to do the best for the welfare of her child.

However, note that anxiety and pregnancy do not bear good results for the child. Several studies reveal the fact that if the mother is stressful and over anxious during her pregnancy then her baby is bound to develop stressful behavior later in life. Between the 12th and 23rd weeks the baby in the mother’s womb is mostly likely to be affected by its mother’s stress and anxiety.

What good can come out of it?

Other than harboring some negative thoughts the expecting mother makes preparations to deal with anxiety and pregnancy. Several bodily changes take place during pregnancy.

One of the major concerns during this time is that whether their anxiety disorders will affect the unborn and worsen the pregnancy conditions and also after the baby is born whether they will be able to take care of the baby properly or not. Obviously, a great concern is whether or not the symptoms of their anxiety disorder will worsen during the pregnancy, and if they will be able to care for the baby after it is born. Whether intake of different medicines will affect the baby or not is also a cause of concern. All these thoughts however can elevate the levels of stress in the expecting mother.

The following facts can offer some hope for anxiety and pregnancy:

  • ·During the pregnancy period and breast feeding period the medicines for anxiety disorders are quite safe for the baby.
  • · About 40% of women experience a precise decrease of the anxiety pattern during pregnancy. However during postpartum the set of anxiety symptoms may return.
  • ·The intake of medicines for anxiety disorders by the expecting mother can actually help in preventing the development of anxiety disorders in the baby later in life. If the mother’s symptoms are not treated properly then however it may result in lower birth weight of the baby.

What can be done during pregnancy to deal with anxiety?

About 10% of women develop anxiety symptoms during pregnancy. Following the steps below will definitely help them to deal with the situation in a better way.

  • ·Seek advice from your doctor about your plans to either become pregnant, or that you already are. The doctor’s instructions and medications will help you to deal with your anxiety and pregnancy strategically.
  • ·Bond with your partner in a more strong and intimate way. This would ensure support and love which would help in dealing with the situations in a better way.
  • ·Relax. Pursue hobbies according to your liking. Talk to your friends, go for walks, practice gardening. All these activities will divert you mind and keep your stress under control.
  • ·Open up to your husband or partner and close friends and discuss your causes of stress. This will definitely help.

Get more information on anxiety and pregnancy here

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Sigmund Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, came up with his own theory of explaining the occurrence of anxiety and depression as part of human experience. His explanation of this phenomena traces its origin from the three divisions of the psyche. According to Freud, the human psyche is divided into the id, ego, and superego. These three divisions are only acquired eventually as a person also grows. To have a better understanding of the psyche and its three divisions, one should start with the world and its components.

The world is made up of numerous and different components, and one of those components is the human organism. A human organism has a special ability to survive and reproduce, his guiding force being his needs such as hunger, thirst, fear of pain and sex. It should be noted that these needs are part of a person’s unconscious mind. A person’s psyche is sensitive to these needs and transforms them into instincts, drives or wishes. This division of the psyche functions with a process called the “pleasure principle” and it is described as the id’s responsibility to take care of the needs immediately. This behavior is mostly observed during infancy just like when a baby cries when it is hungry or thirsty. However, when a person’s need is not satisfied by the id his or her need just becomes stronger.

This need then enters the conscious mind which is associated to another division of the psyche. This part of the psyche is called the ego and it relates a person’s consciousness or reality. This part of the psyche operates based on the “reality principle.” The reality principle is about the belief that the ego will respond to satisfy the need as soon as it finds the appropriate object to satisfy it. However, as the ego continuously responds to an organism’s needs, it sometimes experiences obstacles against attaining its goals as well as things that assist it to attain the goals. The ego keeps track of these two types of factors, particularly the rewards and punishments that are given by two of the most influential persons in an organism’s life, his or her parents. The records that the ego keep about obstacles to avoid and the strategies it must take are all passed onto the superego, the third division of a person’s psyche. It is only when someone is around five or seven years old that this part of the psyche becomes complete.

That’s not all…

The superego is divided into two subparts, the conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience is the internalization of the punishments and the warnings while the ego ideal is based on the rewards and positive models that a person had encountered. The superego, together with its subparts, communicate their own requirements to the ego through feelings such as shame, guilt, and pride. Because of the existence of the superego, a person also acquires a new set of needs as well as wishes. However, these new sets of needs are based on social rather than biological origins. These new wishes coming from the superego are sometimes in conflict with the wishes from the id, often leaving the ego overwhelmed or threatened.

This overwhelmed and threatened feeling of the ego is where anxiety comes from. According to Freud, there are three kinds of anxiety. The first kind is called realistic anxiety and it takes the form of human fears which are consequences of threats from the physical world. The second one is known as moral anxiety and it is a result of the threat that the ego perceives from the social world. It usually takes the form of feelings such as guilt, shame, and fear of punishment. Finally, the third kind of anxiety is called neurotic anxiety and it is a result of the fear of being overwhelmed by the impulses from the id.

In order for the ego to deal with these threats without feeling overwhelmed, it sometimes unconsciously blocks the impulses or distorts them into more acceptable forms. This process of blocking and distorting is what Freud called a “defense mechanism.”

Defense mechanisms come in various forms. One mechanism in particular is called turning against self. This happens when a person feels negative impulses such as hatred, aggression, and anger towards others but displaces these impulses to one’s self. This explains human emotions of inferiority, guilt, and depression. Depression, Freud further explains, actually results from anger that a person refuses to acknowledge.

Why does this all matter?

As more and more people, nowadays, experience having problems with regards to their anxieties and depression, a better understanding of these concepts from a Freudian perspective can actually help in resolving it. According to Freud, resolution can only be achieved when a person is made aware of those experiences or ideas in the unconscious and therapy be directed to the root of the problems which are most likely rooted in the unconscious.

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An Alternative Way To Get Stress And Anxiety Relief

A day’s work ends not at “quitting time.” After a hard day’s work, one cannot just rush home and immediately sit back on the sofa with feet raised. After long hours of paper sorting, tedious analysis and hours more of report writing, the average worker cannot simply relax knowing that there are are still more things to done in the house. Eight hours at the office is followed by more domestic tasks such as cleaning the living room, washing the dishes, or doing the laundry. Being at home is just like doing another work shift, but this time, without the need to wear that tie or long-heeled pair of Prada.

There is, however, a great consolation to doing housework. Unlike being in the office, doing more work at home allows one to enjoy the benefits of being in the company of loved ones. As a bonus, a pet lover can also enjoy being with a congenial companion that helps one get over all the stress and anxiety at the office. Having a pet, like having a family, can be a real stress-buster.

Medical studies show that petting an animal can act as anxiety relief. Having a pet helps lower blood pressure and soothes the emotions after a hectic day. The company of pets gives a person a state of serenity and relaxation. Endorphins, the human hormone that kills pain, are easier released when a person enjoys the company of a pet animal. Other research clearly prove that petting a dog can help reduce stress and anxiety. The act of petting is not only comforting to the dog but for the owner as well.

Studies also say that dolphin vocalizations, or the sound being produced by these continental shelf dwellers, act as anxiety relief which can also lower blood pressures and induce calm thoughts. These specialized dolphin organs located below their blow-holes can treat mild depression, psychological problems, and developmental disabilities. These carnivorous mammals that actually feed on squid and fish are not your usual household pets. Still, they are used to conduct studies on animal-assisted therapy for human beings. Dolphin vocalizations are now being fused to classical music to produce mind-relaxing audio in CD and DVD forms.

Bird songs are also natural anxiety relief as those sounds bring incomparable sense of calm to the listener. Listening to the chirping birds can also relieve one’s mind from stress and anxiety. Psychiatrists and behavioral experts point out that petting such animals or listening to their natural sounds can be an effective way to promote emotional health and physical rejuvenation.

However, there are still some quarters that criticize the effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy. They say that therapy using animals are not as effective as taking anxiety medications. They contend that “there is still no compelling scientific evidence that proves that animal-assisted therapy is a legitimate therapy or just an answer to a fleeting mood.”

Science may not yet hold concrete proof of the benefits of animal-assisted therapy. But it is important to know that millions have already benefited emotionally and physically by having a pet as a companion. Still, no matter how tedious and tiring your office day was, having a relaxed moment with your family and pets should be considered as an alternative “therapeutic” method to promote one’s health.

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Mike Marcoe writes from first hand experience in his book 115 Ways to Reduce Anxiety, providing advice from the view of one who has traveled the road of anxiety for a long time, undergoing therapies and combing through mountains of research. His experience has resulted in this self-help guide to people looking for ways to manage their condition in a proactive and healthy manor.

Mike has a passion for non-fiction educational and self-help genres. He has attained a BA in English and has been in the writing industry for a number of years performing as an author, copy editor, proof-reader, a database guardian and has also worked for a newspaper.

115 Ways to Prevent Anxiety will provide readers with wise nutritional advice, herbal remedies that may ease anxiety symptoms and plenty of positive, proactive attitude enhancement skills. The author provides excellent tools for getting peace from anxiety disorders.

News to me was how dehydration plays a part in nervous disorders – something I will be much more aware of in the future. I am completely curious about how philosophy can play a part and I intend to investigate this possibility when I have more time. Also, I am encouraged by having it confirmed that taking up a variety of activities – drumming, living an active life, regularly doing meditative and breath enhancing yoga, walking the dog and gardening – has been a good step in the right direction for me. I truly feel like I am on the right track to taking the power into my own hands to live a life free of anxiety.

There are no wasted words here. At only 88 pages, the text can be considered short and sweet. The author’s intent for his book is to entice readers to delve deep inside and discover what triggers their anxiety, why this happens and learn how to prevent reoccurrence.

Individuals can reap rewards from this self-help, non-fiction guide – however, educators would certainly benefit in using this as a workbook in anxiety support groups. This book is also available in print and electronic formats to fit a variety of needs.

Get The Book
115 WAYS TO REDUCE ANXIETY: Strategies for Dealing with an Anxiety Disorder

ISBN#: 1-59113-872-8
Author: Mike Marcoe
Publisher:

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The mid-life phenomenon known as menopause and the stresses of anxiety go hand in hand. Panic attacks, rushes of energy, burning in the chest, unusual vibrations throughout the body, and warm sensations are some of the physical effects you may feel under this condition.

When menopause hits, there is a greater chance women will go through anxiety and depression. Christian Northrop talks about this phenomenon in her book, Wisdom of Menopause, where if a woman has repressed something in her life, she won’t be able to get past menopause employing the same tactics. For example, unexpressed anger will find its way out and sometimes in unusual or uncomfortable ways.

In what is often referred to as a ¨midlife crisis,¨ this time of life forces women to re-evaluate themselves and the role(s) they play as they are getting older. And, often times we are not comfortable with what we find. A little voice in the back of our head is saying, “If you don’t make changes now … you never will!” Our hormonal imbalances (due to decreased estrogen levels) can contribute to feelings of depression or make us feel plain ‘indifference.’ Even if menopause isn’t actually causing these conditions, it can heighten underlying anxiety and bring it to the surface.

Anxiety is an individual’s prolonged feeling of dread and worry with no particular reason behind it. It’s uncomfortable and causes stress particularly on the body. It can be triggered by problems in everyday life like paying the bills and work. Although worrying about these things for a normal person has its ceiling of severity, menopausal women suffering from anxiety tend to think about their problems excessively.

When anxiety finally hits its highest peak, it is often called a panic attack. Panic attacks are debilitating episodes of fright and fear that include chest pains, fear of death, and shaking. In what is called being ¨psychosocially¨ depressed, women have negative beliefs and attitudes in regards to getting older, assuming unwanted roles such as caretaker, and responding negatively to impatient husbands who might demand sex.

Being depressed during the duration of this condition has a lot to do with their overall psychological well-being prior to menopause. Women who have continuous anxiety and depression beforehand are more likely to suffer worse cases of anxiety during this latter phase of life. If life-long imbalances have not been healed, menopause may exacerbate the situation. We might feel unable to perform ¨female duties¨, contributing to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Research has found that consistent regular physical activity (i.e. exercise) before menopause has been scientifically proven to lessen the possibility of anxiety symptoms during this transition. It’s also helpful to avoid drinking caffeine-loaded liquids, sleep deprivation, and stimulant use. Also, numerous women report that black cohosh has helped them lessen or eliminate their anxiety.

Psychiatric consultations are highly recommended for anxiety sufferers under menopause. An experienced counselor and/or therapist can help us recover and evaluate our lives including healing emotional imbalances. It is a great time to refocus our attention toward new activities and roles. As is common with anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, fright, and even suicidal tendencies can occur. In this case, antidepressants may be prescribed. Coping with all of the physical changes, assuming new roles, possibly facing many of our fears for the first time, and generally waking up to the fact that ¨life just isn’t what it used to be¨ are all realizations that contribute to anxiety in older women. In these times, it is important to maintain focus and concentrate on the positive things in life. Although it can be hard, it can be done.

Having a plethora of life responsibilities and obligations during menopause can create stress, and having an ´excess´ of this stress can cause adrenal fatigue. Anxiety in menopause sufferers results from hormonal imbalances. In the menstrual cycle, ovulation causes progesterone (which has soothing effects on the mind and body) to be released. Irregular cycles are grounds for anxiety build-up, as a result of the lack of this ¨happy hormone.¨ All of these conditions can be treated with alternative therapies such as natural progesterone cream.

But why do some women go through menopause and barely notice a difference? One consensus among medical doctors theorizes that it has a lot to do with women’s self-esteem and self-confidence. One thing is for sure, if you are having trouble with either of these, you’ll get a chance to deal with them now. One thing menopause is great at, and that is bringing out our unresolved issues. And we all know how anxious that can make us.

The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.

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