Anxiety

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on anxiety.

Highly sensitive people: Remember these 10 things when you feel anxious
Anxiety Disorders and Anxiety Attacks
Men diagnosed with anxiety at a higher risk of dying from cancer
Zoloft Cleared for Another Use
Sniper Stress is Not Just a Local Issue

Highly sensitive people: Remember these 10 things when you feel anxious.


We’ve all felt anxious at some point in our lives. Anxiety is that jittery feeling you get before something big happens, like a first date, a job interview, or moving to a new house. Your palms sweat, your heart beats fast, and you feel like there’s a ball of lead in your gut.

But then, you might have a hard time falling asleep, relaxing, or concentrating because your thoughts are racing. Your stomach might be too upset to eat, or you might eat too much. You might cry more or have an overwhelming desire to seek reassurance from someone.

For highly sensitive people, we tend to be creative and have active minds. However, the downside is this means we’re more vulnerable to anxiety. Our minds can easily conjure up all kinds of negative fantasies that fuel our anxiety and make it worse.

Because of a biological difference in our nervous system, we absorb more stimulation from our environment — like noise, small details that others miss, and even other people’s emotions — which can lead us to feel overwhelmed.

Remember these 10 things when you feel anxious:

1. Your anxiety is just one part of the package. Being highly sensitive is a package deal — you get the bad with the good. Don’t get down on yourself for being who you are. Think about all the good things that come with being sensitive: You may be more creative and considerate, have more empathy for others, notice things that others miss, and learn new things quickly.

2. Like the weather, feelings change. The way you feel right now will not be the way you feel in five minutes, five hours, five days, or five years from now. Feelings are only temporary, and like today’s forecast, they change quickly. Like all things eventually do, those scared, anxious, lead-in-your-gut feelings will pass. "Nothing is permanent in this wicked world — not even our troubles," said actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.

3. Talk to someone. Anxiety can be a lonely feeling, and loneliness increases anxiety — what a terrible cycle! Talk to someone you trust about the feelings or situation you’re dealing with. Just getting the feelings out might make you feel better, plus having to explain your fears to someone else might help you examine if they’re realistic or not.

4. Set clearer boundaries in your relationships. If your relationships are making you anxious, get rid of the source of your anxiety by setting firmer boundaries or even letting some relationships go. Do it, and don’t feel bad about it.

5. Don’t run away from what’s scaring you. Avoiding the situation or person who's causing your anxiety will only make your anxiety worse in the long run. Gather your courage to face the problem head-on. Remind yourself it’s only fear, and you will get through it.

6. You can’t control what happens in life, but you can control (or learn tools to control) how you react. Dr. Hans Selye, a physician who is considered the "father" of the field of stress research, writes, "It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it."

7. Your anxiety doesn’t actually accomplish anything. It wastes time and doesn’t get you any closer to your life’s goals. "Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far," writes author Jodi Picoult.

8. Try relaxation techniques. This magical button delivers Upworthy stories to you on Facebook:

Inhale deeply, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale. Brew a cup of chamomile tea. Exercise vigorously — anxiety floods your body with adrenaline, and aerobic exercise burns off adrenaline. Take a warm bath, listen to relaxing music, and schedule a massage for later. Distract yourself by reading, surfing the internet, or watching Netflix.

9. Keep things in perspective. Avoid the temptation to make the situation bigger in your mind than it really is. Dr. Steve Maraboli, author and behavioral science academic, writes, "I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety and fear."

10. It’s really going to be OK. Author and motivational speaker Danielle LaPorte writes, "P.S. You’re not going to die. Here’s the white-hot truth: if you go bankrupt, you’ll still be OK. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you’ll still be OK. If you sing off-key, get beat by the competition, have your heart shattered, get fired…it’s not going to kill you. Ask anyone who’s been through it."
Source: www.upworthy.com/highly-sensitive-people-remember-these-10-things-when-you-feel-anxious?c=upw1&u=07fa0e7f2d23f338b4a3b29d16b2a71a4c4e496b

Anxiety Disorders and Anxiety Attacks


Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms and Getting Help

It’s normal to feel anxious when facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, a tough exam, or a blind date. But if your worries and fears are preventing you from living your life the way you’d like to, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety disorders—and many effective treatments and self-help strategies. Once you understand your anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and regain control of your life.

When does anxiety become a disorder?

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to danger, an automatic alarm that goes off when you feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a stressful situation.

In moderation, anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, anxiety can help you stay alert and focused, spur you to action, and motivate you to solve problems. But when anxiety is constant or overwhelming—when it interferes with your relationships and activities—that’s when you’ve crossed the line from normal anxiety into the territory of anxiety disorders.

Do you have an anxiety disorder?

If you identify with any of the following 7 signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:

Signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders

Because anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions rather than a single disorder, they can look very different from person to person. One individual may suffer from intense anxiety attacks that strike without warning, while another gets panicky at the thought of mingling at a party. Someone else may struggle with a disabling fear of driving, or uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts. Yet another may live in a constant state of tension, worrying about anything and everything.

But despite their different forms, all anxiety disorders share one major symptom: persistent or severe fear or worry in situations where most people wouldn’t feel threatened.

Emotional symptoms of anxiety

In addition to the primary anxiety symptoms of irrational and excessive fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms include:

Anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the body’s fight-or-flight response, anxiety involves a wide range of physical symptoms. Because of the numerous physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness. They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is discovered.

Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:

Anxiety attacks and their symptoms

Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, are episodes of intense panic or fear. Anxiety attacks usually occur suddenly and without warning. Sometimes there’s an obvious trigger—getting stuck in an elevator, for example, or thinking about the big speech you have to give—but in other cases, the attacks come out of the blue.

Anxiety attacks usually peak within 10 minutes, and they rarely last more than 30 minutes. But during that short time, the terror can be so severe that you feel as if you’re about to die or totally lose control. The physical symptoms of anxiety attacks are themselves so frightening that many people believe they’re having a heart attack. After an anxiety attack is over, you may be worried about having another one, particularly in a public place where help isn’t available or you can’t easily escape.

Symptoms of an Anxiety Attack

Surge of overwhelming panic

Feeling of losing control or going crazy

It’s important to seek help if you’re starting to avoid certain situations or places because you’re afraid of having a panic attack. The good news is that panic attacks are highly treatable. In fact, many people are panic free within just 5 to 8 treatment sessions.

Types of anxiety disorders

There are six major types of anxiety disorders, each with their own distinct symptom profile: generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety attacks (panic disorder), obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobia, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder

If constant worries and fears distract you from your day-to-day activities, or you’re troubled by a persistent feeling that something bad is going to happen, you may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People with GAD are chronic worrywarts who feel anxious nearly all of the time, though they may not even know why. Anxiety related to GAD often shows up as physical symptoms like insomnia, stomach upset, restlessness, and fatigue.

Anxiety attacks (Panic disorder)

Panic disorder is characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of experiencing another episode. A panic disorder may also be accompanied by agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in places where escape or help would be difficult in the event of a panic attack. If you have agoraphobia, you are likely to avoid public places such as shopping malls, or confined spaces such as an airplane.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unwanted thoughts or behaviors that seem impossible to stop or control. If you have OCD, you may be troubled by obsessions, such as a recurring worry that you forgot to turn off the oven or that you might hurt someone. You may also suffer from uncontrollable compulsions, such as washing your hands over and over.

Phobias and irrational fears

Phobia

A phobia is an unrealistic or exaggerated fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that in reality presents little to no danger. Common phobias include fear of animals (such as snakes and spiders), fear of flying, and fear of heights. In the case of a severe phobia, you might go to extreme lengths to avoid the thing you fear. Unfortunately, avoidance only strengthens the phobia.

Social anxiety disorder and social phobia

Social anxiety disorder

If you have a debilitating fear of being seen negatively by others and humiliated in public, you may have social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia. Social anxiety disorder can be thought of as extreme shyness. In severe cases, social situations are avoided altogether. Performance anxiety (better known as stage fright) is the most common type of social phobia.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extreme anxiety disorder that can occur in the aftermath of a traumatic or life-threatening event. PTSD can be thought of as a panic attack that rarely, if ever, lets up. Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks or nightmares about what happened, hypervigilance, startling easily, withdrawing from others, and avoiding situations that remind you of the event.

Self-help for anxiety

Not everyone who worries a lot has an anxiety disorder. You may be anxious because of an overly demanding schedule, lack of exercise or sleep, pressure at home or work, or even from too much coffee.

The bottom line is that if your lifestyle is unhealthy and stressful, you’re more likely to feel anxious—whether or not you actually have an anxiety disorder. So if you feel like you worry too much, take some time to evaluate how well you’re caring for yourself.

Do you make time each day for relaxation and fun?

If your stress levels are through the roof, stress management can help. There may be responsibilities you can give up, turn down, or delegate to others. If you’re feeling isolated or unsupported, find someone you trust to confide in. Just talking about your worries can make them seem less frightening.

Anxiety self-help tips

When to seek professional help for anxiety

While self-help coping strategies for anxiety can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that they’re causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, it is important to seek professional help.

If you’re experiencing a lot of physical anxiety symptoms, you should start by getting a medical checkup. Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isn’t caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs you’re taking.

If your physician rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders. The therapist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your anxiety disorder and devise a course of treatment.

Treatment for anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders respond very well to therapy—and often in a relatively short amount of time. The specific treatment approach depends on the type of anxiety disorder and its severity. But in general, most anxiety disorders are treated with behavioral therapy, medication, or some combination of the two.

Therapy for anxiety disorders

The following types of therapy can help with issues such as panic attacks, generalized anxiety, and phobias.

Cognitive-behavior therapy focuses on thoughts—or cognitions—in addition to behaviors. In anxiety treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you identify and challenge the negative thinking patterns and irrational beliefs that fuel your anxiety.

Exposure therapy for anxiety disorder treatment encourages you to confront your fears in a safe, controlled environment. Through repeated exposures to the feared object or situation, either in your imagination or in reality, you gain a greater sense of control. As you face your fear without being harmed, your anxiety gradually diminishes.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are types of behavioral therapy, meaning they focus on behavior rather than on underlying psychological conflicts or issues from the past.

Medication for anxiety disorders

If you have anxiety that’s severe enough to interfere with your ability to function, medication may help relieve your symptoms. However, anxiety medications can be habit forming and cause unwanted side effects, so be sure to research your options. Many people use anti-anxiety medication when therapy, exercise, or self-help strategies would work just as well or better—minus the side effects and safety concerns. It’s important to weigh the benefits and risks of anxiety medication so you can make an informed decision.

More help for anxiety

How to Stop Worrying: Self-Help Tips for Relieving Anxiety, Worry, and Fear

Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: Treating Your Anxiety with CBT and Other Therapy Options

Anxiety Medication: What You Need to Know About Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Resources and references

Support organizations for anxiety disorders

National Alliance on Mental Illness Information Helpline – Trained volunteers can provide information, referrals, and support for those suffering from anxiety disorders in the U.S. Call 1 (800) 950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday, 10 am-6 pm, Eastern time. (NAMI)

Find a Therapist – Search for anxiety disorder treatment providers in the U.S. and find advice on selecting the right doctor or therapist. (Anxiety Disorders Association of America)

Support Groups – List of support groups in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and South Africa. (Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

Anxiety UK – Information, support, and a dedicated helpline for UK sufferers and their families. (Anxiety UK)

Sangath, India – Non-profit, non-government organization providing mental health services in Goa, India. (Sangath)

Anxiety Disorders, Canada – Provides links to services in different Canadian provinces. (Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada)

SANE Helpline – Provides information about symptoms, treatments, medications, and where to go for support in Australia. Call: 1800 18 7263. (SANE Australia).

Signs and symptoms of anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders

Anxiety Disorders – Guide to the different types of anxiety disorders, their symptoms, and how to get help. (National Institute of Mental Health)

Treatment options

Anxiety Treatment Options – Article looks at the many treatment options for anxiety, including exercise and breathing techniques. (Better Health Channel)

Psychotherapy and Other Treatments – Overview of therapies and complementary treatments for anxiety. (University of Maryland Medical Center)
Source: www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/anxiety-disorders-and-anxiety-attacks.htm

Men diagnosed with anxiety at a higher risk of dying from cancer


Men over the age of 40 with generalized anxiety disorder are reportedly two times more likely to die from cancer than men without the condition.

That's the result of new research from the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology's Congress in Vienna.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the study of nearly 16,000 British participants took place over the course of 15 years. Researchers found 1.8 percent of the male participants in the study had been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.

Taking age, alcohol consumption, smoking and other factors into the risk assessment, their chances of dying from cancer were 2.15 times higher if they had that diagnosis.

Despite the study's findings, the connection between anxiety and cancer remains unclear.

Global Impact of Anxiety Disorders by Sex Over a Lifetime

Years of healthy life lost are the sum of years of life lost due to premature mortality and years of life lived with disability (adjusted for the severity of the disability).

Annual Years of Healthy Life Lost (per 100,000 people)
Source: www.aol.com/article/news/2016/09/21/men-diagnosed-with-anxiety-at-a-higher-risk-of-dying-from-cancer/21476008/

Zoloft Cleared for Another Use


Long-Term Social Anxiety Disorder
Source: www.healthcentral.com/news/NewsFullText.cfm?id=511718

Sniper Stress is Not Just a Local Issue


The Washington-area sniper has everyone worried, and ever since his message that he would target schools became public, those who may be the least prepared to deal with the threat are those most threatened -- children.

Whether you live in the direct area of the sniper or anywhere else in the country, how can you help your children -- and yourself -- get through this national trauma?

First, be aware of how you act. Psychologist Patricia Farrell, PhD, WebMD's anxiety and fear specialist and author of the book How to Be Your Own Therapist says when it comes to anxiety there is a component of "contagion."

She says it's a well-known fact in psychology that "anxiety can be spread from one person to another and we see this particularly in children who look to those in authority before they respond emotionally to a situation."

Parents and adults who are entrusted with the care of children, therefore, "have to be doubly aware of their own physical reactions to these very disturbing sniper news stories. Even if you feel somewhat rattled by it, this is the time you have to help your kids by containing your reactions to the news," Farrell says.

In addition, here are 10 things Farrell says you can do to cope with the situation:

1. Keep your life as normal as possible and continue with your daily routines. It's important to remain busy.
2. If you plan on staying close to home, plan activities that are interesting and fun. Ideas to keep the kids busy in the home can be found on the Internet where you can download puzzles, games, and interesting project ideas. "If there were ever a time that the Internet can be an invaluable help," says Farrell, "it's now. There are many sites where you can find educational or just plain fun things. You can even find games that help your children with hand-eye coordination or problem-solving skills. It's a good-from-bad situation, if you choose to see it that way."
3. Understand that anyone can regress during these times and somewhat child-like behavior may emerge.
4. If the kids or you feel better with a light on while you sleep, there's nothing wrong with this.
5. Consider limiting the amount of TV news you watch.
6. Take the opportunity to talk to each other about things that may be of concern.
7. Offer reassurance and comfort to each other.
8. Expect some increased irritability.
9. Be prepared for sudden bouts of "school phobia" where your child suddenly develops morning stomachaches or cries when it's time for school.
10. Consider developing a loosely coordinated neighborhood watch where children who may come home alone have a place to stay until a parent or some other adult returns home. "This is a good thing to do in any situation, but now it may be more important than ever that your child feel an adult is there for them," says Farrell.
Source: my.webmd.com/printing/article/3606.2341

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