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anxiety attack

Living with Anxiety Disorder

Seek treatment for your anxiety disorder before you suffer an anxiety attack.

Feeling anxious and having an anxiety or panic attack is two different things. Because anxiety can really impact one’s thoughts, feelings, and even physical condition, it can become very hard to live with. Fortunately, we know that life must go on, and we have to learn how to live with anxiety.

The first step to living with anxiety is to get professional help.
When you seek help, moving on with your life — in spite of the anxiety — becomes a little easier. Your therapist or doctor will help you to understand that your condition can be treated and that even though treatment may take a while to work, there is a light at the end of the tunnel you have been walking through.

Anxiety - DogWhen trying to live with anxiety, the worst thing that one can do is to assume that a pill is going to fix the problem. There is medication that lessens the anxious feelings; however, you must also learn how to deal with the stressful life in a more effective way, as well. You have to learn when it is normal to worry — and when that worry has passed out of the “normal” range.

The mistake of thinking that it`s a doctor’s job to “cure” us is a mistake one often lot do. While it is his job to find out what is wrong with us, and to prescribe treatments to cure what is wrong with us, we must also take responsibility for our own treatment, as well. You need to learn to work with your doctor for treatment if you want to be able to live a life with anxiety disorder.

Discuss your anxiety with the people who live in your home. If they don’t understand what is going on with you, or why you feel the way that you do about certain things, life is more difficult for both you and them.

If they understand that there is an anxiety disorder; it gives them an entirely new perspective on things. It could be that all of you require group or family counseling to deal with your anxiety disorder.

Counseling for Anxiety

Counseling is a vital part of treatment for anxiety.

Stress and AnxietyAnxiety is a serious problem, and it does require treatment if it is prolonged. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize that complete anxiety treatment requires medication, as well as counseling. They may visit their medical doctor and get the medication, but fail to follow up with the appropriate counseling. This means that the anxiety is never actually dealt with effectively.

Counseling is an essential part of treatment for anxiety. In fact, the counseling that seems to work best is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. You won’t find yourself in therapy discussing your childhood and bringing up every wrong thing that your parents did. This is not what CBT is about.

CBT is about forming new ways of thinking — or changing your thinking patterns, as well as your own behavior. You can literally change the way that you react to events in your life, and this in turn, will control the anxiety that you experience. It focuses on how you feel about yourself, not on how others have mistreated you or unpleasant things that you’ve done in the past. You don’t have to admit all of your deepest and darkest secrets to your therapist to treat anxiety.

Exposure therapy also works well for those who suffer from anxiety. In this situation, you literally state what your fears are in a fully controlled environment, and you are exposed to that fear. Remember that this is a controlled environment, meaning that the fact that you fear cannot hurt you in this environment, despite the fact that you are exposing yourself to it.

The idea here is that, by exposure, you get a greater sense of control over this thing that you fear — seeing that it isn’t as horrible as you imagined it was. You learn, firsthand, exactly how to deal with the fear that you feel.

Therapy for anxiety is not usually a lifetime thing. In fact, most CBT programs are completed in 12-20 weeks, depending on the extent of anxiety and the patient. CBT can be conducted privately, or with a group of other people who suffer from Anxiety Disorder.

Also; read about “The Anxiety Attack“!

And; “Anxiety Untreated”

Stress and Anxiety Defined

Find a good strategy to reduce the negative effects of stress.

Ever since the term was first coined in 1936, there’s been an ongoing debate about the definition of stress.

Being such an ambiguous concept, people think that stress isn’t real. But the truth is that as common as stress is, it can have serious effects to your health if left unmanaged.

Even though we all know what stress is, it’s hard to perceive it as something damaging because it’s so intangible, and the effects of stress vary from person to person. This is another aspect that interferes with its being defined in the same way by different people.

Hans Selye - About StressWhen Hans Selye invented the term “stress” in 1936, he defined it as “the nonspecific response of the organism to any pressure or demand.” Later on, as he progressed in his studies and he modified the definition to: “The rate of wear and tear on the body.”

While these are very general definitions, they are very accurate in describing how it is perceived.

Stress is the result of a person’s inability to cope.
Whether you have an urgent project that needs to be done to perfection or you’re going through, and emotional crisis, the effect of stress will depend on how well you can cope with that situation.

Do you feel that you can handle it? Or is it too much?

Because the emotional response is such an important aspect of stress, I like this more modern definition a lot better: “Stress refers to any reaction to physical, mental, social, or emotional stimulus that requires a response or alteration to the way we perform, think, or feel.”

If the failure to adapt to a situation exists, this results in stress. In many cases, stress and anxiety occurs if we are encountering something new or unknown. But stress isn’t always originated by a failure to adapt. Pushing you to complete a presentation or even the thrill of landing that prestigious position can cause your body to experience stress/anxiety.

Whether it’s a good change or a bad change, any change is bound to be stressful.

Finding a good strategy to cope with pressure, change, and responsibility can significantly reduce the negative effects of stress.

Also read: The Biology of Stress

The Anxiety Attack

Anxiety attacks come quite quickly, with little or no warning.

What is the physical aspects of an anxiety attack, you may ask?

An anxiety attack, which is also referred to as a panic attack, is not the same thing as “feeling anxious.” We all feel anxious from time to time, and many people even feel anxious all of the time — because they suffer from an anxiety disorder. However, anxiety attack — which is, of course, brought on by extreme anxiety — is just a side effect of anxiety.

Anxiety AttackAn anxiety attack comes on fairly fast, with little or no warning. They last as long as 10 minutes, but the average attack lasts between one and five minutes. After one has suffered one or several anxiety attacks, they accept it for what it is. First-time sufferers often think that they have a heart attack, or even a nervous breakdown. They may even think that they are dying — even though they aren’t.

While many people may think that anxiety attacks are brought on by mental issues, this isn’t quite true. We all have a fight or flight response. Sometimes, when one suffers from anxiety disorders, the fight or flight response goes into “overdrive.” This causes the body to be flooded with hormones, including adrenalin, which causes the other symptoms of a panic attack.

An anxiety attack can be quite overwhelming and scary. Several things occur at once — physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Physically, people may start profusely sweating. They may become short of breath, have a pounding heart, experience chest pain, become dizzy and/or lightheaded, feel nauseous, and even hyperventilate. They may feel as they are being choked or smothered, and there are numerous other physical aspects of an anxiety attack.

Mentally, the person will feel complete out of control, experience as they are going crazy, may hear things louder than they actually are have racing thoughts, and have impaired vision. They may seem like life has either slowed down or sped up. They may feel as they are in a dream (or nightmare) state. Tunnel vision is also common during a panic attack.

Emotionally, they will feel terror. They may fear that they are dying, and they may experience flashbacks to either earlier anxiety attacks or other traumatic events in their lives.

As you can see, anxiety attack is no joking matter for the person experiencing it. Luckily, there are medications that can be prescribed to minimize the appearance of panic attacks, as well as the symptoms experienced during such attacks.

What Is the Symptoms of Depression?

Like an anxiety attack, depression can also be darned normal

Often events occur in our lives that actually give us cause to feel depressed. If a relationship has failed, it is normal to experience a short period of depression. The same is true if a loved one dies. In fact, you would not be considered normal if you never had any days where you felt “blue.” It is perfectly healthy.

However, there does come a point when the depression is not normal. It is no longer normal when the depression lingers on for more than two weeks. It is also no longer normal if thoughts of suicide enter your mind. When the depression is preventing you from doing your usual activities, this is not normal, and treatment should be sought.

Many people don’t recognize the signs and symptoms of depression — either in themselves or other people. It is vital to know what the signs are so that you can seek treatment, or offer support to a depressed friend or a loved one.

The most common signs and symptoms of depression are:

1.  Loss of energy
2.  Irritability
3.  Physical aches and pains
4.  Problems concentrating or staying focused
5.  Self-loathing
6.  Change in sleep patterns — either not sleeping well or sleeping too much
7.  Change in appetite — may eat more or eat less than usual
8.  Loss of interest in daily activities
9.  Feelings of helplessness
10.  Feelings of hopelessness

signs of depressionIf you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, even short term, this is a sign that a serious depressed state exists. You should seek treatment. You can start with your medical doctor, and he will determine whether or not the depression is caused by a physical condition. If it is not, he will refer you to the appropriate doctor for treatment.

Never assume that the depression will pass. If it hasn’t passed within a couple of weeks, it most likely will not pass without the proper treatment.

 

What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Recognizing anxiety is fairly easy.

We all feel anxious from time to time throughout our lives. That anxiety is usually short term – lasting a day or less – or mid-term – lasting several days or weeks during a normally stressful period. Anxiety is a normal thing in life. It is part of our “fight or flight” response system, and when a situation occurs that stresses us, we feel anxious.

But anxiety is not always normal. You may feel anxious and discover that there is actually nothing to be anxious about in your life at the moment. If this is a problem that persists, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.  If your anxiety is constant, to the point where it is consuming your life – it is a problem. This type of anxiety could even cause you to fear certain situations, which in turn causes you to isolate yourself.

Note that feeling anxious and having an anxiety or panic attack is in fact, two different things. If you feel anxious, you may be worried or even feel fearful.

However, when you are having an anxiety attack, there are physical symptoms that you will have along with it, such as:

1.  Being short of breath
2.  Chest pain
3.  Shaking or trembling
4.  Pounding heart or palpitations
5.  Dizziness
6.  Nausea
7.  Hot or cold flashes

Bipolar - Mental Health

Along with worry and fear, if you feel these symptoms, you may think that you have a heart attack. You may even fear that you are going to die. While all of this is terribly scary, and treatment should be sought, the good news is that nobody has ever died from an anxiety attack. People do, however, die of a heart attack, which has similar symptoms, mistakenly thinking it is a panic attack.

The best thing to do, if you are feeling anxious, is to seek treatment for the anxiety before you suffer an anxiety attack. Treatment for anxiety is twofold – treating the mental state as well as treating the physical state.