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Anxiety – When to Seek Help

When should one seek for help if anxiety occur?

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Some measure of anxiety is normal, and no treatment is necessary. However, there does come a point at
which seeking treatment for anxiety is vital to your well-being. Essentially, there are three instances where treatment should be sought.

The first is if you experience a panic attack. For people who have never experienced a panic attack, they may mistakenly think that they are suffering from a heart attack, and they will usually seek emergency treatment for that. Doctors perform tests to determine if a heart attack has occurred, and if it has not, based on the symptoms that occurred, a panic attack may be diagnosed.

When your anxiety has escalated to this point, you do need treatment for anxiety. The treatment that you receive from emergency medical professionals, thinking that you had a heart attack, is not sufficient treatment for anxiety.

Anxiety - by Telise RodelvIf your anxiety is unusual and extended, you should seek treatment. You know what a normal amount of stress is for you, but feeling anxious for a prolonged period or feeling an unexpected increase in the feelings of anxiety usually indicates that treatment is needed.

If the anxiety starts interfering in your life, treatment is required. Anxiety could keep one from doing things in life that they might do otherwise if that anxiety did not exist. For example, someone who is developing social anxiety may stop going to events or functions as frequently as they used to, and this does interfere in their life.

There is a fourth reason to seek treatment. Sometimes, we are too close to ourselves to see the big picture. If you have a fear or anxiety that you feel is perfectly normal, and someone close to you says it is not, it doesn’t hurt to seek the advice of a trained professional.

That other person may be wrong, and your fear or anxiety may be perfectly normal — but you do need to be sure.

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Women

Lots of women first develop generalized anxiety disorder during childhood

GAD and Women


Studies have shown that while 19 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders each year, of that number, the majority of them are women.

Feeling anxious is quite normal — until and unless it starts interfering with one’s day-to-day life, or preventing one from reaching their goals. In fact, normal anxiety is a contributing factor to helping us get things accomplished — especially in women.

What most people don’t realize is that many women suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. Women are “natural born worriers” for the most part, but there are those women who suffer a bit more than others. Women who suffer from GAD worry about everything, and that fear brings about physical problems, such as headaches, muscle tension, an inability to relax, fatigue, lack of focus, and more.

Would you believe that many of these women first develop GAD during childhood?

It is true — and because of this, they never even realize that there is a problem. In fact, they often will assume that everyone worries as much as they do. It’s completely “normal” as far as they are concerned, because it has always been a part of their lives. Most of these women cope very well with the anxiety — simply because they are used to it.

Then there are those who have never suffered from GAD, and actually never have had worried more than anyone else about things. Suddenly, they are overwhelmed with anxious feelings. And because this is new, and they are not used to it, it becomes a huge thing to worry about — on top of whatever else they may be worrying about.

Often, for women, the cause of the anxiety in this situation is hormonal changes. Estrogen and progesterone levels change over time. In fact, a woman is likely to experience more anxiety during PMS, perimenopause, menopause, and even pregnancy. Estrogen affects the levels of serotonin that the brain is producing. This serotonin gives us our “sense of well-being.”

For lots of women, the anxiety passes as either time or medication puts the hormone levels back into check. Other women may discover that they have been suffering from GAD for most of their lives, with the change in hormone levels drastically elevating the condition.

In any case, there is treatment and help available. You can go through life without so much worry and anxiety.

Anxiety Treatment Method – Mental Imaging

Use of mental imaging as an anxiety treatment method

While there are many wonderful medications that aid in the treatment of anxiety symptoms, there are other methods for controlling anxiety as well. Mental imaging is one such treatment.

Mental ImagingMental imaging is used in many instances and professions. Professional sports players, speakers, and actors use mental imaging. For the purpose of anxiety, mental imaging works as a relaxation technique. It can be used to negate negative thoughts, and replace those negative thoughts with positive images that help one to face or get through a situation that makes them feel anxious.

To practice mental imaging, you must predetermine what your image will be. Will you see yourself handling a tough situation? Will you see yourself doing something that you didn’t think you could do? Again, you need to have your mental image ready to go before you need it.

The hardest part of mental imaging remembers to use it when you need it. This is not always easy to do when you are feeling anxious, and worries are clouding your mind. You may also need mental imaging aids at the beginning, such as cassette tapes to get you into the state of mental imaging. You may need to close your eyes to practice mental imaging in the beginning as well.

Mental imaging can also be used outside of anxious situations — when you are calm — to help build confidence in yourself.

In fact, people who suffer from anxiety disorders who practice mental imaging outside of anxious situations find that the anxiety episodes that they do have are fewer and far between — and that they don’t last as long.

While mental imaging is very easy, and can be done by anyone, it should not be used to replace medical treatment for anxiety. You still need treatment from a doctor, and you can discuss mental imaging with your doctor.

Mental Imaging and Anxiety

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 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

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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.