Is it shyness, nervousness, fear or anxiety? Every person experiences these feelings at one time or another, especially to be shy in new social surroundings. But if the feeling brings on shortness of breath, sweating, headache, palpitations or hypertension, it could be anxiety. Unfortunately, if the root causes of anxiety aren’t addressed, it could lead to a downward spiral of actions. There may be deliberate avoidance of any social gathering, inability to deal with a tense office situation or not being able to stay focused on school. Ultimately, depression sets in and the physical symptoms take on heightened urgency, crippling the body through the mind.
With an MBA from Webster University, Basia Najarro Skudrzyk is an international business professional with over 15 years of experience who has recently dedicated her unique skill set to project management within the healthcare world. Below, Ms. Najarro Skudrzyk explains the different types of anxiety disorders as well as methods that can help control any negative side effects.
Anxiety is a state of apprehension and uneasiness an individual has when working or maintaining relationships with other people. But, when it becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it has become an anxiety disorder. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental disorders.
There are five major types of anxiety disorders, and each has its distinct features. These include:
1. Generalized Anxiety
2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
3. Panic Disorder
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
5. Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Although there aren’t any medications that completely cure anxiety, hope is always present. As research continues, more effective treatments for anxiety disorders are becoming available.
An excellent place to start treatment would be with a mild anti-anxiety medication that can significantly lessen the symptoms associated with this condition.
These new and improved therapies can help most people get back into their routine of life and lead fulfilling lives, but there are many other options besides drugs.
Combining herbal therapy along with other techniques such as meditation, talk therapy, relaxation, and massages is an effective treatment of anxiety. These herbs can be purchased in a health food store, and tea made from the lavender, linden flower and lemon balm herbs is not only pleasant to taste, but has a calming effect on the body.
Aromatherapy also helps with anxiety by relaxing the body. These essential oils have confirmed calming properties and can be used in a hot bath or massage.
These oils often include scents of vanilla, rose, orange blossom, nutmeg, clary sage, and ylang-ylang. The most useful is the scent of lavender because it eases pains and also helps you to relax.
Many people get much-needed relief from the symptoms of anxiety with self-administered acupressure. This method of managing anxiety usually involves the use of fingers, feet or elbows to stimulate critical locations in the body that will create a feeling of relaxation when properly touched and manipulated. For instance, the spot directly between the eyebrows can be gently pressed to help relieve anxious thoughts. Other acupressure points are located between the two tendons in the middle of your wrist and the sole of your foot.
When performing acupressure on yourself, always breathe deeply and focus your attention on the acupressure point as you apply stimulation. This stimulation should feel strong, but should not be uncomfortable.
There are community and private counselors that specialize in the treatment of anxiety. Counseling can make a big difference in determining the cause of anxiety and developing coping strategies. Anxiety can creep up at times for no apparent reason, but it often starts with a specific situation in which the person feels overwhelmed. This escalates into more frequent bouts of stress, coupled with increasing physical symptoms.
Counseling can take a person back to the initial encounter to create a positive pathway through the experience. Once the person develops a different perspective on the situation, the mindset is changed, and the physical symptoms cease to be a problem.
Did you know that certain foods have a calming effect on anxiety and certain foods worsen anxiety? Alcohol and caffeine may increase the severity of symptoms. They are also known to have an overall negative impact on the body, decreasing the effectiveness of the immune system and adding calories to the diet with no measurable nutritional value.
Eat more complex carbohydrates and less simple carbs. Also include some bananas, cheese, milk, nuts, and leafy vegetables in your diet. Perhaps even try alternating the cadence of your food intake and eat frequent small meals during the day, coupled with appropriate amounts of water to ensure you stay well-hydrated.
It is imperative to discuss all your symptoms in detail when talking with a medical doctor. Being diagnosed with a specific anxiety disorder is the first step toward finding the proper treatment. According to the severity of the symptoms, medication may be initially prescribed that will allow a return to daily social activities. However, once that is established, counseling may be the second step, to discover the underlying emotional issues. Over time, alternative methods of controlling anxiety can be tried.
By learning about the causes and treatment options for this condition, you will free yourself from the adverse effects and enjoy life again.