Category Archive Anxiety

ByAnxious Minds

How Anxiety And Depression Are Connected

Depression is a disorder that does not get nearly enough attention.

Depressed people are often told to “cheer up” or to “look at the bright side” of things, and may spiral even more profound when they are unable to simply snap out of the mood that has such a hold on them. While depression can often lead to fatigue and listlessness, it has a close cousin by the name of anxiety. Anxiety causes the opposite effect, putting our bodies into the “fight or flight” mode that protected us in the wild.

Anxiety attacks can feel like heart attacks, and even at more moderate levels, anxiety can have a dangerous and very harmful effect on our lives and on our quality of living. Stress can also lead to depression when a sense of worry and fear for the future leads to the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. That is a classic symptom of depression. Depression and anxiety are often seen together, and can sometimes lead to one another.

Anxiety is a way of describing a particular form of feeling. It may represent a sense of fear, dread, or a sense that you are in immediate danger, even when you are safe and have no reason to feel this way. There are several different kinds of anxiety disorders, including phobias or irrational fears, situational anxiety, panic disorders, generalised anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders, among others.

These disorders can lead to a state of almost constant high stress and can affect your daily life much to the worse. You may be unable to function in certain situations, or you may come to fear to leave your own home. If untreated, the symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to many of the same problems as depression, including insomnia or a reluctance or fear to leave the house or to be around other people.

Anxiety symptoms can also feel like heart attacks, with palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pains, and more. You might begin trembling and shaking, your mouth might go dry, and you might become dizzy from the stress of the situation. The body becomes “hyped up” by your reaction to the job, and your senses go into a sort of overdrive that is unlike the depression of the system that happens when you suffer from clinical depression.

Depression disorder actually slows the body in some ways, making you feel sluggish rather than ready to run or fight, and hopeless rather than actively panicked or fearful. If you have been suffering from anxiety attacks, the attacks themselves may lead into depression because of the hopelessness that you feel at the hands of the attacks and because of the fears that are associated with possibly having another attack.

If your anxiety symptoms have changed to include listlessness, disinterest in things that used to engage you, or feelings of hopelessness and self-loathing, then you may now be suffering from a depression disorder and should be treated accordingly for your medical condition.

Depression is not a constant state of being, nor is anxiety. You might think that because you have a good number of “good days” that your depressive days are just bad moments that will pass, however, depression can become worse over time if it is not treated and taken care of, and can lead to suicide if left untreated long enough.

Anxiety can worsen over time as well if it is not handled properly. There are ways to help with anxiety, even without medication. Therapies are different depending on the type of anxiety that affects you and on the level of anxiety that you suffer. For a phobia, you might be exposed at increasing levels to the thing that you are afraid of. Other therapies might require talking your problems out, and others might provide techniques to help you ride out your panic attacks and get on with life without letting them affect you more than necessary.

Depression treatments are also varied, mostly depending on your personal preference. Medication can provide you with an effective way of dealing with depression; however, medicine is not for everyone. If you are not interested in medication, then you might consider other kinds of therapies with a psychologist who has experience working with depression.

Depression and anxiety are related disorders that can have a significant impact on your overall health and quality of life if left untreated. However, both are manageable conditions that do not have to affect your daily life.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

Do Not Let Anxiety Get The Better Of You In Your Relationships

It can be tough to deal with managing your anxiety while in a relationship. Maintaining a relationship is tough enough let alone having to deal with your anxieties. As a result, here is a list of techniques and suggestions on what to do in managing your anxieties while being in a relationship.

In a relationship, we may sometimes encounter a scary situation that gets us all upset. When encountering these events, always remember to get all of the facts of the given situation. Gathering facts can prevent us from relying on exaggerated and fearful assumptions. By focusing on the facts, a person can rely on what is a reality and what is not.

Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breathe and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could get some fresh air or do something that will give them a fresh perspective on things.

Be smart in how you deal with your stresses in a relationship. Do not try to tackle everything all at once. When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, break the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.

Make a list of all the things that you enjoy in your current relationship. The next time you get anxious or fearful, look at your list and remind yourself of the good parts in being with that person. This technique will put your fears and anxieties in a relationship into perspective.

Sometimes, it helps to be able to talk to someone about our stressful situations. Talking to a trusted friend, counsellor, or clergyman can not only make us feel better, but they might be able to give you additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem.

Although I am a layman and not a professional I have interviewed many psychologists and clergyman and I have over fifteen years of experience in dealing with fear. Dealing with our persistent fears in a relationship is not easy, however, there are many helpful resources available to us if you look hard enough.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

Food, Anxiety and Depression

In our current society, there are many factors that can cause or contribute to anxiety and depression. Certainly, money and work problems, relationship and family issues, as well as illness and loss of loved ones are major contributors to anxiety and depression. Also, how we feel about ourselves and treat ourselves contribute greatly to how we feel. Even in the worst of times, if we are treating ourselves with compassion instead of self-judgment, we may be able to manage big challenges without anxiety or depression. In addition, being able to turn to an inner source of spiritual guidance and comfort is vital to weathering the hard times.

Food is another major factor that greatly affects how we feel. Most people don’t really notice that what they put into their bodies affects how they feel. They might know that if they “sugar out” they may crash emotionally, or if they drink too much they will feel hungover, but they are often unaware of how other foods may be creating anxiety and depression.

In the over 35 years that I’ve been a counsellor, I have frequently encountered individuals whose anxiety and depression completely cleared up by tuning in to how the food was affecting them.

For example, Marnie discovered that dairy, wheat and sugar kept her up at night. She would wake up at around 3:00 in the morning with intense anxiety, and would be tired and depressed the next day. By experimenting around and cutting out different foods, she discovered that she slept fine when she stopped eating dairy, wheat and sugar. All her nighttime anxiety vanished and she was no longer tired and depressed.

Joel discovered that his sleeplessness and resulting depression was a direct result of caffeine from coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks. He had not realized how much caffeine he was actually consuming until I suggested that he cut out all caffeine and see what happened to his sleep. After a week of headaches from caffeine withdrawal, he was sleeping soundly for the first time in years and no longer felt depressed.

Adrienne discovered that her feelings of anxiety and depression, that had been with her most of her life, disappeared after she started eating only organic foods. Her system was so sensitive to the pesticides and food additives in non-organic food that she could not eat them without feeling anxious and depressed.

Alex, who periodically struggled with depression, inadvertently discovered that drinking raw milk from an organic dairy had a completely different effect on him than pasteurized milk. He was visiting Los Angeles and went into a health food store where he discovered that he could buy raw dairy products (which are outlawed in most other states). He found that raw milk gave him more energy and elevated his mood. He also found that, while he was lactose intolerant with pasteurized milk, he had no problems with raw milk. Now he has his raw milk, cheese, and butter shipped frozen to Wyoming and no longer struggles with depression.

Over and over again my clients, who have chosen to tune into how the food was affecting them, have discovered how much their feelings were being affected by food. Many of my clients have learned that even a little sugar brings them down. Sugar consumes so many vital nutrients as the body attempts to process it that it can actually be considered a poison. How many people really take “Sugar Blues” seriously?

A hundred years ago, when people naturally ate non-processed and organically grown food, they were getting all the nutrients they needed. Now, most fruits, vegetables and grains are being grown on devitalized soil and over-processed on top of it. Cows and sheep that were once grass-fed are being fed pesticide-sprayed grains and given hormones to fatten them up. As a result, much of our food not only contains little nutrients but has many toxins as well. Without the vitamins, minerals, and many other factors that natural, organic and grass-fed food contains, many people suffer deficiencies that can cause anxiety and depression, as well as many other illnesses.

I recently found out that the fat of raw organic dairy products, especially butter, contains natural anti-inflammatory nutrients. I wonder if the huge rise in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions is related to the pasteurizing of milk. Any inflammatory condition can certainly contribute to anxiety and depression.

Food is certainly a major factor in the rise of anxiety, depression and illness. Only you can do something about this by learning how you are being affected by the foods you eat.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

The Roots of the Anxiety Problem

Anxiety is a bit of a common phenomenon in today’s stress-filled world. Most people have already experienced the sudden palpitations, the sweaty palms, and that overwhelming sense of dread. People inherently understand the power that fear holds over them and can sometimes even recognize when fear becomes too much for them. Fear is often said to trigger sudden battles with anxiety in even the toughest and most hardened minds. This is because fear grips everyone and is as clearly defined and universal as the concept of death. However, what most people don’t seem to understand is that fear is not the sole trigger of an attack, although it always plays a role. There are disorders out there, mostly of the psychological variety, that can also trigger an attack.

Interestingly, statistics show that acne is a powerful trigger for anxiety, particularly among teenagers and young adults. In fact, it is cited as being among the most common sources of anxiety in the US and certain European countries. The causes for this reaction are readily obvious to the teenagers themselves, but can sometimes be elusive to adults. The teen years are an age where social development and peer acceptance tend to play prominent roles in people’s psychology. Acne and other skin infections can become a hindrance to achieving the above goals, putting them in a precarious position along the social ladder. This is considered to be among the most prevalent problems that cause teen anxiety. aside from situations involving immediate family.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has also been known to trigger anxiety, among other potential side effects. This is particularly true if the object of the obsession involves either harming others or being harmed personally. Being obsessed with avoiding physical harm can often make someone extremely anxious about being placed in any environment that they perceive to be potentially hazardous. It should be painfully clear just how dangerous a person who is obsessed with inflicting pain upon other people would be in any society, even though it usually causes conflicts with the cultural mores that the person has been raised with. In this case, the anxiety often stems from the fact that the desire to inflict pain exists, acting as a subtle difference between these people and actual sadists.

Weight disorders generally stem from unfounded fear and anxiety and are often capable of generating enough of the latter on their own to keep the cycle going. However, in most cases, fear is the root of the disorder, along with peer pressure and poor self-perception, but not necessarily one of the potential psychological complications.

Phobias can also cause someone to feel anxious and overly worried, particularly when around the object of the phobia or threatened with it. According to some studies, some specific phobias are more effective at this than others, particularly if the object of the phobia is a commonplace occurrence, person, or item. Cases, where the phobia stemmed from a traumatic experience during the formative years, are also very powerful at causing a person to develop anxious feelings, even in the long-term. Agoraphobia and claustrophobia are known to have this sort of effect on certain individuals.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

The Hallmark of Performance Anxiety

Not everyone can comfortably speak or perform in front of a lot of people. Some may find it quite a frightening experience that they want to avoid at all costs. Performance anxiety, also known as stage fright, is characterized by intense anxiety and paranoia that occurs before, during, and after a performance.

Performance anxiety affects even the most seasoned professional speaker or performer. You can just imagine what goes on inside a person’s head prior and during a job interview, a public speaking engagement, a class or job presentation, a musical performance, or any situation or activity that would put you in front of an audience.

While some people have the ability and presence of mind to remain cool and composed, most of us are geniuses as far as coming up with all the negative thoughts that may happen before and/or during a performance.
This debilitating fear may depend on the context of the performance. A presenter’s level of anxiety may vary with respect to the size and status of the audience, the novelty of the situation, whether it is an individual performance, or as part of the group, the cultural context of the situation, and on the importance of the evaluation. The larger the number of people watching you, the more nervous you may become. A person may be less nervous speaking or performing in front of a group of students than a gathering of important officials. In the same way, during interviews, the interviewee tends to get more nervous with the general manager than the secretary. Speaking in front of a small church congregation you belong may not elicit intense anxiety as in a business conference presentation.
It is important to distinguish at least three major ways in which people can experience performance anxiety since each may actually require different types of “remedies.”

1. Commonly experienced by most people is an intense, but transient anxious, fluttery sensations, that typically precede a performance but disappear shortly after the performance begins. Indicates a readiness to perform, and becomes a source of energy that improves the performance.

2.“Reactive anxiety” occurs as a result of insufficient preparation, lack of performance skills or experience on the part of the presenter. Usually best resolved through practice, preparation, and the repeated exposure to the experience of public speaking/performance.

3. The hallmark of performance anxiety is usually associated with signs of physical and emotional discomfort such as sweating, shaking, voice quivering, rapid heart beating, feelings of fear, and panic. These intense sensations come in waves before and during a performance, subsiding, but reappearing again, being appraised as debilitating to the speaker or performer. A common thread that usually runs through these experiences is a fear of negative evaluation by the speaker. What causes the speaker’s anxiety is the belief that he or she is being negatively evaluated.

To help control the anxiety this belief must be altered. Typically this is done by asking the performer to:
Accept the fear
Focus and relate to the audience
Identify and challenge your fearful thoughts
Remember to breathe
Be passionate about your topic/performance and share it with others
Be clear that your talk/performance matters to you
You may discover that fear still remains, but you notice that you can handle it, as you are beginning to get the sense of enjoyment from your performance and from connecting with others.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

Know What Causes Anxiety

The top reasons for psychological consultations to doctors and medical experts today. Causes or factors contributing to this condition vary according to the nature or type of anxiety disorder. For one to understand the many causes of anxiety, it is important to know that each type of anxiety disorder differs in noted factors or causes and the causes may also vary in a case to case basis.

There are instances when a person who is suffering from an extreme case of anxiety is not aware of his condition. He tends to have sudden agitation and nervousness attacks. When this happens, he will eventually lose concentration in what he is doing, thus, resulting in less productivity and control of life.

Although cases of anxiety disorders differ from one person to another, the root patterns of each patient are somewhat alike, particularly in anxiety-prone families. Studies show that the majority of people with anxiety disorders also have one or two family members who also suffer from anxiety.

Anxiety indeed has numerous causes or roots, and each patient’s condition is notably unique. With this, it is best to know what causes anxiety in order for one to treat it properly. This will ready the sufferers on how to manage anxiety attacks next time they trigger.

Factors and causes of anxiety

Psychological disorders associated with anxiety have a number of factors that are known to contribute to the intensity and degree of these conditions. There is really no single factor that can trigger anxiety. The factors contributing to the development of anxiety cases often impact or complement one another.

The following are the must-know causes or factors of anxiety disorders:

1. Personality traits
Individuals who are diagnosed to have anxiety disorders always alienate themselves to other people as they regard society as a threatening place. Majority of those with serious cases of anxiety have low coping skills and poor self-esteem.

2. Environment
Least known to many, the environment also contributes to the development of anxiety conditions. Certain painful and trying events in a person’s life can definitely trigger chronic anxiety. These events can be a separation from loved ones, money problems, and other personal issues involving family life or work.

3. Brain complexity
Studies claim that certain imbalances and abnormalities in a person’s brain chemistry make a person more susceptible to acquire anxiety disorders. With this, the majority of prescribed medications for anxiety aim to remedy such chemical imbalances in the brain.

4. Traumatic experiences
Anxiety is also known to develop due to a person’s traumatic life experiences. Examples of traumatic life events are marital separation, abuse, and death. Traumatic experiences can be very damaging and depressing for an individual, thus, resulting in the development of anxiety disorders.

5. Hereditary
Studies claim that anxiety disorders are hereditary. Those who are diagnosed with extreme anxiety conditions oftentimes have history cases of mood disorders, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. People who are also innately vulnerable to stress are the ones known to have anxiety disorders.