Blog - Recovery College

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.

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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

Depression Suicide: What to do if a loved one is Suicidal

Depression, characterised by erratic mood swings, loss of interest in hobbies and activities is a very serious emotional disorder affecting about 9.5 per cent of the nation.

Needless to say, it is could be a lot more fatal if a depressed person is heading towards suicide.

Therefore, here are some signs to know if your loved one is considering suicide as a result of depression.

Depression Suicide: Warning Signs to be Aware of

1. Mentions of Suicide or Death
2. Wanting to tie up loose ends or give away personal belongings
3. Engaging in reckless behaviours such as heavy alcohol and drug use
4. Withdrawing from family and friends
5. Erratic mood swings
6. Inappropriately saying goodbye.
7. Verbal behaviour that is ambiguous or indirect: (for example: “I want to go to sleep and never wake up.”, “I’m so depressed, I just can’t go on.”, “Does God punish suicides?”

Though the signs and warnings may vary from person to person, it is important that you are able to recognise such warnings and take some steps to help your loved one.

Helping a loved one who is showing signs of Depression Suicide

If you believe someone is contemplating suicide do seek help immediately, however, there are a several suicide prevention web sites and hotlines available to help those in need, but in case these are not within your reach, you can try the following:

1. Cultivate Physical Closeness: Simple hugs, kisses on the cheeks, loving pats and compliments go a long way in healing a broken heart or depressed mind. Remember, sometimes the little things DO count.
2. If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him or her alone.
3. Remember: suicidal behaviour is a cry for help. Thus if someone contemplating suicide turns to you, it is likely that he believes that you are more caring and more informed about coping with depression, and more willing to help. This in itself is positive, thus it will be time to empower yourself to be what a suicidal person views you to be; stronger and you are.
4. Other steps to take include reassuring them that help is available and that with appropriate treatment they can feel better. Try not to patronise them by simply telling them that “everything will be fine,” or that “they have everything to live for.
5. Try to search the house for dangerous items such as guns and knives that could be potentially harmful.

In addition to the factors above, if you are of a spiritual inclination, this will be a good time to pray according to the framework of your faith. Indeed, prayer, when used effectively, can work wonders to aid in curtailing depression suicide.

Moreover, in the hopes that your loved one begins to show signs of improvement from the warnings indicating depression suicide, it will be great to start to include such drug-free approaches for depression treatment such as exercise: namely Yoga, a proper diet for physical health which in turn heals the mind and positive thinking and affirmations.

Naturally, we all would get concerned or frightened if a loved one seems on the brink of suicide resulting from depression, however as with all life’s problems, if we can catch it early and nip it in the bud, depression suicide can be prevented. If things may have gotten more advanced, then it may be time to seek professional help or as an alternative double up on our efforts to steer the loved one back to a positive outlook on life.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

Depression Is A Real Illness

Because most people get depressed from time to time, there is that eternal question if depression is a real illness. The answer is: yes. The clinical one, that is. It has been said that about one out of eight United Kingdom residents will likely become clinically depressed.

Some experience it once in a lifetime, while others have multiple episodes. This is a fact: if a person gets depressed for the first time, there is a 50 per cent chance that he will fall to the same predicament again. And come the second time, there is the threat that he will go into a third depressing episode.

Depression is a real illness as it involves the mental, emotional and even physical faculties of the person. It is not just a transient sad feeling that will go away when one will it to. There are symptoms and signs as well as corresponding treatment. If not handled properly and immediately, it may escalate to worse conditions. Like any other illness, depression has also variations.

There are three types of depressive disorders: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and dysthymic disorder.

Major depression is a culmination of all the symptoms and signs that intervene with one’s capability to act normally. It can happen once, but recurring episodes are possible.

Its less severe counterpart is dysthymia which is characterized by the same symptoms of major depression, only they do not totally interfere with one’s activities. A person who has the dysthymic disorder can suffer major depression sometime during his life.

Bipolar disorder is also a type of depression that involves drastic mood changes, from being very high one minute to severely depressed the next. The manic cycle can make the person hyper and overenthusiastic but it changes as soon as the depressed cycle hits. The depressed cycle encompasses all the symptoms of depression.

Because depression is an illness, there are symptoms. Again, they are the following:

1. Persistent “empty” feeling

2. Unbelievable hopelessness

3. Feeling guilty and worthless all the time

4. Lack or loss of interests in activities that used to bring joy to the patient and this includes sex.

5. Prominent fatigue

6. Has a difficult time making decisions

7. Development of sleep problems

8. Loss of appetite and drastic weight change or loss

9. Suicidal attempts and thoughts.

10. Pronounced irritability

11. Physical aches and pains that have no physiological basis

The good news is at the end of this dark tunnel called depression, there is hope. Treatment is available in three types: psychotherapy, antidepressant medicine and the combination of the two. There are also times when electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and light therapy are employed. We will discuss this in-depth in an upcoming article.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

What Causes Depression?

Usually in our adolescence, we are exposed to many sudden and inexplicable mood swings as a result of our body undergoing various hormonal changes that prepare us for adulthood.

Aside from increased social pressures, the onset of menstruation, for example, introduces adolescent girls to premenstrual tension (or premenstrual syndrome) and the menstrual cramps, the former being a mixture of physical and psychological symptoms, including temporary weight gain, fluid retention, depression, fits of temper and the like.

Of these, depression is perhaps one of the most commonly identified conditions that both males and females attest to, particularly at the onset of puberty.

Depression is a term we colloquially use to pertain to any particular period of prolonged sadness and lethargy. Colloquial use would even allow us to call depression any ‘low’ point in between periods of ‘high’ or happiness. A popular one-liner, which many of us are familiar with, even goes as far as saying that depression is in fact simply anger without enthusiasm.

However, the real essence of depression is the fact that you can’t simply ‘snap out of it’, and that it has the capacity to disrupt your daily activities. It is characterized by prolonged sadness, anxiety, unusual mood shifts accompanied by a degree of irrational thought, pessimism, and is responsible for changes in the way we eat, sleep, or interact with other people that in effect incapacitates us from participating in productive activities.

Depression is deemed a disorder that requires treatment and attention first because it may be a cause for withdrawal from society as it gives a semblance of suffering, pessimism, and low self-esteem. Secondly, depression may cause changes in physical behaviour (like eating or sleeping) that may disrupt regular daily activities or may be mortally dangerous for whoever suffers from it. It may also, in effect, harm interactions with other people, particularly those within the atomic community (like family and friends).

Lastly, the accompanying decrease in rational thought causes some people to eventually result in thoughts of harming oneself or even suicide.

Should you find yourself potentially exhibiting that degree of depression, it is best that you seek immediate help from a professional. The reason is that the many forms of depression, each varying in degree of abnormality it lends, are currently treatable. It will also allow you to accurately determine whether you may simply be suffering from a common or minor depression, which is a mild but similarly prolonged form of depression, or a severe or major depression.

What is severe or major depression then? Severe or major depression, which medical experts also call clinical depression, unipolar depression, or major depressive disorder, is a sort of depression that necessitates medical treatment.

This is because severe depression is thought to be a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. This particular brand of depression is recognized as possibly hereditary by many psychiatrists and specialists.

Doctors detect severe depression by particular behavioural patterns that emerge. The first is that of a constant feeling of sadness or anxiety. This may be accompanied by feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Another is when you feel lethargic, tired, or without energy despite the fact that you did not engage in any physical activity of any form alongside a feeling of restlessness. You may also feel a decreased capacity to concentrate and make decisions.

The more ‘telling’ signs that accompany the previous symptoms, which may be attributed to seasonal hormonal imbalances, strenuous physical activities, or physical sickness for non-depressive individuals, have a more or less social implication to them.

If you are suffering from severe depression, you may have a feeling of being uninterested in usual activities or hobbies and you may eventually withdraw from them. Changes in your appetite may also emerge, leading to drastic weight loss.

Another change is in sleeping habits, which may imply difficulty in sleeping, waking up too early, or sleeping too much. With these physically notable changes and the previous general symptoms is a prevalent feeling of inadequateness, hopelessness and guilt. Altogether, these may lead to thoughts of suicide or obsession over death and dying.

The fact that depression can happen to anyone including you, should be enough impetus to better understand depression. Understanding that people around you (and there are many of them) suffer from depression will both allow you to better interact with them, or, should you be suffering from it as well, allow you to benefit from support groups or other people who can better help you deal with the disorder and stop you from succumbing to it.

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ByAnxious Minds

Can Depression Be A Sign Of Something More?

Have you taken more than one antidepressant but are still feeling depressed? Are you frustrated that your depression keeps coming back? You are not alone. Many people are first told that they have depression or anxiety when, in fact, they actually have a different medical condition. Of these people, one in two will first be told they have depression, one in four will be told they have anxiety.

Why Does Your Depression Keep Coming Back?

There are a number of reasons why symptoms of depression may persist despite taking medication. One of these reasons may be because patients don’t always remember to tell their doctors about all the symptoms they’re experiencing. For example, patients may talk to their doctors when they feel down or depressed and are looking for relief. They may not talk about the times when they’ve felt really good or energetic. In fact, patients often think about these times as their “good times” or “normal times.” This is important information that can help your doctor make a correct diagnosis and provide treatment that may help you feel better.

Help Your Doctor Help You

Getting a correct diagnosis is the first step to finding a treatment that is right for you. Bipolar depression is a form of depression that requires a different kind of treatment. If you have questions about bipolar depression, be sure to talk with your doctor. Several treatments, including some new medications, along with support from your doctor, can help people manage their symptoms over time.

What Is Bipolar Depression?

Bipolar depression is one part of bipolar disorder, a chronic-but treatable-illness. Sufferers usually have episodes of depression (“lows”) and episodes of increased energy, racing thoughts or anxiety (“highs”). Untreated bipolar depression can affect an individual’s ability to function at work, participate in social activities and maintain relationships. Getting an accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment can help patients with bipolar depression manage their symptoms and lead productive lives

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.

ByAnxious Minds

Kill Your Depression – Five 5 Super Effective Tips

Being lonely is a normal part of our everyday lives. We get sad when we fail in our exams, when we’re rejected by the person we love, or when someone very close to us passes away. Depression, however, could be more fatal than just plain loneliness. It could render life-long consequences that could ruin your self-esteem, health, and well-being.

Here are some superb tips to conquer the melancholy mood and get the most bliss out of your daily activities.

1) Get Enough Light and Sunshine.

Lack of exposure to sunlight is responsible for the secretion of the hormone melatonin, which could trigger a dispirited mood and a lethargic condition.

Melatonin is only produced in the dark. It lowers body temperature and makes you feel sluggish. If you are always cooped up in your room (with the curtains closed), it would be difficult to restrain yourself from staying in bed.

This is the reason why many people are suffering from depression much more often in winter than in the other seasons. It’s because the nights are longer.

If you can’t afford to get some sunshine, you can always lighten up your room with brighter lights. Have lunch outside the office. Take frequent walks instead of driving your car over short distances.

2) Get Busy. Get Inspired.

You’ll be more likely to overcome any feeling of depression if you are too busy to notice it. Live a life full of inspired activities.

Do the things you love. If you’re a little short on cash, you could engage in simple stuff like taking a leisurely stroll in the park, playing sports, reading books, or engaging in any activity that you have passion for and would love to pursue.

Set a goal – a meaningful purpose in life. No matter how difficult or discouraging life can be, remain firm and have an unshakable belief that you are capable of doing anything you desire. With this kind of positive attitude, you will attain a cheerful disposition to beat the blues.

3) Take a Break.

I mean it.

Listen to soothing music. Soak in a nice warm bath. Ask one of your close friends to massage you. Take a break from your stressful workload and spend the day just goofing around. In other words, have fun.

4) Eat Right and Stay Fit.

Avoid foods with lots of sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. Sugar and caffeine may give you a brief moment of energy; but they would later bring about anxiety, tension, and internal problems. Alcohol is a depressant. Many people would drink alcohol to “forget their problems.” They’re just aggravating their conditions in the process.

Exercising regularly is a vital depression buster because it allows your body to produce more endorphins than usual. Endorphins are sometimes called “the happy chemicals” because of their stress-reducing and happiness-inducing properties.

5) Get a Social Life.

No man is an island. Your circle of friends are there to give you moral support. Spending time and engaging in worthwhile activities with them could give you a very satisfying feeling. Nothing feels better than having group support.

Never underestimate the power of touch. Doesn’t it feel so good when someone pats you on the back and gives you words of encouragement during your most challenging times? Hug or embrace someone today. You’ll never know when you have saved another life.

Get intimate. Establish close ties with your family and friends. The love and care expressed by others could tremendously boost your immune system and fend off illnesses. Best of all, you’ll live a more secure and happy life.

ByAnxious Minds

What’s Anxiety And How Do I Recognise The Symptoms?

Most of us, if not all of us have felt nervous at one time or another in our lives. Public speaking is something that makes most of us nervous. All those eyes are staring straight at us. That’s a lot of attention thrust our way. We feel the butterflies take flight, and they usually don’t land until we’re done with our speech. Aren’t we glad we’re done! Nerves and other feelings like feeling scared are natural and very necessary. Ever wonder how you’d react or what would happen to you if you didn’t respond to a dog running at you? How about beginning to crossing the road only to hear the roar of a car’s engine in your left ear. Run! Definitely run!

For some of us, these feelings are all too familiar and often they occur more frequently and triggered by situations that are less fear-provoking than those, and others like it, mentioned above. I’ve felt that rush of adrenaline pumping through my heart as I turned into the street the underground station is on and the view of it made my heart beat a thousand to every second. I’d be gripped by the thought of seeing my desk, or my boss, which I knew was coming sooner than I wanted. They’d find out soon enough: I’m just average. Nothing special here. I’d spend the entire journey on the underground screaming inside myself. Looking at the other passengers, silently screaming ‘Have you all gone crazy!?’. Entirely and utterly unable to understand why anyone would not see it my way. This is my anxiety. What’s yours?

Irrational fear is the right way of describing it. Admittedly, I was in the middle of a breakdown that eventually pressed the Pause button on my life for a few years after. But this a good example of anxiety. Irrational fear that gets in the way of leading a healthy life: that’s anxiety.

I learnt a lot about anxiety in the months that followed. It was all new to me. The education, indeed not the feelings and symptoms. Often, it left me speechless and bewildered. All those symptoms and I didn’t have a clue. But what are those symptoms? Well, thinking that everything will result in the worst possible outcome is the most upsetting symptom (for myself at least). You are mentally consumed with it. It breaks your concentration, erases your short-term memory and strips your patience down to almost nothing. It can stop you from falling asleep. Sleep anxiety was something I didn’t recognise. I simply thought I had developed insomnia on top of all my other problems. The more, the merrier? Not quite. I had become severely depressed and obsessional — two more symptoms associated with anxiety.

All these mental or cognitive symptoms affect our body function. I’d feel like I was losing my breath, no matter how hard I tried to relax or perform deep-breathing exercises. If I thought about it, which of course I did, my heart would start to race, and the adrenaline would flow through me. You can completely lose your appetite, feel the need to urinate, develop headaches more often and for me consistently, the dizziness was unbearable. I thought I had low blood pressure. My doctor thought I might have a problem with my heart. Going for an ECG will scare the life out of you if nothing else. Pins and needles are also symptoms of anxiety. I used to get them in my upper arms which would scream ‘Heart Attack!’ to me, but somehow I would push that thought away.’

We don’t all develop the same symptoms, and it is quite rare that someone would present with all the symptoms as a textbook case. Some of the symptoms I didn’t develop were muscle aches and tremors, excessive thirst and stomach upsets. Women can extend painful periods or even none at all. We can all lose response to sexual stimulation too.

If you think you suffer from anxiety and feel it is getting in the way of you leading a healthy life from day to day, please consult your doctor or another physician. Help is at hand, and good Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can be very useful in relieving the mental stresses that take over our minds when anxiety strikes.

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ByAnxious Minds

Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks

Anyone who has ever experienced anxiety attacks can attest that the condition can be very debilitating. Shortness of breath, palpitations, numbness, nausea, and the feeling of being trapped are all part and parcel of having an anxiety attack. Fortunately, there are ways of preventing an attack, foremost of which is identifying its cause.

What causes an anxiety attack?

An anxiety attack can be triggered by a number of reasons including illness, social events, or even memories of past situations. It is very important to know which situations trigger your attacks so you can take precautions to make them more manageable. For example, if going to social events like corporate parties triggers an attack, bring a friend with you to help you feel comfortable about the situation. Most importantly, consult your doctor for medications or therapies that can help minimize your anxiety.

Preventing an anxiety attack

There are several methods you can use or activities you can do to minimize your attacks or prevent them from happening like the following:

– Changing your diet

People who have switched to a more vegetable-dense or whole grain-based diet reportedly feel better than those who consume red meat. Scientific research shows that aside from keeping the body healthy, vegetables and whole grains release endorphins and other feel-good hormones in the body that promote a sense of well-being. On the other hand, people who eat red meat have been found to have a lot of stress-inducing hormones in their bodies that can trigger an attack.

– Avoiding caffeine-rich and alcoholic substances

Caffeine and alcohol can increase the chances of attacks as well as certain drugs. Instead of taking coffee or alcoholic beverages for a quick pick-me-up, try substituting them with fresh fruit juice. Juices are healthy options that can give you a quick energy boost like caffeine without the danger of triggering an attack.

– Exercising regularly

Exercise and physical activity trigger the release of endorphins in the body which promotes a feeling of happiness. Aside from this benefit, exercise, particularly cardiovascular activities, also prevent attacks by providing an outlet for the release of stress and anxiety. Cardiovascular exercises also strengthen the heart and body so it can withstand attacks easily with minimal symptoms.

– Practising relaxation methods

Certain activities like meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, and massages can reduce anxiety and stress levels in the body. They can also help you focus on good sensations and feelings that can improve your sense of well-being. You can try carrying relaxing aromatherapy oils like lavender and chamomile for a calming sniff when you feel an attack coming. Listening to soothing music, reading inspirational books, or drinking herbal teas can also soothe your frazzled nerves.

Although these prevention tips can help you ward off an anxiety attack, nothing beats talking to your doctor. A health professional specializing in anxiety disorders can help you understand your condition and provide you with treatment therapy. Along with the prescribed medication, you can also ask your doctor about group therapy for anxiety disorder

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ByAnxious Minds

Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder

If there is something that makes you think that you might be suffering from what is generally referred to as social anxiety disorder, it is advisable that you evaluate yourself and try to identify if you are really undergoing such problem. The best way to deal with it is to find out everything that is there to know about the symptoms.

But before we discuss the symptoms here, it is important to understand what anxiety disorder actually is. To put it simply, it is a condition wherein one finds all such situations dreadful in which one has to interact socially.

This means that if you were to speak in a public gathering and you feel absolutely terrified, you might be suffering from a social anxiety disorder. However, to be termed as a disorder this kind of “social anxiety” should be something more than the normal nervousness attached with social interaction. It has to have a rather disabling effect on you. The fear in case of social anxiety disorder is no less than overwhelming.

Coming to the symptoms, they include an accelerated heartbeat, excessive sweating, dizziness, lack of concentration and other such anxiety-related symptoms that are very much capable of disrupting one’s daily activities. These symptoms can occur in case of any normal person and the presence of them does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from a social anxiety disorder.

However, if these symptoms keep recurring consistently for over six months, it is time for you to take them seriously. If there are plausible explanations for their occurrence, it is fine. But if they occur without a reasonable cause or the cause is just too feeble to justify their occurrence, you might be suffering from a social anxiety disorder. And this could grow serious over time and could make you immobilized.

In its more serious forms, the disorder can compel a person to stay at home for the most part of his day. He or she just might start fearing to step out due to the sheer dread of socializing.

People suffering from this disorder tend to be reclusive and tend to get depressed, which may lead them to substance abuse and alcoholism. Therefore, social anxiety disorder has serious associated complications.

If left uncorrected the disorder may get more complicated and bring repercussions. It is, thus, important that the problem is taken care of at the earliest. Being aware of the problem and the symptoms is half the battle won.

ByAnxious Minds

Cure for Modern Day Stresses

The meaning of yoga is the union of the body, mind and spirit with truth. There are many kinds of yoga to study, and there can be endless years of practise for the willing student.

Hatha Yoga is among the most popular forms in the west. It emphasizes the practise of postures, which stretch and strengthen the body, help develop a sense of balance and flexibility, as well as body awareness and mental concentration. All forms of yoga incorporate the practise of proper breathing techniques for relaxation, to rest the mind from its constant chatter, to experience an internal calm, and to energize and purify the body.

As stress levels in society reach new heights, Raja Yoga, the yoga of meditation, is growing in popularity in Western society, while others, such as Krya Yoga, the yoga of cleansing, and Mantra Yoga, the yoga of chanting, not surprisingly, have little appeal for newcomers.

Stretching and toning, though beneficial, aren’t the primary reasons people turn to yoga. Newcomers are hoping that yoga will provide them with a means for handling stress and diffusing tension. The difference between exercise and yoga is that yoga has a meditative quality.

A lot of people are exercising for the psychological benefits and trying many of the Eastern activities, like yoga and tai chi. Yoga seems to have a calming effect on people.

And the techniques work on children as well as adults. When your children are quarrelling, ask them to stop what they’re doing, raise their arms over their heads, lean forward and breathe deeply to help diffuse their anger. It definitely helps them to cool it.

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ByAnxious Minds

When Do You See A Doctor If You Have (Or You Think You Have) Depression?

If you have depression, or at least you think you do, you must realise that you should not diagnose yourself. You need to have a healthcare practitioner that is skilled to give you a correct assessment and professional diagnosis of your condition.

There is absolutely no reason to feel shy or embarrassed when talking to a healthcare provider regarding any symptoms of your condition. Many healthcare professionals, such as Anxious Minds are very understanding of your problem. After all, they were trained to study and treat depression.

If you have symptoms like these, do not hesitate to consult a medical practitioner before getting any real help or treatment for depression, you must need first to have a correct diagnosis.

You see, these symptoms are also symptomatic of other problems. For example, weight loss, fatigue and sleeping patterns may not be caused by depression, but by some medical issue.

Other symptoms like losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed or problems with attention or memory may not be related to depression at all but maybe indicative of an undiagnosed medical condition.

You need to consult a doctor so that you can make sure that the symptoms you are experiencing are a result of your depression, and from there, you can start what the best treatment for your is. The doctor might ask you to answer questions to fully assess and help determine if you actually have depression and possibly conduct tests to identify that your symptoms are not a result of some other health issue.

Depression is a medical condition that is real. Remember that having depression is not something that you want to have. You probably would not think less of someone who has influenza or is suffering from heart disease. In the same manner, you must not be ashamed or feel guilty that you suffer from depression.

Depression will not go away by “toughing it out” or “being strong.” Being weak in your will does not instantly cause you to be depressed. Most cases of depression won’t directly go away just by trying to cheer up. You will not make it go away by doing exercises, taking vitamins or going on a holiday. Treating your depression requires professional help – you can not do it alone.

Like any other serious illnesses, depression needs professional treatment from a healthcare practitioner. When you are suffering from depression, you need to ask for help to make the problem go away.
Your feelings might change when treatment comes along. You should be pleased to know that depression has proved to be one of the most easily treated conditions.

When you are seeking treatment for your depression, what type of healthcare professional should you see?

Although there are some issues raised on what treatment is the best for depression problems (whether it is drugs, therapy, or if it is a mixture of both), there is actually a type of healthcare professional that is highly qualified to help you recover from depression and various mood disorders that use medications or drugs: a psychiatrist or counsellor.

Psychologists or a counsellor, in fairness, are also highly qualified to cure depression problems, but they are not medical professionals and as such, cannot prescribe medications. You should realise that psychologists or counsellor specialise in therapy, especially talk therapy. If you do not know if you need drugs or medicines, it might prove best to start your treatment of depression under your GP’s care.

If you think you might also have a good chance of eliminating depression through talk therapy, many psychiatrists or counsellors can also be useful in this, although some may refer you to more experienced therapists — more on this in an upcoming article.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

How To Fight Back Against Depression

I am one of those people who can easily slip into a very negative state of mind. The slightest knockback or problem can lead to a cloud of doom descending over me, a shadow which I find hard to push away and remove. This article looks at ways in which we can fight back, to quickly get us back into a happy mode.

I used to be quite a fragile character; some would say that I was even scared of my own shadow. I was always paranoid that people were talking about me and laughing behind my back.

Even though my parents are superb, I was not a happy child or a happy teenager. I am so unlucky you see, or so I thought. I walked around as if the world owed me something and would often feel very sorry for myself. I was bullied at school. It was more mental bullying rather than anything physical. I am sure that most people also get bullied and deal with it. It would leave me in a state of panic and depression. Looking back, I have to say I was a bit of a wimp in reality.

I decided that enough was enough by my mid-twenties and decided it was time to toughen up. I could not continue to live my life as I had been, as I would probably be dead by the time I was fifty.
I then went about a self-help program to increase my overall self-confidence and self-esteem. I wanted to learn more about stress management, dealing with depression, relaxation and about how to become successful in life.

What I found out over the next twelve to eighteen months would change my life forever.
These are the things I had to do:
I had to stop feeling sorry for myself. Yes, I am not perfect, but who is.
I had to think more positively.
I had to stop worrying about the future.
I had to stop caring about what other people thought of me.
I needed to smile more.
I needed to learn to relax. I now use meditation for this purpose.
I had to learn to like myself.
I needed to become stronger to fight away the negative thoughts in my head.
I needed to appreciate what I did have in life, rather than concentrating on what I had not.
I started to implement the above, and it helped me no end. That horrible cloud of doom, still descended, however, around once a month. When it does drop, I now write two lists. What I am happy about in life and what I am sad or worrying about. I then analyse both files and more times than not. I am over-reacting.

In conclusion, life is a battle. There are good times and bad. We need to become active and learn to think more positively. We have to fight back against people who bully us and against the voices in our head who are trying to make us panic. This is not easy; however, with determination, people can turn their life around just as I have.

I used to feel anger towards the people who bullied me at school. I now feel sorry for them. They are the bad apples, and I pray for them. I pray that God will one day make them pure.

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ByAnxious Minds

How Are You Maintaining Your Anxiety?

Worries and anxieties are ordinary and familiar to all of us. They are necessary to our survival as they prepare us for coping with stress and danger. When we perceive risk, changes take place in our body, in how we think and also in how we behave. These changes are triggered by the release of the hormone adrenalin and are crucial as they prime us for action.

Problems arise when the stress response becomes chronic, or excessive and symptoms of long-term anxiety include the following:
Muscular discomfort – headaches – difficulty swallowing – chest pains – stomach cramps – blurred vision – ringing ears – nausea – dizziness – shortness of breath.

So what causes chronic anxiety?
The actual trigger for the stress response might be real or imagined, for example, a person with a social phobia may feel just as panicky at the thought of having to walk into a big party as actually stepping into a big party. Whether the trigger is a real or imagined threat, the key to persistent anxiety is you and the cycle that you maintain. This usually takes three forms,

1. Bodily symptom cycles: worrying about the physical symptoms of anxiety so much that this worry re-triggers the stress response and the physical symptoms.

2. Riased thinking cycles: overestimating the threat of danger and underestimating your coping resources. Common thinking biases include; black and white thinking, catastrophising; exaggerating, ignoring the positive. Biased thinking can further increase distress and anxiety, which in turn enhances thinking distortions even more!

3. Behavioural response cycles: avoidance is a typical response to stress; it is natural to want to escape to somewhere safe and comforting. The problem with this is that avoidance keeps the problem going as you will never get to learn that you can cope.

Which of these cycles best describes how you keep your anxiety going? Once you have identified which period you tend to maintain, you can begin to plan to break the cycle. When clients come to see me at my practice in Aldbury, Hertfordshire. I have a range of techniques in my toolbox that are useful in breaking the anxiety cycle the person is maintaining. An example of procedures include the following:

1. Physical symptom cycle: controlled breathing, relaxation training, expanding awareness techniques, hypnosis, psycho-education, introducing exercise as a coping strategy.

2. Biased thinking: belief change process, though challenging, distraction, teaching use of precise language, communication model, sub-modality work, mindfulness.

3. Problem Behaviour: graded exposure, goal setting, swish process, fast phobia cure, problem-solving strategies.

We also work with clients to develop coping strategies, during counselling, so that thay can be used in the longer term.

If you are experiencing anxiety that is impacting on your functioning and well-being, it may be useful to see a cognitive therapist or counsellor here ay Anxious Minds. Therapies that focus on changing negative patterns of thought are now considered critical methods in overcoming anxiety, phobias and depression.

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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 deeper 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 negative effect on our lives and on our quality of living. Anxiety can also lead to depression when a sense of worry and fear for the future leads into the sense 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 certain way 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, and 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 situation, 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 just 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 own personal preference. Medication can provide you with an effective way of dealing with depression; however, medication 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 huge impact on your overall health and quality of life if left untreated. However, both are manageable conditions that do not have to have an effect on your daily life.

ByAnxious Minds

Herbs For Anxiety And Depression – A Safer Choice?

Many of us, perhaps most, will admit to feeling anxious regularly and often even depressed, probably due to pressures of work, home life, or any of a multitude of other causes. However, most of us are not clinically depressed or anxious, to the point where our lives and health are affected detrimentally.

The minority who do find their lives blighted by these conditions can often be seen to be suffering from one or all of the following: self-harm and potentially suicidal thoughts, insomnia, lack of sex drive, inactivity and tiredness, and lack of concentration.

Certainly where someone is feeling so anxious or depressed that the medical profession would categorise them as clinically depressed or anxious immediate help should be sought from a professional. However, where someone is suffering from a milder form of anxiety, then there may be alternatives to the common anti-depressant drugs that often appear to make things worse for less severe cases. Alternative treatments could include herbs for anxiety and depression, although it is always wise to seek medical help before starting any herbal medications, especially if you are already taking any other forms of medication.

Popular herbs for anxiety and depression include St. Johns Wort, Kava, Passion Flower, Ginseng and SAM-e, and many have reported positive benefits to take these herbs. St. Johns Wort probably has the largest body of supporting evidence and is widely used. Again remember that you should consult your physician before taking any medication, even herbal, and do not take multiple herbal remedies at the same time without consultation with a professional.

There exists a significant problem in taking herbs for anxiety and depression and other ailments, and that is that unlike other medications, government and international drug regulatory agencies are not required to test and approve their use. This can mean that drugs could become available that have unforeseen side effects. However, many herbs have been used in medical applications for much longer than their modern chemical counterparts. So there exists a large body of admittedly anecdotal evidence backing their medicinal properties.

The critical point to remember is that there are no guarantees with herbal treatments, and care must be taken to ensure you are not exposing yourself to additional problems and side effects.

There is little doubt a herbal substitute for a conventional drug, used in moderation, should provide some relief with less of the addictive dangers associated with prescription meds. Still, it cannot always be assumed that herbs will be a safer option. Do not think they are a miracle cure and always take heed of the dosage recommendations.

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