- Health problems
- Failure to reach one’s full potential at school or work
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic stress
- Family conflict
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Disturbing thoughts
- Legal and criminal problems
- And, sometimes, suicide. The risk for suicide in depressed people is more than 20-fold greater than in the general population.
Anxiety Disorders Treatment
1 AnswerAmen Clinics, Inc. answeredAnxiety and depression are not the result of character flaws or personal weakness; rather, they are related to biological problems in the brain that can be balanced. Left untreated, anxiety and depression can have serious personal and social consequences, including:
Early studies have found mixed results for using homeopathy to treat anxiety. More studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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1 AnswerDr. Peter Bongiorno, ND, Naturopathic Medicine, answeredBesides the physical side effects, I find in my clinical experience that antianxiety and antidepressant drugs hinder long-term coping skills. When you lift a heavy weight, there is muscle tearing and growth that happens, which helps you the next time you lift that burden. Psychological difficulty and experience affords the same growth of our brain when we traverse challenging times. It seems the drugs do not allow this learning to happen.
For example, I had one patient who was placed on antidepressants during the challenging time of divorce. Ten years after this traumatic event, she came in to see me because she wanted to discontinue the medication due to side effects, but every time she tried to stop, all those anxious feelings she thought were long gone came flooding back and became as present as ever. In truth, anxiety and depression are not Paxil or Prozac deficiencies -- and at some point, the grief and anxiety that comes with trauma and loss will need to be processed. This patient and I decided on a regimen of acupuncture and some amino acids to cushion the neurotransmitter changes and created a plan to start processing the divorce that had been swept under the pharmaceutical rug. Through this healing, she was able to slowly and safely wean off her medication.
1 AnswerDr. Tamar Chansky, Psychology, answered
Job interviews can be stressful, even if you're perfect for the position. Learn how to tame your fears and prepare for an interview by watching this video featuring psychologist Dr. Tamar Chansky, who specializes in anxiety.
1 AnswerYour doctor and others can help you recover. But you're in charge of the process. After all, only you can make decisions about your treatment, follow through on your plan, and know what's working for you. This is self-management -- and experts agree that it's a vital part of successful treatment for anxiety disorders. Here are a few key self-management tips:
- Develop your treatment plan. Get good information from your doctor and other trusted sources. Keep in mind that mental health treatment isn't "one size fits all." With your doctor, decide on a plan that fits your unique situation.
- Set goals for healthy living in all areas. Finding balance in your life speeds your recovery. It also paves the way for happier, healthier times ahead. Set goals to make sure your whole life is in balance:
- Relationships. Don't shut out family and friends! Example goals: Phone a friend every day. Attend scheduled social events. Volunteer.
- Nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Mind and body go hand in hand. Example goals: Drink 8 glasses of water each day. Eat 5 to 10 fruits and vegetables daily. Walk every day. Get 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Recreation and renewal. Commit to having fun and soothing your spirit. Example goals: Do your hobby. Listen to music. Attend religious or cultural events. Write in a journal. Meditate.
- Stick to your treatment. Give treatment a chance to work. Take any medication as directed. Keep your appointments. Talk to your doctor if you don't see good results -- you can always adjust your plan.
- Celebrate your recovery. Reward yourself for meeting your "healthy living" goals. Celebrate the milestones in your recovery. Did you sleep well through the night? Go a few hours without obsessing? Face down one of your fears? Congratulate yourself! Your work is paying off.
1 AnswerAlso called psychotherapy or "talk therapy," counseling can help you understand your problems and develop ways to work through them. There are different types of counseling, each with a special focus. For example, counseling may aim to uncover the source of your anxiety. It may focus on changing your thinking patterns. Or, it can teach new ways to help you cope. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) combines these strategies to help you unlearn old patterns and adopt healthier thoughts and reactions.
1 AnswerDon't let anxiety get in the way of a normal life. Instead, do these things:
Visit a doctor or clinic. A doctor can help you know if your symptoms come from an anxiety disorder, another illness, or both.
Stick with your treatment. The main treatments are counseling (talk therapy) and medicine. You and your doctor can decide together what's best for you. But once you have a treatment plan, stick with it! Keep appointments with a counselor. Take medicine as directed. Don't change what you're doing without asking your doctor first.
Set healthy goals for recovery. You may not feel like sticking to your goals at first. But try to do it anyway. You will be glad you did. Here are some areas to work on:
- Healthy relationships. Having a close friend or loved one to share your concerns and plans with can really help. Don't pull back from other people right now. Instead, set goals to get the support you need. Phone a friend every day. Attend scheduled events. Join a support group. Leave the house at least once each day. Volunteer.
- Healthy body. Taking care of your body will help your mind too. Set goals to make sure this happens. Go for a walk every day. Drink 8 glasses of water each day. Eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables every day. Avoid alcohol. Get about 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Healthy spirit. Right now, it's good to reconnect with things that used to be fun, fulfilling, and meaningful for you. If you don't have a hobby, start one! Do your hobby every day. Listen to music. Meditate. Pray. Keep a journal. Go to the movies once a week. Read a great book.
1 AnswerDr. Pina LoGiudice, LAc, ND, Naturopathic Medicine, answeredAnti-anxiety drugs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs, with over 280 million prescriptions written annually. It has been shown that many of these are overprescribed. In fact, research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry showed about 25% of people who are given these dangerous medications do not have a proper diagnosis.
Other studies show that people who use anti-anxiety medication have a 36% increased mortality risk. That means persons using these drugs are almost 40% more likely to die than people who do not use them. While anti-anxiety medications can be lifesaving in urgent situations, in most cases, there are natural alternatives that can help while a person starts to work on the underlying causes of anxiety reactions in the body.
1 AnswerDr. Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answeredPassionflower is a great natural solution for nervousness because it has the same properties as some prescription medicines used to promote calmness and relaxation. It can be taken in liquid or capsule form. Both cost about $10 at vitamin or health food stores. Take 2 milliliters of this supplement three times a day.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
2 AnswersDr. Michael Mufson, MD, Psychiatry, answeredIn the treatment of anxiety disorders, exposure therapy might be used in any of the following ways:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Individuals who fear contamination might be encouraged to touch some object that they imagine to be covered with germs. Then they must refrain from washing their hands for several hours. The goal is for them to lessen the anxieties that accompany obsessive thoughts about contamination and, in particular, to do so without compulsively washing their hands.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). During therapy, people are asked to talk or write about the trauma that they experienced. At first, the process can induce tremendous fear and even terror, but as people learn that they can "relive" the experience without being harmed, they are less affected by it, and their anxiety gradually diminishes.
- Panic disorder. The therapist deliberately induces the symptoms that people fear most by having them spin in a chair, hyperventilate, or run upstairs repeatedly. People can rate experiences as more or less anxiety-provoking, identify the sensations they have been misinterpreting, and understand why their fears are unrealistic. They also practice anxiety-provoking exercises in homework assignments until the fear of fear gradually recedes.