Wednesday, December 19, 2018

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

So, you wake up in the morning. As soon as your feet hit the floor, here it comes – that overwhelming feeling of dread, worry, and fear. Your heart starts to pound. You’re not sure why, or maybe you do, but you just don’t know how to make it through the day without totally freaking out. If these feelings interfere with your life on a daily basis, chances are you may be experiencing anxiety.

Anxiety is defined as a feeling of uncertainty, apprehension, and fear resulting from thoughts of an upcoming event or situation that you think might threaten you. Anxiety may bring you to a screeching halt physically and mentally. It is a natural response to feeling threatened and dealing with extreme pressure. However, once you understand what anxiety is and how it affects you, there are many successful self-help and professional treatments available.

SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY
Symptoms of anxiety can be different in each person. Some may experience all of the symptoms at once, or a few of them over a period of time. However, all anxiety disorders share the constant fear in situations that other people don’t even consider. While anxiety can keep you focused, constant anxiety can interfere with functioning in everyday life.

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS
• Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, worried, or tense
• Interference with daily responsibilities and relationships
• Haunted by fears that you don’t understand
• A feeling of impending doom and disaster
• Avoiding people or activities that make you edgy, irritable or restless
• Trouble concentrating and focusing; your mind goes blank
• Expecting the worst in any situation and looking for signs of danger
• Depression

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
The body’s first impulse is to fight back when responding to anxiety. Physical symptoms can often mimic other illnesses. Something may trigger a sudden onset of anxiety without any warning, called an anxiety attack. The most common physical symptoms are:
• Heart palpitations or pounding
• Rapid heartbeat
• Shortness of breath or gasping for breath
• Nausea or diarrhea
• Dizziness
• Sudden urge to urinate or incontinence
• Tense muscles or shakiness
• Headaches
• Inability to sleep

ANXIETY OR PANIC ATTACK?
Anxiety and panic attacks are usually referred to as the same thing, however, there is a difference. Anxiety is a lesser version of a panic attack that progresses gradually as the fears get worse. A panic attack comes on suddenly and is disabling due to extreme terror and agitation that may last from 10 – 30 minutes or so and finally subsides. Most can regain control from attacks and respond to treatment rapidly.

Symptoms of anxiety attacks are often so severe and frightening that the person feels as if they are losing control or having a heart attack, such as:
• Overwhelming hysteria and trembling
• Feeling of going crazy
• Chest pain, heart pounding, rapid pulse
• Fainting
• Shortness of breath, wheezing, choking
• Hyperventilation
• Hot flashes or chills, nausea, diarrhea
• Feeling of being in a dream

TREATMENT
There are several options available for treatment, including self-help exercises as well as professional advice. Self-help suggestions include writing down causes for fear; designating a “worry time” each day to focus only those things, and thinking of ways to deal with problems, and accepting that worry doesn’t change anything or solve the problem.

Meditation and breathing techniques reduce stress, as well as eating small meals/snacks during the day to keep blood sugar levels steady, reducing intake of alcohol and nicotine, and getting enough rest. Consult a physician if these techniques do not work. If physical issues are ruled out, Miami anxiety therapy can determine and treat your anxiety.

TYPES OF TREATMENT
While the length of treatment depends on your type of anxiety, treatment is usually short and most respond very well. Behavioral therapy helps by facing your stress; medications such as anti-depressants, beta-blockers, and anti-anxiety drug may be prescribed; natural remedies are available such as Kava, Passionflower, and Valerian Root.

Once you understand your anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to react differently to the situation. Even though symptoms are real, there are ways of finding a distraction, controlling breathing through relaxation techniques, and most of all, by facing your fears. Anxiety can be controlled, and you will be on your way to being your normal self again.

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