Anxiety Disorders: Common Mental Illnesses

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The term “mental illness” covers a range of disorders that make themselves known by causing unwelcome changes in emotions, behavior, and thoughts. They can affect relationships with other people, and reactions to one’s surroundings. The level of severity can go from barely noticeable to disabling. Sufferers often find it difficult or impossible to deal with ordinary tasks and responsibilities.

Anxiety disorders

It’s normal to be anxious or uneasy when we encounter a challenge – anything from an exam to deciding to get married or look for a new job. But anxiety disorders are a different matter – serious illnesses that can bring normal life to a standstill.

Anxiety disorder patients react inappropriately to particular situations with a powerful fear response, including racing heartbeat, sweating, etc., that incapacitates them. It’s the inappropriateness and severity of the reaction  – which can be set off by something as simple as going out the front door, or hearing a particular noise – and the lack of control over the fear that leads to a diagnosis of anxiety disorder. There are effective therapies which should be begun as soon as possible, since this type of illness often worsens over time.

The different recognized types of anxiety disorder include:

  • –          Panic disorder. The patient repeatedly experiences abrupt bouts of fear or panic that come on without any warning. The physical symptoms can be palpitating heartbeat, chest pains, sudden sweating, and choking sensations, and the person may feel as if they’re losing their mind, or having a heart attack.
  • –          Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This illness causes the sufferer to be repeatedly plagued by fears or unpleasant thoughts that compel them to ritualized actions. The classic example is the person obsessed with a horror of contamination by germs, who responds with constant hand-washing.
  • –          Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) This illness occurs after the person has undergone a traumatic or horrifying experience, for example the sudden death of a loved one, a sexual or physical attack, an auto crash, a natural disaster. Patients will often suffer from vivid and terrifying memories and thoughts, reliving the event. They tend otherwise to show emotional numbness.

The definition of an anxiety attack

The experience of a true anxiety attack is different from the normal “keyed-upness” and tense alertness in unusual circumstances which is part of our basic survival equipment.

Anxiety attacks seem to come out of nowhere, with no relation to anything actually happening in the person’s environment. They are usually of a few minutes’ duration, and show at least four of these symptoms:

  • –          panting or shortness of breath
  • –          racing pulsae
  • –          dizziness
  • –          sweating
  • –          sensation of choking
  • –          nausea or abdominal distress
  • –          chest discomfort
  • –          numbness/tingling sensations
  • –          fear of going insane, dying, or loss of control

Who may suffer an anxiety disorder?

National Institute of Mental Health figures show that about 3.5% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. The commonest age group affected is the late teens and early twenties, and the problem may recur in episodes over periods of years. This type of illness is twice as common in women as in men. The difference between the sexes may be partially due to such factors as:

  • –          genetic predisposition
  • –          effects of the menstrual cycle
  • –          diet and nutrition
  • –          insufficient sleep
  • –          allergens
  • –          postpartum difficulties
  • –          gender differences in patterns of medical and psychiatric conditions
  • –          psychosocial factors
  • –          other lifestyle factors

Natural treatments for anxiety

Anxiety disorder patients are often prescribed anti-anxiety medications. The downside to these drugs is their tendency to cause dependency, as patients develop tolerance to them in a fairly short time.

The medication will treat the disturbing symptoms of the disorder, but has no effect on the underlying problem. If you are a patient on a prescription for an anxiety disorder you may want to seriously consider natural remedies. Even though the drug companies and some medical doctors may leave you with the impression that your options are limited to either enduring the illness or using anti-anxiety drugs, this is not the case. Many alternatives are available for those who doesn’t want to be medication dependent, or are seeking a natural, long-lasting solution.

The first thing to do is look at some everyday factors that are known to make things worse for anxiety patients. Caffeine, for instance, should be either cut out or sigificantly reduced, as it’s a stimulant that can, in sufficient amounts, cause anxiousness even in non-sufferers. Other commonplace anxiety producers include stress, sugar intake, some food allergies, and nutritional deficiencies.

After taking such factors into account, your next step may be to learn more about the natural, non-drug therapies that are available. More, improved methods for helping anxiety sufferers are being developed by researchers. To discuss natural therapy for anxiety, call Dr. Robert 201.618.3534 … Dr. Robert’s Natural Health Services For Anxiety .. Click Here.

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