1. Coping With Mental Illness: Anxiety, Depression, Adult ADHD and Other Conditions

    June 14, 2013

    Coping With Mental Illness

    by Valerie Johnston

     

    Mental illness can easily interfere with a person’s quality of life, even if the issues aren’t outwardly apparent. People who suffer from mental illness often struggle with inner demons that can make the ordinary tasks of life seem like burdens that are impossible to overcome. Each type of mental illness has its own unique set of problems as well as methods of psychological treatment. However, there are a few coping strategies that can help people with any kind of mental illness or disorder, from anxiety and depression, to adult ADHD and other serious types of mental illnesses.

    Step 1: Get Help

    Mental illness still carries a stigma in many communities; so people are often reluctant to seek treatment for their condition. If you are experiencing the symptoms of any mental illness or disorder, it is important to realize that the problem that you are suffering from is a real and physical problem. Though you may or may not be able to see any outward physical problems of the condition, that doesn’t make the symptoms any less real. If you are experiencing anxiety, fear, depression, trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping, or any other symptom, you should plan a visit to the psychiatrist or clinical psychologist to get help. At the very least, you should confide in family members or friends that you trust. They will be able to give you some support and advice to help you move forward.

    Step 2: Develop a Plan for Treatment

    The best way to cope with mental illness is to get regular treatment from a doctor, clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist. They will be able to help you treat your condition in any number of ways. They may prescribe medication that will help reduce your symptoms and make coping with your condition easier, though medications do not necessarily have to be used as the first line of defense. Many clinical psychologists will suggest starting with therapy (e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to help you learn how to cope with your mental illness. Having regular appointments with a therapist can help you work through some of your issues and create routines that make it easier to manage the symptoms of depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, or whatever type of mental illness you are suffering from.

    Step 3: Build a Network of Support

    There is no doubt that patients who have a support system will experience far better success rates with their treatment of mental illness. Coping with the stress and added anxiety of a mental illness is easier when you have friends and family members who can take some of the burden away from you. It is important to build a support network and to involve these people in your treatment, so they can know how to help you cope. If your family and friends are aggravating your symptoms and making your condition worse, they might not know what to do to help you manage your condition. Sit down and talk with them, and explain to them how they can help you cope with different types of situations.

    Step 4: Make Lifestyle Changes

    Sometimes our lives are a source of undue stress, and this can easily aggravate any type of health problem, especially a problem like depression, ADD, or bipolar disorder. Clinical psychologists recommend taking the time to evaluate your life and look for ways to reduce your stress levels, which will hopefully help alleviate some of the problems you are dealing with. If work is particularly stressful, try to sit down and talk to your employers about your condition.

    See if there is anything they can do to help make the work environment more productive and less triggering for your illness. Make changes to your thinking, positive thinking is the best remedy for anxiety and depression. It is equally important to make sure your home life is as balanced and stress free as can be as well. Have your family members lend a hand, so you can cut down on the stress at home. Making changes to your lifestyle can reduce your level of stress and ultimately make it easier to cope with the symptoms of your illness.

    Author Bio: Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

    Image Credit: Mark Sebastian


  2. Different Types Of Anxiety Disorders

    April 17, 2013

    anxiety disorders

    by Tsvetan Petrov

    Everyone feels anxiety at certain point in their life. It’s completely natural to feel anxiety in challenging or dangerous times. That can come when a person is just feeling uncomfortable or in real threatening danger. Spending too much time in that state of anxiety can mean that there is an underlying disorder. Different things can cause these anxiety disorders and each one has their one particular effects.

     Anxiety Disorders – Most Common

     

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    A person that consistently feels anxiety when there is no practical reason to remain in that state might have a generalized anxiety disorder. When a person with this disorder is asked why they’re feeling that way, they won’t be able to answer clearly. The typical bout will take around 6 months. It’s particularly common in women. The anxiety doesn’t go away and continues to eat away at the people suffering from generalized anxiety disorders. That can lead to a number of medical concerns like insomnia, heart palpitations, dizziness, and headaches.

     Phobia’s

    People with a phobia don’t have consistent anxiety without a trigger. They typically have a very specific trigger for their anxiety. They develop an overbearing fear of something or some situation. That fear can be something close to reasonable or something completely unnecessary depending on the severity. Whenever that fear begins to kick in, the person suffering may experience strong feelings of fear. That includes trouble breathing, heart palpitations, nausea, and shaking. Some of the most popular phobia’s that people have are blood, small areas, animals, and heights. Phobia’s can lead people to make poor decisions in an attempt to escape a high anxiety situation.

    Panic disorder

    People suffering from Panic disorders or agoraphobia will unexpectedly suffer from massive bouts of anxiety called panic attacks. They’ll often include chest pain, dizzy spells, fear, shaking, and discomfort with being alone. Many panic attacks are completely irrational and sufferers often even know that is the case. Often people will go out of their way to not be alone or in a public situation for that reason. Panic attacks can be minor or severe enough that someone may cause self harm.

    Social Anxiety

    Social anxiety is a phobia of social situations. People suffering from social phobia will often suffer symptoms like a panic attack when they’re exposed to public situations. They may become dizzy, shake, feel short of breath, and they may even have heart palpitations. This social anxiety can occur with strangers or close friends. It’s often most severe when the person becomes the center of attention of the group.

    OCD – Obsessive-compulsive Disorder

    OCD is an anxiety disorder that is caused by an obsessive feeling or thought. They often will manage their own anxiety by doing repetitive tasks that don’t allow anxiety to slip in throughout the day. One common example is someone that is OCD about cleanliness. They can feel anxiety at the sight of a little bit of a problem. That will lead to the person cleaning and reordering continuously without any logical end in sight.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    When a person suffers through a particularly damaging event in their life, they may end up suffering from recurring bouts of that anxiety and stress. That is Post-traumatic stress disorder. It can often be caused by a simple similarity between the damaging event and what is happening (familiar object or person.) The person may suddenly fall back into reliving the events that they suffered through. This can lead to panic attacks, loss of control, and crying. Often people suffering will have less obvious symptoms like avoidance of certain situations and trouble sleeping. Post traumatic stress disorder can start instantly after the event or it can start decades later.

    Anxiety disorders need to be understood to be treated effectively in a healthy way. Many of the methods used to work with an anxiety disorder, not only control the symptoms, but also aim to strengthen the natural mechanisms. A person must be diagnosed and treated accordingly to eliminate the anxiety that they feel.

     

    Author Bio: Tsvetan Petrov is the owner of the famous blog Get Holistic Health.

    Image Credit: Daniel Horacio Agostini


  3. Curing the Curse of Depression and Anxiety- Could Hypnotherapy Help You?

    April 14, 2013

     

    Depressed girl

    Image Credit: Coralie

    ‘Snap out of it’, ‘pull yourself together’, ‘look on the bright side’…all common but misguided words of advice from well meaning friends and family once you’ve mustered up the courage to let them know you’re suffering with depression or anxiety. If only it were that simple eh. It is not uncommon for someone suffering from anxiety to also suffer from depression and vice versa. Almost half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Experiencing constant anxiety leads to feelings of hopelessness and misery which undermines a person’s ability to cope with everyday life leading to depression. Although it probably feels like it, you are not alone. Many people suffer silently and secretly. According to statistics released by the NHS about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will experience a severe episode of depression at some point in their lives and it is a growing problem. The World Health Organisation predicts that within 20 years depression will affect more people than any other health problem. Unfortunately during depression the natural desire to make your self feel better in the present often leads you to do precisely those things which perpetuate and even exacerbate the problem. For example, avoidance tactics such as the person with agoraphobia staying at home to prevent the possibility of an anxiety attack. This allows the illness to control you. The simple act of seeking treatment can enable you to begin regaining that control.

    What Does Hypnotherapy Do to Help?

     

    It was reported in the press recently that in 2011 more than 43 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were handed out but instead of improving the situation the report shows that the side effects of these pills can actually make depression worse. Pills don’t address the fact that depression tends to recur once a person has suffered it once, it recurs because they become stuck in a pattern of negative thought, and this negative thinking links a person’s self esteem with events outside of their control. To make permanent changes the root of your negative thinking need to be addressed, to do this you need to tackle the deep inner causes buried at the back of your mind, in other words your subconscious. Whilst you are in a state of deep relaxation you are more open to suggestion and the use of your unfettered imagination whilst you are under hypnosis can help you cement the behaviour changes necessary to free you from negative thoughts. General life stresses and how we deal with them are major factors in determining who will suffer from depression. A life event doesn’t necessarily have to be unpleasant to result in anxiety or depression. For example, marriage, moving home or the birth of a child can all trigger anxiety and depression. Certain memories or pent up emotions that have been pushed to the back of your mind can subconsciously inform your reactions to such events. Hypnotherapy can help in how you formulate responses to general life stresses and help you in overcoming anxiety by helping you learn how to halt excessive worry and fear in its tracks before it spirals out of control.

    Is There Any Real Evidence that it Works?

     

    In 2007 the first controlled comparison of hypnotherapy for the treatment of depression was carried out by the University of Calgary in Canada. It concluded that it was effective in producing a significant reduction in depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness in the participants of the study. Since then hypnotherapy has fast gained the recognition and approval of the medical establishment. In 2012 it was reported that although there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment for depressive disorders, cognitive hypnotherapy, that is hypnosis combined with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), offers the best solution for long term, successful treatment. Hypnotherapy is scientifically recognised as a comprehensive and evidence based treatment for clinical depression. This empirical evidence suggests that hypnosis treatment can help cure anxiety and depression by empowering you with depression fighting techniques to combat the negative feelings that are often at the root of this common and debilitating illness. It can help you realise your own power to create your own solutions to the problems life will inevitably throw at you. It is fast and effective and, unlike medication, has zero side effects. It is not dangerous and cannot make a person do something they do not want to do. By addressing the underlying problems rather than attempting to mask them hypnotherapy provides the tools to help you deal with any future difficulties thus assisting recovery and preventing depression and anxiety recurring. It can help you keep things in perspective and not worry about the things you can’t control.

     

    This is a guest post by thetherapylounge.com, specialists in both anxiety and depression hypnotherapy treatment.


  4. Psychologist Advice: Treat Insomnia with CBT

    March 25, 2013

    insomnia

    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtsofan/7218989202/

    by Joanna Fishman

     

    There are more than 70 medically recognised sleep disorders, but insomnia is one of the most common.  As many as 90% of people will suffer from some kind of sleep disturbance during their lifetime, with 30% of people suffering from a severe form.  Insomnia, in its simplest incarnation, is the inability to get enough sleep, either because of being unable to get to sleep, or because of waking too soon.  Naturally insomnia can lead to tiredness during the day and a lack of concentration, but it is also associated with anxiety and depression, especially when it is longstanding.

     

    Treatment

     

    Insomnia can be caused by a large number of factors, both physical and psychological.  Medication can be prescribed by health professionals, but sleeping tablets can become addictive and are not a long-term solution, especially if there is no underlying medical cause for the insomnia.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) conducted by a psychologist or psychotherapist can offer a drug-free solution to insomnia.

     

    CBT is a psychotherapeutic treatment/taling therapy for many different emotional and psychological conditions.  It works on the basis of helping to reprogramme the mind to prevent it from falling into timeworn patterns.  By helping the sufferer to see the cycle that they are in, it provides alternative pathways to break the cycle.  The therapy is goal-orientated and follows systemic patterns to break the bad habits that the insomnia sufferer has unwittingly fallen into.  [1]

     

    How it works

     

    When an insomnia sufferer begins a CBT programme [3], their attitudes towards sleep will be assessed and the main issue relating to sleep problems will be focussed on.  There are then three stages that are worked through to try and rebalance the body’s need for sleep.

     

    1. Stimulus control

    In the same way that a baby is taught to associate its cot with sleeping, so an insomniac must learn to associate the bed with only sleep.  The bed should only be used for sleeping in; not reading, working or watching the TV.  The sufferer must go to bed only when tired, and if they don’t fall asleep within ten minutes of getting into bed, they must get up and move to another room, to prevent falling into the pattern of trying to sleep and not managing to.  They must also get out of bed at the same time every day, regardless of how much sleep they have had.

     

    1. Sleep hygiene

    Sleep hygiene does not actually relate to physical cleanliness but to the clean and undisturbed rituals surrounding going to bed.  Things that could cause one’s sleep environment to become unhygienic include noise pollution from television, light pollution from video games or stimulant pollution from caffeine, tobacco or alcohol.  During CBT, the insomnia sufferer is asked to focus particularly on the 4-6 hours prior to bed and must keep these hours clean of things that could interrupt their sleep.  They are encouraged to do something calming such as reading or having a bath, in order to prepare their body for sleep.

     

    1. Sleep restriction

    Restricting the amount of sleep that an insomnia sufferer is allowed to have may seem like a contradiction at first, however, CBT aims to balance out the person’s need for sleep and their desire to sleep with the amount of sleep that they get. Much of the anxiety surrounding insomnia is down to the stress from knowing that you are not getting enough sleep in order to function properly.  Lying awake for hours worrying about not sleeping only makes matters worse.  In order to get the balance right, CBT looks at the ratio of sleep efficiency.  Sleep efficiency (SE) is calculated using the following formula:

     

    SE = Total Sleep Time/Time in Bed

     

    Therefore, in order to increase a person’s sleep efficiency, their time in bed must be reduced.  A person undergoing CBT will be instructed to alter their time in bed by 20-minute increments until they reach the desired goal of a Sleep Efficiency value of more than 90%.  This can lead to the person being very tired when they first start out, and it can take weeks or months for the goal to be achieved, but by reducing the amount of time that they are in bed, when they do get to bed, they will fall asleep quickly and sleep well, rather than being in bed for a longer time, without sleeping as long.

     

    CBT has been shown to have between an 80% and 90% success rate [2] for insomnia sufferers.  Although the patient must be committed to the therapy and may find some of the stages hard, particularly the restricting sleep stage, the steps are relatively uncomplicated and easy to understand.  By addressing the issue of insomnia as a whole body issue rather than just a medical one, CBT often gets to the bottom of the sleep issues, rather than just masking them with medication.  Because of this, CBT has become a very popular way to treat insomnia, and its success rate is conclusive evidence that it is a viable and effective treatment.

     

    Author Bio: Joanna Fishman writes for Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney. Her blog, www.counsellingsydney.com.au/blog tackles a range of topics relevant to mental health, emotional wellbeing and relationships.

    References:

    [1] http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/hot-topics/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-insomnia

    [2] http://sleephealthcme.com/pictures/1030_CBT-I%20eD%20gLAUSERfor%20Sleep%20Health%202012%20Conference.pdf

    [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy_for_insomnia

     


  5. Natural Ways To Beat Anxiety

    March 13, 2013

    anxiety

    Image Credit: Meredith Farmer

    Once upon a time anxiety was considered a state of being not a medical condition. Today there are a myriad of ways to combat anxiety, from cognitive psychotherapy to physical activities to medical interventions such as pharmaceutical medicines.

    Anxiety may be situational, internal or a result of a chemical imbalance. While for some, medication is the most appropriate solution, other people may try to avoid prescription medicines and find other ways to cope with their anxiety.

    Different types of anxiety require different approaches. Following below are some suggestions for things people try when looking to manage normal anxiety. Only you and your psychologist or psychiatrist can work out the right approach for you – don’t be afraid to ask for help from mental-health professionals.

    –          Is something in particular worrying you? Is it within your power to change it? If not, let it go. Worrying won’t help.

    If it is within your power to influence the outcome then get busy: take action to resolve it, face it, fix it, do what it is that needs to be done to get it out of your mind.

    –          Improve your diet. A lack of certain nutrients has been associated with anxiety, for example, a lack of magnesium and some amino acids and a deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids (found in fish oil, flaxseeds, walnuts and  avocados).

    –          Observe yourself: see if a possible food sensitivity maybe triggering your anxiety. If you have panic attacks start to notice what you ate the night before, the morning of, for lunch that day etc. to see if there is a pattern to the types of foods you eat that may be correlated to the anxiety. Caffeine can be a trigger too so steer clear. Avoid sugar, excessive stimulants (such as cigarettes or energy drinks), and food additives.

    –          Lower the stress hormones in the body by doing daily exercise. A gentle walk, an easy bike ride, or a proper workout: do what’s right for your current fitness level and then build up over time. Exercise that gets the heart pumping is one of the best ways of beating stress and fighting a chemical upset within the body, mind, brain.

    –          Focus on your breath, and slowly breathe in and out to the count of three. Close your eyes if you need to, and count again. Repeat for as long as necessary till the wave of anxiety has passed – which it will.

    –          Start your day with oats. Oats contain B vitamins (the “happy” vitamin) and minerals that can help induce a feeling of calm. Go easy on the sugar though – use fruit and a little honey or yogurt instead. Grated apple can give you a sweetness boost if you really need it.

    –          Drink herbal tea, such as chamomile, or try herbal supplements such as Valerian, St. John’s Wort, Magnolia, Sacred Basil and Withania.

    –          Allow yourself time out and spend it looking after yourself in some way. For example, do a weekly yoga class, have a massage, learn to meditate. These activities will help to take your mind of things and can also stimulate the release of feel-good hormones in the body. You will also feel proud of yourself for taking positive action.

    –          Eat small meals every two to three hours to help combat low blood sugar, which can be a trigger for anxiety. Choose high protein, low sugar foods such as tinned fish; a handful of almonds, cashews, walnuts or brazil nuts; cheese and crackers; a glass of milk or tub of unsweetened yogurt. Toasted pitta bread with homous, a carrot, dolmades (rice-stuffed vine leaves) or sushi can also be good snacks.

    –          Avoid conflict and drama. If you already have an internal battle raging then the last thing you need is to find yourself in an external environment full of conflict. Choose to walk away when trouble arises and avoid the stress and additional anxiety that becoming involved may produce. Better that for now you learn to take care of you.

    –          Find someone to talk to. It may be a friend or psychologist or psychotherapist. It’s better if they are a little bit removed from your everyday life so they have a more independent view of your situation and are not also experiencing some of the impacts of your stress. Of course, an understanding and supportive partner or family member can be a great help too.

    There are a number of remedies available at health food stores as well. Chinese herbal medicines can be helpful for some people, as are various Western herbs. Essential oils, Bach flower remedies, crystal essences and herbal sprays may also help. Reducing your exposure to chemicals, for example, tooth paste, shampoo and washing powders, may also help settle your system down  and help you focus better on managing your stress and anxiety.

     

    Author Bio: Vanessa Blake is a freelance writer and health freak with a ridiculous general knowledge of nutrition and the body. No wonder she decided to study for a Diploma of Nutrition in 2003. She also loves yoga.


  6. How Breathing Can Reduce Many of the Symptoms of Panic Attacks

    March 8, 2013

    panic attack

    Image Credit: Mark Haertl

    by Ryan Rivera

     

    Panic attacks may be an anxiety condition, but they’re characterized by some severe physical symptoms. These symptoms can be so debilitating that many people end up in ambulances, on their way to the hospital because they believe they’re suffering from a heart attack, brain tumor, or some type of dangerous and deadly disease.

    But panic attacks and panic disorder are still caused by nothing more than anxiety, and in many ways it’s how you react to your attacks that create panic attacks so severe that they require hospitalization.

     

    Stopping the Panic Symptoms

     

    Panic attacks can be triggered by stress, or they can be triggered by nothing at all. Some people have panic attacks only during moments of intense anxiety, while others can have a panic attack simply because they notice that their heart feels different than normal, as though something is wrong with it. Some people experience panic attacks simply because they are afraid of getting one.

    No matter what causes your panic attacks, the more severe the panic attack is the more likely you are to:

    • Fear getting one if the future
    • Alter your behavior to avoid panic attacks
    • Experience health anxiety over “what if” questions about panic attack symptoms.

    That’s why it’s so important it is to not just cure your panic attacks, but also reduce their severity when you experience one. One of the best ways to do that is to simply change the way you’re breathing.

     

    Panic Attacks and Hyperventilation

     

    Panic attacks can cause many symptoms, including chest pains, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and weakness or tingling in the extremities. But most of these symptoms aren’t caused by the anxiety itself. It’s caused by a symptom of that anxiety known as hyperventilation.

    Most people have heard of hyperventilation before, usually as kids when their parents tell them not to breathe in and out too quickly. But what you may not realize is that hyperventilation isn’t the act of not getting enough oxygen. It’s actually the act of breathing out too much carbon dioxide. Your body needs carbon dioxide to operate, and when you breathe too quickly you end up with blood that actually has too much oxygen.

    Breathing quickly isn’t the only way to hyperventilate either. You can also hyperventilate by trying to take deeper breaths than your body needs, and not holding that air for long enough for it to turn into carbon dioxide. This is especially relevant because hyperventilation can actually cause you to feel as though you’re not getting enough oxygen, causing you to take deeper breaths than you need in order to compensate and unfortunately making your hyperventilation worse.

     

    Reducing Hyperventilation Symptoms

     

    Since most of the worst symptoms of panic attacks are the result of hyperventilation, then it stands to reason that if you can stop hyperventilating before or during an attack, you should be able to reduce the panic attack’s severity.

    That’s why when you feel like a panic attack is coming on it is in your best interests to slow down your breathing. Try breathing in slowly through your nose for 5 seconds, holding for 3 seconds, and then breathing out through pursed lips for 7 seconds. This type of slower breathing will rebuild some of the carbon dioxide levels in your body, and potentially reduce the severity of your panic attack symptom.

     

    Only the First Part of the Process

     

    Reducing the severity of your panic attacks isn’t going to cure them forever, because hyperventilation is not the sole cause of the attack. But a weaker panic attack is a great first step, because it reduces the fear that you have over the meaning and future of your panic attacks, and from there you can learn to combat the anxiety and hopefully life a panic attack free life.

     

    Author Bio: Ryan Rivera struggled with intense, debilitating panic attacks for seven years. He has a website about living with and overcoming these attacks at www.calmclinic.com.

     


  7. MYTHS ABOUT ANXIETY SYMPTOMS

    February 23, 2013

    anxiety and depression Myth #1: One has to learn to live with this condition.
    TRUTH: One does NOT have to “learn to live” with this condition because there is a complete process, tools and methods to remove this from your life once and for all. Yes,  there is a sure way past this and it works! But it requires you to work on it, not only your psychologist or therapist.

    Myth #2: These feelings will always return…setbacks are inevitable.

    TRUTH: This is NOT true! Once you begin moving forward the symptoms will shrink down to manageable size until they no longer matter and dissipate all together. There are always “bumps in the road” in life, but when you slow down, remember your skills and tools, you will be able to negotiate anything. Remember, slowing down, keep going forward and moving ahead. You can never turn back!

    Myth #3: “I am worse than anyone else!”

    TRUTH: This is a normal feeling when looking at your anxiety symptoms and most people go through a period of thinking this thought. The truth of the matter is that no matter how you became to be in this condition, most people have remarkably similar symptoms. All these symptoms are adrenaline based and, therefore, limited and there’s a set way of moving past them. You may think you feel worse than others, but this is not true. When you go through this, the “right way” you will move past this is a relatively easy and quick fashion.

    Myth #4: “I’m too “young” “old” “busy” “scared” or “whatever” to get past this.”

    TRUTH: Age has no significance to getting past this condition. It is not a factor. Neither is anything else as long as you follow the formula…the process. There is a way out and anyone can do it. There is a “right way” to go through this and if a person uses these skills, being in total control again is perfectly attainable…..and in a relatively short time!

    Myth #5: “I need a “safe” person with me for support.”
    TRUTH: Psychological support is a marvelous thing to have and it feels fantastic, especially if this is a support from a psychologist or therapist, BUT it feels more sensational to rely on YOURSELF! Once you learn how to move past the symptoms and go forward with strength and control you will understand the feeling of depending on YOU. It is the greatest feeling on earth, and nothing else can compare! You are all you need to move past this. You are the only one who can grab the reins with this condition and give yourself the real comfort you need. Once you feel the strength of going through this with your own power you see extremely clearly that you are your own comfort zone.

    Myth #6: “The places I want to go are too “noisy”, “smoky”, “bright” or “crowded” for me to feel comfortable.”
    TRUTH: it is not the places………..It is what you are saying to yourself in these places. That is why you feel safe when you get home……you reassure yourself that you are safe and your body responds favorably. It does not matter if you are in the middle of Times Square on New Year’s Eve if you know what to do. It is all in how you define where you are and the way you think……your body reactions just naturally follow.

    Myth #7: “Making it harder for me is the fact that family and friends simply don’t understand what I am going through!”
    TRUTH: This has to do with regaining your life and it doesn’t matter who else is on the peripheral. This is between you and yourself. Once you start gaining control, you will see things that USED to bother you will now roll off your back. When you are less vulnerable, things won’t stick any more. You’ll be treated differently because you will be acting differently.      You will see relationships improve because you won’t let “minor” incidents bother you and, you’ll feel better about yourself. It follows suit that everything else around you will naturally improve!

    Myth #8: “Maybe there’s something seriously wrong with me, that’s been overlooked!”
    TRUTH: Naturally after you’ve been checked by your psychiatrist or/and clinical psychologist and been diagnosed with the anxiety condition you will feel some relief. You know it’s anxiety symptoms, and you feel relieved it’s nothing physical. Then why do you still feel those symptoms? The reason is that your body is still hugely sensitized from weeks, months or years of fueling the feelings by thinking the wrong way. Once you begin to do it the right way and the symptoms stop mattering, you will realize even though the “first fear” flares from time to time that it will dissipate if you just stop feeding it and fueling it with your fears. These symptoms are the effects of adrenaline, and although they feel uncomfortable, they are merely trivial. Nothing to worry about.

    Myth #9: “I must do ANYTHING to avoid these feelings, they could hurt me!”
    TRUTH: Avoiding is what built up the fear that keeps you sensitized and in this condition.  I would also   rather see you go through it the “right way” than spend your whole life in fear and avoiding these anxiety symptoms. The way out of this, past this once in for all is going through it the RIGHT WAY!

    Myth #10: Drugs are the only answer. Sometimes you need a quick fix. NOT!!!
    TRUTH: Some medications do take the edge off; there’s no denying that. Some drugs also sedate and have side effects too. This is purely a personal choice between you and your health care provider. It is a choice though we work with people taking medications and those without medications too. Clinical psychologist or therapist could be a great help in case of anxiety or depression. We have seen people, with their physicians approval SLOWLY go off their medications after just a few months of psychotherapy sessions. We also feel whether you’re on medications or not; it’s invaluable to know how to go through this with skills, methods and tools you have learned and can carry along with you wherever you go!

    Myth #11: You’ve tried everything and Nothing works…..you’re stuck for life.
    TRUTH: You have not truly gone through it the “right way”…..You have given in to your fears and ignored your power. You own strength to go through this the correct way. No more avoiding. It’s time to embrace this and go through it correctly. You owe it to yourself to do it the right way, the only way, and conquer this condition once and for all!

    This guest post is by Craig Audley, a full time blogger.  Craig blogs on a number of topics mainly in the health, psychology, and wellness niche. If you would like to read more article similar to the one above you might like to visit escapepanicattacks.com.


  8. What Is A Phobia?

    February 16, 2013

    phobia anxiety

    Image credit: Matt & Nicole Cummings @Flickr

    A phobia is an irrational fear, an aversion, a hatred, or acute anxiety over something, or someone, an activity or a situation; which is a trigger that releases fear in that person. These fearful feelings can be generated by anything that normally does not pose a threat to life, they are usually a response to a mental image of a previous experience encountered, where an incident generated some anxiety and the mind was unable to rationalize the situation.
    At what point does a reasonable amount of anxiety and avoidance become a phobia? Increasing anxiety over apparently safe items indicates a phobia. If the level of anxiety is high and bears no relevance to the degree of danger involved, it is a phobia.
    Many people feel slightly apprehensive when boarding an aircraft, or facing a new situation, or meeting new people, but not to the point of being panic stricken, that avoidance is the only relief.
    The greater the anxiety, the stronger the desire is to avoid what is feared, and the greater the avoidance the more disruption is caused to the person’s life.

    False Beliefs About Phobias

     

    Madness

    A phobia is not a serious mental illness, nor is it connected to any known physical illness. However painful and distressing your symptoms are, no matter how irrational and inexplicable your phobia and its effects may seem, no matter how dramatic and complete your loss of mental and/or physical control, these are not the first signs of insanity.
    The symptoms do not indicate a ‘nervous breakdown’. The modern view of phobias, which is accepted by the majority of specialists, is supported by a wealth of clinical and research evidence, Phobias are a result of an unfortunate but entirely normal process of learning.

    A Rare and Unique Illness

    Many phobics believe they are suffering from a rare illness, that is little known and nothing can be done, and this belief is endorsed when other people are seen to cope effortlessly with the same things that arouse a phobics’ fears. In fact phobias are very common, studies suggest one person in ten experiences such difficulties at least once in their life. Phobias have been studied for well over a hundred years and a great deal is known about them, effective treatments have been developed, mostly from the field of behavioural psychology.

    A Phobic is Weak-willed Or Stupid

    Sufferers often consider themselves ‘stupid’ or ‘weak’ because they are constantly told that by others. Non-sufferers can be irritable and impatient about the inability of a phobic to do something that most people tackle with ease. Having a phobia has nothing to do with a fault in your character, a weakness or a flaw in your personality. Some of the bravest people are those fighting to free themselves of their fears. People who tell you to ‘pull yourself together’, ‘stop being foolish’ speak with the voice of ignorance about fears and simply do not understand. The distress produced by a phobia can only be understood and appreciated by one who has experienced a phobia.

    Self control and positive thinking

    Telling yourself – or being told to exercise ‘self control’ is not the right kind of positive thinking and will not get rid of the fear. Saying ‘I am not going to feel afraid’ in a situation, without some preparation, is unrealistic positive thinking that will hinder your progress. Positive thinking has to be used in a constructive way and by using simple clear statements that :-

    •  Relate directly to any difficulties you anticipate.
    •  Are realistic about the likely outcome
    •  Must contain practical advice about how the situation can be tackled successfully.

     

    Example

    I know the situation will be difficult but I will be able to deal with it by concentrating on my breathing.
    The situation may make me feel tense but I shall be able to cope if I practice relaxing my muscles.
    Saying such positive statements and adding your own coping strategy will help :-

    •  I may find this difficult but I shall cope more easily if I remember to….
    •  The situation may be tricky to handle at times, but it will prove less difficult if I….
    •  I might find it slightly harder to cope, but I will keep my anxiety under control, if I study the surroundings in detail.
    •  Carrying out this task might make me nervous, but I will manage if I….

     

    This guest post is by Craig Audley, a full time blogger.  Craig blogs on a number of topics mainly in the health and wellness niche. If you would like to read more article similar to the one above you might like to visit http://www.escapepanicattacks.com