Anyone who has experienced anxiety, and according to statistics that’s almost 1 in 10 of us at any one time in the UK, knows that it is much more than a state of mind. Characterised by tension, worry, restlessness, irritability, insomnia and an array of other symptoms, it can severely impact on everyday life. Whilst there are a multitude of drugs targeted to treat and manage this condition, for those who want to take a more natural approach, can anything be done through food and nutrition?
When stressed and feeling anxious, the temptation is to go straight for the quick fix- the caffeine, the sugar, the slice of cake that’s going to give you a big hug from within! However, the “high” these types of food bring are short-lived, and the energy crash that inevitably follows can leave you feeling jittery and even more anxious than before. A kinder approach to your body is to eat foods that settle, not stimulate your anxiety. By making choices that nourish your adrenals (the glands that regulate your bodies’ response to stress), support your nervous system, and keep your blood sugar levels balanced, your body will be best equipped to deal with everything that life throws at it. So eat your way to calm, with the following nutrient-rich, anxiety-busting foods that expert recommend:
1) Salmon and other oily fish are bursting with omega-3 fatty acids. An increased intake of omega-3s has been associated with reduced risk of anxiety in many studies, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-zone/201201/anxiety-and-omega-3-fatty-acids. Omega-3s aid in blood sugar regulation and help to prevent the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from spiking during periods of stress. They also form the building blocks for a happy brain, and a deficiency has been linked to both low mood and depression. For vegetarians and vegans, chia seeds and flaxseeds are the best plant-source of omega-3s.
2) Spinach is rich in folate, an important B vitamin that is converted to folic acid in the body. Depression and anxiety have both been linked to folic acid deficiency. Spinach also boasts high levels of magnesium and vitamin C which are both highly important for our adrenal glands and our body’s ability to cope with stress
3) Turkey- great news for the festive season, turkey is a fantastic source of the amino acid tryptophan which produces chemicals in the brain that boost mood and encourage relaxation. It helps to provide a sense of calmness, and may also aid sleep. Seafood, nuts, beans and pulses are also all great sources.
4) Oats are one of the best foods for boosting levels of the “happy hormone” serotonin in our brain, low levels of which are linked to anxiety. Oats are also packed with B vitamins, which are essential for the creation of important neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system that affect mood.
5) Almonds make the perfect on-the-go snack during times of stress. High in both protein and fibre they help keep the blood sugar levels balanced, and cortisol levels in check. They are also rich in magnesium, otherwise known as “nature’s tranquilliser” which has a calming effect on the nervous system and promotes feelings of wellbeing.
To boost your intake of these important nutrients further, you may also consider a dietary supplement. In times of intense stress, our adrenals are under a lot of pressure and are likely to benefit from additional B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium. And as a last tip, eat little and often. This will keep your blood sugar levels balanced, and provide you with the vigour to deal with bouts of anxiety in the best way you can.
We define agoraphobia as a form ofAnxiety disorder. There is some controversy regarding the word “Agoraphobia”. In the literal sense of the word, agoraphobia means a fear of “open spaces” This does not provide a complete and appropriate understanding of the term. Agoraphobia refers to a relentless anxiety condition arising out of illogical and disabling fears. Open spaces don’t necessarily cause fear in people affected with agoraphobia. But such people are somewhat haunted by fear getting panic attacks and the affected persons may suffer panic attacks either in public places like temples, crowded market areas or at home. So to be more precise, Agoraphobia is marked by extreme fear arising out of circumstances wherein an escape seems impossible or where there is no availability of any help in case of a panic attack.
A group of certain feared activities may result in Agoraphobia. An individual affected with agoraphobia may find it extremely difficult to drive a vehicle, or to travel in a vehicle; to stand on a bridge, in a queue, in a crowd and to be away from home. These persons are always troubled by an unknown fear of an impending danger and often get panic attacks.
Medical professionals ascribe many factors that cause agoraphobia. If a people are exposed to anxiety aggravating events that recur again, they may develop agoraphobia. Such events cause an intense fear often leaving an indelible impression on that individual’s mind. The main cause of agoraphobia is the fear of having panic attacks. These panic attacks make the affected individual to live in the constant fear of having another attack. The sufferers feel unnerved by the fear of what may happen to them if they get a panic attack in such public places like markets, hotels, temples or while traveling in a car, bus or any other vehicle.
Another important cause of agoraphobia is the obsessed memory of the situation and experience of the once suffered panic attack. Again this causes fear and anxiety finally leading to another attack. Naturally such persons confine themselves to home and avoid visiting public places.
Medical practitioners classify the symptoms of agoraphobia into three categories and they are; Physical, Psychological and behavioral symptoms.
Physical symptoms of agoraphobia are very rare because the affected people avoid situations that make them intensely anxious. However the agoraphobics may experience certain physical disorders. Such people often feel hot and sweaty followed by irregular heartbeats. Giddiness, shivering, diarrhea, nausea and chest pain are the common symptoms.
Psychological symptoms of agoraphobia are expressive of the patient’s fears. The affected people are in constant fear being put in an embarrassing condition. The terrifying panic attack may cause breathlessness. These people find themselves in situations from which there is no way out. Such people may lose their mental balance. They shiver and blush in front of people.
The people affected with agoraphobia exhibit symptoms related to behavior. They try to be in their comfort zone, confining themselves to home for long periods. They keep themselves away from doing any physical activity as they are afraid of any possible panic attack. Such persons withstand a situation only with great fear and anxiety. They also avoid driving vehicles.
Agoraphobia can be treated effectively with trusted medications and with definite kinds of psychotherapy
Lack of sleep can make anyone lose focus during daytime; some people become very irritable and do not have the energy to do any progressive work. Sleep lost is attributed to some mental and physical conditions. Sometimes people with certain ailments find it hard to sleep. In some cases stress and depression also causes lack of sleep.
Anxiety attacks at night are very possible for those people who are very stressed in their everyday lives. Body and mental fatigue can trigger anxiety in anyone, especially those who have quite weak personalities.
Chronic anxiety attacks can be experienced at night when the condition is not properly diagnosed and treated.
Common Reasons Why anyone can Experience Anxiety Attacks at Night:
Chemical imbalance causes anxiety attacks at night. If the brain can not release enough serotonin for the body, chemical imbalance occurs. Serotonin is a substance responsible for the body to stay clam and relax; without adequate supply of this substance, a person can suffer from panic attacks at night.
A stressful day can result in an anxiety attack at night. A person who recalls the unhappy events of the day will naturally find it hard to relax and can have certain panic-stricken thoughts that can lead to anxiety.
Having sleep disorders such as sleep apnea that affects the heart beat as well as the blood pressure can make the person have disturbed sleeps at night. Sleeping and waking up continuously at night can cause anxiety attacks at night.
Addiction to certain substances can also cause sleep disturbances that can trigger anxiety attacks at night. Too much coffee, alcohol or drugs when consumed by an anxiety patient may worsen the condition.
Anxiety Attack Symptoms:
Any normal person, who has suddenly been thrown at a very stressful period in his life, can experience anxiety attacks at night. But a person who is chronically suffering from anxiety can normally go through continuous anxiety attacks at night. Her are some symptoms that may tell you that you are having anxiety attacks at night:
- your post is promoting a questionable product or service.
- you post is offensive to others
- your post is not relevant to ASN (for instance a dentist promoting his services)
- your post offers no value to the community or is an excuse to post a link or promote a service.
- Faster heartbeat and palpitations
- Sudden chest pain when in bed
- Discomfort while trying to relax in bed
- Excessive sweating
- Body trembling
- Numbness and dizziness
- Hot and cold feelings to the extremes
- Muscle and joint pains
- Unexplained tiredness
Prevention of Anxiety Attacks at Night:
If you had a stressful day and you are afraid to having anxiety attack at night, then you might want to try some things to prevent it from happening.
Take a warm shower before bedtime to help in the easing of the tensions in the muscles.
Meditate for a few seconds, so that your mind will be taken away from thinking of the stressful events of the day. Instead of thinking how the vents has gone through, think of other events that have made you happy or think of good things to look forward to.
You can also read a book or have a few minutes with your children. Some activities such board game playing or book reading with kids can make anyone relaxed. Kids have the powered to make anyone feel at ease and forget the problems of the day.
At nights after stressful days, avoid drinking too much coffee, which may keep you awake. If you are awake longer than necessary, you will have the tendency to think of what happened and this may trigger the attack.
Treatments for Anxiety Attacks at Night:
Cognitive behavioral therapy is the recommended treatment for anxiety attacks at night. This therapy is a systematic approach in solving disorders that are commonly related to dysfunctional emotions and behaviors. With a psychiatric therapy you will be able to find out the reasons for the attacks and will enable you ant your therapist to find the right answers to your problems.
There are also anti-anxiety drugs that are available with the right prescription from your physician.
If you say you have never experienced anxiety, you will be thought to be either lying, or extraordinary. Each and every one of us will feel anxious at some time or another, the only difference being that the cause of anxiety will differ, and the extent will vary. Most often, we do not give a second thought to the anxiety we endure, mainly because it is second nature to us and we know it will pass as suddenly as it came, leaving us none the worse for having experienced it. When the frequency and intensity is harder to bear, the condition should not be ignored, and for a start, natural anxiety treatments can be commenced.
Anxiety that is severe enough to be accompanied by the inability to concentrate, with feelings of restlessness, impatience and irritability, should make us pause and try to think why it is happening. If the sensations are caused by unusually heavy workloads, family or financial difficulties, you may feel tired and listless, but you will not experience the discomfort of a fast beating heart, rapid and shallow breathing, a feeling of confusion, accompanied by tummy cramps.
These are in no way symptoms of ordinary stress. When we go through all these sensations at the same time, we will need to acknowledge them for what they are, and try to get the condition under control, before it takes control of us, in an unstoppable grip. Ideally, we should visit a doctor as a precautionary measure, but if that is not possible, there is a need to start taking things easy. Then, try out these simple and uncomplicated methods of reducing stress and anxiety - most of which are inexpensive, but the returns are invaluable.
what can you do?
Firstly, remembering that prevention is better than cure, reach for your shoes - both, your walking shoes, as well as your dancing ones! Then enroll for dancing lessons, if you don't already know how to dance - and if you'd rather not, search the internet, or find some easily explained dance steps on YouTube.Try to enroll for Yoga and, or, Tai Chi classes, and meditation.Try to concentrate on your breathing when life gets too hectic - it draws your attention away from the stress around you.
Take your walking shoes to work, and go for a walk during you lunch break, if you don't have time to walk in the early mornings or after work in the evenings. Walking is simple but good exercise.All these activities pump up the production of your feel good hormones, while at the same time keeping you flexible, controlling your weight, and filling you with the sense of wellbeing.
Try aromatherapy, using essential oils from flowers and delicate plants for massages and baths, as well as putting a few drops of sweet smelling oil like geranium, lavender jasmine, etc, either in infusers, or through use of scented candles.The sweet and gentle scent that fills the surrounding atmosphere is soothing and calms the spirit.
Further, different people manage to find their own way of handling anxiety and panic attacks when they start to come on. Some people have found that trying to whistle a tune or humming their favorite song can help a lot. While it is not easy at first, practice will make one perfect - as they go along trying, they suddenly find that without even realizing it, the sensation has passed.Some try to breathe into a paper bag, or search their handbags for candy to suck on - actions that draw their attention away from the immediate situation.
When one learns to either control one's anxiety, or the symptoms that accompany it, the sensation can leave one feeling so confident and so much in control, that the recurrence and the severity of subsequent attacks are felt with lower intensity.
Controversy around Medical Marijuana
Medical Marijuana refers to the use of the plant cannabis and its extracts or constituents as herbal therapy as legislated in USA. There is controversy about the medical value of marijuana or cannabis and lot of opposition to their use. But there are many documented effects that are found beneficial in treatment of nausea and improvement of hunger in case of AIDS patients and patients undergoing chemotherapy and in treatment of glaucoma. More commonly it is believed to have analgesic properties but even this is disputed.
The controversy of medical marijuana is due to the fact that it is used in various forms like smoking or drinking the extracts for addictive recreational use and is legislated as illegal. Many countries have banned the use of cannabis in any form but the use in medical applications is permitted with various degrees of control and permission requirements. The medical use of cannabis is disputed all over the world.
Benefits of Medical Marijuana
Various studies have established the benefits of medical marijuana in treatment of many conditions like nausea, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, weight loss and loss of appetite. It is also found effective in treatment of painful conditions and spasticity, asthma and movement disorder. It has also proven to be useful in migraines, inflammatory bowels disease etc
Medical Marijuana in treatment of anxiety disorder
Medical marijuana has been used in treatment in psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression and mood disorders. These disorders affect the way an individual thinks and feels and acts and these acts are always negatively affected. The depression and anxiety disorders cause a deep feeling of sadness and result in loss of interest in even pleasurable activities. If this condition can not be improved up on by change of life style, exercise and diet or by counseling it is necessary to provide relief with medication from the debilitating symptoms.
Benefits of Medical Marijuana
The proper use of medical marijuana many patients are able to avoid the use of opiates and tranquillizers or sleeping pills and other antidepressant medicines. It is argued that unlike other diseases, long suffering due to depression and anxiety disorders makes the patient will wear down the patient like no other disease and will deteriorate the condition as he looses interest in all activities that make recovery possible. In such cases, the mood elevation made possible by marijuana has a positive effect as the patient begins to take interest in activities that help to slowly recover; the mood improvement acts as a catalyst in the path to recovery. Marijuana Medical Handbook mentions that the power of marijuana to eliminate depression is the main medical benefit of the banned substance.
Arguments against Medical Marijuana
The main argument against marijuana is that it does not produce Serotonin, but affects anandamide which is present in brain and produces soothing feeling by reacting with THC which is present in marijuana. This can actually increase the depression and cause schizophrenia like in regular illegal use after a prolonged use. It is always safe to administer antidepressant under medical care than use the illegal substance. Also, the constituents of marijuana interfere with the process of balancing the chemicals which antidepressants work to achieve and in fact it may aggravate the condition instead of curing it.
It can happen to anyone at any time: in the office, shopping center, while driving, or even while one sleeps at night. Suddenly, without any warning, an individual may feel frightened and extremely overwhelmed. All at once it feels as if the world is closing in around them and their anxiety levels rapidly rise. The overwhelming and intense fear and anxiety that the individual feels is seemingly neither justified, nor related to, the present situation. For individuals who have experienced a panic attack the experience can be extremely overwhelming and scary. The symptoms of a panic attack closely resemble those of a heart attack, but disappear usually within half an hour. When an individual experiences a panic attack for the first time they will most likely feel extremely scared and overwhelmed by the experience. It can be extremely scary to feel as if one has lost control of their emotions and anxiety levels.
What Ca You DO?
Have you or someone you know ever been impacted by this type of an experience? If so, the person affected will never forget the sensations and will most likely want some additional information regarding their panic filled experience. Information and supports are highly valuable so that individuals are better prepared if they ever face it again in the future. If an individual has not experienced a panic attack themselves then it is still extremely valuable to gain a greater understanding of how panic attacks and panic disorders arise and affect individuals. Everyone should learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of panic attacks and should take active measures to avoid this anxiety filled experience. Even if you do not believe that you are at risk of developing a panic attack, chances are that someone you know or love may experience one sometime during their lifetime. Everyone can benefit from gaining a greater understanding of panic attacks.
People who suffer sudden panic attack may experience the following symptoms:
The panic attack, though overwhelmingly intense and frightening, is a brief panic filled episode that usually lasts approximately 10 minutes. The duration, exact symptoms, and intensity of the panic attack will vary from person to person. In some cases, it may take up to half an hour for the symptoms to disappear completely.
The experience of a panic attack is viewed as being a manifestation of anxiety that may occur in relation to various other events, experiences, situations, and relationships that cause stress in the individual’s life. For example, an individual experiencing a panic attack may be overwhelmed and stressed by family relationships or work. Even though the panic attack may appear to happen during a completely unrelated situation to the major stressor in one’s life the two experiences are strongly linked. If the panic attack happens only once then it is simply an uncomfortable and unsettling experience. If the panic attacks recur frequently then it is identified as a condition known as panic disorder. This condition can be completely paralyzing if the person, in addition to suffering from the panic attacks, begins to fear repeat panic attacks in the future. This experience of repeated panic attacks and the fear of potential upcoming panic attacks creates a vicious cycle which leads to increasingly intensified symptoms.
Panic disorder is characterized by the following:
These symptoms can quickly spiral out of control and should be treated with medical supports. Fortunately, a panic disorder is a condition that can be treated effectively with medication and psychotherapy, or a combination of both. If necessary and deemed appropriate, an anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed. Antidepressants and heart medications, known as beta blockers, have been shown to help individuals manage episodes of panic disorder.
If you experience a panic attack, even if you only experience it once, it is strongly recommended that you see a doctor. You should receive a complete medical examination that will rule out the presence of any other disease or physical problem. If you find that the frequency and intensity of your panic attacks continues to increase it is strongly recommended that you continue to consult a doctor to evaluate your symptoms and condition. Individuals with a panic disorder are more prone to depression, suicide attempts, and the abuse of substances like drugs and alcohol. If not treated panic attacks may recur for months or even years, wreaking havoc on one’s emotional state.
Possible Treatment for Panic Attacks:
Panic attack sufferers do not have to be held captive by worry because there are many effective treatment options for this condition. Panic attacks can be treated with medication and through psychotherapy. These treatments can be used either on their own or together depending on the degree of severity of the condition and the type of treatment that is determined to be most appropriate.
MedicationFor Panic Attacks:
The most common medication treatment for panic attacks is antidepressants. These medications have the power to inhibit the development of panic attacks through altering one or more of the brain’s chemical levels in the body. Typically, levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are targeted. The type of antidepressant drug usually used for the treatment of panic attacks are SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. This type of medication is commonly viewed as being a last resort treatment method and is generally only used when all other resources have been exhausted. It is a very potent and effective drug. However, it needs to be used under strict medical supervision and close diet monitoring because it has the possibility to interact with some foods, drinks, and other synthetic drugs that the patient may be consuming. SSRIs work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. Another commonly prescribed drug is benzodiazepines, which are anti-anxiety drugs. Like the SSRIs, these medications should be taken with strict guidance from a physician and should only be used sparingly because they can be very addictive. The duration of medication use will depend on the individual patient’s need. Sometimes a medication may only be needed for a week and in other cases an individual may find they need to stay on medications for years or even throughout the rest of their life. Psychotherapy For Panic Attack:psichlogy And Anxiety
Physiotherapy For Panic Attacks:
Psychotherapy is generally viewed as still being the best form of treatment for panic attacks. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be highly effective in treating panic attacks. This particular kind of therapy focuses on the importance of individual behavior and the thought processes of an individual. Through this therapy individuals can gain greater insight into their symptoms. Additionally, individuals can be equipped to manage and prevent their symptoms in the future.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that has often been misunderstood and stereotyped. When an individual experiences a significant stressful traumatic event the body will typically respond through the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. This response is healthy and normal in the short term. Post-traumatic disorder is a normal response for a person who has experienced a traumatic event in their life. Trauma is something that cannot be prepared for and comes into a person’s life unexpectedly. In an instant, a person’s world can be completely changed and the stability that was once there can be quickly lost. Individuals that have experienced trauma will experience post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms as they try to cope with and manage their traumatic experience. It is important that individuals that have experienced trauma understand that their symptoms are normal and that their experience of a trauma is what is abnormal.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is characterized by having symptoms related to re-experiencing of the trauma, heightened awareness, increased anxiety levels, avoidance, irritability, substance abuse, and depression. There are many symptoms that individuals can develop who have PTSD. Every person with this disorder will respond to their trauma experience uniquely and will have symptoms that are unique to them as well.
Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder are at a significantly increased risk of the development of other psychological disorders and addiction than the general population. The majority of the time an individual that experiences a trauma will develop post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and recover from them on their own without the need of significant intervention. Humans are extremely resilient and with time and support individuals can often times overcome great trauma and come out the other side even stronger than they were before. However, for some individuals, the weight of their traumatic experience can overwhelm them. Their post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can persist and the development of additional anxiety disorders can emerge as well. Depression and anxiety are the most common disorders that have been shown to emerge from post-traumatic stress disorder in individuals.
When an individual experiences a traumatic event the body responds to the significant trauma by producing cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone in the body that is used in the stress response system. In the short term the releasing of cortisol is an adaptive response because it provides the body with the energy that it needs to participate in a “fight or flight” response. This allows people to feel reduced amounts of pain, increased physical ability, and a heightened awareness of the world around them. However, over time, if a stressor continues to be present in an individual, this release of cortisol can become maladaptive. Interventions for PTSD must focus on the reduction of cortisol levels in the body and the reduction of stress. Cortisol levels in the body can be adjusted through the use of medications. If the levels of cortisol are not reduced it can be extremely difficult for an individual with PTSD to overcome their symptoms and disorder.
Individuals with a panic disorder experience sudden intense attacks of anxiety. These attacks are often repetitive and can occur at any time. These attacks are often referred to as panic attacks. Panic attacks will often arise unexpectedly in individuals. They can erupt suddenly and rapidly intensify. Some individuals mistakenly identify the symptoms of a panic attack as being a heart attack because of the similar symptoms of these two medical conditions.
Panic attack symptoms are unique and individualized for each person. Individual experiencing a panic attack typically report symptoms such as chest pain, feeling faint, overwhelming fear of losing control, intense fear of death, upset stomach, difficulty breathing, a chocking sensation, feeling detached, sweating, chills, shaking, rapid heart rate, numbness in extremities, and hot flashes. Panic attacks must be experienced for at least 6 months and involve a majority of the symptoms above to be considered to be a panic disorder.
Panic disorders can be experienced at the same time that an individual also has a different anxiety or psychological disorder. It is important that panic disorders, whether experienced as a singular disorder or as a compounded disorder, can be treated. Panic disorders can be treated and managed in the following ways.
Antidepressant medications have been shown to be effective in the treatment of panic disorders. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are commonly used to manage panic attack symptoms. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), benzodiazepines, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and anti-seizure medications have all been found to be helpful medications in the treatment of panic disorders. If one type of medication does not seem to fit the unique needs of an individual another type of these medications could potentially help.
Relaxation skill building is extremely important for learning how to manage anxiety and stress that mount during and before panic attacks. Taking regular walks, reducing and abstaining from consuming caffeine, and taking time to relax are all important relaxation techniques for managing stress. Relaxed breathing skills are also important for an individual with a panic disorder to learn. Relaxation skills should be utilized regularly in an individual with this disorder’s life. Additionally, they should be utilized as soon as an individual begins to feel a panic disorder come on.
Eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and drugs. These stimulants can make the panic symptoms worse and can make panic attacks occur more frequently. These drugs increase stress and anxiety levels in the body and create an environment a chronic stress environment within the body. Each stressor that arises in life is intensified when these stimulants are present within an individual.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common counseling treatment method for panic disorders. This treatment focuses on changing the way that the brain processes information and transforming the behaviors of the individual.
Education about the body’s natural stress response can be extremely valuable for individuals with a panic disorder. This information can help the individual understand how their body manages and processes stress. It can normalize the stress experience and assist individuals in reducing their anxiety surrounding how their body manages stress.
Daily assignments to reduce and manage stress are critically important. To transform the body’s response to stress the individual must daily make a conscious effort to slowly change how they respond to and react to stress. Individuals can try out different and new coping methods and strategies to see which ones can help them to overcome their anxiety.
Overcoming a panic disorder will take time and may require trial and error. Individuals should not grow discouraged if they are unable to completely eliminate their panic attacks right away. Instead, individuals should work to at least slowly reduce the intensity of their experience of anxiety.