Panic Attack Treatment | Natural Anxiety Cures | Understanding Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Understanding Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Each of us experience stress and know what it feels like to worry. Yet, how do you know if the constant worrying you feel is actually symptomatic of something more serious, such as an anxiety disorder. Many individuals with anxiety disorders are often dismissed as lacking willpower to simply get over problems and buck up; rather, the overwhelming feeling of constant worry, fear, stress, insomnia, and muscle tension, even panic attacks are very real. Fortunately, anxiety disorders are treatable. Yet, in order to better understand anxiety disorders, we shall discuss common types of anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Individuals with generalized anxiety order experience pathological anxiety. In other words, they constant worry about every aspect of their life. They live in constant fear of something bad happening, analyze and dissect what other people say and do (even what they, themselves, say and do), and avoid certain situations for fear of appearing inadequate or inferior. Typically generalized anxiety disorder can be treated through psychotherapy (talk therapy) which includes behavior therapy, aimed at retraining one’s thoughts and reactions to potential stressors.

Panic disorder/panic attacks

Perhaps, the most well-known but least understood is panic disorder, or panic attacks. The emotional and physical responses of a panic attack can be so severe that an individual may feel as though they are experiencing a heart attack. Typically triggered by a stressful event, or the anticipation of a stress event (i.e., public speaking, taking a test, seeing an old boyfriend, a tax audit, appearing in court, or any other stressful event), panic attacks can induce a series of symptoms including: heart palpitations, cold sweats, trembling, muscle contracting, twitching, blurred vision, insomnia, shortness of breath, sensitivity to light and noise, racing thoughts, and irritability. Depending on the severity and the frequency of the panic attacks, individuals may benefit from counseling, support groups, antidepressants, exercise, and other natural anxiety treatments to help relieve stress.

Social anxiety

The underlying premise behind social anxiety is the fear of social situations, which stems from the fear of possible embarrassment, ridicule, prejudgment and/or humiliation. Individuals who suffer from social anxiety may avoid social interaction with strangers, or even avoid public places entirely. The very thought of being among a crowd of people, or walking down a busy street can be so intimidating that the individual may experience panic attacks. Social anxiety is generally treatable with therapy and, depending on the severity, medication.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious form of anxiety in which a person either relives a traumatic event from the past, or lives in constant fear another traumatic event is about to occur (or both). Once thought to be more common among veterans of war, psychologists are seeing PTSD in abused children, rape victims, survivors of natural disasters and other ordeals. PTSD can be a debilitating condition, interfering with daily activities and even interpersonal relationships. Many individuals with PTSD complain of terrifying thoughts and dreams, a constant sense of pending doom and paranoia, and may suffer from frequent, unexpected panic attacks at the slightest perception of danger or stress. PTSD usually requires psychotherapy and other natural treatments for anxiety.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is, perhaps, the more serious form of anxiety. OCD is indicative of a neurobiological dysfunction that causes an individual to repeat unnecessary rituals compulsively. Whether it be checking and rechecking to see if doors are locked multiple times, even after the individual knows the door is, in fact, locked; or compulsively washing hands and counting steps while walking, OCD often interferes with an individual?s ability to perform daily activities. While panic attacks are not necessarily symptomatic of OCD, individuals may experience intense anxiety manifested through panic attacks, at the thought of diverting from rigid patterns and/or when certain behaviors and routines are challenged.

Phobias

By definition, a phobia is the intense fear of something real or imagined. Whether it is the fear of snakes and spiders or the fear of heights and tunnels, phobias are irrational reaction toward a perceived danger. Phobias are more than anxiety; rather fear that manifests itself through illogical behaviors including avoidance, even panic attacks at the sheer thought of coming into contact with the object of fear.

In summary, anxiety is a very real condition. Yet, it is very treatable. If you suspect that you may be suffering from one of the aforementioned conditions, or you have a loved one battling anxiety, remember that you do not have to live in fear. There is hope. There are various treatments for anxiety designed to help you cure yourself of anxiety and panic attacks. Knowledge is power! And you have the power to take that first step toward conquering anxiety.

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