Anxiety 101

Anxiety AttackEvery one of us experiences anxiety. Anxiety affects your physical actions. Biting your nails, sweating or unnecessary movements during job interviews, stage performances, or first time experiences is a sign of anxiety.

Nervousness is typical to people but sometimes severe anxiety can develop to disorders.

Psychologists refer some of these disorders as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and many more.

How will you detect anxiety?

There is no laboratory test to diagnose the presence of anxiety in your body. This kind of disorder involves a person mentally; therefore, further sessions with a psychologist can help in analyzing the symptoms. Diet, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, environment, and medical conditions are some of the factors that affect you mentally causing you to experience anxiety attacks.

Why does anxiety occur?

Our body is very sensitive to situations occurring from our environment. When we encounter new things, data is transported to our brain and search in our memory if the new data matches anything. If it couldn’t find a match, our brain will send signals through chemical or hormonal changes causing our body to react to the situation. The action that took place is known as fight or flight mode. This is when a person experiences physical changes like sweating, rapid heartbeat, and shortage of breathing.

Phobias will develop if you have met negative events from the past. Example, you were bitten by a dog before, seeing a dog in the streets will activate anxiety reaction from the body. This response from the body is caused by a high level of stress hormones. This can be very dangerous to the health if not managed immediately because problems may get worse increasing the risk of death or complicated mental problems.

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Remember that fear is different with anxiety. Fear is when you are aware of that certain object or situation you’re afraid of while anxiety is difficult to distinguish because you don’t know the exact cause of what you’re feeling.

How can we comfort people with anxiety?

Calm the person down if he/she is experiencing the usual anxiety. Let them relax and sit properly. Clients with disorders undergo special treatment. With continued treatment, patients will definitely recover from anxiety disorder. People with anxiety disorders should be treated because this can lead to severe depression affecting his daily activities such as inability to go to work or study in school. Others who try to cope up with anxiety disorders develop abusive use of alcohol and drugs. Evaluation of anxiety disorders can take for months. Psychologists attempt different methods of therapy to see if the client is reacting to the treatment.

The Different Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Psychological treatment

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This method gives clients the understanding towards their behavior about that certain fear. The client’s thinking pattern is altered to overcome his/her fear about that particular object or situation. This is done by constantly exposing that person to its fear or by continuous therapeutic counseling. After a long period of time, the client will be capable of managing his/her feelings regarding the situation.


This therapy allows client to be conscious about the development of their anxiety disorder. This is usually held in conversations between the client and therapist. Medications are sometimes given to accompany the treatment process.

Behavioral Therapy

Techniques such as using of images and relaxation activities is rendered to eliminate or lessen a person’s behavior towards anxiety.

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Anxiety Management Training

Breathing exercises is taught to client to ease muscle tension when undergoing anxiety attacks. This treatment can be done individually or in groups. Support system helps the client to interact with other people with the same situation, boosting confidence to overcome their disorder. Therapists sometimes provide clients with a CD to maintain management at home.

Psychopharmacological Treatment

These are medications to reduce the tension during symptoms of anxiety. It can directly work on the chemical changes in the brain focusing on the part which causes anxiety.

Medications like Benzodiazepines

This drug allows a person to tolerate anxiety symptoms but long term use up to 3 weeks causes a person to be dependent on the drug. This drug should be limited in use because higher dosage of medications will be given if a person will be dependent on it.

Serotonergic Agents

Antidepressants also contribute to anxiety problems. Effect may take longer up to 6 weeks but manufacturers claim it doesn’t cause dependency to clients. Discontinued use of the drug can result to reduce libido levels and increased weight.

Tricyclic Antidepressants and Norepinephrine Drugs

These drugs has been use for many years but is reported to have several reactions to a person. Response of the drug can take effect up to one month of use.


This is commonly used for common allergies but is also recommended for mild to moderate anxiety symptoms.


This medication is a form of serotonergic agent but is reported to be non-addictive. Effect of the drug is 2 to 3 weeks of use.


Medications like this are also known as tranquilizers. It has a sedating mechanism for people who experiences severe anxiety disorder such as ineffective thinking and uncontrollable physical actions.

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Other therapist prescribes beta- blockers for anxiety attacks. This can reduce anxiety symptoms of clients such as rapid heartbeat. Before taking any medication, please be reminded that you consult your therapist first about the drug like its side effects chance of dependency, and when to stop taking the drug. Be sure to visit your doctor regularly.

Environmental treatment

  • Avoid taking stimulants like caffeine, weight reduction pills, and nasal decongestants.
  • Eliminate intake of alcohol as this may increase anxiety symptoms.
  • Take enough time to rest and sleep. Sleeping can help you relax and contributes to treatment of anxiety disorders.
  • Eliminate stressful activities in your daily living.
  • Exercise regularly. This will improve your body and health; thus, restraining adrenalin hormones from increasing.

Natural treatment

Natural remedies for anxiety disorders are much better than prescription drugs. They have no side effects and will even promote a healthy lifestyle.

Living in a holistic way

This means living your life in a peaceful, positive way. Your attitude with regards to your lifestyle is appropriate like the right diet, regular exercise, and a good spiritual connection with God. Your holistic attitude towards the environment will contribute to a better health. Meditation can also reduce stressors from the environment.

Homeopathy and Herbalists

Homeopathy and natural herbs used by traditional people of different countries are also beneficial to reduce anxiety symptoms. You can also take natural herbs like St. John’s Wort proven to be effective with equal effect to prescription medications.

Traditional Chinese methods and medicine

Acupuncture have been practiced for many years by ancient Chinese. This has caused dramatic changes to people undergoing anxiety disorders because of its relaxing effect to muscle tensions.

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