Anxiety Disorder Treatments

Anxiety disorder symptoms include rapid heart rate, fear, restlessness, inability to rest at night, difficulty in concentrating and muscle pain. It is normal, however, for everyone to experience anxiety at certain times in their lives in reaction to strain and responsibilities of normal living. In fact, anxieties are normal responses to signal dangers or problems that may be ahead for someone. This type of stress can be productive as a warning to prepare for difficulties ahead. The condition is not considered abnormal unless anxieties are prolonged and exaggerated beyond reasonable concerns. When symptomology reaches the dangerous stage, there are many anxiety disorder treatments that can be implemented in order to help a person cope with extreme stress. "Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

There are many types of disorders that fall within the general definition of anxiety and some are more difficult to deal with than others. Diagnoses such as general anxiety, specified phobias, panic disorder and social anxieties encompass the professional scope of the condition that may require attention. Each area presents with its own symptomology that varies slightly from the others. Worry is the main difficulty that is apparent among those who experience general anxiety disorder symptoms. It is common for everyone to worry at some point in their lives about some issue or realistic problem in life. Worry that grows out of balance or is not proportionate to the realism of a situation can evolve into a general anxious condition that pervades a person's life.

People who experience this type of stress are worried about things that have never happened and have no likelihood of happening. Concerns become illogical and overblown to actual circumstances and become an actual torment to the person experiencing them. Excessive worry cannot be turned off and can cause a person to shake, perspire, have muscle spasms and become nauseated. This problem can occur anytime in a person's life and can become so severe they cannot control the worry. General anxiety disorder treatments usually require a combined approach of therapy and medication. Medication may be used in some patients for a short time to help relieve initial stress and tension as they begin appropriate counseling. The goal is to permanently relieve a person's anxieties during counseling or therapy so as to discontinue any medications within a few months.

Stresses or anxieties can also come in the form of specific phobias such as fear of flying, crossing over bridges, closed in spaces, height or water. These phobias are unnatural fears that are brought on by the mere thought of a situation that includes the place or thing. Almost one in every ten people has some sort of phobia whether in a small or great degree. The problems occur when an individual cannot rationally cope with the fear and is hindered from functioning normally in everyday life. One of the most common anxiety disorder symptoms of a phobia is having a panic attack when exposed to the feared stimulus. Panic attacks cause a person to do whatever it takes to avoid the feared situation and can also result in shortness of breath, sweating and irrational behavior. Treatment for this condition usually includes behavior modification techniques and counseling or therapy.

'Modeling' is also a technique that is used by professionals to show patients how to respond to stimuli that cause their phobias. Medication is not as often used to treat this problem since fears generally only occur when faced with the particular phobia. Panic disorder is a common yet complicated condition that affects over two and half million people annually. Professionals cannot pinpoint the exact cause of the disorder, but are convinced that there is an inherited predisposition for most who experience it. Researchers believe that a combination of genetic and circumstantial factors is at the root of its onset. The primary symptom is a sudden feeling of panic that may last approximately 10 minutes with accompanying breathlessness, dizziness, spacey feelings, fear of going crazy and physical weakness. Sudden panic attacks also create a secondary condition that elevates an ongoing dread of having another attack.

The stress and tension continues to rise over both issues within a person who has panic attacks. The ability to function in life can be severely hindered and many people must seek anxiety disorder treatments in order to handle life in general. Many times, a combined treatment of medication and therapy is appropriate for those who experience serious attacks. Many must relearn how to interpret their body's reaction to external stimuli in order to thwart feelings of panic. Medication can also play a role in calming a patient's undue, emotional stress. Social anxieties are also serious conditions that are diagnosed through several anxiety disorder symptoms such as shaking, blushing, perspiring and a palpating heart when exposed to social situations. The stimulus for these responses is a fear of undergoing undue scrutiny from others when in some circumstances. Over 10 percent of the population is likely to experience some from of this problem and more women or girls are affected.

Men, however, seek out treatment more often and most people wait until the symptoms are so severe that they can hardly function. Communication therapy as well as medication is often used to help deal with the underlying causes and many people may require ongoing treatment. There are many Christian counseling and therapy centers that deal extensively with the various presentations of the condition. While all areas of anxiety can be difficult to manage by those who experience the associated difficulties, appropriate anxiety disorder treatments can help diminish or altogether resolve many debilitating symptoms in those who suffer.

Stress Relief

Stress relief is a must in most modern family and work schedules that generally sap the life, laughter and general ability to 'stop and smell the roses' out of many people. Health, family, work and even spiritual problems can develop when there is no outlet for stress reduction in a person's lifestyle. Stress in itself is not always bad since it is a God-given signal that can motivate a person to complete responsibilities or that will signal problems or dangers ahead. However, when it begins to steal the enjoyment and productivity of a normal life away from an individual or family, that is the time to re-evaluate the causes and find a solution to the problem. Symptoms of anxiety or stress generally can be categorized into three areas: mental, emotional and psychological. Each area can sustain problems that may eventually overwhelm a person with difficulties.

Some of the mental symptoms include feeling confused, disoriented, experiencing short-term memory loss, feeling like one is going crazy, and feelings that other people are always watching. Emotional symptoms include being afraid that something terrible is going to happen, experiencing depression, having fear of losing control, worrying excessively, feeling alone most of the time, and sometimes wanting to scream with anger at the top of the lungs. Psychological reactions to stress can encompass extreme fatigue with no accompanying physical reason, tightness in the chest, hyperventilating, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and extreme sweating. While some of the symptoms can certainly be an indication of many other illnesses, when there is no physical reason for them and there is at least 3 or 4 symptoms evident in all three categories, stress reduction may need to be considered in order for a person to receive relief.

There are practical ways to deal with anxiety that may preclude having to seek professional attention. If these practical measures do not provide enough stress relief, then more serious approaches should be explored. Simple things like making time to get enough sleep, enjoying a calculated break from work and spending relaxed time with the family can alleviate a lot of daily strain. Other tips such as being organized, planning ahead and addressing the most difficult responsibilities early on can also provide significant stress reduction in everyday living. When there are major episodes of trauma or upheavals that seem to pile on, it can be impossible to even implement some logical measures purely because of circumstances. In these cases, an understanding of a higher perspective and the strength that can be gleaned from trusting in a God who plans, cares and provides can offer the possibility of standing tranquil in a topsy-turvy, chaotic world.

Without a firm perspective of viewing life in the light of eternity or setting priorities and circumstances in an order of what is most important, all sorts of neuroses, physical problems and stress-related symptoms can replace the "peace of God which passes all understanding." (Philippians 4:7a) Many times it takes a process of working through difficulties to find stress relief through counseling, lifestyle changes and gaining a spiritual perception. In some cases, medication may be used on a short term basis to provide some relief while a person is working through the various causes and symptoms of extreme anxiety, especially if a problem has developed such as a panic disorder, post traumatic stress syndrome, phobias and general anxiety disorder. Sometimes long term attention is needed to sort through the various underlying causes. Just as an onion is peeled layer by layer, causative factors may be discovered and removed by the various stress reduction methods available both professionally and through self help methods.

The opposite of stress is peace which is generally the optimum human requirement for relaxation and anxiety-free living. In a world that offers little peace in most respects, how is a person to find stress relief in a dog-eat-dog world that is generally out for numero uno? Real peace is found through a relationship with the God of the universe. Religion cannot fill up an empty soul, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can provide a balm to the soul that fills it with God's peace that is not based on circumstances. Peace that is based on the unchanging character, promises and work of Jesus Christ on the cross can be banked on for eternity by anyone no matter what they have been through, are going through or will go through in this life.

Jesus doesn't necessarily relieve all stress in life, although He is fully capable. Many times, however, His ability to walk with a person through tragedies, disappointments, people's expectations and personal failures as well as the ordinary rigors of life is sometimes of more value in the long run. There is certainly nothing wrong with implementing all the stress reduction methods that are reasonable. Yet, just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced the fiery furnace and just as Daniel faced the lions in the den, there are times when things just happen and no typical method of relief seems to work. That's when God shows up and walks all the way through the difficulties with those who ultimately trust Him.

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