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Anxiety Basics




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Old 03-26-2013, 11:04 AM   #1
emily430
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Anxiety Basics

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults (age 18 or older) living in the U.S. suffer from anxiety. It is a condition that is not one-note; rather, the types of disorders vary from generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder to social anxiety and phobias. <a href="http://www.healthboards.com/healthcenter/anxiety/">Anxiety disorders</a> can develop in childhood, adulthood or in the later years of life and can be attributed to a number of factors, including brain chemistry, genetics, and life events. Each have unique characteristics that can wreak havoc on the person’s life and stress a family that is trying to understand and aid in their recovery. At times, multiple family members can be affected by anxiety, leading scientists to believe genetics may play a role for some. The key to turning the tide around starts with <a href="http://www.healthboards.com/healthcenter/anxiety/types-of-anxiety-just-the-facts.html">understanding anxiety</a> and its triggers.

The <a href="http://www.healthboards.com/healthcenter/anxiety/the-biology-of-anxiety-and-stress.html">biology of stress and anxiety</a> begins with a segment of the brain (sympathetic nervous system) that prepares the body for fight-or-flight mode. When it is triggered, our heart rate spikes, breaths can become deeper, the eyes and bronchioles dilate, and blood vessels narrow. But the system normally relaxes once the presumed threat is over. A person with anxiety has a sympathetic nervous system (SNS) that cannot quite <a href="http://www.healthboards.com/healthcenter/anxiety/coping-with-lifes-main-stressors-universal-tips.html">relieve stress</a> and because there is no resolution, they are suspended in an anxious state. The system can be set off by psychological or biological causes, or by daily life stressors and other events. Long-term unemployment, the loss of a loved one, chronic illness, war, bullying, an abusive relationship, a tragic car accident, being in certain social settings, and other factors can all be contributing life factors.

Anxiety does not discriminate; it affects people of all races and backgrounds. It can touch young professionals, mothers and expecting mothers, senior citizens, students, survivors of traumatic events, and a whole host of others. Treating anxiety <a href="http://www.healthboards.com/healthcenter/anxiety/anxiety-drugs-therapy-or-both.html">Treating anxiety</a> may involve a multi-pronged approach that consists of prescription drugs, various forms of therapy and natural solutions. Medications—including beta blockers, benzodiazepines, inhibitors and reuptake inhibitors, antidepressants and antihistamines—are often prescribed when the patient’s life is handicapped as a result of their anxiety. They work by adjusting the level of neurotransmitters (serotonin, GABA, and monamine oxidase) in the brain so that depression or anxiety is reduced. Therapies—<a href="http://www.healthboards.com/healthcenter/anxiety/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-cbt-how-does-it-work.html">cognitive behavioral therapy</a>, group therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing—are typically combined with medication and seek to change patterns and thoughts. The idea is that if the brain can be reprogrammed, depression and anxiety can be more manageable. Those seeking <a href="http://www.healthboards.com/healthcenter/anxiety/treatments/natural-remedies/">natural remedies</a> might take herbs (Kava kava, Rescue Remedy, passionflower vine, skullcap and St. John’s Wart), change to a U.S.D.A- recommended diet, incorporate breathing exercises (yoga and pilates), use relaxation techniques (meditation, massage, acupuncture, and aromatherapy), boost serotonin levels by getting more sunlight, and/or focus on improving sleep cycles.

Last edited by emily430; 03-26-2013 at 11:54 AM.

 
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