Welcome to our home!
Here you can relax and learn.
We trust that your visit with us will have a positive impact on your life.
Our mission is to inform and guide those who are suffering from an anxiety disorder (or suspect that they are); those who have friends or relatives with one or more of these disorders; or those simply stressed-out and overwhelmed by life's challenges.
We hope to provide adequate information and guidance to assist sufferers, and concerned parties, in making wise decisions about their treatment or approaches to coping with their challenges.
We look forward to helping you put an end to your anxiety disorder, chronic stress or depression.
Please tell me.
How can I tell if I am suffering from an anxiety disorder?
Yes, sometimes I become anxious, sometimes panicky or very worried over everyday events.
When I am stressed-out or ticked-off about something, I have difficulty sleeping, my stomach rumbles, I am sometimes short-tempered and snappy with others.
A couple of weeks ago, at our departmental meeting, my manager asked my opinion of the company's dress code policy. A sensitive subject in our department.
As usual, I began to sweat a little; I was nervous. However, I drummed up the courage and gave my opinion. I felt okay afterwards.
Sometimes I feel sad and depressed. Most of the time, I know why. But once in a while, the sadness comes out of nowhere.
I worry that I might have an anxiety disorder; don't know for sure.
Well Joe, nervousness and anxiety are natural responses to life's everyday challenges. These reactions are a necessary aspect of the human instinct of self-preservation.
On the other hand, anxiety disorders tend to be typified by intense and persistent feelings and behaviors which interfere with our day-to-day activities.
Visit your medical doctor, as the first step in your quest for answers.
You might also want to explore the information and resources provided on these pages.
Take a look!
Video, by courtesy of answerstv.com.
A person who worries or expresses concern or anxiety over life's day-to-day challenges is not considered to be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Some people are, by nature, nervous kinds. Sometimes we face situations where we have no choice but to be anxious and worried. That's life!
However, when someone is consistently anxious and overly worried over events and situations they encounter in their day-to-day activities, and this anxiety disrupts their daily activities over long periods (typically six months, or more) then this individual needs to find out whether he, or she, might be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Read more....
There is absolutely nothing wrong (and everything right!) with checking that the burners on your gas stove are all turned off, or the front door is locked before going to bed at night.
You might do this once, or twice, or even three times...just to be sure!
A person who is suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) might perform these activities four, five, six, seven,...ten times before turning in.
These individuals are plagued by intrusive, repetitive thoughts (obsessions) which they don't seem to be able to get rid of.
The repetitive thoughts drive the individuals to perform repetitive rituals, or behaviors (like hand-washing; counting; checking that the door is locked, multiple times; etc) in an effort to cloak or get rid of their obsessive thoughts.
These repetitive behaviors or rituals are called compulsions.
The individual feels compelled to perform them. Most of the time the person knows that the behavior is irrational, but somehow, they are unable to stop. This behavior could be quite debilitating and disruptive. Read more....
A person who experiences sudden, and unexplainable, onsets of severe panic (panic attack, or anxiety attack) and fear, and subsequently becomes unduly pre-occupied with the fear of having a future panic attack, might be suffering from panic disorder.
Sometimes these attacks are triggered by some troubling events or circumstances in a person's life.
At other times there appears to be no apparent 'trigger', the attack comes out of nowhere.
Some victims are awakened out of their sleep by this rush of fear.
These attacks are often so terrifying that the victim might feel that he, or she, is having a heart attack or is about to go mad, or even die.
Many have ended up in the emergency room after a panic attack.
These attacks are usually short-lived (say, 10 - 20 minutes). However, because of the terror which a person experiences during an attack, there is often a lingering and persistent fear of future attacks.
This lingering fear could dictate an individual's movements and behavior, and sometimes results in the victim's development of agoraphobia (the fear of wide open spaces or uncontrollable social situations). Read more....
We live in a world where catastrophies and traumatic events occur daily.
People who witness or experience violence or catastrophes tend to 'get over' the traumatic impact of these events after some time has passed.
Memories may still linger but they are not debilitating to the individual. On the other hand, catastrophic or life-threatening events such as the sudden loss of a loved-one, violent rape, a catastrophic natural disaster (earthquakes, tsunamis, floods), the ravages of war, etc, can have a lasting effect on some people.
When the memories of catastrophic events (witnessed or experienced) linger for a long time (or surface from time to time) and interferes with a person's ability to function normally in their every-day activities, then such a person is likely to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
For obvious reasons, this disorder is very often seen in some military personnel after they have returned from a war zone.
PTSD is also observed in children.
If you suspect that you are suffering from PTSD, see your Medical Doctor right away, as a first step in the healing process. Read more....
That twinge of shyness and 'stage-fright' which you experience prior to making a presentation at work, school or some social event cannot be deemed social phobia or social anxiety disorder.
Indeed, some degree of nervousness or anxiety prior to such events appears to be natural or even helpful.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, social anxiety disorder usually manifests itself as a "strong fear of being judged by others and of being embarrassed."
The Institute goes on to say that, "This fear can be so strong that it gets in the way of going to work or school or of doing everyday things."
The disorder tends to leave sufferers with a shallow social life. These persons tend to have short-lived friendships and poor or no social relationships.
Although persons suffering from social phobia know, intrinsically, that their fears are unfounded and irrational, they feel helpless to dismiss these fears.
This can be a socially crippling condition which slowly isolates the sufferer and intensifies their feelings of shame, loneliness, anxiety or depression.
If you suspect that you are suffering from social phobia, consult with your Primary Care Physician. He, or she, will attempt to rule out any medical conditions as a cause of your behavior, prior to referring you to a Mental Health Professional. Read more....
OTHER RELATED DISORDERS
A phobia is an intense, unreasonable fear of some common object, place or situation in which the person exhibiting the fear knows that it is irrational, but feels powerless to stop it.
Some of the more common phobias are a fear of flying, a fear of open spaces, a fear of insects (or a specific insect), a fear of heights, a fear of medical or dental procedures, a fear of elevators or closed spaces.
The list of known phobias is quite long. These fears are deemed phobias when they disrupt a person's day-to-day activities for an extended period.
The fears can trigger intense reactions such as the symptoms experienced during a panic attack. Specific phobias tend to develop suddenly in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood.
Phobias are treatable. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular treatment method. Read more....
The kind of depression which should concern us manifests itself in the form of persistent, intense, often debilitating feelings of sadness, dejection, hopelessness, guilt, insomnia, diminished energy and a myriad of other negative symptoms.
The four broad categories of depressive disorders are:
Major depression manifests itself with a number of symptoms which interfere with a person's ability to function normally.
It could result in feelings of:
This form of depression is intense, and often interferes with a person's ability to sleep, eat, work, etc. Also, it could take a toll on relatives and friends, as they try to interact with the sufferer.
Major depression often comes in episodes which tend to last for long periods.
The symptoms of dysthymia are similar to those of major depression, but not severe enough to be debilitating.
Stress, irritability, insomnia, pessimism are some of the possible symptoms. The symptoms of dysthymia tend to be long-lasting (two years or more).
Symptoms of minor depression are not nearly as severe as those of a major depressive disorder. In minor depression, the symptoms last for about two weeks, or more.
Like dysthymia, persons suffering from minor depression have a higher likelihood of developing one or more episodes of major depression in their lifetime.
There are different varieties of minor depression. Three common sub-categories of minor depression are:
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
The sadness and depression which one feels as the seasons change. Usually during the transition from Fall to Winter. It does take place with other seasonal transitions, but to a lesser extent.
An intense depression which some mothers experience after childbirth. This depression could be triggered by hormonal and other biological and environmental changes associated with childbirth.
This disorder manifests itself in the form of depression accompanied by a psychosis, or psychotic behavior. The depressed person is often plagued by hallucinations or delusions.
Bipolar disorder was once more commonly known as manic-depressive disorder.
This disorder is characterized by a mood cycle. The sufferer's mood swings from highs (mania) to lows (depression), very often with moods of intermediate intensity between mania and depression.
More often than not, the transition from mania is gradual. However in some cases it could be quite rapid.
In a nut shell, chronic stress is 'stress that just won't go away!' The dictionary defines stress as, "a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily tension...."
Stress is not normally a bad thing.
Human beings, as well as members of the animal kingdom, respond to life's threats or challenges by invoking the fight or flight instinct. This response, though stressful, is a necessary survival response.
After the threat or challenge goes away, the person, or animal, returns to its baseline physical and emotional state (more or less) in a relatively short time.
A problem arises when the level of heightened physical and emotional tension does not go away, after the stressors disappear; or the external or internal stressors persist.
Stress that lingers or recurs on a regular basis is often deemed, chronic stress. This type of stress can be quite harmful to a person's cardiovascular, endocrine, nervous and immune systems.
Chronic stress can also lead to hypertension, insomnia, anxiety and other conditions. Avoiding much of our baseline stress is not easy. Some of us simply live busy, stressful lives.
However, we must learn coping techniques, in addition to doing whatever we can to minimize this baseline stress.
There are a number of treatment and coping strategies which can be used to manage chronic stress. Read more....
No More Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Stress and Depression!
Sign up for free Public Education Webinars offered by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. These monthly webinars address some of your concerns about "psychological and pharmalogical treatment of anxiety disorders, depression and related disorders for adults and children".
Here are some screening tools which you can use to gauge whether you might be inclined to have an anxiety disorder or depression. These tools are offered, in the form of questionnaires, by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Take a look!
A service provided by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
A service provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
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