Thursday, 5 July 2012

How To Deal With Your Partner’s Panic Attacks

This article is a contribution from a guest author who has had extensive experience with Panic Attacks and writes about them, as well as other anxiety related issues on his own Web Site. Please see the link at the end of the article for more from Ryan Rivera. Thank you Ryan.
How to Deal With Your Partner’s Panic Attacks
For the person suffering from panic disorder, panic attacks can be devastating. Panic attacks represent the height of anxiety – intense feelings of fear, sometimes about one’s imminent death. Even after the panic attack has subsided the person can feel as though the wind has been completely knocked out of them, and a panic attack in the morning or afternoon can essentially ruin the entire day.
For the partner of someone suffering from panic attacks, each attack can feel like a tremendous burden. You’re there, watching your partner suffer from something entirely mental, and yet you cannot do anything to help. Often those with panic attacks develop related issues as a result of their panic attacks, such as agoraphobia, and these problems can affect the relationships as well.
It may be difficult to experience a panic attack, but it’s also difficult to be the partner of someone that suffers from them. Many partners have no idea what they’re supposed to be doing, and on occasion respond with frustration or anger at that this randomly occurring mental phenomenon keeps disrupting their relationship. So if your partner suffers from panic attacks, here are a few tips for how to handle the situation.
Tips for Partners of Individuals with Panic Disorder
• Inform Yourself
Those that haven’t experienced panic disorder often find it difficult to understand, so education is important. During a panic attack, the person can not only think that something is seriously wrong – they can feel it as well, with psychosomatic symptoms that legitimately resemble a heart attack, to the point where many of those that experience their first panic attacks get hospitalized. Understanding what your partner is going through is a crucial first step, because only if you understand it can you hope to empathize.
• Let Them Talk About It
Before, during, or after their panic attack, their panic attack is often the only thing on their mind. They need to share it, so that they’re not stuck inside their own head or afraid of talking to you about it. They’re going to need to talk, so you should try to let them talk.
• Don’t Try to Solve It
While you should let them talk about it, you should also refrain from trying to fix it yourself. Panic attacks may be an anxiety disorder, but they’re not like anxiety. You can’t really “talk down” someone a panic attack, because they’re often experiencing physical symptoms that aren’t going to go away because of your words. Let them talk about it, but also know that you’re going to have to let it run its course. Trying to solve it can actually make it worse, because you’ll be forcing the person to focus on their symptoms more in an effort to control them, and possibly making them feel ashamed as well.
• Don’t Bring It Up
An interesting – and unfortunate – issue with panic attacks is that thinking about them can actually cause them. So if your partner is not currently suffering from or thinking about panic attacks, it may be best not to ask them about it. As long as they know that they can come to you and tell you when they are suffering or have experienced one, it’s best to avoid the topic.
• Support Cures
Panic attacks can be cured. But they can only be cured if both you and your partner are willing to commit to a treatment. Several behavioral therapies have been created that target panic attacks. Combine them with a visit or two to the doctor to help rule out any physical causes and it is possible to live panic attack free. Know that as long as both of you are committed to relieving the panic attacks, they can go away, so caring about your partner and waiting it out are the best courses of action.
Creating a Better Relationship
Panic attacks are overwhelming experiences – experiences that many people struggle to even describe, and impossible to control without help. Partners of those with panic attacks may feel a bit frustrated at times, but it’s important to remember that your partner is really struggling. This isn’t like mild anxiety or even mild hypochondria. It’s an uncontrollable feeling of imminent danger or death. Use the above tips to make living with panic attacks easier on your partner and your relationship and know that there are treatment options out there for curing the disorder forever.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera had immense panic attacks that did damage his relationships before he found treatments. Now he writes about anxiety causes and solutions at

Thursday, 31 May 2012

My panic attacks have made me lose confidence

I’ve had a few panic attacks over the last few years but I had a really bad one a couple of months ago and I’m finding it hard to get back to feeling confident and unafraid.
I feel that I need to see a counsellor and wonder if you know how I can go about finding one who will be sympathetic and able to help with this sort of problem. GD
I suggest you start with your GP, as practices usually have a counsellor attached to them.
If not, then your doctor will certainly know where to refer you.
If you would prefer to find one for yourself, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has an online directory.
Go to and click on “seeking a therapist”, then enter your postcode and details.
I should add, though, that any kind of attack like this is worth talking over with your GP just in case it is linked with a medical condition

Thursday, 17 May 2012

INNOVATIVE HEALTH: Anxiety and panic in COPD

Jan Lundstrom of the local Huff-n-Puff support group for those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease asked me to speak at one of their meetings recently. He indicated that panic and anxiety were major issues for those with this disease, and any helpful hints I could provide would be appreciated. While researching the topic, I ran across a great little e-book by Dr. Vijai Sharma, a psychologist, yoga expert, and a COPD patient himself who was diagnosed in 1994. Dr. Sharma's free e-book, especially his "Emergency Tip Sheet" for panic control is a must read for anyone with COPD. Here I will summarize the techniques he recommends for use when anxiety and shortness of breath strikes.

1. Monitor your breath. At the first sign of shortness of breath (SOB), tell your body to relax. Start pursed lip breathing (PLB) immediately. PLB involves breathing in through the nose and slowly blowing the breath out through the lips with pressure -- like the pressure you'd exert when blowing up a balloon. This will help to expel the carbon dioxide that is trapped in the little air sacs in the lungs. Focus your mind on something in front of you and count to measure your inhalation time compared to your exhalation time. The goal is to make your exhalation twice as long as your inhalation.

2. Take the medications, inhalers, duo-nebs, etc. exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Remind yourself that although very unpleasant, the panic, anxiety and SOB caused by the biological emergency response of your body does not mean that you will never catch your breath again. Believe in and expect a positive outcome. Silently say reassuring words to yourself such as "I've survived this before, I will survive it this time, I can handle this, I am becoming calm and relaxed."

3. Be aware that just as your body has a biological emergency response, it also has a biological calming response which you can learn to employ. Did you know that the first flush of adrenaline, if not compounded by further panic thoughts will, in just 90 seconds, have run its course? By thinking calming thoughts, you will be able to stop pumping more new adrenaline. Adrenalin that was already released in your system, causing the panic symptoms, will eventually be neutralized. Acknowledge the panic symptoms, but do not focus on them or try to fight them. Fighting them only makes it worse. I've heard that what we focus on grows, and what we resist persists... so attempt to focus on relaxation.

For maintenance, learn a relaxation technique and practice it two or three times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. There are a number of techniques: meditation, guided meditation, yoga, Reiki, and progressive muscle relaxation to name just a few. Aroma therapy and music therapy may also help with inducing relaxation. Becoming more aware of your body and mind through these practices will help you catch the advance signs of an anxiety attack before it becomes severe.

With these relaxation tools, you will be able to bring about the calming response in record time. Jan from Huff-n-Puff would also want everyone to know that if you suffer from SOB, talk to your doctor about a Pulmonary Function Test to determine the status of your lungs and Pulmonary Rehabilitation to help maintain the lung function you have for as long as possible.

Reference: Dr Vijai Sharma . Sharon Weaver, R.N., is a certified emotion code practitioner and reiki master and teacher in Alamogordo with The Innovative Health Network. To contact her directly, call 430-1557 or email or

Bipolar Symptoms Stronger When Anxiety Disorder is Present

Bipolar Symptoms Stronger When Anxiety Disorder is Present
People who suffer from an anxiety disorder in addition to bipolar disorder are more likely to have severe symptoms of bipolar, such as suicidal behavior, more manic episodes, and more depressive episodes, according to new research led by Regina Sala, M.D. at the New York State Psychiatric Institute of Columbia University.
Individuals with both disorders were also twice as likely to be admitted into an emergency room for their bipolar-related depression.
According to the study, about 60 percent of people with bipolar disorder have experienced an anxiety disorder at least once in their lifetime, and 40 percent have had two or more anxiety disorders in their lifetime.
Researchers looked at the symptoms and treatments of 1600 adults with bipolar disorder who were part of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).
Compared to individuals with bipolar disorder who never had anxiety, people with both disorders were also more likely to have substance abuse problems and social problems, such as problems at work.
The authors believe that that early detection of anxiety disorders in people with bipolar disorder is necessary. Treating the anxiety disorder may help ease at least part of the burden of bipolar disorder.
The study is published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research and was supported by grants from the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation and the National Institutes of Health

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

When should one get treatment for anxiety?

By Luisa Dillner/London

It’s normal to feel anxious – and these days there is plenty to worry about.
Being scared sets off an automatic response in our bodies. We are flooded with adrenaline and other stress hormones, which increase our heart rate and prepare us to either run for the hills or stand our ground and fight.
But if you feel anxious most of the time, or are overwhelmed and have panic attacks in certain situations (such as getting on a plane or going into a crowded room), then you may need help.

The Problem
Anxiety symptoms include helplessness, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling and feeling hot. A panic attack is an acute disorder where these symptoms are amplified: hyperventilating causes tingling around the mouth, while a fast heartbeat feels like chest pain.
People often seek medical advice when anxiety interferes with their life or impinges on other people. It is usually the unpleasant physical symptoms of anxiety that make people get help. So how can you know if your anxiety levels are healthy, or if you should see a doctor?

The Solution
Anxiety is part of the human condition and treatment is only needed if you can’t cope with it yourself by talking to friends and reducing factors that will make symptoms worse.
There are many disorders that anxiety is a part of, such as agoraphobia (the fear of going out), specific phobias (eg of heights) and obsessive compulsive disorders, where symptoms have lasted for six months. Going to your doctor if you have strong anxiety symptoms may reveal an underlying mental or physical health condition (anxiety can accompany asthma, diabetes and heart disease), which is a good reason to speak to someone. Keep a diary of when you get symptoms to help identify what brings them on.
Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice)’s guidelines on anxiety recommend that you don’t take benzodiazepines(minor tranquillisers that calm you but are addictive), and instead suggests psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy, which equip you to rethink situations in order to deal with them.
Psychological therapy for panic attacks involves explaining what physically happens. For example, overbreathing means a drop in carbon dioxide and a metabolic shift in the body. This causes tingling, so if you breathe into a paper bag it reverses the shift and stops the symptoms.
Relaxation programmes teach people how to breathe and relax their muscles when anxious.
Medication may be suggested if you have symptoms of depression and beta blockers are used to stop your heart pounding. But behavioural therapies are by far the best place to start.- Guardian News and Media

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Anxiety attack vs panic attack! Is there a difference?

Anxiety attack and panic attack sometimes are used to mean the same thing. But there is a distinction between the two conditions. The most obvious difference between anxiety and panic would be the level of nervousness that is experienced in each but there are also other differences.
On the other side, similarities are also found between them. Here the difference between panic and anxiety will be discussed.
The term anxiety attack is used to refer to an individual who has reached a level where there their nerves have been impaired; and affects their performance and thinking.

Persons, who normally work a 9-5 job, might have experienced this kind of attack. In 21st century living an anxiety is normal. Individuals who has never experienced being anxious might have another type of disorder. But, there are those persons who don’t become really nervous very often; however, this number of persons is small.
Anxiety Attacks Are Insignificant on Many Occasions
If you are in a situation where you want to get out immediately and decided to just leave and probably come back later, you’ve experienced an anxiety attack. Or maybe, you have found yourself so nervous while doing something you’ve vowed not to do it again, this too is an anxiety attack.
However, having a panic attach is being in a situation where the flow of adrenaline throughout the body is so intense you become extremely scared and physical sensations have become disturbing. This is one panic attach symptom. In summary, the physical sensation you have experienced is the difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack.
Physical Sensations a Panic Attack Symptom
Panic attacks are described by those who have them as a feeling of a stroke or having a heart attack, or may even feel dizzy. The sufferer experiences a terrible cycle because these feeling make them become even more nervous, this heightened nervousness cause adrenaline to flow more throughout the bloodstream, triggering more panic and in turn disturbing physical sensations become more.
Persons having an anxiety attach who decides to leave the event or situations that makes them nervous often times the anxiety will leave. But a panic attack is so intense if the individual don’t leave the situation immediately; they become so overwhelmed that another panic attack will strike.
An anxiety attack is not a disorder or syndrome; it’s a disorder when it causes the individual to change their lifestyle to a substantial degree. So a panic attack is a disorder. Panic attack treatments need to be administered properly or else the condition may worsen.
There are many panic attack treatments out there but not all of them seem to provide the best remedy for all. Each individual’s attack levels differ and therefore it is best to consult a physician or doctor before taking any medication or treatments to curb your panic attacks.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Overcoming Anxiety and Panic – What Works

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety disorders. That is 40 million Americans who are full of fearfulness and uncertainty.
Gayla Miller, Hopkins County, KY author, suffered with anxiety for 18 years, from age 15 into her early 30s. Gayla told SurfKY News that early on, worrying became a regular habit.
“Worrying was my normal,” said Gayla, “I would worry about something all the time. If there wasn’t anything to worry about, I would make something up.”
Gayla’s worries started morphing into panic attacks. Panic attacks can be characterized by sudden waves of pure terror, a pounding heart, feeling sweaty, weak, faint and dizzy. A person may become suddenly nauseous, feel actual pain in their chest or feel as if they are in a dream-like state. A panic attack creates a feeling of impending doom and a fear of losing control.
Usually, people suffering from anxiety and panic attacks will believe they are having heart attacks or losing their minds. It is a scary and confusing reality for millions of Americans.
“One little thing would go wrong, and I would feel my heart sink to my stomach and my legs go warm and weak. I would literally be in a state of bewilderment,” explained Gayla. “I was a big catastrophizer. Everything was a catastrophe. If things came easy I felt like there was something wrong. If it wasn’t hard, I’d try to make it hard. I was working against myself every day.”
People in this position usually start displaying “safety behaviors”. Safety behaviors are actions that a person will engage in to help him or her feel protected in the event that a panic attack occurs. This includes carrying safe items, limiting travel by sticking to safe places and even latching onto safe people. A “safe person” is usually a significant other that knows about the panic attacks and knows how to assist the person when an attack takes place.
“I got to the point where I had a safe place and a safe person,” admitted Gayla. “My safe person was my husband and my safe place was my home. My world just kept getting smaller and smaller.”
In Gayla’s early 30s she lost a family member and that is when her anxiety went through the roof.
“It was ridiculous after that,” Gayla remembers. “There were other things going on in my family at that time too. At that point, I was living in a constant state of alert.”
About 6 million American adults have panic disorder and it is twice as common in women as men. People who have repeated, full-blown panic attacks can become terribly disabled by their condition. They will start to avoid places and situations where panic attacks have occurred. The National Institute of Mental Health states on their website that about one-third become housebound. Eventually, this condition can lead a person to acquire full-blown agoraphobia, a fear of open spaces.
Gayla continued to go about living life as best she could, but her anxiety was off the charts. She constantly felt bewildered, like she was moving slower than everybody else. Gayla hid her anxiety issues from her friends, family and the people around her.
“Nobody would have ever known,” she admitted. “I put on a real good mask. I didn’t want anybody to think I was crazy. I thought I was the only one.”
Gayla went on to tell SurfKY News that her friends knew she was a “worrywart” but that they didn’t know the full extent of her worry.
“Literally, one day I woke up and I was like, I can not do this anymore. I was killing myself slowly and I knew it,” said Gayla. “That was when I started, what I call, my road to self discovery.”
It was then that Gayla discovered cognitive behavior modification. Gayla’s friend, Robin, was also suffering from anxiety. Robin’s anxiety was so bad that she was having up to five anxiety attacks every day. Robin told Gayla about a program she had been utilizing that focused on cognitive behavior modification. The program had been giving Robin some relief so Gayla gave it a try.
Cognitive behavioral modification is a therapeutic technique developed by a psychologist named Donald Meichenbaum. The therapy focuses on identifying dysfunctional self-talk in order to change undesired behaviors. Meichenbaum’s technique focuses on the things we talk about and the way we talk about them. He considers the intent we put out in the world a direct affecter to our own personal behaviors.
Cognitive behavioral therapy takes place in three separate phases.
The first phase is all about self-observation. In phase one the focus revolves around observing your own behaviors and listening to your internal dialogue. If you are thinking negative thoughts they will consume you. This in and of itself could be the center of all of your anxiety and panic symptoms.
The second phase is all about changing your internal dialogue, your “self-talk”. Once you start picking up on your negative thought process, you can focus on that and start modifying it. Whenever you find yourself slipping into negative thought patterns, you alter that and replace those thoughts with new and positive self-talk. Stop telling yourself that you can’t do something. Start telling yourself that although it may be difficult, you can try. If you start there and recreate your thought patterns, you will be able to stop avoiding and start coping. You have to be willing to experience situations which provoke your anxiety so that you can actually learn to deal with those situations. It is an important step to recovery.
The third phase is centered on learning new skills. The way you respond to anxiety and panic, now that you are becoming aware of your own inner thoughts, gives you a better grasp on your anxiety. You can alter your own reactions in a productive way. When you let negative thoughts consume you it can be difficult to control the way you react to things and situations. Utilizing cognitive behavioral modification could dramatically change your life.
It took Gayla a little over a year to get the upper hand, thanks to CBM.
Once Gayla felt she had cured her anxiety she wanted to share what she had learned.
“I knew there were other people struggling with anxiety,” said Gayla. “I didn’t want to keep it in. I wanted to share it with other people.”
Gayla, now a self-proclaimed “life coach”, stumbled across a SurfKY News article written by Hopkins County lead news reporter, Luke Short. It was titled “Recovering Addict Inspires New ‘Vision’ for Salvation Army”. The article focused on their new “Pre-Hab” program. Gayla was inspired by the article. She immediately called Josh Peyton at the Salvation Army, and after some conversation, it was decided that Gayla might be able to serve the community by offering a couple weekly classes addressing anxiety and stress.
salvation army 300In conjunction with the Salvation Army, Gayla Miller will be hosting seminars on Mondays and Tuesdays. The meetings are free and secular.
“Meditation Monday” will start at 5 p.m. in the Salvation Army Chapel Worship Center. Gayla will lead the group in a 15 to 30 minute meditation session. Following meditation there will be some time for group discussion.
“Tension Tuesday” will begin at 5 p.m. at the Salvation Army Center of Hope in one of their meeting rooms. Tuesday’s meetings will be 45 minutes to an hour long. They are designated group coaching sessions, in which Gayla will discuss cognitive behavioral therapy and offer techniques that help. The group will be able to share details about their previous week with each other in a comfortable supportive setting. Some of the topics Gayla plans to go over include; how to end panic attacks, positive self-talk, counteracting negative thoughts, how to lower your expectations and time management skills.
The group is open to men and women of any age. The material will be spread over the course of four to five weeks so a person looking to join the group can jump in at any time and attend as long as they wish.
Gayla points out that it takes courage to address your anxiety, and fear of that is normal. When a person decides to seek help with their anxiety, that in and of itself, makes their anxiety worse.
“People scare themselves off because the anxiety gets worse, and they are like, I’m not doing it. People freak themselves out before they even get their foot in the door.”
Gayla encourages those suffering to “Feel it and come anyways.”

Monday, 23 April 2012

Gambling and anxiety go hand-in-hand

Dear Doctor K: I used to gamble once a year, on a trip to Vegas. But lately my lifelong battle with anxiety has gotten worse — and so has my gambling. Are they related? What can I do?
Dear Reader: Gambling and anxiety do often go hand in hand. People who gamble report feeling less anxious while gambling because the excitement masks anxious feelings. This relief can become addictive, and the impulse to gamble can become overwhelming.
So for many gamblers, reducing anxiety by some other means is necessary in order to control the urge to gamble as a way of dealing with anxiety. There are several techniques that can help.
One of the most powerful ways that people can counteract anxiety is by learning relaxation techniques. Relaxing means more than just sitting on the couch watching TV or a movie. Unless the show is completely absorbing, anxious thoughts can keep breaking through.
Relaxation exercises can teach you to identify worry triggers. Then you can defuse them and break the cycle of anxiety. It’s best to do them every day. The more you do them, the more positive effect they will have. There are many types of relaxation exercises, from the deep breathing exercise I describe below, to mindfulness meditation, to exercises such as yoga and tai chi.
The goal of these exercises is to bring about the relaxation response, which is the opposite of the stress response. By regularly practicing techniques that evoke the relaxation response, you can help your body reduce the cumulative effects of stress.
Relaxation-response techniques slow down your heartbeat and breathing. Your body uses less oxygen and blood flows more easily throughout your body.
One way to relax is through deep breathing or breath focus. Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down. Begin by taking a slow, deep breath. The air coming in through your nose should move downward into your lower belly. Let your abdomen expand fully. Now breathe out through your mouth (or your nose, if that feels more natural).
Put one hand on your abdomen, just below your belly button. Feel your hand rise about an inch each time you inhale and fall about an inch each time you exhale. Your chest will rise slightly, too. Remember to relax your belly so that each inhalation expands it fully. As you breathe out, imagine that the air leaving your body carries tension and anxiety away with it.
When you first start, 10 minutes of breath focus is a reasonable goal. Gradually add time until your sessions are about 15 to 20 minutes long.
If you need more help in controlling gambling as a response to anxiety, you can find more information in the new book “Change Your Gambling, Change Your Life” by Harvard Medical School’s Howard Shaffer, M.D. You can find out more about it at my website,
Other treatments for anxiety also can help. Anti-anxiety medicines and cognitive behavioral therapy (a form of “talk therapy”) are effective treatments for anxiety as well.

Clinical anxiety, depression deserve attention

Many of us know the feeling all too well: It shows up unexpectedly in the form of sweaty palms and rapid heart rate, and it lasts anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.
Anxiety is anything but foreign to college students.
Max Rubin | Daily Trojan
Most likely, as you prepared for college, your friends and family said the next four years would be “the time of your life.” But with the stress that college creates, it is not uncommon to find depression and anxiety becoming a fixture in students’ lives — anything but what you might have expected.
Though USC offers group and individual counseling services and the Office for Wellness and Health Promotion offers many resources for students to learn about managing anxiety, stress and depression, more needs to be done to ensure that the USC student body is healthy and happy.
In a survey of USC undergraduates in 2009, graduate and undergraduate students reported experiencing anxiety and depression in the last year, with 13.6 percent of undergraduate and 17.4 percent of graduate students reporting they had been diagnosed with depression.
Almost 18 percent of undergraduate students at USC reported that anxiety affected their academic performance in the last year. An additional 28 reported being affected by general stress. 13 percent reported being affected by depression.
A small amount of stress and anxiety can be healthy and will motivate you to study or complete a task. But too much can be detrimental to your psychological and physical health.
Anxiety is an umbrella term for a range of emotional disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and so on.
The way anxiety manifests in one individual can be quite different from that in another, which is why it can sometimes be difficult for professionals and non-professionals to identify it.
Oftentimes, in a clinic, issues concerning physical health are managed first because they are more visible. Treating emotional ailments, however, is just as important.
Anxiety can have large repercussions if it is not dealt with. Episodic anxiety can manifest in frequent panic attacks. Low levels of anxiety can also become debilitating.
But once you or another does identify an anxiety disorder, who do you talk to? What can you do to combat this?
The resources available at USC are not talked about as much as they should be. Simply getting the conversation started about anxiety and related emotional disorders would be a huge step to diminish the stigma surrounding such diagnoses, allowing many students to get the help they need so that their four years at USC can, in fact, be the best of their lives.
Whether you are stressed about graduating in the middle of an economic recession or simply overwhelmed by the amount of material on your final organic chemistry exam, be sure to assess how you are feeling and determine whether the amount of anxiety is manageable.
Exercising, eating well, being with friends and taking quiet time for yourself have been proven to aid in anxiety and other emotional disorders. Still, sometimes these steps are not enough — and that’s not a sign of weakness.
If the need arises, seek professional help and do not be ashamed for doing so. If you had an unmanageable cold, you would see your physician. Experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety or depression is no different.
Take control of your emotional well-being; this is your time to thrive.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Childhood Abdominal Pain Linked to Adult Anxiety

April 17, 2012 (Arlington, Virginia) — Children with functional abdominal pain (FAP) are up to 5 times more likely to have a comorbid anxiety disorder by 21 years of age than healthy children, new research shows.
In addition, 2 studies presented here at the here at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America 32nd Annual Conference suggest that treating anxiety in adults reduces both gastrointestinal and psychiatric symptoms.
Taken together, the studies show that the early diagnosis and treatment of pediatric anxiety can have a significant impact on the adult brain–gut connection.
"It's a bidirectional relationship. If you have anxiety and depression, you're more likely to have FAP; if you have FAP, you're more likely to have depression," said John Campo, MD, a pediatric psychiatrist who moderated the session.
Dr. Campo, who is professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Ohio State University Medical Center and chief of behavioral health services at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, has just completed a study showing that children with anxiety and depression have higher rates of FAP (51.5% vs 8.8%; = 0.0002), migraine (57.6% vs 23.5%; = 0.0062), and constipation (21.2% vs 8.8%; = 0.183) than healthy control subjects.
His previous research showed that 80% of pediatric FAP patients have current anxiety, 43% have current depressive disorder, and 29% have current major depressive disorder.
Dr. Campo's work shows that in children with both FAP and anxiety, anxiety tends to come first (mean age of onset, 6.25 years), followed by FAB (mean age of onset, 9.17 years).
Adult Anxiety
New work by Lynn Walker, PhD, from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, has shown that children 8 to 15 years of age whose abdominal pain persists to age 21 are 5 times more likely to have an anxiety disorder in adulthood, and that those with pain that has resolved by 21 years are twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder.
Dr. Walker's study involved 754 children 8 to 15 years of age with FAP and no identifiable organic disease.
Patients and their mothers were interviewed at a pediatric gastrointestinal clinic, and underwent a multidimensional assessment of pain intensity, frequency, and duration, and the cognitive and affective aspects of their pain.
A cluster analysis identified 3 distinct groups of patients: the "high pain dysfunctional" group had intense frequent pain, high levels of catastrophizing, negative affect, and low levels of perceived efficacy (25% of the cohort); the "high pain adaptive" group consisted of patients who were trying to remain functional despite their pain (40% of the cohort); and the "low pain adaptive" group had minor infrequent pain, low levels of catastrophizing, high perceived efficacy, and little dysfunction. In this group, it was the parents' concern about the pain that brought the children to the clinic.
Nine years after enrolment, 379 patients (average age, 21 years) were contacted and reinterviewed about their abdominal pain, other pain, and psychiatric symptoms.
Novel Focus on Anxiety
In the high pain dysfunctional group, 60% of patients still had persistent abdominal pain; the rate was about half this in the other 2 groups, said Dr. Walker.
More than 45% of patients in the high pain dysfunctional group met the criteria for a current anxiety disorder, which is significantly more than in the other 2 groups (25% to 30%). A retrospective chart review revealed a 70% lifetime rate of anxiety disorders in this group.
"The majority of those with a lifetime anxiety disorder often had an onset prior to their FAP evaluation," she said, adding that almost 1 in 5 patients in the high pain dysfunctional group reported that they had lost a job because of illness.
Depressive symptoms were no higher in any of the groups than in the general population, which adds to the evidence that it is anxiety, not depression, that is driving this process.
"Poor outcomes were driven by anxiety-related processes, including threat appraisal, fear, and avoidance," she said.
"This is interesting because the GI world and the IBS [irritable bowel syndrome] world has focused, in adults, at least initially, more on depression than anxiety."
The study is the first to show different psychosocial profiles in pediatric FAP and to link them to prognosis.
She asked: "Can we identify high-risk groups efficiently in the busy pediatric clinic...and would treatment of anxiety improve these outcomes?"
Bidirectional Relation
A pilot study presented at the meeting partially answered this question, although the patients were adults.
Thirteen subjects, 18 to 65 years of age, with comorbid IBS and generalized anxiety disorder were treated for 12 weeks with duloxetine, an antidepressant that is also approved for diabetic neuropathic pain and other pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia.
"The goal of the study was to try to use 1 agent to treat both conditions. It's a lot better if 1 agent can target the neurobiology of both," said lead investigator Alicia Kaplan, MD, from the Department of Psychiatry at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The primary outcome was change in the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale score; secondary outcomes were changes in the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale score, the IBS Quality-of-Life Scale score, and the IBS Symptom Severity Scale score.
Compared with baseline, a significant improvement was observed in CGI–Improvement (P < .000) and CGI–Severity (P < .000) scores. There were also significant reductions in anxiety (P < .001) and IBS symptom severity (P < .023), and improvements in quality of life with IBS (P < .012).
"The brain–gut connection is bidirectional, and 95% of our serotonin receptors are in the gut," said Dr. Kaplan.
"There's a connection between the brain and the gut that is causing these symptoms. Part of it may be anxiety, part of it may be irritable bowel, but sometimes antidepressants can help both."
Dr. Campo, Dr. Walker, and Dr. Kaplan have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) 32nd Annual Conference. Session 306R, presented April 13, 2012; poster 106, presented April 14, 2012.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Anxiety: a very modern malaise

Feeling the strain: economic woes and job worries have contributed to a growth in the number of people being treated for anxiety disorders - Anxiety: a very modern malaise
Feeling the strain: economic woes and job worries have contributed to a growth in the number of people being treated for anxiety disorders Photo: ALAMY
That was until the night she sank to the floor, paralysed by fear, her own voice sounding muffled and as though on a time delay, while her view of the room darkened into the narrowest tunnel vision.
She thought she was dying. In fact, it was the start of an anxiety disorder that was to become her new reality, and to dominate her twenties. After finally sleeping, she awoke disorientated and petrified – a state that continued for more than three years, in which waves of panic attacks were “punctuated with glimpses of the real world”.
Looking back, she believes the anxiety was her body’s response to a pace of life she could not sustain. “When everything is busy and going well, you just keep on going. Then suddenly you look down and see that there is nothing anchoring you; and so you fall.”
She is not alone. Last year, close to 7  million prescriptions were issued by the NHS for anti-anxiety drugs. As economic woes have worsened, and job and mortgage worries become rife, the numbers being treated in hospital for such disorders have soared – with more than 17,000 outpatients’ appointments last year, four times as many as in 2007.
As Britain enters the Age of Anxiety, great swaths of the population appear to be nearing the end of their tether.
However, Dr Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist, believes that economic pressures are aggravating a far deeper problem; that modern technology, with its ability to bombard us with messages 24/7, has rendered many of us unable to “switch off”.
“We have actually created a more anxious state,” she says. “When our brain is expecting some kind of news, we prime ourselves to be on alert. With texts, emails and social media, on top of images from TV news, we are constantly on alert, and that can make people chronically anxious, and chronically exhausted.” She advises her patients to take some time away from their gadgets at least once a day – even if it is just for 10 minutes.
Dr Joanna Moncrieff, a consultant psychiatrist and senior lecturer at University College London, agrees and is concerned that Britain is following the path trodden by America in medicalising a social problem instead of examining the values behind it.
“We live in a culture that makes people anxious,” she says. “It encourages the idea that everything can be achieved or bought, that 100 per cent is not enough, that you have to be the perfect wife and mother, and succeed in your career.”
Meanwhile, too much faith has been invested in scientific progress, therapy and a pill for every human ill. “And we have become less able to tolerate and endure life’s ordinary difficulties.”
There has certainly been a distinct shift in the public image of anxiety disorders and the drugs used to treat them. While Valium earned a reputation as “mother’s little helper” among 1960s housewives, by the 1980s the group of benzodiazepines had become better known as “jellies” and “benzos” by recreational users seeking a high.
Today, the same group of drugs are being discussed in far glossier circles.
Earlier this month, Alexandra Shulman, the editor of Vogue, admitted she has regularly suffered panic attacks – and always carries some Xanax in her handbag as her “lucky charm”.
British supermodel Jodie Kidd and her sister Jemma, the Countess of Mornington, have both undergone successful treatment for anxiety and panic attacks which they described as “crippling”.
“The attacks felt like that split-second before a car crash, when the adrenalin whooshes through your body and you think you are going to die,” says Jemma. “From the outside, I might have looked sorted, but on the inside, I was thinking 'if only you knew… ’ ”
Both checked into the Linden retreat, in Worcestershire, also the choice of British novelist Plum Sykes.
Ms Sykes’s anxiety followed the onset of a rare migraine disorder that left her so dizzy she couldn’t care for her children. Though treatment for the condition was successful, the fear of such attacks left her virtually housebound, unable to take even the few steps from her home into a taxi unassisted.
“Life became a series of 'what-ifs’.” she says. “I would imagine every possible worst-case scenario which could occur. In the end I became too frightened to do anything at all.”
In an article for US Vogue this month, she wrote about her stay at the retreat, and the dinner conversations with 11 other anxiety sufferers, including a 23-year-old policewoman who experienced panic attacks when her baby refused food.
“You must be terrified at work then,” Ms Sykes sympathised, “dealing with criminals and everything?”
“ 'Work’s fine,’ the policewoman cheerfully replied. “I just lock offenders in a cell. I’m not afraid of them. It’s when I’m at home that I’m anxious.”
When a person is fearful, the body is flooded with adrenaline in order to prepare it for extreme muscular activity, commonly known as the fight-or-flight response. In panic attacks, these reflexes are triggered despite an apparent lack of external threat, causing a response in the sympathetic nervous system with intense physical symptoms, including tunnel vision, hyperventilation and racing palpitations.
While the NHS prescribes drugs and, increasingly, cognitive behavioural therapy, to identify unhelpful thoughts and actions and replace them with constructive ones, the retreat’s founder, Charles Linden, an anxiety-sufferer for more than a decade, is adamant that when it comes to anxiety, neither approach works.
Instead, clients are given individualised programmes to follow, in Ms Sykes’s case insisting that she timetabled activities for every half-hour of every day so there was no time to look ahead and worry.
If some of his ideas sound kooky – tips to avoid panic attacks include “the cold apple” method, taking an apple from the fridge, and eating it slowly – the Kidds and Ms Sykes are among many celebrity clients who say they have been cured.
But Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at Kent University, fears that Britain has developed a culture that not only feeds and encourages anxiety, but also wears it as a badge of pride.
“At London dinner parties, everybody has a condition, an anxiety to talk about; if you don’t, there is something wrong with you. It has become normal and fashionable to be anxious; it is a little bit edgy,” he says.
He believes two twin forces are at work; that children are taught to “medicalise the everyday”, and learn a language of stress and anxiety, while our political classes have identified happiness as a public goal, with David Cameron last summer announcing plans to rate the country not just by its gross domestic product, but by the well-being of the public.
“In the Second World War, we maintained the stiff upper lip. Today it is almost the opposite. The message is to call a helpline, get support, find somebody to help you. If you aren’t opening up and talking about your problems, then you are seen as morally inferior,” Dr Furedi argues.
Certainly the past 60 years have seen a vast expansion in psychiatry, and in the redefinition of social problems as medical complaints.
In 1952, the first edition of the US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the psychiatrists’ bible, that classifies mental illnesses, was 130 pages long and listed 106 psychiatric disorders. Today’s checklist, used across the world, runs to 900 pages and 297 disorders. A new version is due next year.
One of the most significant expansions, under psychiatrist Dr Robert Spitzer in 1980, led to the introduction of “generalised anxiety disorder”.
In recent years, Dr Spitzer has criticised his own work, suggesting that the criteria were so broad that up to 30 per cent of the population without serious mental health problems could fall under its classifications.
At Anxiety UK, the main charity for people suffering from anxiety disorders, phobias and panic attacks, chief executive Nicky Lidbetter believes people in this country have simply become more aware of conditions that have always existed, even if they went unnamed.
“I had a grandmother who was agoraphobic; we just didn’t have a word for it,” she says.
She sees first-hand how severe such disorders can be. “At worst, these can render a person housebound, or even roombound,” she says.
Ms Lidbetter also takes the view that modern technology and fragile economic conditions are putting increased numbers of people at risk. “People can usually cope with short bursts of pressure but what is much more difficult is situations of prolonged uncertainty, when there is no end in sight; conditions like our economic situation,” she says.
Stress can spur success, but it needs to be at a constructive level. As pressure ratchets up, coping mechanisms can falter. “When there is job insecurity, people take on more work than they can handle, they start surviving on coffee, not eating properly, and dropping the things that kept them well, the leisure activities, the trips to the gym,” she says.
She describes panic attacks as the “body’s internal alarm system”, sending a warning to slow down and take stock.
In Cheshire, Zoe Brook no longer suffers from anxiety. The mother-of-two has trained as a therapist, helping others with such disorders.
After three years of drug treatment, she learnt, by trial and error, to manage the warning signs.
Mrs Brooks describes anxiety as “a battle in the mind” and one that occurs not during the times of most pressure, but in the hours, days and weeks after – “the quiet times, when thoughts can rise to the surface”.
“The attacks paralysed me,” she says. “When I felt them coming, I used to grip the arm of the chair and steel myself for the wave. Then I realised you had to break it; to get up, to do something mundane, to take a deep breath, to potter about, to do anything.
“I began to realise that the best response was indifference – to laugh in the face of an attack.”
These days, when the going gets tough, she tries a different tack. “Now, I take a moment to lie on the grass, to look at the sky, and to see the shapes in the clouds. Sometimes you just have to stop and catch your breath.”

Panic Attack Treatment - Stop Your Panic Attacks Correctly

These sensations created by a panic disorder are unquestionable. A person's experience of panic and fear is overwhelming and everything you desire is for it to end. The actual issue with the management of anxiety or panic disorder is that most traditional treatment methods fall short in lots of ways. That can make you believe that there isn't really a relief from your ailment.

There happens to be fantastic news. Research has shown that choosing medications for panic and anxiety attack treatment has not been as successful as treatment solutions without the use of medicinal drugs. Drug free solutions to treatment have even more good results and several health benefits over old fashioned medicine choices.

Panic And Anxiety Attack Activators

Panic attack signs and symptoms are occasionally very scary. Some people dread they can indeed be going into cardiac arrest when stress and anxiety attack. It could bring about difficulty in breathing and create an staggering emotion of horror.

Stress and panic may be a consequence of nerves, stress or several situations. You will have indicators that your panic or anxiety attack is about to get started or they could just appear quickly.

Many people know precisely what may cause their panic although some might possibly not have any kind of clue what sparks their disorders. If you're thinking of a anxiety and panic attack treatment, recognizing for what reason you have fear and anxiety can help. This is specifically true of conventional approaches of treatment. Even so, it's advisable to seek out a different therapy that will not require that you realize exactly what sparks off your anxiousness.

Discovering The Right Procedure

The more common panic disorder treatment is very often based on the reason behind the panic and anxiety. Anxiolytic medicines are used frequently by clinical doctors to make tension and anxiety symptoms to vanish.

The use of medicinal drugs hides the discomforts, and usually do not really ever eliminates the problem. Medicinal drugs also come with adverse side effects. They may not benefit everybody.

More attractive strategies for treatment happen to be those geared towards helping you to take control of your feelings and behaviour. Many of these treatments are actually more beneficial treatment for a lasting remedy.

The greatest panic attack treatment can help you to discover why you really have a panic or anxiety attack and find out how to deal with or cope with your symptoms. This could include staying away from particular triggers, learning relaxation approaches and maybe even dealing with your fears and defeating them.

Finding psychoterapy and receiving treatment is everything you might like to implement if you suffer anxiousness attacks . You ought to get power over the situation and not only just let it manipulate you. There's no need to be frightened of anxiety disorder solutions. Have the ability to take care of your problems without needing unwanted medication or wasting years and years in some treatments.

Obtaining assistance and obtaining psychological treatment is one particular thing you want to do if you suffer panic. You need control of the problem as opposed to let it manipulate you. There is no reason to be fearful of panic or anxiety attack solutions.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

How Women Deal with Bad Memories Linked with Depression

CREDIT: Elena Elisseeva | Dreamstime

Certain groups of women may be particularly prone to depression because of the way they deal with negative memories, a new study says.
The results show healthy women who scored high on tests of neuroticism — a personality trait associated with experiencing more negative emotions, such as anxiety — tended to return to their bad memories to mull them over.
This process, called rumination, is known to be linked with depression, the researchers said.

In addition, women who tended to deal with negative memories by trying to suppress them were actually more likely to recall negative memories, and then feel bad after remembering them, compared with women who used other coping strategies. No such link was found in men.
The findings suggest that changing the way we deal with emotional challenges such as negative memories may help prevent depression, said study researcher Florin Dolcos, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dolcos and colleagues surveyed about 70 men and women ages 18 to 34 who did not have a history of depression or other psychiatric disorders. They gave participants a questionnaire with 115 phrases intended to elicit memories of distinct life events such as "being hospitalized," "birth of a family member," or "witnessing an accident." For each life event they could recall, participants gave the date of the event, reported how often they thought about it, and rated the emotional significance of the memory. Only memories with strong emotional significance were chosen for the study's analysis. Participants also completed a personality test.
Men with a high level of neuroticism tended to recall a greater proportion of negative memories than men who were low in neuroticism. In contrast, women high in neuroticism tended to revisit the same negative memoires.
The researchers also assessed participants' tendencies to deal with bad memories through two strategies: suppression, which involves trying not to think about a memory, and reappraisal, in which people attempt to reduce the impact of negative memories by putting a new perspective on them. For instance, you might fail to get a job, but perhaps an opportunity or new connection resulted from the interview, Dolcos said. You could reappraise your memory by focusing on the positive aspects of the situation.
Suppressing negative memories may not be a good coping strategy because, by refusing to think about these memories, a person does not resolve their feelings about the situation, Dolcos said. If you relive memories to reappraise them, in a way, you find a solution that might help you feel better," he said.
Switching to a strategy of reappraisal, and interrupting memory rumination, may be ways to prevent development of clinical disorders, including depression, Dolcos said.
Pass it on:  Reappraising bad memories is a more effective way to deal with these memories than suppressing them.

Anxiety Linked to High IQ

CREDIT: Dreamstime
Excessive worry might not be such a bad thing after all — a new small study suggests that such anxiety may have evolved in people along with intelligence.
The results show, among people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, high IQ scores were associated with high levels of worry.
In addition, those with anxiety disorder tended to have higher IQ scores than healthy people, as well as higher levels of activity in regions of the brain that aid in communication between parts of the brain. These regions are thought to have contributed to the evolutionary success of humans, the researchers say.

Although we tend to view anxiety as not being good for us, it is linked with intelligence — a highly adaptive trait, said Dr. Jeremy Coplan, study researcher and professor of psychiatry at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.
High levels of anxiety can be disabling, and patients' worries are often irrational, Coplan said. But "every so often there's a wild-card danger. Then, that excessive worry becomes highly adaptive," Coplan said.
"People who act on the signals of that wild-card danger are likely to preserve their lives and the lives of their offspring," Coplan said.
Because the study was small, more research is needed to confirm the findings.
Anxiety and intelligence
In the study, 26 patients with anxiety disorder and 18 healthy people completed an IQ test, along with a questionnaire to assess their level of worry.
Among the participants with anxiety disorders, the higher their worry level, the greater their IQ score was.
Interestingly, the opposite was seen in healthy patients: those with high IQ scores tended to have low levels of worry, and those with low IQ scores tended to have high levels of worry — a finding that agrees with earlier research.
Not enough worry
Too little worry can be problematic for individuals and society, Coplan said. Some people are "incapable of seeing any danger, even when danger is imminent, he said.
"If these folks are in positions as leaders, they are going to indicate to the general populace that there's no need to worry," Coplan said. In some situations, like the recent real estate bubble, that lack of worry can have societal consequences, he said.
The study was published Feb. 1 in the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience.
Pass it on:  In some situations, excessive worrying is advantageous, and the trait may have co-evolved with intelligence.


Thursday, 29 March 2012

What you can do to stop frequent Panic attacks

There’s no need to be serious all the time. Reading The Onion is always good for a laugh, as is viewing a movie that features Leslie Neilsen. Find things that make you laugh and keep them around for when you need a lift.
Panic attacks may be reduced by practicing sensible healthy habits. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine to foster a healthy lifestyle and lessen the effects of panic attacks. Consume nutritious foods. Stay away from highly-processed foods and foods that contain lots of sugar. Always ensure that your mind and body receive adequate rest. You will be less likely to have panic attacks if you feel happy and healthy in your day-to-day life.
You have to have a handle on your emotional well being if stopping panic attacks from occurring is your main goal. Most panic attacks occur when you don’t trust yourself or your reaction to a certain situation. Therefore, if something is troubling you, it’s vital that you share this immediately in as calm of a matter as you possibly can.
Learn and practice relaxation exercises that you can use to head off a panic attack. Learn the techniques well beforehand. Practice yoga when you aren’t panicking, so that you can use it when you are.
Watch out for things that increase your anxiety level. It is vital that you are always aware of your stress and anxiety levels. Becoming more vigilant will help you to regain control over your feelings of anxiety. If you are more aware, you can lessen your attacks and how bad they are.
Learning what triggers a panic attack is extremely important. If you’re upset at somebody and nervously avoiding the discussion with them about the situation, you could trigger an attack. Make sure that you express your emotions and feelings in healthy, positive ways. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and helpless, which could trigger an attack.
When you feel a panic attack coming, you should stop what you’re doing, sit down, and breathe. Always breathe slowly through your nose, counting to five as you do, and make sure that your stomach rises. Then, count slowly for five seconds as you breath out of your mouth. Count the total number of breaths. At 10, you should feel calmer and more relaxed.
Splashing water on your face can be beneficial when you are having a panic attack. The water helps to send messages to your brain that disrupts the negative thoughts which may help you to regroup and relax. Simply splash your face with cool water from the sink. Once the attack has passed, dry your face.
Use positive self affirmations and reassuring images to talk yourself out of an oncoming panic attacks. Think logically and realize that the attack will end. You are the one that is in control of the situation. Remind yourself if you have to do so.
Just because you suffer from panic attacks does not mean you are a flawed individual. Surviving a panic attack is actually a show of strength. You can use the tips from this article to help you cope with your attacks. It is possible that you can even eliminate them.

Forces of Nature

Panic Attack Information That Is Sure To Help

You can calm down your panicky feelings by accepting the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. Feelings are unable to hurt you, and you should use them to try to understand exactly what is causing your anxiety. Accepting all of your feelings may open a door to healing for you.
Self-medication is not the way out of a panic attack, although you might think it is. Alcohol and drugs are not only addictive, but can worsen your symptoms. Book a consultation with your local physician, as he or she will be able to provide you with healthy, effective ways to control your panic attacks.
Panic attacks can often be linked to stress experienced as a child. As a parent, do your best to create a safe environment. Usually the root cause is the person having extremely high standards and expectations cast upon them as a child. Avoid passing on your panic attacks to your children by letting your love show and accepting your child as he is. You will be doing your child a favor for later in life.
If you feel that a panic attack is imminent, try to listen to some of your favorite, calming music. Sit in a calm room and listens to songs you like. Pay close attention to the lyrics. Your symptoms should subside when you direct your thoughts to something else. Your body should begin to relax and the anxiety dissipate.
Talk to your doctor and start a treatment program if the panic attacks are hampering your ability to function. Some people deal with panic using nothing more than willpower and special breathing, but your ideal solution might include medication or therapy. Consult with your physician to come up with a treatment plan that works for you.
If you or anyone you know suffers from the debilitating condition of panic attacks, there are a number of well-known and reputable anxiety and panic disorder associations and groups that may be of help. Look online; there are organizations like The Anxiety Disorders Association of America who are here to help. They may have just the information to meet your needs!
If possible, distract yourself when you feel the beginnings of a panic attack. Focus on the sky, recite a poem or think of a math problem to solve. Anything that will distract you from the panic will be helpful. You can stop an attack and feel better quickly this way.
There are many relaxation techniques that you can learn to diminish the frequency of panic attacks. The simple act of controlled inhaling and exhaling may help you to regain focus and combat the panic attack as it occurs.
Try to get an accurate diagnosis of your anxiety to help you find the correct treatment. The cause of your anxiety problem is an important thing to know when trying to solve it. If you suffer from panic attacks that border on or are uncontrollable, seek the help of a professional immediately.
See if your friend can come and talk to you face to face. This can aid you in feeling better before you know it.
Have you ever had an endless panic attack? You truly have control over your mind and body!
If you spend a lot of time in front of the computer screen, you should consider investing in a kneeling chair to help your condition. While these chairs do not suit everyone, if you struggle with physical posture problems combined with panic attacks, changing to a kneeling chair may help alleviate physical problems caused by poor posture while sitting. Helping your breathing will, at the same time, help with your panic attacks.
Try walking yourself through your panic attack with pleasant, comforting dialogue and serene thoughts. Know that you will get through it. Reinforce the idea that you are in control.
Find help for your panic attack problem. By making a pact with yourself to finally do something about the anxiety, you can now begin to heal. You have to know what it is that you want to surrender to. Let other people help you, and make sure you let yourself help you.
While panic attacks are worrisome, using hard work and patience can help you eliminate them. You should also speak to a health professional about how to treat your panic attacks in a safe manner. Try using the previous tips to help get rid of your panic attacks.

JetBlue pilot suffers possible panic attack mid-flight to Las Vegas

A Jetblue airline was forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday (March 27), after the pilot experienced  a possible panic attack mid-flight from New York to Las Vegas, and had to be restrained.
Panic attacks are periods of intense fear or apprehension that are of sudden onset and relatively brief duration. They usually begin abruptly, reach a peak within 10 minutes, and subside over the next several hours (Wikipedia: Panic attack).
According to passengers on the plane, a man in a JetBlue uniform (the pilot) was acting strangely when returning from the toilet. After he realized his co-pilot locked him out of the cockpit, he lost control of himself and began running up and down the isles screaming "They're going to take us down. They're going to take us down. Say the Lord's prayer."
"He started screaming about al-Qaida and possibly a bomb on the plane and Iraq and Iran and about how we were all going down," said one passenger.
The incident takes place just two weeks after an American Airlines flight attendant was taken off a plane for rambling about Sept. 11 and her fears the plane would crash. An aviation expert who spoke on the incident could remember only two or three cases in 40 years where a pilot had become mentally incapacitated during a flight. (see video)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Daily Mind

The Daily Mind

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 01:55 PM PDT
Low self-esteem is a problem which affects many of us from time to time. It's certainly something that I've battled with throughout my life. I thought for this particular blog post I would take a look at some strategies to combat low-self esteem and promote feelings of positivity and wellbeing.
Be kinder to yourself
Our self-esteem is based on how we feel about ourselves and, for most of us, we're way too harsh. Take a moment to think about the things you say to yourself. Have a listen to that little voice in your head – is it critical, negative, harsh?
Do you tend to say things to yourself like: "I'm such a failure" or "I never do anything right"? Well, imagine that a friend of yours was feeling down about himself. Would you say those things to him? No! You'd offer support and encouragement wouldn't you? So, why say them to yourself?
Next time you start coming out with self-criticism, try to think of some positive and encouraging words instead. Look at mistakes as learning experiences, forgive yourself and focus instead on your good points and achievements. Don't be so harsh on yourself!
Always hang out with people who make you feel great
Being around people who love and respect you will do your self-esteem no end of good. Have a really good think about the people you know who always put a smile on your face and resolve to spend more time with them because they will lift your spirits.
If certain people have a habit of dragging you down, making you feel depressed or criticising you all the time, then make every effort you can to avoid them. If you simply can't avoid them, then take a look at my earlier article on The Daily Mind about how to cope with
Do things that you enjoy
If there's a particular task you struggle with then you're bound to feel negative and miserable whenever you do this. In my case I'm terrible with numbers – bills, accounts, you name it – I can't get my head round it. This is why I leave these particular jobs to my partner. However, I'm great at cooking and it's something I enjoy, so I take care of this side of our life.
In this sense I try to make sure that I do things I enjoy because they increase my self esteem and feed into that cycle of positivity. Make a list of things you enjoy and know that you are good at – ask a friend to help you – and resolve to do at least one of these things every week.
Practise mindfulness
Following on from that last point, practising mindfulness is a great way of combating the negative self-talk that chips away at our self-esteem. Mindfulness helps to switch off that internal chatter, which the Buddhists call the "Monkey Mind", and instead replace it with clarity, focus and calm.
Mindfulness involves focusing entirely on the present moment, rather than living in the past or looking to the future. It's not about trying to change things but trying instead to accept the way that things are for better or for worse. Here's a simple mindfulness technique that I often practise myself:
Sit somewhere comfortable and quiet where you won't be disturbed. Turn off your phone and any other distractions, like the TV or radio. Close your eyes and take a few deep, calming breaths. Stay this way for at least 10 minutes, just focusing on your breathing.
If thoughts start to pop into your mind, don't get stressed or anxious about them, don't consciously try to get rid of them. Instead, acknowledge them, and then imagine them floating away like clouds in the sky. After the 10 minutes is up, congratulate yourself on having taken time out to relax and still your mind.
About the author: Liz Parry is a writer specialising in holistic health and wellbeing, personal development and spirituality.


Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Cause of an Anxiety Attack in Today’s World

What is the cause of anxiety attack? In today’s world anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness. In the United States alone 40 million (18.1%) of the adult population is affected. These numbers are on the increase all over the world, demanding immediate attention. Even though studies are usually made only on adults (over 18 years old), this disorder affects all age groups.

We all blame it on stress, too much work load or other over pressuring day to day activities. However, the scientists have found out the cause of anxiety attacks are:

Brian Biochemistry or chemical imbalance

There are two primary neurotransmitters; serotonin and dopamine that affect a person’s feeling. Any imbalance of these chemicals can provoke a cause of anxiety attack expressed through feeling depressed or sad.


Anxiety disorders are also inherited as they tend to run in the family, thus passing it on from one’s mother/father to the son/daughter or any other close relative. The structure of the brain and its process are inherited in totality and that can be another reason why people with chemical imbalance can pass on the anxiety disorder thus, being the cause of anxiety attack. Also growing up as a child in an abusive home, where the family expressed anxiety and violence constantly can be the cause of anxiety attack.

Fight or Flight Mechanism

When we sense danger, the body prepares itself to either fight or run away. This is known as fight or flight mechanism. This mechanism is triggered mostly by a part of the brain called Amygdale. Sometimes the brain misunderstands the message and a situation and translated it as dangerous when it is not in reality. This can be a cause of anxiety attack.

The symptoms are very real and frightening. Thus, convincing us that something is wrong and we get scared and untrusting. The flight or fight failure, the scientists say, is the main cause of panic attacks.

Along with the various medications, the scientists also have discovered the possibility to reserve these symptoms now, with the modern science and technology. Now, all we need to do is to learn to recognize these symptoms and consult the doctor as soon as possible. As any other disorder or illness, treated in time, it can be almost always treated successfully.

Be aware of your body and recognize when is giving you the wrong Symptoms.

Swarovski - The Magic of Crystal

Panic Attack Self Help Guide

So you’ve been diagnosed with having chronic panic attacks? Odds are if you are reading this then that is the case. Like most panic attack sufferers you are probably asking yourself two questions; why me? Is there a cure?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for chronic panic attacks. Most panic attack sufferers will have the potential to have attacks their whole life. For some this can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, while for others it just their certain mode of thinking that causes the attacks. The purpose of this panic attack self help guide is to give any new or veteran sufferer of panic attacks a few helpful tips.

Tip one: 
Panic attacks are all in your head. The reason why you have these attacks is probably unknown. One thing most doctors will agree on is that panic attacks are all in the victim’s head. Whether this is caused by a chemical imbalance, or not, the trigger for an attack has to come from the sufferer. So tip one is to remember that these attacks are all mental.  Once you learn this step, and learn to believe it, then you will be well on your way to dealing with your panic.

Tip Two: 
The second best tip this panic attack self help guide can tell you are that panic attacks often tend to be caused by certain lifestyles and certain personalities. People who tend to worry too much or dump too many stresses onto their own shoulders, also tend to be those most likely to sufferer from chronic panic attacks. So tip two is to examine your lifestyle; how are you living at the moment? Could your life be less stressful, and if so what is the main source of that stress?

Tip Three: 
The third tip would have to be learning what exactly happens during a panic attack. Even with all the preventative medicine in the world, most panic attack sufferers will experience attacks from time to time. They will most likely not be that serious, but they will happen.  So what occurs during a panic attack? When a person panics, the body is essentially triggering a “fight or flight” response to the source of the attack.

In most cases this drastic reaction is not needed and has no outlet once it is started. Tip three is to learn about this mechanism, and the best ways a person can counter it on their own.

Tip Four:
The fourth and final tip of this panic attack self help guide is the simplest of them all,   see a doctor. There is a whole range of options for panic sufferers, and a physician is the best source of that knowledge.