(Health Secrets) In today’s world it is common to come across people suffering from anxiety. When anxiety mounts to the level of disorder, it deeply impacts many facets of life and can become extremely debilitating. The good news is that natural methods of treating this disorder are quite effective.
Anxiety disorders affect 2.4 million Americans. This means that 1 in every 113 people lives with this condition. Contributing factors include our toxic environment, poor diet choices and hectic pace of life. Root causes may go back to unresolved childhood conflicts.
A certain amount of anxiety is a normal part of life and can be beneficial in our day-to-day performance. However, anxiety becomes debilitating when it escalates beyond proportion and becomes out of control, taking on a life of its own. A person who suffers from anxiety disorder feels the same stresses and fears as everyone else, with one major difference – their stress and fear is overly magnified.
For example, think of a time when you were the most fearful. Now, magnify it 100 times. How does it feel? Magnify it again 100 times…and again…and again. Do this until you have magnified this feeling 1,000 times. This is exactly what a person with an anxiety disorder experiences.
A person suffering from anxiety disorder has an overwhelming and constant sense of apprehension, very often including feelings of fear and dread. This constant heightened state of alertness, an always-present flight or fight response, places a severe demand on the body, and physical symptoms surface which only serve to further frighten the individual suffering from this condition. Muscles become stiff, especially around the shoulders and neck. Heart palpitations, numbness, tingling and blurry vision may develop. The person with anxiety disorder may feel as though he is receiving electric shock, and may experience a sensation of waves moving through the head. There have been over 100 physical symptoms reported.
Too often, the uncontrolled constant surging of adrenaline brought on by this state of persistent apprehension will eventually affect the sympathetic nervous system to the point where a panic attack develops. A person suffering a panic attack may feel as though death is imminent.
To make matters worse, panic attacks do not usually occur in the comfort of your own home. They usually occur in public, very often in a store setting, and they can also occur while driving a car. The terror caused by these experiences can result in the individual’s avoidance of driving and going out. Little by little he or she may withdraw from life, becoming homebound. At this point, the anxiety disorder has progressed to a panic disorder and the individual may be classified as agoraphobic.
Severe depression normally goes hand-in-hand with anxiety. Because of a person’s individual makeup and experiences in life, it is impossible to tell whether depression has been instrumental in causing anxiety or vice versa. There is usually no way of telling which condition came first.
Those with anxiety disorders tend to drift to comforting foods that include unhealthy processed carbohydrates, sweets, junk foods and fast foods, thus feeding the condition and making it worse. Many seek relief in alcohol. This relief is short lived and usually leads to catastrophe as the sugar content in alcohol serves to eventually trigger panic attacks in the person seeking to avoid them.
Drugs such as SSRIs and benzodiazepines only mask symptoms. While at times appearing to bring relief, they come with side effects, some of which are dangerous. Additionally, these drugs are highly addictive. They work by turning off necessary emotions needed in every day life. Many who rely on antidepressants don’t feel sadness, but they also don’t feel joy. Benzodiazepines tend to lose their effect after a short period of time, necessitating higher and higher dosages in order to relieve anxiety and those dreaded bodily manifestations.
Natural alternatives are a safer and more effective way of dealing with anxiety and panic. Instead of merely masking symptoms, these alternatives can actually promote total healing:
- Probiotics – a recent study found that probiotics ease anxiety, relieve emotional symptoms and brighten outlook.
- Colloidal Gold – improves neural communication in the brain. It is believed to be responsible for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Oleander Extract – has demonstrated effectiveness against many conditions, including anxiety.
- 5-HTP- needed to create serotonin, the hormone that gives people a sense of well being and happiness.
- L-Theanine – a natural relaxant, which supports the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
- GABA- low levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) may be responsible for a person not being able to handle day-to-day stress. GABA decreases anxiety, induces relaxation, increases alertness and aids weight loss.
- KAVA – elevates mood and promotes feelings of wellbeing and contentment.
- Omega 3 – among their many health benefits, Omega 3 fatty acids relieve depression and help maintain emotional balance.
- Hawthorne Berry Syrup – besides supporting the cardiovascular system, this has been reported to be beneficial for heart symptoms suffered during anxiety and panic attacks.
- Iodine – anxiety can be the result of an iodine deficiency. It is recommended that anyone suffering from anxiety and panic symptoms have their thyroid checked. Supplementation is recommended because a great deal of us are deficient in iodine.
A person whose anxiety has reached such large proportions will, in many cases, need a therapist to point the way toward healing. Resolving present and past emotional conflicts is crucial, together with learning new ways of thinking. A therapist will teach coping mechanisms such as relaxation exercise, visualization techniques and meditation. Cognitive behavior therapy may be another stepping stone toward healing.
Proper nourishment will result in less anxiety. Foods such as salmon and tuna are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that will ease depression, while foods containing L-Tryptophan, such as turkey and sunflower seeds, will help the body relax.
Anxiety disorder is a much misunderstood condition encompassing emotional and physical aspects of one’s being. Healing requires a person to address Body, Mind, and Spirit. The best four steps for achieving total wellness are
* Improved diet
* Use of nature’s herbs and supplements
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