Anxiety

How To Handle Anxiety

Anxiety is an emotion – a momentary feeling of stress, the human body letting you know it thinks you may be in danger. Anxiety disorders are more serious mental health conditions where feelings of anxiety go above and beyond this normal response to urgency or perceived danger and greatly disrupt your life.

Most people will experience anxiety regularly, and up to 40 million adults in the United States experience an anxiety disorder every year. Fortunately, despite how the symptoms can make a person feel, there is still hope for the future.

Anxiety disorders can be treated through medications, therapy sessions, lifestyle changes, and more. While no single treatment will work for every person, anyone can find a treatment that helps relieve their symptoms.

Here is a helpful guide explaining some tips and tricks that can help with handling anxiety symptoms.

How To Handle Anxiety

Exercise

Mental health and physical health are two sides of the same coin. Regular exercise can help relieve anxiety symptoms. This can be as little as 30 minutes of exercise, 3 to 5 times a week.

Sleep Schedule

Ideally, every person should get around eight hours of sleep every night. If you are struggling to get to sleep, try techniques like adapting a consistent sleep schedule or avoiding screens and electronic devices an hour before bedtime.

Avoid Harmful Substances

If you find yourself anxious or stressed out, it’s easy to turn to things like caffeine or alcohol, but these substances may only make your anxiety worse in time.

Treatment

There should be no shame in seeking out treatment for your anxiety, especially if it is interfering with your everyday responsibilities.

The types of anxiety disorders

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Selective Mutism
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder

The symptoms of anxiety

  • Feelings of nervousness
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • A sense of impending doom or urgency
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Avoidance of anxiety triggers

The Causes of Anxiety

The development of an anxiety disorder is not as crystal clear as other conditions, such as an illness like the common cold. Whereas a cold can be traced back to exposure to a cold virus, anxiety disorders are instead a complex mix of several biological and environmental factors.

Examples of conditions or medical problems linked to anxiety include some of the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems (like hyperthyroidism)
  • Respiratory disorders, such as COPD or Asthma
  • Drug abuse or withdrawal
  • Chronic pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Ketamine Treatment For Anxiety

Exactly how ketamine treats anxiety disorders is still being researched, much like what leads to the development of anxiety. The current understanding is that ketamine binds to receptors in the brain that increase the amount of a neurotransmitter – glutamate – is released. This will then set off a chain of reactions within the brain that affects thinking and emotional regulation.

To put this in layman’s terms, the brain reacts to ketamine in a way that triggers hormones that help create more positive emotions. This can occur within minutes after a person receives their infusion, but some people may need several treatments before they experience the highest level of benefits.

If you or a loved one are suffering from anxiety, contact us today to find out if one of our innovative new treatment options are right for you.

Anxiety

Anxiety In Kids

Anxiety in children is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms overlap with other illnesses, but progress is being made. While millions of kids 17 and younger suffer from anxiety, research continues into evaluating traditional therapy and medication, and the efficacy of newer treatment options including the use of ketamine infusion therapy.

THE SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • About 4.4 million children aged 3-17 years have diagnosed anxiety.
  • About 1.9 million children aged 3-17 years have diagnosed depression.
  • For children aged 6-17 years, the numbers who were diagnosed with either anxiety or depression went up from 5.4% in 2003 to 8.4% in 2011–2012. For those children diagnosed with just anxiety, the numbers increase from 5.5% in 2007 to 6.4% in 2011–2012.

ANXIETY IN KIDS AND THE ICEBERG ANALOGY

Doctors and therapists will often use the iceberg analogy when talking about anxiety in kids. Icebergs look beautiful floating in the ocean, their tips reflecting the sun. But what lies beneath the waterline is just as worrisome as whatever you see above it. In a child, anxiety is the tip; behaviors that

are below the waterline are accumulated layers of experiences and emotions:
Difficulty Sleeping

Anxiety and sleep trouble are like the chicken and the egg. Research indicates that anxiety can result in sleep disorders, and chronic sleep interruptions can manifest as anxiety. These are hallmarks of anxiety in
children.

Anger

Children who are anxious often perceive a potentially threatening situation as more dangerous than it really is, such as a test in school, or underestimate their own ability to cope with these situations. When kids are overly and chronically worried and feel ill-equipped to handle the anxiety, they feel helpless. Helplessness is an expressway to frustration, dead-ending at a roadblock called anger. Irritability, part of the anger family, shows up in anxious children.

Defiance

Children who suffer from anxiety often try to take back control for comfort and security, often in peculiar and unexpected ways. Because the child has trouble communicating what is happening, adults often misinterpret the situation as simple defiance – rather than an effort to manage a time where they feel helpless and anxious.

“Chandeliering”

This is an analogy for when an apparently calm person suddenly goes ballistic for no reason. But what has happened is the child has buried anxiety and hurt for so many months or years that a harmless comment or event unexpectedly sends them plowing through a metaphorical chandelier. Such tantrums demonstrate a child unable to communicate about their fear and they try to bury it instead.

No Focus

Lack of focus is sometimes misdiagnosed as a characteristic solely of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but also appears in children with anxiety. That does not necessarily mean the child has ADHD. Rather, the conditions have overlapping symptoms. Kids experiencing anxiety often get preoccupied with their own feelings that they cannot recognize what is happening around them.

Avoidance

Kids who try to avoid a person, place or task usually end up dealing with more of whatever they wanted to avoid, like school work or chores around the house. They will have wasted time and energy on avoidance, making it the driver of bigger anxiety than before.

Negativity

Kids with anxiety often express negative thoughts more frequently than positive ones. Because of this, negative thoughts take root faster and easier than positive thoughts, making a child suffering anxiety appear like a downer most of the time. Children suffering anxiety are susceptible to these patterns because they are not mature enough to see a negative thought for its true meaning and reverse it by engaging in upbeat self-talk.

Overplanning

Some children express anxiety by trying to take control through defiance, while others fall victim to overplanning for an event where planning is unnecessary or minimal.

TREATING ANXIETY IN CHILDREN

The first step in recovery is to converse with a healthcare professional, such as the child’s primary care doctor or a licensed pediatric therapist, about obtaining an evaluation. Some of the symptoms and signs of depression or anxiety in kids may be created by other conditions, like trauma. Treatment for children normally involves regular psychotherapy sessions, but ketamine infusion therapy has also shown promise for reducing symptoms of anxiety in young children and teen patients.

Like any medication or form of treatment you want to do your own research and speak with a trusted provider on the possible benefits. It’s never a one size fits all approach when you’re treating the symptoms of a mood disorder like anxiety.

CONCLUSION

If you suspect your child is suffering from anxiety, call your primary care doctor immediately for a consultation. Treatment may include psychotherapy, medication, or possibly ketamine infusion therapy, but none of these options will work unless you take the initiative on your child’s behalf. The condition can be managed with prompt care and compassion.

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