Anxiety

How To Stop Anxiety

Momentary anxiety is not just normal – it is an important evolutionary tool. It is our body’s way of letting us know that we may be in danger. Some people have feelings of anxiety and stress that go far above normal levels – these are anxiety disorders.

Most people feel anxiety regularly, and up to 40 million adults in the United States deal with an anxiety disorder each year.

Though anxiety disorders can make you feel hopeless, the right treatment options and lifestyle changes can help anyone find relief. No one treatment will “fix” everyone, but anyone can find a treatment that works for them.

How To Stop Anxiety

Sleep Hygiene

Everyone should get somewhere around 8 hours of sleep a night. If this is difficult for you, there are ways to work around this. Try getting off electronics an hour before you go to bed, or develop a consistent sleep schedule.

Exercise

Physical health and mental health are very closely linked. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three to five times throughout the week.

Avoid Harmful Substances

Although it’s easy to fall back on junk food or alcohol during difficult times, these substances actually do more harm than good in the long run.

Treatment

There are lots of treatment options your doctor or provider may suggest, ranging from psychotherapy to antidepressants. New treatments like ketamine infusions may signal a new era for the treatment of anxiety.

Ketamine Treatment for Anxiety

Research indicates that ketamine treats anxiety disorders by binding to receptors in the brain, increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter glutamate being released. This sets off a chain reaction in the brain that affects thinking and emotional regulation.

This means, in layman’s terms language, that the brain reacts to ketamine infusions in a way that triggers hormones that help the brain create more positive emotions. Unlike other treatments, ketamine can provide this relief within hours or days of the first infusion, although it is most successful as a series of infusions.

The Kinds of Anxiety Disorder

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

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders vary from person to person, but typically the symptoms include most of the following:

  • Feeling nervous
  • Feeling restless
  • A sense of impending doom or danger
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing/hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue/lack of energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Avoidance of things you associate with your anxiety

Causes of Anxiety

Developing an anxiety disorder is not quite as simple as getting the Flu, for instance. The Flu can be traced back to a definite cause, whereas anxiety disorders are the result of several factors like inherited traits or traumatic events.

In some cases, anxiety disorders can be an indicator of an underlying health issue. Other conditions or medical problems sometimes linked to anxiety include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism)
  • Respiratory conditions like COPD or Asthma
  • Drug abuse or drug withdrawal
  • Chronic pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Contact us today if you or a loved one are suffering from anxiety, and would like to learn more about this innovative new treatment.

OCD

Can OCD Be Cured?

Like all other mental health conditions, OCD does not have a known cure at this time. That said, there are treatments and forms of therapy that help alleviate the symptoms and bring you to a place of mindfulness and acceptance.

OCD (which stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) is a mental health condition characterized by unwanted, intrusive thoughts that make you feel compelled to carry out ritualistic behaviors. Trying to ignore these obsessions will only increase your overall distress and anxiety.

The 5 Symptom Subtypes of OCD

Generally speaking, most symptoms will fall into one of these five subtypes, but they are not mutually exclusive and your symptoms may change over time.

  • Contamination Obsessions with Washing and Cleaning Compulsions: Those suffering from this type of OCD will typically focus on feelings of discomfort brought on by feelings of germs and contamination and will wash and clean excessively.
  • Harm Obsessions with Checking Compulsions: Those experiencing this symptom subtype tend to have intense thoughts regarding possible harm that could be brought on to them or others and will use intense checking rituals to try to relieve their distress.
  • Obsessions Without Visible Compulsions: This subtype is characterized by unwanted obsessions regarding sexual, religious, or aggressive themes. Triggers related to these obsessions are usually avoided.
  • Symmetry Obsessions with Ordering, Arranging, and Counting Compulsions: This subtype is characterized by feeling a strong need to rearrange objects constantly. This also involves thinking or saying sentences or words over and over again until you feel it has been set absolutely perfectly.
  • Hoarding: Those with this symptom subtype collect items of little or no value until their own living space is filled with so much clutter it becomes difficult to live in. This is frequently accompanied by obsessive fears of losing items that you feel may be needed someday in the future.

Obsession

Obsessions are persistent, intrusive thoughts, feelings, or images that give you stress or anxiety. If you have OCD, you may try to get rid of these obsessions by performing a compulsive ritual. Obsessions usually intrude in your everyday life, often getting in the way of your day-to-day activities.

Examples of obsessions include the following:

  • Fear of contamination
  • Needing things orderly and symmetrical
  • Aggressive or horrific thoughts about harming yourself or others
  • Unwanted thoughts, including sexual or religious subjects

Signs and symptoms of obsession also include:

  • Fear of contamination when touching objects someone else may have touched
  • Intense stress when objects are not perceived as orderly
  • Intrusive images or thoughts about hurting yourself or someone else
  • Thoughts about shouting obscenities or acting otherwise inappropriately
  • Avoidance of situations that may trigger your obsessions
  • Distress about unpleasant sexual images repeating in your mind

Compulsion

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that people with OCD feel they must perform. Typically, these compulsions are done to reduce anxiety from obsessive thoughts, but these compulsions usually provide temporary relief only.

Examples of compulsion signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Hand-washing until your skin becomes raw
  • Checking doors to make sure they’re locked
  • Checking the stove to make sure it’s turned off
  • Counting in repetitive patterns
  • Silently repeating a prayer, word, or phrase

Ketamine for OCD

Ketamine, first approved by the FDA as an anesthetic, has been shown in recent years to treat mood disorders like OCD with rapid results. Ketamine is thought to play a role in the treatment of mood disorders through its influence on glutamate, a neurotransmitter that mediates the response to stress and traumatic memories.

To learn more about ketamine and its use as OCD treatment, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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