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The plant paradox diet is based on the idea of avoiding food that contains lectins. Lectin is a type of protein found mostly in plants. When taken in small amounts, lectins have been shown to provide numerous health benefits and weight loss treatments; however, they reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients when taken in larger quantities.

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Steven Gundry, an American doctor, and author featured the plant paradox diet in one of his diet books, explaining why certain foods can harm your body and even promote weight gain. This diet has been a topic of discussion, attracting varied views and criticism.

 

Why Lectins? 

Lectins are naturally occurring carbohydrate-binding proteins. They serve a protective function for plants and are found mostly in grains, legumes, and nightshade veggies such as eggplants and tomatoes.

According to Dr. Gundry, lectins cause increased gut permeability, which drives autoimmune diseases. He argues that these proteins are toxins, which plants rely on to survive, and humans should avoid them as it can cause severe complications such as intestinal damage and inflammation. A body trigger causes this inflammation as it tries to fight the “foreign” lectins, which passed through the intestinal barrier. Inflammation then triggers the production of fat-storing hormones, which the body uses as fuel to fight off these proteins.

As this autoimmune reaction continues, more fat is produced and stored in the body, leading to weight gain. This protein also depletes the body’s gut microbes, which helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Lectins found in most grains are gluten and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), which plays a role in weight gain.

 

The Controversy

Research shows that cooking destroys most of the lectins in foods. This weakens the proteins’ ability to bind to human cells. The Plant Paradox Diet suggests that all foods with lectins are harmful to the human body, while several studies indicate that many are safe, nutritious, and healthy.

 

Healthy diet
5 Superfoods for a Healthy Diet

 

Getting Started with the Plant Paradox Diet 

If you’re going to implement this dieting plan, there are two specialized programs you can choose to follow. One is the high fat, low carb ketogenic meal plan (for cancer patients), and a 3-day detox-dieting plan – for people trying out the Plant Paradox Diet for the first time.

The detox program follows a strict lectin-free diet for 3 days, coupled with a daily routine of light exercises and at least 1.9 liters of water, decaf coffee, or tea. The ketogenic diet for cancer patients is a long term-commitment dietary schedule that comes with several health benefits. This is, however, not a replacement to all the other cancer treatment options.

While the plant paradox diet is restrictive, there’s no structured program and options for someone who would need a customizable plan to suit their unique dieting goals. That said, there’s a list of food to eat and food to avoid, making sure your everyday meal doesn’t reduce the body’s nutrient absorption.

 

Foods to Avoid 

According to the Plant Paradox Diet, certain foods contain higher levels of lectins and several other compounds that Dr. Gundry considers a threat to human health. We’ve grouped them for you, so it’s easy to identify and avoid if you’re on this dietary plan.

  • Starches: Potatoes, whole grains, rice, wheat, pasta, cookies, pastries, corn, oats, barley, quinoa, and crackers.
  • Proteins: All beans and legumes, soy products, and farm-raised seafood, including fish.
  • Fruits: All types of fruits except berries.
  • Vegetables: Tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and other nightshades. Pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini, and other squashes.

The other foods to avoid are chia seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. Dairies in this category are; all A1 milk products, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and American cheese. You would also want to stay away from vegetable fats, corn, peanut, and sunflower oils.

 

Plant Paradox diet
Benefits of Plant Paradox Diet

 

Lectin-free Foods

On the list of safe foods on the Plant Paradox Diet, are;

  • Starches: All grain-free products, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and plantains.
  • Proteins: Free-range eggs, finished meats, pasture-raised poultry, and wild-caught fish.
  • Fruits: Coconut, avocadoes, and berries.
  • Vegetables: Spinach, carrots, mushrooms, kale, broccoli, okra, beets, and cabbage.

Lectins-free dairy products include organic sour cream, natural cheese, goat’s milk, and cheese. Nuts such as macadamia, walnuts, and hazelnuts fall in this category. Avocado oils, coconut, and grass-fed butter are also lectins-free. As much as you want to stick with this dietary plan, Dr. Gundry hints that you can select a few of the banned veggies such as tomatoes and bell peppers – provided you peel and remove the seeds.

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Wrapping Up

Whether the Plant Paradox Diet works or not depends on your specific dietary needs. If you’re relying solely on this diet to lose weight, you may not see significant changes in the long run. This is because they don’t include any calorie restriction strategies, which is a prerequisite to losing weight.

It’s also worth noting that this diet plan eliminates more processed foods, which may lower calorie intake. This is an added advantage for someone looking to cut the extra calories. For an evidence-based, healthy weight-loss program, book an appointment with Mango Clinic, and we’ll be glad to work you through a customized and sustainable weight loss journey.

 

Weight loss treatment clinic
Weight loss treatment

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It is common for some people to come forward and make their New Year Resolution in the hope of sticking to it throughout the year and beyond. Their resolutions come in different forms known better to them. But have you ever thought of something different such as a mental health resolution? If not, this is the best time to think about it and make a sound decision.


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Fatty liver disease is fast becoming a common illness associated with obesity. Recent estimates indicate that the disease affects about a quarter of the world population, and has been responsible for a wide variety of health issues.

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For instance, a fatty liver is potentially linked to type 2 diabetes and a range of illnesses that result from insulin resistance. If you fail to address the problem promptly, it may develop into a critical ailment of the liver and attract a range of other health issues. The first step if you wish to deal with fatty liver disease successfully is losing weight. Read on to find out why, and learn other strategies that you can supplement with your weight loss treatment plan.

 

What does It mean to Have a Fatty Liver?

The condition occurs due to excessive fat build-up inside the cells in your liver. A considerable amount of fat within the cells is considered normal, but it shouldn’t go beyond 5 percent. Binge drinking has been linked to the problem, but its role is significantly minor.

The vast category of nonalcoholic liver disease, or NAFLD, encompasses several fatty liver disorders. The condition is the most common illness of the liver among adults and kids from Western countries. It first portrays itself as the reversible NAFL (nonalcoholic fatty liver) condition. Without a diagnosis, it may progress to the deadlier nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, otherwise known as NASH.

The illness involves a more significant accumulation and a resultant inflammation that ends up damaging the cells. Since the liver cells continually get injured and perish, the condition could result in scar tissues or even fibrosis.

Unluckily, it’s not easy to ascertain if a fatty liver will advance to NASH, hence a higher risk of liver cancer and cirrhosis. Nonalcoholic liver disease may lead to a host of illnesses like heart disorders, diabetes, and kidney ailment. Fortunately, there’s hope since you can improve the condition through weight-loss treatment and a healthy diet plan.

 

Obesity and its risks
Risks of Obesity

 

Weight Loss Treatment Is Ideal for Fatty Liver:

Results from different studies indicate that weight loss treatment plans can significantly reverse an oily liver problem. Weight loss alone has shown excellent results in eliminating excess liver fat in adults suffering from NAFLD. This is regardless of whether you shed weight through menu changes, exercise, surgery, or several strategies.

A study by landmark found that if you lose just 10 percent of your body weight, you will significantly cut your liver fat, reverse inflammation, and improve scarring. This difference can also enhance your metabolism, including insulin sensitivity, enzyme activity, and hepatic steatosis.

Other findings published on JAMA International medicine confirm that weight loss treatments could significantly reverse NASH. These include medications, behavioral programs, and weight-loss surgery.

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Additional Strategies to Treat the Fatty Liver Condition:

The most obvious way to eliminate the accumulated fat in your liver is to cut your weight and reduce your carbs consumption. However, combining this with several other strategies could help remove the excess fat even faster.

Here are the most effective:

  • Exercise – Studies have shown the significant impact of resistance training and endurance exercise in cutting liver fat. Exercising several times every week consumes the excess fats within the body cells, and the liver is no exception. Whether or not you lose weight, exercising between 20 to 60 minutes for 4-7 days every week could lower your liver fat volume by 10 percent. This makes it a viable alternative to combine with the rest of the strategies.
  • Reduce your carb intake – While dietary fat may seem to be the culprit for liver fat, it only contributes 16%. Most of this harmful fat originates from blood fatty acids, with about 26% forming through de novo lipogenesis (DNL). This process involves the conversion of excess carbs to fat. Considering their immense contribution, cutting back on carbs (especially the refined varieties) could significantly cut your liver fat.
  • Consume foods that facilitate the process – Apart from reducing the carbs you consume; you can achieve the same objectives by adopting a healthy diet. Not only is it a healthier option, but you also stand to achieve a significant reduction of liver fats. Some of the best foods for this include monosaturated fats, whey protein, green tea, and soluble fiber.

 

Weight loss treatments
Best Weight Loss Treatments

 

The Takeaway

Fatty liver condition is linked to several health issues. Luckily, the disorder is reversible, and you can restore your liver fat to healthy levels before it advances to the graver conditions.

Adopting a healthy menu, carrying out regular exercise, and supplements can significantly eliminate the surplus fats. But Weight loss treatment stands out as the most effective way to treat a fatty liver. The therapy also helps lower the risk of the disease progressing to deadlier liver disorders.

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Whatever weight-loss treatment option you choose, limit your usage of ‘fat burners’ and dietary supplements. These alternatives could help you reduce weight, but are linked to acute liver failure. Consult with your physician to get the right weight-loss treatment that works for your condition. Schedule an appointment with Mango Clinic if you need apt guidance on the right treatment plan.

 

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What’s holding back mental healthcare access? There is a lot of information on the general issues that bar people from seeking help to treat their mental illnesses. Sure, there are people that have managed to access successful treatment, but a good number of those battling mental illnesses aren’t getting the help they need. This gap between patients and treatment trickles down to multiple factors.

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Ideally, knowing all the reasons that are keeping you from accessing treatment could change your life. If you would like to know some of the reasons why accessing mental healthcare is tough, this is the post for you. It includes five of these barriers.

The points included in this post are not only an inside view of the mental healthcare industry but also evidence-based insights into why accessing treatment options have been a problem. It will answer the many questions in your mind right now.

 

Number One – Structural Barriers

Mental health issues are common all over America. While all states have been working on creating an environment favorable for mental health treatment, there still exists a large gap between access to treatment and the prevalence of the illnesses.

The Treatment Gap

The treatment gap is used to refer to the difference between the number of patients who need specific treatment and those who actually receive the care. Among the primary reasons for this large gap is the availability of unpredictable and insufficient data on the American population. This is exacerbated by the scarcity of resources for collecting this data.

According to the survey:

  • America’s weighted mean for the treatment gap for mental illnesses stands at 71.2%
  • The mean for the treatment gap stands at 57.6% for severe disorders
  • The mean for the treatment gap stands at 65.7% for critical to moderate disorders

In the case of severe mental disorders, the treatment gap is as follows:

  • 5% in North America
  • 9% in Latin America
  • 4% in Mesoamerica
  • 8% in South America

For severe to moderate mental disorders, the treatment gap increases substantially:

  • 2% in North America
  • 7% in Latin America
  • 7% in Mesoamerica
  • 1% in South America

Tackling the treatment gap that exists among alcohol and substance abusers is the biggest challenge for first-world countries such as America. The treatment gap among American adults is also exceptionally high, further adding to the global mental health disorder burden.

Poor Mental Health Policies

Policies are supposed to aid in meeting the needs of the population. Historically, America has been more than adamant in creating mental health policies aimed at helping people with war-related chronic mental health problems. This includes a centralized system of procedures that have been around since 1960. Services might no longer be available to the seriously ill citizens because the centralized approach didn’t factor this target demographic.

The present situation concerning public health policies isn’t that different from the post-war one. Instead of targeting the population that needs them, today’s health policies are aimed at therapeutic services for outpatient settings. As such, this scenario results in inadequate resource allocation for the mental health sector.

Here are a few trends recorded in 2020, according to Mental Health America’s published article:

  • There has been an increase in the prevalence of depression and anxiety from 8.66% to 13.01%
  • More adults are attempting suicide than ever
  • While most American have insurance, they lack treatment
  • The youth and adults lack treatment requirements
  • There is still a large proportion of the youth that goes unidentified despite struggling with mental health illnesses

 

Mental health professionals
Which Mental Health Professionals are More at Risk?

 

Mental Health Professional Shortage

In general, America doesn’t have enough health professionals, but this inadequacy can be felt most in the mental healthcare sector. According to mental health resources, a good number of Americans, 89.3 million, live in federally designated areas of mental health shortage.

These statistics can be tied back to a variety of factors. Other than rural areas being highly deprived of diagnostic and treatment services, they typically lack access to mental health professionals. On the flip side, while urban areas have more health professionals, most have long waiting lists. Patients often have to wait for months before accessing these services.

This matter is further aggravated by government-sponsored and private insurance plans. Also, doctors often shy away from taking up mental healthcare careers.

The Organization of Mental Healthcare Services Is Fragmented

The fragmentation of mental health services makes accessing mental healthcare tougher for most people. Mental health services are referred to as ‘de facto’ in many areas. While people do report their problems, they often find themselves stuck in a maze of disorganization before they can get any help. This increases the urgency of having an efficient service system to facilitate direct contact with the community.

Some of the reasons for the disorganization of mental health services include:

  • Desperate administrative resources
  • Historical reforms
  • Variation in eligibility criteria rules
  • Misconducted funding streams

 

When combined, these factors have created widespread artificial boundaries between the patients and access to treatment. It is rare for popular communities to offer their past and present medical histories for assessment. When these communities actually present this data, processing the examinations usually takes months.

A severe lack of mental health services is also common among large minority communities, which is why people who dwell in rural areas are known to commit suicide at a rate that’s higher than their urban counterparts.

 

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Ignorance of the High-Risk Population’s Treatment

Whenever reform and guidelines are being designed, the high-risk population is often neglected. Mental healthcare isn’t advanced enough to ensure that all aspects that require consideration are addressed. However, the leaders in advancement also use outdated and general approaches when making decisions on mental healthcare.

Here is some of the high-risk population that is often ignored during mental healthcare reforms:

Geriatric Population

Mental health disorders and suicide are highly prevalent among the older generations, so providing this age group with treatment is necessary. For older people, ‘Medicare’ is their primary financer for health issues. The sad truth is that Medicare offers limited services and options for the mental healthcare sector. This inadequacy is linked to:

  • Limits to hospitalization
  • Limited coverage of office visits
  • Little to no coverage of prescription drugs

Around 25% of this demographic claim that these Medicare restrictions bar them from seeking healthcare. Since the treatment offered to older people isn’t as receptive as that offered to other adults, most resist seeking treatment. Under Medicare, general outpatient medical services require a 20 percent copayment, while most outpatient mental health services require a 50 percent copayment. It also rigidly limits the lifetime hospitalizations to 190 days.

Suggested Citation: “9 Barriers to Effective Treatment and Intervention.” Institute of Medicine. 2002. Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. DOI: 10.17226/10398.

The under-diagnosis and under-treatment of the older generation also pose a greater risk to access to treatment. Since a good number of physicians’ view depression and mental illnesses as part of growing old arising from anatomical, physiological, and psychological changes, special treatment considerations do not seem necessary for this group. However, this mindset can negatively impact the importance of seeking mental healthcare.

Adolescents

The reasons behind poor mental healthcare access are the same for the adolescent population; low utilization, limited access to care, low help-seeking behavior, and diagnosis problems have all contributed to the limited access to mental health treatment.

Another significant factor is that the unemployed status of most adolescents makes affording treatment expenses an uphill task. This age group also doesn’t adhere to appointments and follow-ups as required.

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Number Two – Limited Awareness/Education About Mental Health

The lack of mental healthcare awareness can be quite consequential. Stories about mental health complications can be found everywhere, including in newspapers, media, and TV. The responsibility of spreading and understanding mental health awareness falls on the government, treatment providers, and family members. Why aren’t people that struggle with bipolar disorder or chronic depressive disorder or schizophrenia getting the treatment they deserve? For those who do, why are treatment rates quite high?

The best excuse for this situation would be ‘Anosognosia’ – an inadequacy in self-awareness. If the person suffering from a mental disorder isn’t well-educated about their condition, they will have a lot of questions about their wellbeing. ‘Broken brain’ is a term commonly used to refer to people struggling with mental illnesses who have to deal with the continuous change in their brain or its damage without sensing that they have a mental illness.

50% of patients who are suffering from mental illness often don’t accept the fact that they have a mental disorder. While their health providers, friends, or family might try to inform them of their condition, it can be tough for them to understand or be mindful of their mental wellbeing. Addressing anosognosia is challenging since it is also a symptom of mental illness. Those who aren’t at home with their mental illnesses might react differently, including through:

Irritation

Other than being uncomfortable to deal with at first, mental disorders do get worse with age and time. Those struggling with these illnesses may face pressure in the form of work, financial burden, memory loss, a decline in cognitive skills, and stigma, which can breed anxiety while socializing.

Fear and Anger

The experience of being told that you have a mental disorder is typically painful and terrifying. People react towards fear in a completely unpredictable way. For those with psychiatric disorders, it can be tough to take things positively.

The language used to address the different disorders could also be an issue to the point where people suffering from mental illnesses become susceptible to specific words. For instance, calling such people’ mentally disturbed’ can be humiliating and cause anger reactions.

Why Mental Health Awareness Matters

Mental health awareness and the awareness of existing healthcare choices are necessary for early diagnosis and for spotting red flags within a specific demographic. This awareness also speeds up recovery from mental disorders.

Knowledge of all things mental health-related could help those in need figure out how to access healthcare resources. In fact, half of Americans might not access healthcare resources due to not knowing how to go about it.

They may not be aware of the resources that exist for their specific disorder; non-profit organizations, insurance policies, government-sponsored low-budget insurance coverage, and funding all offer great opportunities for improved mental health for the population. However, the lack of education, cultural and language barriers, superstitions, and conservative mindsets hold back people from leveraging healthcare options and treatments.

 

Psychiatric health in USA
Limitations of Psychiatric Health in the USA

 

Awareness offers both hope and a large recovery window. Attention to the possibilities of mental illnesses creates the perfect environment for decreasing comorbidities and improving how people approach life.

In the United States of America, a variety of organizations is working overtime to improve mental health awareness in their communities. These initiatives are targeted at improving the mental health of the population as well as increasing awareness of available treatment options. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Helpful Educational Resource for Mental Disorders and Healthcare In The U.S
  • CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

The CDC offers a rich source of data concerning mental health disorders. It has databases that are broadly based on public data and statistics. In recent years, the organization has been a huge advocate for mental health awareness. It has been promoting this cause by describing mental health to the public and outlining the benefits of mental health awareness as well as the available treatment options.

MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus is the service behind the most extensive medical library in the world, the ‘National Library of Medicine.’ The organization’s main goal is to offer high-quality information concerning health and wellness. By using English and Spanish, it achieves its goals of spreading healthcare awareness through all possible mediums. As an online resource, MedlinePlus is among the most trusted sources of information for individuals and their friends and family.

Mentalhealth.Gov

The U.S government uses this website as a one-step access door for a wide variety of mental health resources. Visitors can learn all things related to mental health by visiting the site. It targets a number of areas, including:

  • The general public
  • Policymakers
  • School systems
  • Health and emergency preparedness professionals
  • Local communities
  • Government and business leaders

National Center For PTSD

This organization’s target demographic is American veterans, both men, and women. It claims to offer all employees of the VA respect, excellence, and a baseline of standards.

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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

NIMH has been one of the greatest champions of establishing evidence-based research on mental illnesses. As a leading federal agency in the mental health field, it falls under the 27 institutes of the National Institute of Health, which has been acclaimed as the world’s largest biomedical research agency.

In the coming five years, NIMH has created a strategic plan on how it wants to push mental health awareness forward. The plan includes (2020 updated):

  • Highlighting efforts aimed at improving therapeutic and preventive mental health interventions
  • Monitoring the trajectory of mental illnesses to establish the perfect way to intervene
  • Advancing the basic science of the brain, behavior, and genomics to understand mental illnesses better
  • Ensuring that people suffering from mental disorders can benefit from improved services and outcomes, and better knowledge to practice

 

Number Three – Racial Barriers and Social Stigma

The disorder isn’t the only complication that people struggling with mental illness have to deal with. While the disorder itself can be daunting to deal with, the whole experience is worsened by social stereotypes and prejudice.

Victims of mental illnesses are often robbed of both a healthy, happy life and access to mental healthcare facilities. They end up being deprived of adequate healthcare, good jobs, and access to freely available resources.

Why Mental Health Stigma Is Prevalent?

Stigma arises whenever the society or those closest to the victim term them as less desirable. It can be manifested in a variety of ways, including negative attitudes, ignorance, or discrimination. The victim is often referred to as ‘other.’

This stigma could easily be fueled by society’s negative attitudes and lack of awareness. In other cases, people struggling with mental illnesses often become society’s soft targets of violence in a variety of ways. For instance, people who have schizophrenia are often regarded as violent and a danger to others.

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Five Common Societal Misconceptions About Mental Illness

1.     Mental Disorders Are A Weakness

It is common for the mentally ill to receive a lot of backlash for their mental health status. Their condition often raises questions about their abilities, intelligence, and physical output. Such perceptions about them often lead victims towards a path of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness, which is often a big hurdle to their motivation to seek mental healthcare.

Also, seeking treatment for mental disorders is often regarded as a lack of mental strength. The truth is that mental strength isn’t affected by mental illnesses. In fact, many people dealing with mental health disorders are quite influential and are known to handle their condition incredibly well.

2.     It Is Impossible to Overcome Mental Health Problems

Some contributing factors are non-modifiable, such as age, genetics, sex, and family history. However, it is quite possible for people struggling with mental illnesses to manage and recover from their conditions. A lot can be done to their daily living to lead them on the road of recovery. This includes:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Embracing psychotherapy
  • Practicing good sleep hygiene
  • Taking FDA-approved medication
  • Engaging in regular physical activity and exercise

3.     Violence Is Normal for People with Mental Disorders

The media has made a significant contribution to the negative portrayal of the mentally ill. Mental illnesses have been tied to ghost possessions, domestic violence, spooky mental asylums, serial killers, and more.

Hollywood movies, news, and documentaries have easily earned the mentally ill a ‘crazy’ label. In reality, people struggling with mental illnesses tend to be innocent and polite and are often not the perpetrators of violence, but victims of it.

The ensuing backlash, false portrayal by the media, constant label, and linkage of mental illness to criminality have all contributed to creating an unsuitable environment for those with mental illnesses to recover or open up about their struggles.

 

Mental health problems in USA
USA Mental Health Stats of Previous Years

 

4.     Seeking Mental Healthcare Is Considered as a Sign of Failure and a Source of Embarrassment

Around 50% of Americans are embarrassed and hesitant to seek help, regardless of their mental condition. This can be linked to the myths, baseless opinions, and stereotypes that are constantly exchanged within society. Mental health disorders are far from being a choice. Seeking mental healthcare should be seen in the same light as getting help for other health conditions. It should be viewed as a choice to prioritize your health enough to seek treatment and enjoy a better life. Owning up to your mental disorder and seeking help is, in fact, a sign of strength, which shows you have the spiritual power and will to design a happier life for yourself.

5.     Mental Health Practitioners Aren’t Doctors

Studies in the field of psychiatry and psychology are of great importance. These health professionals play a key role in diagnosing mental disorders, treating them, and coming up with advanced ways of managing mental illnesses. Psychologists cannot be called doctors until they earn their PhD. in their fields and get authorized licensure. Attending medical schools isn’t a requirement for them. On the other hand, psychiatrists have to attend medical school to completion and take licensing exams before reaching their degree. In both cases, these professionals are referred to as doctors after fulfilling the required criteria.

While there is a significant difference in salary and education, this difference neither takes away their title nor questions their expertise. The fact is that both professions have a significant role to play in decreasing mental health stigma and improving healthcare accessibility with an excellent prognosis.

Stigma Can Be Divided into Two:

  • Public stigma
  • Self-stigma

Public Stigma:

Stereotype: The mentally ill are negatively perceived by society. (violent, different, weak, dangerous)

Prejudice: Rigidity towards these negative beliefs.

Discrimination: Often, this leads to the avoidance and withholding of common living opportunities.

On average, the American and European population has a very negative perception of people with mental health disorders. Even professionals in the mental health sector do practice some form of stigmatization.

Some of the general thoughts about mental health within the public domain are:

  • People struggling with mental illness should be isolated from society
  • The mentally ill are immature
  • Others should make the life decision of the mentally ill since they are incapable of making these decisions themselves

Double standards and discrimination in thoughts and opinions around the mentally ill are quite common. Family members might shy away from socializing with the mentally ill. An above-average portion of society will also have negative thoughts concerning marriages with the mentally ill. This public stigma hurts the chances of the mentally ill to access good jobs, free treatment options, safe housing, social club memberships, public parks, etc.

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Self-Stigma:

Stereotypes: Having a negative perception about oneself (feeling helpless, weak, and crazy, etc.)

Prejudice: Agreeing with and settling to the false beliefs of society

Discrimination: Failing to seek help and missing out on treatment opportunities

It is common for people living within a society that stigmatizes against them to endorse this backlash. With time, a mentally ill person might find themselves thinking that they inherently deserve less, and often lose hope for their future. Low self-esteem and dignity are significant contributors to the low rates of the mentally ill seeking resources and screening.

Moving onto this chapter’s last section

Racial Disparities

Unlike in the case of general health, there are petty differences among the public regarding accessing quality mental healthcare. The minorities in the United States, such as African Americans, access poor quality mental healthcare, whereas the situation is much better for accessing general healthcare.

Studies show that the prevalence of mental health issues among African Americans is less than or equal to that of the other American ethnic groups. However, the outcomes for blacks aren’t anywhere close to being as good as those of the whites.

 

Number Four – Barriers in Primary Healthcare and Suicidal Detection

Globally, mental health problems are quite common. In fact, the morbidity and mortality rate has seen a steady increase recently due to inadequate primary care and screening for the mentally ill. Primary care plays a pivotal role in the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of mental illnesses. Most people struggling with mental disorders complain about inadequacies in primary healthcare facilities and limited access to the available ones. According to a study conducted by De Hert and colleagues, the poor management of mental illnesses can be tied back to several barriers, which include:

Patient Barriers:

Low Socioeconomic Background:

The unavailability of resources like aids, funding, family support, and insurance coverage hold back people from affording mental healthcare. One of the most significant problems for people with low socioeconomic backgrounds is that the mentally ill are often regarded as disabled and problematic. As such, these individuals have to primarily depend on their own financial abilities due to inequality, social stigma, and low self-confidence.

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Poor Mental Health Experience:

Some of the social experiences people have had with mental health make patients shy away from opening up to society and health experts. For instance, the media has been painting a terrorizing picture of common mental healthcare resources such as doctors and hospitals. Famous Hollywood movies have created the perception of the mentally ill being victimized through experimentation, torture, bloodshed, and violence. This negative image makes it tough for people with mental illnesses to believe that the real world is any different.

Service Provider Barriers:

Three factors drive the quality and capacity to address and treat mental health disorders:

Knowledge

Inadequate knowledge about the different mental health conditions among healthcare providers complicates access to mental healthcare. While there are diverse mental health disorders, a single disorder could affect two people in varying ways. Lacking the knowledge of the multiple aspects of the different disorders makes managing patients an uphill task. Education is necessary among doctors and nurses for them to deal with mental health emergencies with efficiency.

Scope of Practice

The scope of practice of a good number of healthcare providers excludes mental illnesses. While a physician will claim that they have a license to treat the body, they may emphasize that they don’t treat the brain. Such individuals believe that dealing with mental health issues is outside their scope.

Attitudes and Values:

A lot of people find dealing with new primary healthcare workers tough. Making a connection with them and opening up can be a challenge for most people. This especially holds true for people with a history of alcohol and drug abuse as they experience rejection from primary healthcare workers who might see them as “drug-seeking.”

Barriers to Suicide Detection and Management:

In the United States, suicide has grown into a significant concern. Mental health disorders and suicide attempts often go hand in hand.

What Are the Mental Health Disorders Associated with The Risk Of Suicide?

Some of the mental health disorders that result in suicide include:

  • Major depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alcoholism
  • Emotional stress
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personal disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Suicide rate in USA
Prominent Factors Contributing to Suicide in the USA

 

Here are some of the problems that hold back suicide detection:

Suicide Screening

Most countries have embraced a grim suicide detection strategy. In most cases, this involves conducting primary health surveys on depression and assessing the probability of suicide occurring among the target audience.

While there are a variety of tools that can help screen suicide, their applicability is often questionable. Having conversations with the patient about their condition as well as their family and medical history is often the best alternative.

People who fit the following description often have a high risk of suicide:

  • People facing fatigue
  • Clients with chronic pain
  • People struggling with financial burdens
  • People going through sudden changes in their life
  • People who are socially isolated
  • People going through postpartum depression
  • People who are sleep-deprived
  • People with a history of substance abuse
  • People struggling with more than one chronic disease
  • People whose first-degrees biological relatives have a history of depression
  • People living in impoverished home environments
  • The geriatric population that lives alone

Often the sensitivity and availability of the screening tools aren’t always at 100%. Picking the ideal screening tools trickles down to a variety of factors, including personal preferences, availability, time consumption, and other factors.

The fact that screening tools are also known to lead to false-positive results is also a major drawback. This can lead to high medical care costs, which could complicate the lives of people who lack private insurance.

 

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Number Five – Financial Barriers

The adverse effects of economic and psychological issues have had a significant role to play in the increasing burden of mental health disorders around the world. According to recent research, about 56% of the population with depression and 86% of people struggling with alcohol abuse go untreated due to the high cost of accessing treatment.

Globally, the inability to afford mental healthcare treatment is the main cause of treatment denial. Many of America’s insurance companies, especially Medicare, either allocate inadequate resources or completely fail to cover mental healthcare services. Reversing this is largely in the hands of authorities, caretakers, and the policymakers.

WHO has already confirmed the significant threat that lies with mental illnesses? Millions of Americans find accessing psychiatric healthcare challenging. Often, those who access the care often have to go through a maze of fragmentation and financial obstacles.

Some of the main reasons behind these financial issues include:

  • Unemployment
  • Insurance companies’ high rate of denial of care
  • Health insurance networks lacking mental health experts
  • Mental healthcare facilities demanding high out-of-pocket costs

These issues will exist, whether the person seeking mental healthcare has private or public insurance coverage. Here is a list of the opportunities for healthcare treatment offered in the United States and the financial aspect that hold them back:

Insurance

Ideally, having insurance coverage is meant to make accessing treatment easier. There is a scheme under the American health system that allows all deserving populations to access treatment under a specific insurance plan.

Many insurance sources under this scheme do cover mental health treatments. For instance, employers can provide insurance to their employees. As for young people (those below the age of 26), they can always rely on the coverage provided by their parent’s employer. On the other hand, college students can enjoy low-cost insurance provided by the school’s state.

The Financial Drawbacks of These Insurance Options

A good number of these plans might exclude mental health conditions from their coverage. Despite the government trying its best to be strict, many insurers could exclude previously diagnosed illnesses from their coverage. In other cases, the mentally ill might struggle to afford common insurance plans, with some working under employers who don’t offer insurance!

For people who can’t access insurance through family support, school, or work, there is always the option to access government-sponsored plans through:

  • Medicare
  • Affordable Care Act Marketplace
  • Medicaid

Medicare And Medicaid

The U.S government sponsors Medicaid and Medicare. These services are provided based on qualifications, disability status, income, and age. For you to gain access to the service, you will need to work with a social service agency to fill social security disability applications.

 

Psychiatric health in USA
Limitations of Psychiatric Health in the USA

 

The Limitations of Medicare:

Limited Providence of Facilities

Other than the popular Medicare plans to have a variety of financial restrictions, the services that you can access under the insurance are limited to a specific budget. For a majority of these plans, you will need to pay higher fees if you can only access out-of-network healthcare providers. While other plans can give more choices, they often come with a high price tag that is difficult to afford.

State-Specific Limitations on Coverage

Although Medicare services can be accessed throughout America, the advantage plans will often be strictly restricted to specific areas or states. This will prove to be disadvantageous to the demographic that travels frequently; their health insurance might not work outside their residential area.

The Additional Cost of Healthcare Coverage

At face value, Medicare looks like a reasonable plan that comes with premium charges that are automatically deducted throughout the project’s many parts. However, it might have user-specific hidden charges. These charges could include specialist visit copays, add ups on the advantage plans, and drug deductibles.

Free Clinic and Health Services

While insurance will cater to most parts of healthcare, there exist a couple of cost-free options. These options are easy to obtain through Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). However, you need to meet stringent requirements to gain access to these services.

Another popular option is to reach out to local non-profit organizations. While some therapists under these organizations can offer their services at no cost, such opportunities are often luck-dependent.

What Are the Possible Issues?

Cost-free options are often offered by healthcare candidates like part-time workers, observers, and trainees. These candidates might fail to match the quality services and treatment regimens offered by experts. People seeking treatment for their mental health disorders could easily experience a lack of professionalism and malpractice.

Funding for The Mentally Ill Working Population

Finding employment as a mental health patient is often a struggle. However, job seekers can always leverage the disability quota for a chance at landing minimum role jobs. The government also provides supported employment options and vocational rehabilitation services. The former offers people with mental illnesses an excellent opportunity to make enough money and afford their treatment.

In order to get supported employment, you might have to contact mental health agencies. Your employment could be restricted to specific sectors, such as teaching the mentally ill. Once you are employed, your employer will take the responsibility of eliminating any barriers to how you work. Often, this involves stringent supervision to ensure high levels of quality and create an ideal corruption-free environment.

The Difficulty of Maintaining Jobs With Mental Disorders

It is often difficult to find and maintain jobs with mental illness. While 60% of Americans suffering from mental illnesses are ready to work, it can be surprising to learn that their unemployment rate lies at 80%. Sure, seeking a job with a mental illness can be a great idea, but the underlying illness could complicate relating with others in the workplace.

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Conclusion

There is a diversity of barriers to accessing ample care for mental health disorders, with most of the above-listed obstacles having several contributing factors. The ensuing stigma and lack of healthcare access could arise from both the society or the patient himself. The ultimate goal is to work on ways for breaking these stereotypes and barriers to eventually allow victims to enjoy a healthy and functional life like the rest of the population.

Now that you have learned enough about mental health care aspects, you can do your part to change this narrative. Whether you or your loved one have a mental illness or not, you are always welcome to seek care at Mango Clinic. Feel free to leave a comment and visit this site anytime for more knowledge. Book an appointment today!

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Anxiety affects so many people worldwide that it qualifies to be labeled a modern plague. The mental disorder already contributes significantly to the rise of the global mortality rate. What makes it one of the biggest health concerns of our generation is that its effects can be felt deeply by the families and loved ones of the affected individuals.

Contrary to popular belief, anxiety is not just a mental illness that changes how your brain works. Its negative impact can be so severe that it affects all aspects of daily life.

Some of the notable first victims of anxiety are your self-esteem, economic well-being, day-to-day life, and finally, romantic and social relationships. Anxiety quietly escalates from a tool of personal torment to a chaotic force that wreaks havoc on a person’s entire livelihood.

As luck would have it, anxiety is not a problem that goes away if you ignore it. As a matter of fact, turning a blind eye to the problem always leads to severe repercussions. The first step to solving any problem, especially one as devious and persistent as anxiety disorder, is to learn all you can about it.

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In this guide, I uncover the truths and realities of anxiety disorder to equip you with all the tools you need to rid yourself of the debilitating condition. In addition to its origins, causes, signs, and symptoms, I will discuss the various treatment strategies for anxiety, including the appropriate homeopathic and pharmaceutical avenues you can take to manage its symptoms.

By the end of this comprehensive anxiety guide, you will understand everything about the mental condition, including the underlying causes, triggers, and how it manifests. You will also learn how to effectively manage the mild, moderate, and severe symptoms of anxiety, and how to permanently break free from the vice-like grip of anxiety disorder.

 

Table of Contents 

Chapter 1 – Anxiety and Its Historical Expressions

Chapter 2 – The Etiology, Pathophysiology, and Complications of Anxiety

Chapter 3 – Classification of Anxiety Disorders (And their Signs and Symptoms)

Chapter 4 – Self-Diagnosis and Screening Tools for Anxiety

Chapter 5 – Recent Findings from Anxiety Research (2020 Update)

Chapter 6 – How to Manage Anxiety without Medication

Chapter 7 – Treating Anxiety with Anxiolytic Drugs

Chapter 8 – How to Overcome an Anxiety Attack on Your Own 

Chapter 9 – Anxiety Success Stories and Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Tidbits

 

Chapter 1- Anxiety and Its Historical Expressions

What is anxiety?

Why do we get anxious?

How long have human beings been dealing with the adversities of anxiety disorder?

This chapter defines and explains what anxiety is, where it comes from, and when it is classified as a disorder. It also touches on some famous historical expressions of the mental imbalance. It highlights the turning point of anxiety from a reflexive mental state that protects us, to a debilitating psychological condition that ruins our way of living.

What is Anxiety?

The clinical definition of anxiety is that it is a mental state that manifests emotionally as feelings of fear, worry, tension. And physically, like elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, and nervous behavior.

Why do we Get Anxious?

Anxiety is the mind’s natural response to pending danger. It is the brain’s way of signaling to the rest of the body that something terrible is about to happen, so we should be alert and prepared. Under normal circumstances, anxiety is a useful reflexive emotion that keeps us alert to external threats.

On the other hand, runaway anxiety is hugely destructive. Imagine being constantly terrified, fearful, depressed, or panicked. The emotional toll it will have on you is significant. However, anxiety disorder doesn’t just affect us emotionally. Over time, it can have dire physical and mental implications.

There’s no quick and easy way to describe anxiety. It is an amalgamation of behavioral responses, fearful thoughts, and physical changes that emerge when our minds respond to a perceived threat.

It doesn’t have to be a significant threat. You can get anxious before a visit to the dentists’ office. You can also get worried when your boss calls you into his office abruptly. Anxiety is simply how our minds prepare our bodies for a threat it senses in our future. It can also be a response to a negative experience from our past.

The reality is that everyone gets anxious. In small doses, anxiety is vital to our survival. Think about it. Before crossing the road, you look both ways to make sure no vehicles are coming, and use a crosswalk to stay safe. That is anxiety driving you to keep yourself from harm, even if there are no vehicles nearby.

Anxiety is, therefore, an entirely rational response to perceived danger until it becomes excessive, intense, and out of control. This crucial defense mechanism that keeps us safe from external hazards suddenly starts to eat at our mental and physical health from the inside out.

 

Factors of anxiety disorder
Factors Causing Anxiety Disorder

 

Historical Expressions of Anxiety

To say that anxiety is a recent problem would be inaccurate. Throughout the civilized history of mankind, great minds have discussed anxiety disorder at length in an attempt to define it and understand it.

  • Charles Darwin

The great evolutionary theorist was no stranger to the workings of the mind. Darwin defined anxiety as the product of adaptive emotions. He suggested that anxiety emerges when our behavioral psychology evolves radically, hinting at mania and psychopathy as two prime examples of drastic emotional adaptation.

  • Walter Cannon

Cannon pinpointed the origin of anxiety to the thalamus, the part of the brain responsible for behaviors like anger, fear, and the ‘fight or flight’ response. Cannon’s expressions are in line with modern perceptions of the thalamus, which is the trigger for all emotions and is responsible for involuntary actions (like breathing), and organ functioning.

  • Ivan Pavlov

Russian physiologist Pavlov made historically significant contributions to the study of anxiety when he conducted experiments with a trained dog. He concluded that the brain could develop agitated behavioral patterns in the wake of excessive or constant inhibitory and excitatory stimuli.

 

Suffocation – The False Alarm Theory of Panic Disorder

This 1993 publication by Klein suggests that the cause of many panic attacks (which are a symptom of acute anxiety disorder) is the brain’s ‘suffocation monitor.’ The brain erroneously signals a lack of breathable air, which in turn causes the victim to hyperventilate, experience increased heart rate and blood pressure, and even lose consciousness.

The theory proposed that a rise in plasma CO2 levels and brain lactate was enough to send the body into a state of dyspnea and hyperventilation, even when there was no real threat of suffocation. This theory shows just how badly the mind can cause the body to overreact due to anxiety.

 

Why Anxiety is a Big Problem Today?

Before humans settled into civilizations, we were exposed to a host of environmental dangers as well as threats from other humans from different communities. Back then, the only real cause for anxiety was social isolation and poor grooming habits. We understood enough to know that we needed each other and that we needed to keep our bodies clean.

Fast forward to the 21st Century, where modern problems have morphed the leading cause of anxiety into a plethora of reasons. There is a lot more to be uncertain about in the intricate settings we’ve created for ourselves. We have school fees to think about. The mortgage is due every month. Our relationships need work and attention. We are overwhelmed by the amount of work on our plate.

Anxiety has developed astronomically over the centuries and is now one of the biggest mental disorders on the planet. On our path to understanding it, we have gone back in time to gather evidence and examples. But the real secret to stopping anxiety is to learn how it affects the body and the mind at a personal level.

All this is covered in the next chapter, which explores anxiety and its effects on the human body. For further reading on the origin and history of anxiety, you can find a thorough publication here.

 

Chapter 2- The Etiology, Pathophysiology, and Complications of Anxiety

How does the body react to anxiety?

What are the changes that occur when in a state of anxiety?

What causes these changes?

To better understand how to manage the symptoms of anxiety, you first need to know how it starts. This requires a closer look at the origin of anxiety on your body and the effects it has on your physical and mental wellbeing.

This chapter will walk you through the underlying causes of anxiety, the symptoms that manifest first, and the complications that anxiety brings so that you’re in a better position to grasp the anxiety management strategies that we will talk about later in the guide.

 

What Causes Anxiety?

Think about the last time you were anxious. Was it the time you were confronted by a bully on your way home? Was it when you forgot your wallet at home only to find out at the check-out counter?

You might not remember precisely when it was, and that’s okay. However, it is impossible to forget the sickening feeling of your stomach dropping when faced with a stressful situation. That’s how anxiety feels like, and everyone has felt it at least once before.

If we go with the American Psychological Association’s definition of anxiety, which is “a future-oriented concern that cautions you to avoid stressful situations,” we see that anxiety is a response to an unknown threat that is yet to appear. You can’t overcome anxiety if you don’t know what you’re anxious about in the first place!

So, the first step to overcoming anxiety is knowing what causes fear. That’s what I will cover in this chapter.

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Psychological Causes of Anxiety

  • Overthinking

In psychological circles, overthinking is also known as ‘rumination.’ To ruminate is to go over something repeatedly, casually, and slowly. Animals known as ruminants are called so because they regurgitate food they’ve already eaten, and eat it again. In relation to the human mind, rumination can be described as the act of focusing all your attention on your distress and its consequences, but not its solutions.

Overthinking happens when you take even the slightest problems that you have and repeatedly visualize its consequences. In the process, your mind begins to exaggerate the problem, essentially turning that molehill into a mountain of depressive and anxious thoughts.

Overthinking is the leading cause of stress and anxiety. It can lead you to stress and obsess over the tiniest problems.

  • Unrealistic expectations

Just like ruminating on your problems is a bad idea, fixating on your achievements can be a slippery slope too. You may be an exceptional individual that is blessed with talents to help you achieve academic, romantic, and social success.

But when you become obsessed with achieving more out of your job, relationship, or academics, you put your mind and body at risk. It’s okay to be an over-achiever, to work overtime, and to stay ahead of your peers.

However, it should never be at your health’s expense. High expectations lead to overworking, and if you make it a habit, you might find yourself unable to relax. Being unproductive can cause severe spells of anxiety if you get into the habit of working continuously.

  • Low Self-Esteem

We live in the age of popularity where our value is determined by the quality and quantity of our interactions on social media. The need to please everyone can be overwhelming and is a present danger to our peace of mind.

Low self-esteem is the apparent result of the thorough scrutiny one receives on every text, status update, blog post, and the image they upload on the Internet. After a while, you begin to attach your value to how many responses you get on a post, or how popular your social media pages are.

We go through tremendous pressure to impress with each breath we take. It is then not surprising that social media is one of the biggest causes of anxiety in our era.

  • Pessimism

Living with a negative mindset is comparable to putting your mind in jail. Pessimism forces the best of us to dwell on negative thoughts and predict nothing but negative consequences for our actions. It is a dark, joyless abyss that continually puts your brain on edge. With an inability to calm down and relax, anxiety becomes inevitable.

  • The Past

Humans have evolved a sense of self-preservation so strong that we are incapable of living in bliss and harmony for our entire lives. The mind doesn’t forget, and a traumatic past is sometimes the unexpected cause of a bout of anxiety.

We are all molded by our past, but as much as we’d prefer to let bygones be bygones, our brain is constantly reminding us of the traumatic events that shaped our present. This deep-seated fear of the horrible past repeating itself sometimes evolves into a vicious cycle that spawns a particularly ruthless form of anxiety known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which we will talk about in-depth.

  • Environmental Causes of Anxiety

Our surroundings are constantly changing in this fast-paced world. It’s not easy to adapt to everything new immediately. Most people have trouble leaving their comfort zones, which is a natural response to the fear of change.

On the one hand, the changing world is our cue as humans to be braver and more excited about discovering new things. On the other hand, not everyone is mentally equipped to deal with change. Sometimes, our anxiety is a direct result of our environment changing at a pace that makes us uncomfortable.

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Physiological Causes of Anxiety

  • Genetics

Anxiety can be passed down through generations, much like hereditary diseases. If your family has a history of mental disorders like depression and anxiety, it might explain why you suffer from anxiety, even in the absence of the psychological and environmental factors we’ve discussed.

  • Hormonal Imbalances

Sometimes it all boils down to a chemical imbalance in your brain. This imbalance might be inherited, or it could be the result of a severe head injury. Trauma can change the way brain cells send and receive signals, making you more likely to react vigorously to small negative incidents.

  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Some drugs are known to exacerbate our natural anxiety. However, the most prominent drug-related cause for anxiety is withdrawal. Quitting a drug addiction thrusts your body into a state of withdrawal, which famously leads to extreme anxiety, depression, and even psychosis.

 

The Pathophysiology of Anxiety

On your path to understanding anxiety, you may have encountered various abstract descriptions of how the mental disorder is formed. The reality is there is a distinct physiological process behind the onset of anxiety disorder.

Here is what you need to know.

When you encounter a wild animal or sink into a period of anxiety-fuelled rumination, you activate the body’s hormonal system. It is called the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system. Triggering the hormonal system results in the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that puts your body in a state of hyper-alertness. It also inspires the release of another hormone, the corticotropin-releasing hormone, which releases corticotropin, another stress hormone.

All this is perfectly fine under normal circumstances. But, when your mind is continuously agitated, stressed, or anxious, a severe problem starts to develop.

The corticotropin-releasing hormone is vulnerable to genetic polymorphism. That means if activated too frequently, it can stay activated. Your body has mechanisms to check the release of the stress hormone because staying in a state of alertness is mentally and physically exhausting. However, repeated and prolonged spells of anxiety repress the gene that controls the release of stress hormones.

What follows is that your stress levels skyrocket, and with no inhibitors to dump the stress hormone out of your system, you continuously become anxious.

Anxiety would be almost non-threatening if the disorder stuck to the confines of the mind. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Anxiety interferes with the functioning of the sensorimotor system, which is responsible for our senses, motor responses, and nerve function.

This system controls how we move and how we respond to stimuli. That’s why when in the grip of an anxiety attack, our movements become jerky and uncoordinated.

 

Problems causing by anxiety
7 Problems Caused by Anxiety

 

Complications and Long-Term Side-Effects of Anxiety

Even though your anxiety may seem like an insurmountable issue on its own, it gets worse. There are grave long-term ramifications of anxiety, which can make the condition ten times worse. Here are the common complications and side-effects associated with long-term anxiety.

  • Depression

Anxiety and depression are what we refer to as “twin problems.” One almost always accompanies the other. Despite their relationship, these two are interminably different and require different strategies and medications. Studies are still ongoing to prove that anxiety can lead to depression and vice versa.

That said, depression and anxiety share a number of symptoms, including:

  • Interrupted sleep cycles
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness

 

  • Gastric Disorders

Anxiety is responsible for a gastric disorder that affects about 20 percent of the American population. That disorder is known as involuntary bowel syndrome (IBS) and is characterized by sharp upper abdominal pain. Studies show that the majority of these people also suffer from anxiety.

  • Sleep Disorders

The National Institute of Health Research estimates that 60 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from a long-term sleeping disorder. Problems like insomnia don’t usually manifest organically. Sometimes they come as a side-effect of pharmaceutical drugs. However, in the absence of a blatant cause, anxiety is suspected as one of the leading reasons for disrupted sleep cycles and sleep disorders.

  • Chronic Pain

Chronic pain manifests in different ways, but only has a few causes. The leading cause of all illness is inflammation, and anxiety is one of the biggest inflammatory instigators in the human body. Unfortunately, most people treat their chronic pain as a separate issue, when, in reality, the problem that needs to be addressed is their anxiety.

  • Erectile Dysfunction

Anxiety can cause erectile dysfunction in any male over the age of 20 years. The research says that it stems from the behavioral changes induced by anxiety, which is why some men find it challenging to sustain erections in stressful situations. Anxiety can impede any of the three mechanisms responsible for psychogenic, reflexive, and nocturnal erections.

  • Substance Abuse

To escape the vicious cycle of negative thoughts and fears, some people may opt for drugs and alcohol. Since none of these substances address anxiety at the root, they soon become a crutch that helps them to temporarily forget their problems. This behavior can easily lead to addiction and depression.

  • Suicidal Behavior

Anxiety disorder can be overwhelming to live with. The inability to turn off negative thoughts and feelings has a significant toll on the human mind. Sometimes, people view suicide as their only escape. Anxiety, at its most extreme, culminates in the horrific loss of life through suicide.

Can you pinpoint the cause of your anxiety?

Are you a victim of its side effects and complications?

Finding out if it affects you is a massive step in the right direction. After all, you can’t treat what you don’t have.

The next step is to identify the different types of anxiety disorders, which will help you develop a specific strategy to conquer it.

 

 

Chapter 3- Classification of Anxiety Disorders (And their Signs and Symptoms)

So far, I’ve touched on anxiety’s clinical definitions, historical expressions, etiology, pathophysiology, and complications. All this information has given you a better understanding of general anxiety.

Now, it’s time to sink our teeth into the details. Anxiety is further classified into:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder, and;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Identifying the type of anxiety that plagues you is the key to learning how to manage its symptoms, and eventually free yourself from it.

Without further delay, let’s dive in.

 

Types of anxiety disorder
4 Major Types of Anxiety Disorder

 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

This type of anxiety manifests as extreme distress to even the slightest negative situation. A person with GAD will always expect the worst out of any situation, be it their job, family life, or future. The problems they obsess over may not even hold real-world implications.

To qualify for a GAD diagnosis, the person must experience this form of anxiety for at least six months, and exhibit the following signs and symptoms for at least three:

  • Unexplained nervousness
  • Feelings of impending danger
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sleep disorders
  • Increased heart rate
  • Gastric disorders

Females are twice as likely to suffer from GAD than makes. This type of anxiety starts to creep in at the end of childhood and can last all the way to your 30s and 40s. Most people with GAD can tell that they’re overreacting but have no way to control their worrying. It is an unfortunate situation that often leads to escalated anxiety and, gradually, panic.

 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a mental illness that is characterized by overthinking and compulsive behavior. A compulsion is an irresistible urge to do something even when you don’t understand why you’re doing it. This form of anxiety is famous for causing intrusive thoughts and mindlessly repeated actions.

An example of OCD can be witnessed in people who bite their nails in nervous situations. They may be well aware that they shouldn’t be doing that, but they cannot control the urge to do so anyway.

OCD manifests in very odd situations, from counting to organizing, cleaning, and even talking. For instance, if you have to wash your hands three times every time you use the toilet, or are compelled to arrange everything in your house to be parallel to each other, you may have OCD.

OCD can be further classified into four types:

  • Contamination OCD (where you don’t want to touch objects for fear of contamination)
  • Rumination OCD (where you obsessively think about specific thoughts)
  • Checking OCD (where you repeatedly check on something, such as whether you turned the oven off)
  • Symmetry OCD (where you need everything around you to be in perfect symmetry)

OCD is, by far, the most diverse form of anxiety. As such, there are many symptoms to look out for. They include:

  • A need to count things
  • Extreme paranoia about people who are close to you
  • Unwarranted submissive behavior
  • Continuous body sensations (such as itchiness, heat, or cold)
  • Germophobia

OCD manifests during the teenage years. Like GAD, it is also more prevalent in women than in men.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD comes after you experience or witness a traumatic event. It could be a car crash, seeing a murder, watching a loved one die, or even experiencing a traumatic injury. People who go through such trauma often have a hard time re-adjusting, and when this goes on for months, or even years, they can be diagnosed with PTSD.

PTSD prominently appears in the form of flashbacks, sleep issues, and night terrors. Most soldiers come back from the war with PTSD due to the graphic and inhumane nature of combat. In any case, symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Avoidance (of thoughts, memories, or other people)
  • Intrusive flashbacks
  • Altered emotional reactions
  • Negative thinking

Children who have PTSD may also exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Agitation
  • Bed-wetting
  • Speech problems (slurred speech)
  • Night terrors

PTSD patients have to relive their worst moments every day. Experiencing these symptoms regularly can have a dramatic effect on a person’s day-to-day life, and it can alter their brain chemistry permanently. PTSD sufferers are highly susceptible to suicidal thoughts and may also be prone to violent outbursts, hallucinating, and even psychosis.

 

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

SAD manifests itself as the fear of social environments. People with SAD may experience extreme discomfort in typical social situations. They find it hard to talk to other people or even visit crowded places.

SAD causes the brain to formulate negative assumptions about other people and the environment. This negativity culminates in fear of the non-existent. It is not uncommon for panic attacks to arise when a person with SAD is forced to stay in a social setting.

The physical symptoms of SAD are:

  • Staggered speech
  • Nausea
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Heart palpitations

Despite its severity, SAD affects about 50 percent of people aged 11 and under, and up to 80 percent of people between 12 and 20. It is quite pervasive and, therefore, normalized, which explains why few people seek medical attention for the condition.

If you suspect that you have one of these four types of anxiety but cannot be sure, the next chapter is specifically for you.

 

Chapter 4- Self-Diagnosis and Screening Tools for Anxiety

Are you a victim of anxiety?

Most of us are, but we have no way of knowing that.

In this chapter, I provide a set of screening tools and information that will help you determine whether you have anxiety and the specific type of anxiety that you have. In addition to those, I will list down some general anxiety symptoms.

 

Common Symptoms of Anxiety

Even though anxiety is a familiar feeling, the symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person. The same can be said about the frequency and intensity of the symptoms. Your type of anxiety vastly dictates how you manifest the disorder. While OCD pushes you to compulsiveness, SAD might cause you to isolate yourself from the rest of the world.

Be that as it may, anxiety affects the body in a pretty standard way. As the instigator of the ‘fight or flight’ reaction, it may result in a few common symptoms for all people who have anxiety. These include:

  • Muscle tension – tensed up muscles are the first physical sign of anxiety. However, there is debate as to whether anxiety causes muscle tension or muscle tension causes stress and anxiety.
  • Panic attacks – people with a long history of anxiety are more likely to experience panic attacks, even if their anxiety is instigated by something minor.
  • Sinus tachycardia – this fancy term simply refers to an increased heart rate, which is a telltale sign of stress and anxiety. This condition progresses in severity the longer your anxiety is left untreated. It can, sometimes, even turn out to be life-threatening, causing cardiac arrests or otherwise interfering with the normal functioning of the heart.
  • Insomnia – Anxiety is part of the trifecta (the other two are stress and depression) that is notorious for causing sleep issues such as insomnia.
  • Constipation – Bowel movements can be affected by anxiety too. When there is no other cause for constipation, it may be possible that the problem is a psychogenic side-effect of anxiety.

 

Tips to control anxiety
Simple Tips to Control Anxiety

 

Self-Screening for Anxiety Disorders

Self-evaluation is critical when determining whether you have anxiety and how severe it is. Below, I have compiled a series of precise questionnaires to serve as screening tests for all four types of anxiety disorders. These tests apply to people of all ages and health conditions.

It is essential to take part in the screening test before moving on to the other chapters, which will talk about the ways to manage your anxiety.

GAD Screening Questionnaire 

  1. Do you worry about several things over the course of a day? Has that been the norm for the past few weeks/months/years? (YES/NO)
  2. Is your tendency to worry increasing in frequency and/or intensity? (YES/NO)
  3. Is it hard to stop worrying once you get started? (YES/NO)
  4. Do you obsess over the most insignificant things, such as arriving late at work? (YES/NO)

References-Newman, M. G., Zuellig, A. R., Kachin, K. E., Constantino, M. J., Przeworski, A., Erickson, T., & Cashman-McGrath, L. (2002). Preliminary reliability and validity of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire-IV: A revised self-report diagnostic measure of generalized anxiety disorder. Behavior Therapy, 33, 215-233. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7894(02)80026-0

OCD Screening Questionnaire 

  1. Do you experience unpleasant intrusive thoughts or impulses? (YES/NO)
  2. Are you always worried about germs? (YES/NO)
  3. Do you experience shortness of breath for no apparent cause? (YES/NO)
  4. Have you, in the last few days, experienced a sensation of weakness in the legs? (YES/NO)
  5. Do you find it hard to throw out things even when you don’t need them? (YES/NO)
  6. Have you recently altered your eating or sleeping habits? (YES/NO)
  7. Over the course of last year, were you arrested or fined as a direct consequence of alcohol or substance abuse? (YES/NO)

References-Goodman, WK, Price LH, et al. The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS): Part 1. Development, use, and reliability. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 46:1006-1011 (1989). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV), American Psychiatric Association, 1994, Washington, D.C

PTSD Screening Questionnaire 

  1. Have you experienced/witnessed a life-threatening event that still makes you fearful today? (YES/NO)
  2. Do you experience repeated feelings of distress, unpleasant flashbacks, or nightmares? (YES/NO)
  3. Do you experience intense physical or emotional pain when you think of an event from your past? (YES/NO)
  4. Do you actively avoid conversations and thoughts about a traumatic event from your past? (YES/NO)
  5. Do you harbor negative beliefs about yourself? (YES/NO)
  6. Do you feel isolated from other people? (YES/NO)
  7. Are you in a continuously negative emotional state? (YES/NO)
  8. Do you have problems sleeping? (YES/NO)
  9. Do you have problems concentrating? (YES/NO)

References- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing

SAD Screening Questionnaire 

  1. Do you have an intense fear of social situations? (YES/NO)
  2. Do you have trouble with social interactions? (YES/NO)
  3. Do you feel extreme discomfort under observation? (YES/NO)
  4. Does the thought of getting in a social situation make your heart pound? (YES/NO)
  5. Is your fear of socializing a present feature in your daily life? (YES/NO)
  6. Do you feel worthless and ashamed for no reason? (YES/NO)
  7. Have you been arrested before for alcohol or drug abuse? (YES/NO)

Reference- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

If you’ve answered yes to more than one question in each of the above questionnaires, you should consider seeing a primary care physician. These questionnaires only help you confirm whether you have anxiety or not. If you still feel uncertain, here is a more detailed survey to help you out.

This guide (2020 update) is merely a resource for all the questions and concerns you might have about anxiety. For a full diagnosis, visit a hospital for further evaluation.

The next chapter covers the most recent findings on the anxiety that are based on scientific evidence.

Let’s jump in!

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Chapter 5- Recent Findings from Anxiety Research (2020 Update)

This guide would not be complete if I didn’t touch on some of the recent findings in the study of anxiety.

I’ve carefully selected a handful of relevant and recent studies with science-backed evidence to help you better understand how anxiety management tactics are changing.

This chapter is all about the most recent anxiety research (2020 update), including new findings and the latest anxiety management trends from around the globe.

 

Anxiety is a Major Contributor to Quality-Adjusted Life-Year Loss

The quality-adjusted life-year, or QALY for short, is a measure of the burden of living with a disease in relation to the quality and quantity of the life lived. If you’ve lived one QALY, that means you’ve spent a year in perfect health.

According to a 2020 Composite International Diagnostic study conducted by the World Health Organization in Singapore, GAD and OCD are two of the top five leading causes of QALY loss. Conclusions that were drawn from the study revealed that these two forms of anxiety are some of the worst mental conditions to live with and that they gradually lead to severe societal and psychological implications.

The study also revealed that mental disorders, in general, mostly affect females, young people, unemployed people, and people with low socioeconomic backgrounds.

 

Gamers Are at a High Risk of Anxiety

The gaming culture, which was already prevalent in Korea, Japan, and China, has now reached Africa. Gamers stand a higher risk of suffering from anxiety, according to recent findings. Despite the lack of prior statistics on the impact of video games in Africa, there is cause for concern following the results of a 2020 research.

According to the study, there is a notable rise in anxiety symptoms like sinus tachycardia, insomnia, depression, and panic attacks across different age groups and health brackets in Africa. It appears that Africa is wading knee-deep in an aggressive onslaught of gaming-induced anxiety that spawns from the increased accessibility to video game consoles like

The PlayStation and the Xbox.

Curiously, smartphone addiction faces the blame for Africa’s rapidly growing technology craze. The situation has deteriorated so quickly due to technology that a considerable portion of the population now suffers from anxiety disorders and a host of other mental illnesses.

 

Anxiety facts
Recent Anxiety Facts and Stats

 

Female Redheads Are More Likely to Have Anxiety

Even though only 2 percent of Europeans have red hair, science says that redheads are more likely to get anxiety disorders, especially if they’re female. The explorative study showed that even though redheaded men were similarly prone to anxiety, females were more likely to experience a severe form of the condition in their lifetime.

How can this bias be explained scientifically?

Redheads are also known for their fair/pale complexions, which is indicative of low receptor activity. The receptor in question is the MC1R gene, which is responsible for skin and hair pigmentation. In redheads, this gene is suppressed, which is the reason behind the red color of their hair.

Red pigmentation has less protective benefits than black and brown pigmentation, which means redheads get exposed to more UV radiation than everyone else. Excessive exposure to UV rays causes undue oxidative stress on the cells, which can lead to permanent DNA damage.

The statistics went on to say that unlike their redheaded counterparts, women with black or brown hair and darker skin are less susceptible to mental disorders.

 

Anxiety during Pregnancy Can Lead to Complications

Pregnant women are often advised to avoid stress and for a good reason. Unlike the rest of us, anxiety and stress affect not only the psychological health of expectant mothers but also the health of the fetus. It also amplifies existing medical conditions, which can turn out to be dangerous for the baby.

How dangerous can anxiety be to a pregnant woman?

First of all, there is the risk of developing preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that comes about as a result of high blood pressure. There is also eclampsia, a condition that causes seizures in pregnant women. You don’t need a medical degree to know that that is dangerous to both the baby and the mother.

Doctors are more likely to recommend caesarian sections if the woman arrives at the maternity ward, looking tense and stressed out. There is an incredibly high risk of hurting the fetus during childbirth if anxiety is a present factor.

Anxiety is totally treatable in pregnant women. In fact, another study confirmed that taking anxiety medication while pregnant does not directly cause complications.

 

Early Life Stress is a Major Cause of Anxiety

A study has confirmed that early life stress (ELS) is a precursor to late-adulthood anxiety. Previously, late-adulthood anxiety was challenging to screen due to the cumulative negative effect of stress over the course of a person’s life. Anxiety becomes harder to diagnose the older we grow because there are several clinical and subclinical symptoms to observe.

However, these new findings reinforce the notion that ELS plays a significant role in instigating anxiety during our golden years.

What exactly does that mean?

To put it simply, ELS could be the result of child abuse, maltreatment, a death in the family, or divorce. The findings show that people with negative childhood experiences, including a problematic upbringing due to low socioeconomic status, are predisposed to get anxiety in their senior years. There is still a lot of research to be done concerning early life stress and how it links late age anxiety.

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Garlic Can Make You Less Anxious 

Apart from making delicious bread and warding off vampires, garlic has another unusual use: it soothes anxiety!

According to a study, antioxidant-rich vegetables can reduce oxidative markers in the brain. However, no human trials have occurred yet; the test was conducted on rats.

After being divided into two groups, the first group received garlic treatment for ten days, while the other did not. At the end of the study, the garlic-treated group was observed to display less anxious behavior than the group that didn’t receive any treatment.

What can we conclude from this?

Garlic can help manage anxiety symptoms due to its ability to cut down oxidative stress in brain cells. A healthy brain does not easily develop behavioral patterns that are consistent with chronic anxiety.

 

Exposure Therapy as a Promising Anxiety Treatment

When something scares us, our first impulse is to get as far away from it as possible. Exposure therapy sounds counterintuitive because it forces you to face your fears, which doesn’t sound very fun.

However, it is practical, so that makes it an option worth considering. Exposure therapy is designed for people who want to get over their fears. And what better way is there to do so than to confront what terrifies you?

To avoid inducing even stronger bouts of anxiety (anxiety can escalate rapidly to a panic attack under sudden stress), exposure therapy occurs in a safe and controlled environment. Though the road to recovery is slow using this method, exposure therapy is extremely useful in eradicating avoidant behavior.

It also has a few different variations:

  • Virtual Reality (VR) Exposure

This type of exposure utilizes equipment to replicate the sounds, sights, and smells of the patient’s worst fears.

  • In Vivo Exposure

This method involves placing the patient in direct contact with the object that causes them anxiety.

  • Imaginal exposure

This type of exposure encourages the patient to relive the traumatic events that cause them anxiety.

  • Interoceptive exposure

This form of therapy invokes memories of past events by simulating the physical sensations that the patient went through.

  • Graded exposure

For this type of exposure, the patient is exposed to several objects of fear progressively based on the level of anxiety they inspire.

  • Flooding exposure

The patient is exposed to the object of his greatest fear first.

  • Systematic desensitization

Objects of anxiety are introduced gradually after intermittent periods of relaxation exercises.

Why does exposure therapy work?

As people experience their worst fears over and over, they gradually stop being afraid of them. Exposure therapy weakens the haunting memory of a traumatic event. Over time, the memory and the feelings it inspires becomes less intense.

An unexpected perk of exposure therapy is that it re-instills a sense of confidence. Overcoming fear is a great achievement that empowers the person to be more capable of overcoming other fears and anxieties. It equips the patient with the ability to manage their mental health on their own.

Eradicating unwarranted fears is the whole point of anxiety therapy, and as far as that is concerned, exposure therapy is one of the most effective ways to manage anxiety disorder.

In the following chapters, we will dive a little deeper into the pharmacological and homeopathic treatments and anxiety management therapies used today. In order to gain complete control over your anxiety symptoms, you need to take action!

Let’s take a look at all the options that you have at your disposal.

 

Chapter 6- How to Manage Anxiety without Medication

Can you keep anxiety disorder in check without a prescription?

Undoubtedly, most people with anxiety have explored homeopathic options before going the pharmacological way. However, are you aware that non-pharmacological treatment can be just as effective in treating anxiety?

These therapies teach you how to relax and calm yourself out of a state of anxiety. That’s saying a lot. You see, most medicines alter your brain chemistry so that you don’t feel anxious anymore. But with these homeopathic methods, you address your anxiety at the root of it and learn how to cope with it.

Do these methods help to suppress all anxiety symptoms?

For the most part, yes. For instance, you can use these anxiety management therapies to suppress:

  • Behavioral symptoms – these include overprotective behavior, aggression, substance abuse, and compulsive behaviors.
  • Cognitive symptoms – these are such as worrying, negative thinking, panic attacks, inability to focus, daydreaming, and obsessions with body sensations.
  • Physical symptoms – these may be sweating, elevated heart rate, lethargy, dyspnea, tense muscles, weakness, nausea, shivering, fluctuating body temperature, the urge to urinate constantly, blurred vision, and chest tightness.

Read on to see all the possible ways you can manage these symptoms of anxiety without using medication.

 

how to overcome anxiety without drugs
5 Ways to Fight Anxiety without Drugs

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy used to treat not just anxiety, but a wide array of mental issues as well. The therapy works by helping the patient discover the origins of negative thoughts and impulses, which can help them detect the habits and thinking patterns that induce anxiety.

Why is it practical?

Because it helps you unearth the underlying reasons behind your anxiety, which can be the key to stopping anxiety attacks permanently. Not only does it help you manage the symptoms of anxiety, but it also prevents you from relapsing, helps you control your emotions better, and trains you to overcome your emotional trauma.

Are there risks involved?

No, there’s nothing significant to speak of. However, it may force you into very uncomfortable situations with your therapist as you explore your mind to establish your objects of fear and overcome past emotional traumas. Let’s just say that these sessions can get really intimate.

How can you get CBT for your anxiety?

  1. Find a qualified therapist. The higher their reputation is, the better for you.
  2. Go over the expenses and payment plans first before starting the therapy.
  3. Go over your symptoms as well as any other information that you may need to tell the therapist before you attend your first appointment.
  4. Attend all sessions dutifully.

In the end, you can expect to see an improvement in your mental health. You will also gain all the skills necessary for coping with future stressors.

If that sounds a little complex, here is a quick overview of the whole process:

  • First, the therapist listens to you to try to identify the main issues that plague your mind.
  • Then, they observe your thinking and try to interpret your thoughts to understand what you really mean.
  • The next step is the identification of negative cognitive patterns, which can be observed from the way you talk.
  • Finally, the therapist attempts to destroy all negative thinking patterns so that you can create new positive ones.

How reliable are the results?

Rather than address the underlying causes of your anxiety directly, CBT empowers you to deal with the symptoms and complications of anxiety without relying on anyone else. Over time, you become more adept at dealing with anxiety symptoms, which makes you more confident, happier, and optimistic about the future.

 

Exposure Therapy

I touched on exposure therapy briefly in the previous chapter. Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the treatment, including the conditions it treats and why it has such a high efficacy for anxiety management.

Exposure therapy can be used on the following mental health issues:

  • PTSD
  • GAD
  • General anxiety
  • Phobias
  • OCD

Like we mentioned, there are different techniques for exposure therapy. What will work for you depends on your anxiety and how well you respond to fear.

 

In-Vivo Training 

This type of exposure involves putting the patient in the situation that they fear most. For instance, if you have SAD, the therapy may place you in an environment that would typically make you fearful, such as a party. Most of the time, these environments are only simulations, so they give you plenty of room to adapt to their real-world equivalents.

 

Imaginal Exposure

Here, the patients are requested to imagine or think about all the situations and objects that make them anxious. After a period, they learn to cope better in the same stressful situations because they learn how to control the emotions that cause them anxiety. Also, repetitive imagination may weaken the actual memory of the traumatic event.

 

Flooding Method

This method is particularly intense, and not recommended for all anxiety patients (some might react adversely to the sudden exposure of their worst fears). It is called the flooding method because the patient is exposed to the most fearful object first. On the upside, once the patient is able to overcome the most fearful stimuli, everything else is easier to cope with.

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Systematic Desensitization

Regarded as the core concept of exposure therapy, systematic desensitization involves the gradual exposure of the patient to progressively more fearful objects as a means of helping them build a coping mechanism.

A sound coping mechanism can be a powerful tool to help you keep anxiety and its symptoms at bay.

Here’s an example of how the systematic desensitization of a car accident victim might look:

  • Step One: Looking at pictures of vehicles and roads.
  • Step Two: Watching footage of cars driving and/or racing.
  • Step Three: Discussing the possibility of a test drive.
  • Step Four: Meeting at the physical location for the ride (could be an empty parking lot)
  • Step Five: Sitting in the driver’s seat, fastening the seat belt, and checking the mirrors, tire pressure, etc., but not driving. This step is essential to getting over a fear of driving.
  • Step Six: Driving a car for a short distance.

All these steps happen in different sessions or at the pace recommended by the therapist. The reason why this therapy is useful in that it teaches relaxation techniques, first and foremost. Secondly, it eases the victim into their fears slowly by slowly so that they don’t get overwhelmed and relapse. Finally, it involves constant guidance and supervision, which makes the anxiety patient feel less alone, and therefore, less likely to feel distressed.

 

Breathing and Muscle Relaxation Exercises 

Here is a simple way to calm your anxiety whenever it strikes using little more than your lungs.

  • Make sure you’re sitting comfortably. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe in deeply. The hand on your chest, ideally, should not move or should move only slightly. The hand on your stomach should move more prominently than the one on your chest.
  • Breathe in normally through your nose as you pay attention to your hands. Ensure that the hand on your stomach moves even if it is only slightly (that means you’re expanding your diaphragm).
  • For a while, keep breathing slowly, but through your mouth this time.
  • Repeat this process as many times as you need to feel calm again.

You can also practice muscle relaxation to help you quell and anxiety attack.

  • Sit comfortably, then slowly inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.
  • Ball up your hand into a tight fist.
  • Squeeze the fist as hard as you can and hold the position for a few seconds. Focus on the tight feeling as hard as possible.
  • Slowly unclench your hand and feel the tension as it dissipates. Your hand should feel lighter and more relaxed.
  • Repeat the exercise with different muscle groups (your biceps, your calves, your abs, etc.) until your heart rate drops back to normal.

 

Biofeedback

Biofeedback offers a play-by-play of the events that lead up to an anxiety attack. This form of therapy helps patients understand how their bodies react when they start becoming anxious. When you get anxious, your body gives off a number of signs, which are not usually perceptible by the victim. These include:

  • Fluctuating body temperature
  • Muscle tension
  • ECG and EEG changes
  • Increased heart rate

Monitoring their bodies for these signs gives them insight about their anxiety, including its triggers and how quickly it develops into a full-blown attack. Getting real-time peek at the inner workings of their bodies assists them to deploy relaxation methods rapidly before the problem escalates.

References- Beck, A. T. (2005). Anxiety disorders and phobias: A cognitive perspective. Basic Books.

The therapies we’ve discussed are widely used today to treat the symptoms of anxiety. However, there is no guarantee that any one of them is 100% effective for everyone.

Sometimes, as is the case in severe anxiety disorder, medication is a necessity, not a choice. Some people suffer from such crippling anxiety that they can’t leave their homes without medication. Such people may find relief in the next chapter, where we will discuss the best pharmaceutical drugs for anxiety management.

 

Chapter 7- Treating Anxiety with Anxiolytic Drugs

When all else fails, the only hope for anxiety management comes in the form of prescription medication. These are the drugs used to treat severe instances of clinical anxiety, so expect them to be potent, and to have a few side effects.

 

Types of anxiety medications
Generalized Types of Anxiety Medications

 

Benzodiazepines

Today, benzodiazepines are the most widely used anxiolytic drugs. They are safer and more effective than other options, so this is probably the first thing your doctor will prescribe.

Types of benzodiazepines include:

  • Triazolam (short action)
  • Alprazolam (intermediate action)
  • Flurazepam (long action)
  • Diazepam
  • Temazepam

How Benzodiazepines Treat Anxiety

Benzodiazepines have sedative properties. They affect the GABA receptor, which is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS (central nervous system). GABA receptors are scattered all over the nervous system and the brain. They can be found in the thalamus, cerebral cortex, and limbic structures.

These anxiolytic drugs slow down brain activity in lower doses. At higher doses, they can even have a hypnotic affect. They’ve proven effective for treating symptoms that are consistent with PTSD, SAD, OCD, and GAD, as well as any anxiety-related phobias.

Like many pharmacological products, benzodiazepines are not without side effects. They may include:

  • Ataxia
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Dependency
  • Stomach problems
  • Headaches
  • Amnesia
  • Blurred vision

Benzodiazepines sometimes produce counterintuitive effects. Instead of making the patient calm and relax, they may induce agitation, mania, irritability, and even hallucinations!

It’s worth mentioning that some demographics are predisposed to these unwanted effects. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, geriatric patients, and substance abusers are at high risk of developing complications from the medication.

Benzodiazepines have different durations of action to better suit the various strains of anxiety.

 

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are more commonly used as anti-depressants. They inhibit serotonin reuptake. Serotonin is the “feel-good” hormone. In its absence, the brain can develop destructive thinking patterns such as the ones that lead to anxiety and depression.

SSRIs also come with milder side effects than most of the other anxiolytic drugs we will discuss. Some common SSRIs include:

  • Citalopram
  • Paroxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Fluoxetine

How SSRIs Treat Anxiety

SSRIs stop the reuptake of serotonin, therefore leaving plenty of the happy hormone in your brain chemistry to combat stress inducers like cortisol. It takes about two weeks for the drug to exhibit positive results.

The other reason why this drug is so popular is that it works for about 80 percent of people with anxiety. The side effects, though mild, can still be uncomfortable to experience. They include:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Anxiety
  • Complications from drug interactions

Perhaps the most concerning side effect of SSRIs is Discontinuation Syndrome. When discontinued abruptly, SSRIs may induce intense withdrawal symptoms that are in line with some of the withdrawal symptoms observed with narcotics.

Patients may experience irritability, changed sleep patterns, nervous behavior, malaise, headaches, and flu-like symptoms when they stop taking the prescription abruptly.

 

Buspirone

Buspirone is considered more effective than most benzodiazepines. It is used to treat symptoms of anxiety-related disorders like GAD and OCD.

Unlike benzodiazepines and SSRIs, buspirone doesn’t have anticonvulsant or muscle-relaxing properties. Most anti-depressants do, because these symptoms usually arise, either as a direct consequence of the disease or as a side effect.

Buspirone is often prescribed for acute anxiety and depression treatment. Even though side effects don’t occur frequently, they are still a present concern. They include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness
  • Nervousness
  • Mild sedation
  • Psychomotor dysfunctions
  • Minimal cognitive dissonance

Buspirone is suitable for people with a history of substance abuse because it has a low risk of dependence. Furthermore, there are few notable or threatening drug interactions inspired by the drug.

Get your anxiety medicines prescribed today!

 

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Barbiturates

Barbiturates are incredibly habit-forming, which is why most of them have been replaced by benzodiazepines. Even though technically, benzodiazepines are still barbiturates, their binding mechanisms and sites are different.

Barbiturates are mild sedatives that can also induce hypnosis. They’re popularly administered to treat insomnia, anxiety, and nervous tension.

Lately, the use of barbiturates for insomnia has tapered down as better pharmacological and homeopathic remedies emerge. However, Butalbital, a barbiturate, works along with migraine medications to kill anxiety-induced headaches.

Some of the side effects of barbiturates include:

  • Addiction
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Tremors
  • Drowsiness
  • Enzyme induction

 

Antihistamines

Antihistamines such as Hydroxyzine, Doxylamine, and Diphenhydramine offer sedative properties to help manage the symptoms of anxiety.

Although most of these drugs have side-effects too, antihistamines are widely available and accessible over the counter, which can be useful in emergency situations.

As we close the chapter, remember that it is not wise to take any prescription drug WITHOUT your doctor’s consent. Most of them can be addictive, plus they all come with a set of unpleasant side effects.

The next chapter talks about how to help yourself out an anxiety attack using simple but effective anxiety management techniques.

 

Chapter 8- How to Overcome an Anxiety Attack on your Own

Anxiety attacks can strike when you least expect them. If you’ve been through such an ordeal, you understand how debilitating and uncomfortable a sudden attack can be.

This chapter is a secret key. A key that will help you unlock your own potential to stop anxiety attacks without anyone else’s intervention.

These quick management guidelines can get you out of a tricky situation quickly and discreetly.

 

 Anxiety relief tips
Simple Tips for Anxiety Relief

 

Be fully aware of the anxiety attack

The symptoms of an anxiety attack are consistent with those of a heart attack or angina. Your chest tightens, you feel dizzy and weak, and you start hyperventilating.

At this moment, your brain is unable to decipher what’s happening, so it’s not uncommon for it to exaggerate the severity of the attack. The first time someone gets an anxiety attack, they may feel like they’re dying.

However, it is crucial that you recognize the attack as it starts. The faster you believe that it’s all going to go away in a few minutes, the better you start to feel. Calmness descends once you convince yourself that it is nothing to worry about.

 

Start your breathing exercise immediately

Hyperventilation makes it incredibly hard to focus or calm down, and it is usually the first symptom of an anxiety attack. If you can get your breath under control quickly, then you can manage the rest of the symptoms just fine.

Breathe deeply and feel the air rushing into your chest and abdomen. Breathe in until your diaphragm feels tight, then slowly let it out through your nose. Draw it out as long as you can, don’t just exhale at once. Repeat this severally until your breathing returns to normal.

 

Close your eyes

Anxiety is your body’s way of telling you that it’s feeling overwhelmed by stimuli. One of the first things you should do is close your eyes. Motion, colors, and visual stimuli are known to trigger more anxiety, and that’s the last thing you want while in the middle of an attack.

Sit somewhere comfortable, or hold onto something while you stand, shut your eyes, and breathe the anxiety away.

 

Stay aware

Try your best to stay conscious of your surroundings. You might get a sudden attack in public, or worse while driving.

In a state of anxiety, brain alterations make you lose your sense of balance, vision, and reality. It’s not uncommon to hallucinate under extreme anxiety.

By all means, keep yourself conscious to avoid further hurting yourself. Move your feet around, clench and unclench your hand, and do anything else that keeps you grounded in the present.

 

Find a focal point and divert all your attention to it

To quiet down an anxious brain, you need to minimize the number of external stimuli it gets. Pick a point anywhere in front of you and focus on it. Pour all your attention on it as if it is the only thing in existence. Analyze it thoroughly, detail from detail, and reflect on it for as long as you need to.

Anxiety usually dissipates when the brain focuses on something.

 

Try progressive muscle relaxation

If breathing isn’t working for you, progressive muscle relaxation will. Start with your hands. Ball them up into tight fists, hold and feel the sensation, then let go and feel your muscles relaxing.

Continue doing this for your arm, your shoulder, your chest, and your torso and legs until your anxiety goes away.

 

Picture yourself in your happy place

You’re no longer at the train station or coffee shop. Instead, you’re at that beach destination you’ve always wanted to go to. You’re at your son’s graduation, or your daughter’s wedding, or witnessing your child’s first steps.

Your happy place can be anything you want it to be, it just needs to distract you from the present. Much of anxiety management is distracting oneself from the repetitive negative thoughts causing you grief.

Divert your attention from whatever is causing you anxiety, and picture your perfect day or dream destination. A diversion is the quickest way to quell anxiety before it even starts.

 

Try some light exercise

Exercise releases endorphins into the bloodstream. Endorphins are the enemies of cortisol and corticotropin, the two stress hormones. Light jogging or brisk walking can inject you with some much-needed endorphins to overcome your anxiety.

Keep in mind that your body is already stressed as it is. Your heart rate is probably through the roof, so don’t engage in strenuous physical exercises at this time. Also, you may find it difficult to do anything particularly vigorous because of hyperventilation.

 

Take medication

If you have it handy, an anxiolytic drug can help your anxiety deescalate if it comes unexpectedly. These are not the only anti-anxiety drugs out there, but they’re generally more effective for most people.

There are a lot of ways to deal with anxiety. However, in a pinch, you will find that benzodiazepines are far more effective at quelling anxiety than herbal or homeopathic remedies. One such drug you can have handy at all times is Alprazolam, which is an FDA-approved anxiolytic.

Get help from MangoClinic’s experienced healthcare professionals!

 

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Stay away from caffeine

Caffeine is one of the substances that are notorious for exacerbating anxiety symptoms. Consuming coffee or soda during an anxiety attack could spell bad news for you. It is, after all, a stimulant that sends the brain into overdrive.

Make sure your diet contains little to no caffeine whatsoever if you get frequent anxiety attacks. Foods like chocolate and beverages like tea, coffee, and soda may increase the recurrence and intensity of your attacks.

 

Call your emergency contact

In case an attack catches you off-guard, it is best to call someone that can help you immediately. Severe anxiety attacks can be crippling. You may need someone’s help to get to a medical center, or to overcome the attack.

If you don’t have an emergency contact, call emergency services. Either way, don’t suffer on your own because some attacks can be horrendous.

Now you know what to do the next time an anxiety attack catches you flat-footed. Next, we take a positive turn to look at some of the anxiety success stories I’ve come across, plus some tasty tidbits about Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and what they can do for people with anxiety.

 

Chapter 9- Anxiety Success Stories and Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Tidbits

To wrap up our 2020 anxiety go-to-guide, I’m going to share some real-life stories about people who overcame anxiety, as well as why getting an ESA could be the turning point in your battle with anxiety.

I have handpicked the stories that I feel would be most relatable to a broader audience, and that contain some of the strategies we’ve discussed in the earlier chapters.

All of these stories are self-told. I am merely passing them on to you. So, if you’re ready for a happy ending, let’s dive in.

 

Success Story #1: Samantha’s Victory over SAD

Before last year, I was a perfectly healthy person. I was not psychotic, and I had never experienced hallucinations before, either. However, things took a turn for the worse when social anxiety disorder (SAD) took hold of me and refused to let go.

Deep inside, I always had a deep fear of social settings. Going to parties was an ordeal I just couldn’t handle. The mere thought of it gave me Goosebumps.

In retrospect, I should have known something was amiss when I looked at my high school attendance sheet. It was spotty at best.

When I turned 20, my family planned a surprise party. I don’t know what was worse; the fact that they planned it in a public restaurant, or the fact that they invited what seemed like a million people to my birthday party.

I remember clearly how quickly my chest tightened at the sight of all those people yelling “Surprise!” with an assortment of party favors stacked around them. I couldn’t breathe, and my legs were suddenly too weak to support me. When my vision started to blur out, I was certain that I was about to die.

That was the first of many anxiety attacks. Afterward, we went to see the family therapist, who gave me a screening questionnaire for social anxiety disorder. I was later diagnosed with an acute form of social anxiety.

The therapist was extremely helpful, and I owe my mental health to them. After some sessions, I opted for cognitive behavioral therapy as a means of getting over my anxiety. It wasn’t working quickly enough for me.

Soon, I started practicing breathing exercises and muscle relaxation. I was desperate for an answer, and I nearly gave up until my therapist prescribed a benzodiazepine drug to help with my anxiety.

From that day, every time I could feel an anxiety attack coming on, I would pop a pill, and it would all go away. It was liberating. I soon began getting my social life back on track. I could meet friends from school and even visit public spaces like malls by myself.

20 therapy sessions later, we finally found the underlying causes of my anxiety. I had so much pent up negativity that I was projecting it on everyone I saw.

I’m still attending therapy sessions, and occasionally taking a pill to stop an anxiety attack, but I am much more comfortable in social situations than I ever thought I would be. I am learning how to quell my attacks without medication, and soon, I will be completely capable of managing my anxiety using these self-taught techniques. I couldn’t be happier.”

Samantha is a perfect example of how destructive social anxiety can be. She is a fighter, though, and so are you. Anxiety should not be left to dictate your daily life.

 

What to know before consulting anxiety doctor
Things to know before consulting anxiety doctor

 

Success Story #2: Andrew Kicks Anxiety to the Curb

“My life was perfect. I was a middle-aged man with two beautiful kids and a loving wife. I had a great job at the bank, my own house, and I made enough to live comfortably and travel the world with my family. All this turned to dust when, one day, I was fired.

At first, I was sure it was a temporary setback. However, the bills started to pile up. The house needed groceries. We had a mortgage to pay. We couldn’t manage all that with just my wife’s salary.

I don’t know how it happened, but soon I was perpetually drunk. Alcohol was an escape from my overthinking mind. You don’t become an addict overnight, but when you finally realize that you are, everything changes.

Shame drove me to act aggressively towards my own family. I felt hopeless, useless, and soon, my only way out looked to be suicide. If it wasn’t for my patient, persistent, and caring wife, I would not be telling you this story.

As soon as she noticed my alcoholism, my wife was on blogs, message boards, and forums on anxiety management. She looked far and wide for a solution, and after consulting our insurance company, she signed me up for psychiatric sessions.

My family was nothing but supportive throughout. My wife somehow kept the house running on her income alone. Meanwhile, the therapist helped me discover a lot of negative emotions and thoughts that were the root of my anxiety.

Soon, I was taking exposure therapy to deal with my fear of financial instability and economic loss. My therapist also helped me discover that I was dealing with a lot of guilt, and I felt that I had let my family down.

In time, I quit binge drinking and took anxiolytics as prescribed. Later, I landed another job at a local bank and was finally able to take care of my lovely wife and children.

I couldn’t have overcome anxiety without their love and support, and I strongly advise anyone who feels stressed to get analyzed before the problem swallows them whole.”

Getting evaluated is the first step toward fighting off anxiety disorder. Don’t sit on your problems, thinking they will go away; they might just stay with you for life.

 

Success Story #3: Daniel Gets Over Anxiety with an ESA

Before we get to our last success story, I should mention a few things about Emotional Support Animals (ESAs).

It was Sigmund Freud himself, the famous psychoanalyst, who observed that people who love animals and keep them as pets release endorphins in higher amounts than those who don’t. Their mental health tends to be better too.

Mental health organizations recommend getting an ESA for psychological issues like anxiety. They can be instrumental in managing the more severe symptoms.

How can you get your very own emotional support animal? It’s easy. All you need is an ESA letter, and this is how you get that:

  1. Establish that you do need an ESA. Remember, ESAs are specially trained to provide emotional support. If you just want a pet, look into adopting from the shelter instead.
  2. If you have a trained pet, you need to acknowledge that and let the concerned parties know as well.
  3. Visit a licensed therapist for an evaluation. You can also apply for an ESA letter online, which is a different but straightforward process too.
  4. Wait for your ESA letter in the mail.

Our next protagonist, Daniel, used the same approach to get himself an ESA for his chronic anxiety problems.

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Here is his story.

“I am happy to be able to finally talk about my condition, which has troubled me for years. I would be glad if I am able to reach out to other people like me who need help with their anxiety.

For as long as I can remember, anxiety has been a part of my life. I’ve struggled daily through strange negative thoughts, night terrors, and a cascade of never-ending stress. As I grew older, the condition only became worse. I would suffer such intense anxiety attacks that by the time they were over, I’d be drenched in sweat, and my heart would be going a mile a minute.

I would spend hours on health blogs, then soon these hours would be spent in a therapists’ office. Prescriptions followed, and though I did my best never to skip doses, the symptoms didn’t seem to go away.

One day, as per my physician’s request to participate in light exercises, I found myself in the park after a mile-long jog. I was sitting on a park bench, mulling over my dark thoughts, as usual, when suddenly I was broken out of my reverie by something warm and wet on my bare shins. It was a cute little dog.

Soon after, the owner, a flustered lady, came over apologizing profusely for the dog, which had apparently broken its leash. I waved away her apology, and we sat and talked for a while. She had three lovely Pomeranians. We talked about a lot of things, including her cute, furry babies.

After she left, it suddenly hit me: I had not thought of anything but dogs in nearly 45 minutes! Heck, I had even temporarily forgotten that I had anxiety! It felt like a miracle had just happened.

That night, I did my research about animals and anxiety. I was ecstatic. Apparently, animals could provide emotional support, which is what I felt with the nice lady’s dogs at the park.

You can guess what I spent most of my next therapy session talking about. My therapist agreed, and through him, I obtained an ESA later. That same day, I adopted a trained, friendly, and very lively Dalmatian and named him Barney.

Since Barney came home, even my medication seems to be working at hyper strength. We are making a lot of progress with my therapist too. I rarely have time to overthink things, and Barney never lets me worry—he’s always ready to distract me with a few acrobatic runs around the house.

My only regret is that I didn’t stumble upon ESAs sooner. I highly recommend anyone who feels like their medication or therapy has stalled to consider getting an ESA. It will change your life, I assure you.”

 

Conclusion

The ultimate guide for anxiety, unfortunately, ends here. Within these pages is all the information you might need to learn about your condition and do something about it.

Anxiety affects a lot of peoples’ livelihoods, even without their knowledge. However, it doesn’t have to. Knowing is half the battle, and with this information at your disposal, you’re halfway to victory against chronic anxiety disorders.

If you’re finding a reliable source to get your anxiety treated then MangoClinic is your safest bet. Schedule an appointment to seek assistance from our highly professional and experienced healthcare professionals.

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Initially, the disorder was referred to as ADD. More so because previous research showed it only involved loss of attention. But with more research, experts realized that the disorder involved more than the loss of attention. And, therefore, it was renamed to ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects individuals and causes them to have difficulty concentrating and coordinating activities. It is more common in children, but it also does manifest in adults. If you have ADHD, you will have a hard time socializing at home or school because you will be either overactive or without interest in any activities. Early detection of ADHD is crucial because it increases the chances of managing the disorder effectively.

Inattentive ADHD symptoms
Common Symptoms of Inattentive ADHD

Types of ADD or ADHD?

ADD, or ADHD manifests itself in either of the following ways:

  1. Inattentive ADHD: This involves the inability to pay attention to. When you have inattentive ADHD, you get distracted easily.
  2. Hyperactive ADHD: This type of ADHD involves the inability to contain yourself. You become hyperactive at all times. You also become uncomfortable in situations where you have to stay still for long periods of time.
  3. Combined ADHD: This is a mixture of both inattentive and hyperactive ADHD. With this condition, you tend to display the signs of both hyperactive and inattentive ADHD.

What are the causes of ADD or ADHD?

There is no known cause of the disorder. However, some researchers argue that it can be hereditary or acquired from the environment. Both of these factors are still not definitive. So far, there’s no apparent cause of ADD OR ADHD.

  • Hereditary: according to some experts, the disorder can be genetic since one-third of known ADD or ADHD parents give birth to children with ADD or ADHD.
  • Environmental: other experts say the environment surrounding an individual can cause them to have ADD/ADHD. The argument finds toxic chemicals like those used in cans for canning foods or furniture, to be responsible for the disorder. Others believe that food additives and sugar play a role in causing ADD or ADHD. Other experts also believe that culture and growing up in a place that does not challenge the brain could be responsible.

What are the signs and symptoms of ADD or ADHD?

The signs and symptoms of ADD or ADHD depend on the type that you have. If you have inattentive ADHD, your symptoms will differ from those of a person with hyperactive ADHD. Different disorders have similar symptoms. You might confuse ADD or ADHD symptoms with those of other disorders like anxiety, mood disorder, or depression. This is why you must talk to a doctor about your symptoms for a clinical diagnosis. Symptoms of ADD or ADHD are known to reduce with age. However, some do persist even later in adulthood. In some cases, new symptoms manifest later in life. Some of the signs and symptoms of ADD or ADHD include the following:

  • Constantly interrupting others
  • Fidgeting
  • Trouble waiting your turn
  • Inability to focus
  • Emotional turmoil
  • Trouble playing quietly
  • Getting easily distracted
  • Talking excessively
  • Difficulty staying organized
  • Always daydreaming
  • Easily forgetting and misplacing things
  • Constantly making mistakes when performing tasks
  • Always avoiding mentally challenging tasks.

Hyperactive Impulsive ADHD
Prominent Symptoms of Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD

How is ADD or ADHD diagnosed?

Noticing signs of ADD or ADHD in yourself or your child is not enough. If you suspect that you or your child have ADD or ADHD, please follow these steps:

  • Visit a licensed physician for a diagnosis.
  • The physician will ask you questions about the signs and symptoms, and you must answer these questions truthfully.
  • After the questions, the doctor will do a comprehensive test whose outcome will determine whether you have the disorder or not.

How is ADD or ADHD treated?

ADD or ADHD can be treated using either medication or therapy, or a combination of both. Treatment is designed by a specialist, like a psychiatrist or a pediatrician, but your regular GP can monitor the condition. The medications prescribed are not a permanent cure, but they will help you manage the symptoms.

With treatment, you may be able to concentrate better, be a lot calmer and less impulsive. Therapy treatment options include psychoeducation, social skills training, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Diet, supplements, exercise, sleep, and relaxation can also be used in the treatment of ADD or ADHD.

It is never too late to seek treatment for ADD or ADHD. Sometimes, people with the disorder do not know they have it. It is, therefore, the role of those around them to ascertain if there is a need to seek help. The sooner you find out about your diagnosis, the sooner you can start treatment and be on your way to getting better.

Remember, there is a range of treatments available out there. If you suspect that you, your child, or someone else has ADD or ADHD, seek the necessary help. MangoClinic has experienced professionals that can guide you better about your condition. Book your appointment now and get the medical assistance that you require.

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Conditions Treated with Trigger Point Injections

A trigger point defines a sensitive portion comprising of a tight, constricted muscle. It derives its name from being an area on your body tender to the touch, yet having the propensity to induce pain when pressure is exerted. Often, there can be a multitude of such sensitive points in a single muscle. There are a handful of medical treatment options with trigger point injections being amongst the effective ones.

These subtle spots become apparent when a specific muscle is in a continuous state of contraction. Consequently, the region around the muscle may feel tight. Furthermore, you’re likely to experience intense pain (burning ache), an outcome of muscular contraction—making it significantly difficult for blood to circulate through the muscle. Fundamentally, this additional tension exerts stress on adjacent joints plus connective tissues.

Over time, trigger point injections have become substantially popular in the management of these sharp and intense pain on a specific muscle at rest or in motion.

So, how can trigger point injections offer you relief from chronic muscle pain? Let’s find out.

What Are Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger point injections are a straight forward procedure performed to relieve pain. The treatment involves the injection of medication into the trigger points—depending on the severity and cause of pain. The dosage may include a local anesthetic, a corticosteroid, or a botulinum toxin A (Botox).

While the anesthetic serves to block the pain receptors, corticosteroid reduces muscle and connective tissue inflammation. Moreover, Botulinum toxin A functions to interfere with nerve signaling pathways and prevent muscle contraction. If you have tense muscles, you might feel a crunching sensation after the injection. But the feeling goes away as the muscle relaxes. Sometimes you might also have a needle inserted, with no medication in it—this is known as “dry needling.” It helps relieve pain by making the trigger point inactive.

What Do Trigger Point Injections Treat?

Trigger Point Injections Miami
Trigger point injections have proven to be effective with minimal possible side effects

These injections help relieve pain that is caused by conditions that affect the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Such cases include myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, and chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

Myofascial pain syndrome—This health concern manifests itself as a musculoskeletal pain condition that affects the muscles and their surrounding tissue. In myofascial pain syndrome, trigger points stimulate pain responses in disparate body parts, a phenomenon known as referred pain.

The trigger point injections reduce localized muscle pain by relaxing the affected muscles and interrupting the nerve signaling pathways that cause referred pain.

Causes of myofascial trigger points include repetitive motions, trauma to a muscle, poor posture, and psychological stress. In addition to referred pain, when you have myofascial pain, you may also experience pain that intensifies when you stretch or move the affected muscle, muscle stiffness and weakness, limited motion, and muscle knots that you can feel by touch.

Fibromyalgia—Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that has symptoms similar to those of arthritis but affects the soft tissue instead of the joints. It is associated with widespread pain, sleep abnormalities, fatigue, and often distress.  Although its causes are unknown, some risk factors include infections, a family history of fibromyalgia, gender, and a history of an autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

With the condition, you might experience symptoms such as headaches, pain, and stiffness in the body, digestive issues, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. The condition causes widespread or systemic pain, which suggests that the pain comes from neurological problems that impact how the brain processes sensory information.

According to some studies, the medical intervention of trigger points in fibromyalgia patients produces significant relief of the pain and improves range of motion.

Headaches—Trigger points in the neck, shoulders, and head can contribute to a migraine and tension-like headache disorder. According to research, people with episodic migraines feature more trigger points than people without—while individuals with more myofascial trigger points also depicting more sensitivity to pressure pain. These findings suggest that myofascial trigger points influence the intensity of migraines. When treating headaches with trigger point injections, some specialists accompany the injections with peripheral nerve blocks in the same session.

Chronic pelvic pain syndrome—This pain syndrome not only affects the lower urinary tract, but also causes sexual dysfunction concerns, chronic pelvic health issues, besides interstitial cystitis, chronic prostatitis in men, and painful bladder syndrome in women. There may be a relation between reported painful sites in people with this syndrome and myofascial trigger points. Concentrating your therapy regime on trigger points outside and inside the pelvic floor has the potential to relieve symptoms.

How Are The Injections Done?

During the procedure, your doctor first locates the trigger point by pressing around the painful area, which may cause your muscle to twitch or hurt. The medic then cleans the area and then proceeds to inject medicine into that point in either one direction or more. If you have several trigger points in the muscle, the doctor might repeat the process. Your physician may stretch the area to relax the muscle or instruct you on how to stretch or move the muscle yourself.

This process takes between 10-30 minutes, depending on the number of trigger points present. But the actual injection takes only a few moments. Basically, the procedure does not require sedation. In fact, it’s frequently performed in the doctor’s office.
Trigger point injections may accompany other forms of treatment in the same session. And primarily, you should be in a position to continue with your daily activities immediately after the injection.

How Frequently Will You Require Trigger Point Injections?

Often a trigger point resolves fast after one injection. More so, if you have one trigger point, and the cause of the trigger point has effectively been removed. If you have trigger points resulting from chronic conditions like myofascial pain syndrome or fibromyalgia, they might, however, recur from the underlying problem.

In these cases, you will need to have the injections administered regularly or on a need basis.  The frequency of the treatment will depend on the medication administered. If you are having steroid medication injections, the sessions will be much less frequent, because steroids can expose tissues to the risk of damage or shrinkage.

What Side Effects Might You Experience From Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger point injections may cause some immediate and long-term side effects. Some people might experience temporary numbness or pain around the injection site, lightheadedness, dimpling or discoloration of the skin around the injection site, or bleeding.
Anesthetic trigger point injections may also cause myonecrosis, a severe form of muscle damage that may take 3-4 weeks to heal. Swelling, pain, and tenderness around the injection site wear off within a few hours. If you experience any side effect that does not go away within a couple of weeks, contact your doctor.

pain injections
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What Are The Risks of Trigger Point Injections?

Trigger point injections rarely bring about any severe complications. However, they can lead to bruising, infection at the injection site, and muscle or nerve damage. Nevertheless, ultrasound imaging can help reduce the risk of developing any serious complications from the injections.

Trigger point injections are considered a safe treatment for chronic pain conditions. They can provide immediate relief for some patients, while for others, it might take a few days or even weeks. If you are experiencing chronic muscle pain, consult a doctor for further assessment and to establish if trigger point injections are a suitable option for you.

Contact us at Mango Clinic by dialing our toll-free number (1-888-578-6704) for all your healthcare needs including common acute pain problems, abdominal pain, back/muscle/joint pain, migraines, and counseling; schedule your appointment here.

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Contrave Prescription for Weight Loss

Those who are interested in losing weight should get in touch with Mango Clinic. We have licensed physicians who can evaluate you and help you determine what medication is best for you. Contrave can help many patients lose weight, as well as help promote a healthy lifestyle of exercising and eating right. Mango Clinic understands that everyone is different and that everyone has their reasons for losing weight. We want our patients to understand how effective a weight-loss drug can be and how it works best when combined with a total change in one’s lifestyle.

Everyone who has the aim to lose weight has their wants to do so for one reason or another. Whether you want to avoid heart problems, diseases, or are interested in becoming more fit, losing weight is rarely a bad idea. In the case of some people, losing weight is what they need to live a healthier life that will allow them to live better.

However, losing weight is not always so easy. For some, they may think it is impossible to lose weight effectively. It may look like something a privileged few can do, but it isn’t. No matter your situation, losing weight is not out of your reach and is something you can achieve. It may not always be easy, and it can definitely be harder for some, but there are options for everyone.

What Is Contrave?

Contrave is a weight loss drug aimed at treating those who classify as overweight or obese. The reasons for needing or wanting to take medication can vary, but what matters, in the end, is the effective use of the drug. If you are interested in a weight-loss drug, Contrave will help you lose weight in a healthy and helpful manner. The drug is a combination of two medications that target neurons in the body in order to limit your appetite and increase your energy.

Weight loss drugs do not magically make you shed pounds while you sleep, but when combined with exercise and a revised diet, it can be immensely effective. You also may not see results as quickly as you want, but that is all part of the process. Weight loss drugs are made to help you lose weight steadily, as this is both a healthy and safe way of losing weight. So if you start taking Contrave and only see yourself losing a few pounds in a few weeks, rest assured this is normal. What’s more important is that you keep losing weight over the months that you continue to take the drug.

Diet and Exercise with Contrave

If you plan to start losing weight with the help of medication, you have to make sure you are also exercising. While people know that exercising is a healthy activity that can help you lose weight, some people may not understand that weight loss medication directly benefits from exercise. The truth is that drugs like Contrave can only really work when combined with exercise, as the drug alone can only do so much. If you want to ensure healthy and regular weight loss, you have to get in shape.

Contrave
Contrave is a combination of bupropion and naltrexone.

Types of Exercise

Exercising can be a variety of things, as there are activities for all types of people. If you’re into sports, you may consider participating in one as a form of exercise. With the number of sports that exist, there is no doubt that there is something that will help you stay active and lose weight. Participating in a sport can also help you form social bonds, which is essential when you’re trying to lose weight and become healthier.

If you are more interested in going to the gym, you will be happy with the number of options you have for working your body. From cardio machines to weights that let you focus in on specific muscles, the gym provides a place for all types of people to stay in shape. You can even get a personal trainer who will be able to provide you with special exercises that work best for you. A personal trainer can also help you form a diet, which is especially helpful if your trainer doubles as a nutritionist.

Another popular option for exercise is going for walks. Many people do this as a regular part of their week, and it can be an excellent option for some people taking weight loss medication. If going to the gym or doing a sport is too strenuous for you, then simply going on walks is best. Any form of physical activity is essential, so if walks work best for you, make sure you do so regularly.

Contrave
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Diet

The other most important thing to compliment your weight loss medication is a revised diet. Many people will tell you that exercise is only one part of losing weight; if you do not have a healthy diet that compliments your exercise, you won’t find yourself losing as much weight. A healthy diet is a key to making sure the exercise and medication are being put to good use. What sort of diet you have is up to you, as there are a variety of diet plans out there for every type of person. Most people would recommend a low-calorie diet, as taking in too many calories is a major factor for why some people gain the weight that they do.

With a combination of exercise and a new diet, Contrave can help you lose weight in a way that is both healthy and effective. While you should not be expecting miracles from a weight loss drug, do understand that modest progress is still a good thing. As long as you stick with the medication, exercising, and diet regularly, you will see results in the long run that will keep you healthy and lower your chances of disease and risk.

If you are interested in being prescribed Contrave, get in touch with Mango Clinic. You may call us at (786) 422-9327 or visit our website to make an appointment with one of our licensed physicians.

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What Are Benzodiazepines?

Among the most popular types of prescription drugs are benzodiazepines, commonly referred to as “benzos.” These drugs are most commonly prescribed for anxiety treatment. Additionally, getting prescribed is not too difficult, as long as you have a valid reason for needing the prescription. Benzodiazepines are widely available in generic form, though branded drugs still exist and continue to be a dominant form of recognition of the drug in some parts of the world. Lorazepam also known by its brand name of Ativan is amongst the popular ones.

Around the world, people take different types of medicine for various reasons. These reasons can be because of ailments, symptoms, disorders, or just general stress from life. Sometimes the reasons are not so well defined, and many times they do not have to be, depending on the person. The widespread creation of prescription drugs has allowed many people from all walks of life the opportunity to find relief in an easy and safe manner. Precisely for this reason, Mango Clinic Miami can help you get the right help and appropriate prescription medication you need. With the help of our professional medical staff, we will be able to evaluate your situation and determine which type of medicine is best for you. Every patient is different, which means not every drug will work for everyone. Mango Clinic understands this, which is why we make sure to take care of each patient and understand their unique situation.

What Is Lorazepam?

Among the benzodiazepines that have proven popular with users is lorazepam, which is often taken for treating anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, seizures, and withdrawal. If you feel regularly anxious, lorazepam will calm you down and let you live a more balanced life. While not intended to be taken for long periods of time, this drug, like other benzos, has proven to be a significant benefit for those who otherwise would continue having severe anxiety.

Lorazepam works by interacting with the body’s GABA receptors and neurotransmitters. By bonding with the GABA neurotransmitter, it is able to influence the actions of the receptors that flow throughout the body. This then allows the user to become more relaxed and calm, resulting in a substantial decrease in anxiety. This also affects the parts of the body that can cause seizures, which is what makes lorazepam recommended for those who suffer from the disorder.

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Lorazepam works by enhancing the effects of GABA receptors

Lorazepam Risks

Individual users may have complications with taking lorazepam, which can be the result of previous issues or life circumstances. Some of these can be age, such as people being too young or too elderly to take lorazepam without assistance if they can take it at all. Being hypersensitive or having sleep apnea can also prevent some people from being able to take the drug. If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, taking any type of benzodiazepine is not recommended.

Like with any benzodiazepine, there are serious risks involved with taking lorazepam. While these side-effects do not affect everyone, it is still imperative that you understand the possible effects that can happen to you. It can also help you better decide whether the drug in question is best for you, especially since it can vary from person to person.

Lorazepam Side-Effects

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Common side-effects associated with lorazepam involve feeling overwhelmingly tired and exhausted. Sedation is among the most prominent of the different side-effects, which can contribute to the suggestion of when and how one should take the drug. It is not too unusual to feel tired after taking a benzodiazepine, but sometimes the effects can be stronger and less warranted than expected. For these reasons, always be sure you fully understand the possible consequences of taking lorazepam or similar benzo.

With all prescription drugs, there are risks involved with how the medicine will affect the user. However, for all the good benzodiazepines have proven to be for so many across the world, there are some serious consequences. While it does not happen to everyone, benzos have been known to cause dependency in many of its users. This means that patients can become addicted to drugs, which might then lead to tolerance.

Lorazepam Dependency And Tolerance

Dependency and tolerance are among the most dangerous risks one can face when taking benzodiazepines. Among the side-effects, problems arising from addiction to benzos have been cited as a major issue that affects many. The legal status of the drug, combined with how easy it can be to acquire, sometimes results in situations where users become addicted.

These issues of dependence, along with tolerance, can cause overdoses, something that has happened to an alarming degree. Even if it never gets to that, there is still the danger of the body becoming tolerant of the drug, causing the user to increase their dosage and want more benzos. This can be a bad way to live one’s life, especially since drugs like lorazepam are meant to be a short term part of one’s treatment. Those with addictive histories are strongly advised against taking benzos for this reason.

If you or a loved one requires anxiety treatment in the form of medications, make sure you understand the risks involved before consulting with your doctor. Once you have decided that you may need anxiety medication, get in touch with Mango Clinic to make your appointment. Our staff of licensed doctors can help you understand which drugs are best for your unique situation, along with possible risks and benefits. Call us on (786) 422-9327 or visit our website to schedule your appointment today.

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Emotional Support Dogs

For some people, recovering from a mental or health disorder requires something more than just medication or even therapy sessions. These can all be very helpful, but they can always be supplemented by something more. Something that can make the days feel safe and warm, something that can make a person get up in the morning and ready to take on the day, something like an emotional support animal, or better yet, an emotional support dog.

An emotional support animal is a companion for those who feel increasingly better when they have their favorite animal with them. An ESA does not have to specially trained in any way; their presence is all that is needed to be effective for the owner. All you have to do is pick a domesticated pet and consult with a medical professional who can sign you an ESA letter; your regular dog becomes an ESA dog.

Mango Clinic provides ESA letter services for those looking to get a genuine document that can be used for either travel, housing, or both. We make sure each of our ESA patients speaks directly with a doctor before being given a signed document; in this way, it is a completely valid letter. Neither airlines or landlords will be able to dismiss the letter when it is completely legit, meaning you and your ESA will be able to travel freely and find a new place to live without hassle.

Top 5 Emotional Support Dog Breeds

Among the most popular choices for ESAs is an emotional support dog, which is also happens to be a popular pet all over the world. Due to their friendly nature, loyalty, and reliability, dogs find themselves being chosen very often as one’s ESA. For these reasons, we have decided to present an unranked list of the top five ESA dog breeds that are most recommended for potential ESA owners. Each dog has its advantages, so don’t feel as though one is better than the other, or that you have to pick and choose from just these five.

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Golden Retriever

When you think of a big, lovable dog, there is a good chance a Golden Retriever is what you imagine. Well-known among the public, this breed is extremely popular, sometimes overwhelmingly so. Aside from shedding plenty of hair, Golden Retrievers are popular for a reason, providing much love and energy for people of all ages. Their large size can also be exceptionally comforting for some, as is their very fluffy hair.

It’s also important to remember how active Golden Retrievers can be. If you intend to get one, along with understanding how big they are, make sure you’re okay with a dog who is always up for some fun. This can make them good choices for those that want an ESA who will keep them active.

Pit Bull Terrier

There is a belief that pit bulls are inherently dangerous, that they should be avoided, and that they can easily hurt you. However, the reality of it is that a pit bull is not any more dangerous than every other domesticated dog that people own as pets.

The reputation that pit bulls have mainly comes from their history as dogs that were bred to be fighters, an unfortunate but real part of history. Dog fights would have these specially bred pit bulls go against each other in matches, but in the 21st century, dogfighting is illegal in the USA. Along with that storied past, pit bulls can still be used as dangerous animals for protection, hunting, or other related activities.

It can come as no surprise that people are hesitant about pit bulls, but the reality is that they’re a terrific choice for an ESA. Loving, caring, and always protective of their owners, a pit bull can be an excellent addition to one’s life. However, states have different laws pertaining to pit bulls, so be sure to inquire before deciding to get one.

Poodle

A smaller breed type, poodles can be an excellent choice for those who want their ESA to be on the smaller side. Poodles can be very fun and loving with both children and adults, further proving them to be apt ESA choices. They are also known as one of the most intelligent breeds, which can come in handy for owners who want their ESA to be a bit more hands-on. This also makes poodles a good choice for those wanting an active ESA that might encourage them to go out and play in the park.

Pug

Pugs are another small breed of dog, which can be exceptionally comforting for many. They are known for being active, happy, and of course, loving towards their owners. While they can be fond of taking it easy, a pug can be a great ESA dog for those who want something small but tenacious.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are often mixed up with Golden Retrievers, but their shorter hair is often the main giveaway. Retrievers are a generally popular dog breed in the USA and UK, and the Labrador is no exception. Like Golden, they are a bigger breed, and the two do share a similar size, along with look, without as much shedding.

Labradors come in unique varieties based on their color, such as yellow, black, and chocolate. They are also well adapted to training and performing tasks, in case that is something an owner would like their ESA to do. In any case, Labrador makes for a great emotional support dog due to the character, history, and popularity among many.

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Getting Your Emotional Support Dog Certification at Mango Clinic

If you are interested in having a certification for your emotional support dog, get in touch with Mango Clinic. Before getting an ESA letter, make sure you have picked out an animal to make your ESA. From here, you can call us or visit our website to set up an appointment with one of our licensed doctors.

When getting an ESA letter, you must always speak directly with a licensed doctor; otherwise, the letter is invalid. Mango Clinic will always have you speak directly with a licensed doctor, after which they will sign you the letter which you can use for housing, travel, or both. So don’t delay and make sure you get a legitimate ESA letter from Mango Clinic. Contact us by calling (786) 422-9327 or simply go online and complete this ESA Online Form before you schedule an appointment.

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