Anxiety Or Anxiety Disorder ?

Anxiety is a normal part of everyday life for all of us and we need to  realize that not all anxiety is bad for us. When certain situations occur it is  reasonable to react with some anxiety, in fact this type of anxiety can be a  necessary reaction in keeping us safe from danger; for example, crossing a busy  road or driving on a narrow mountain track which we are not used to. If we  didn’t feel anxiety in these types of circumstances then something would be  wrong.

An anxiety disorder on the other hand is quite different from everyday normal  anxious thoughts and feelings in that it is much more intense (perhaps leading  to a panic attack), lasts longer (persists for a long time, months or years) and  does not go away after the stressful situation has passed and/or leads to  specific phobias (agoraphobia, social phobia etc).

Here is a list of anxiety disorders recognised by the medical profession  worldwide:

• Panic Disorder
• Generalised Anxiety Disorder
• Social Phobia
• Agoraphobia
• Specific Phobia
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Acute Stress Disorder
• Substance Induced  Anxiety Disorder

So, is it possible to cure anxiety and panic attacks?

Many people visiting their doctor with symptoms of one or more of the anxiety  orders listed above could be prescribed medication to help control their  disorder. These may be SSRI’s (an anti-depressant class of drug often prescribed  for anxiety disorders) benzodiazepines (tranquillisers such as valium or xanax )  or a combination of these. Whilst this type of medication can help control the  symptoms of anxiety they are not a cure all and the anxiety disorder will still  be there smouldering away under the surface waiting to raise it’s ugly head  whenever an anxious situation occurs.

We can however help ourselves to deal with anxiety and any associated  disorder by making changes to our daily lifestyle.

Some positive changes to our lifestyle that will help are listed here:

• Exercise – incorporate a daily exercise regime
• Breathing – learn  breathing skills
• Good nutrition habits – what we eat or drink can make a  difference to how we feel
• Relaxation – learn to relax, perhaps yoga,  meditation, or a walk in the countryside.

By also paying attention to self-esteem, positive self talk and assertiveness  we will be helping ourselves to live a more balanced and less anxious life. We  can then rely less on medication and more on leading a more positive and  rewarding lifestyle.

© Andrew Tudor Jones