Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Anxiety question I found on yahoo answers

Hello, dear reader!
So, I found this question on yahoo answer, already being considered "resolved" but since I usually see cases like these I have decided to talk about such a case in today's post.
The question:
"since graduating from college two years ago, getting a real job-working 40-hours a week, breaking up with the love of my life and moving back home for now, i have developed some serious anxiety.. and it keeps getting worse and worse, i see someone on a bi-weekly for cognitive talking which is awesome, but it's not enough.. and he keeps telling me i need medication, maybe for a little while,
i hate the idea of needing to be on meds and all the side-effects that come with it.. i was not always like this,
how can i naturally be who i use to be.. without the anxiety?!
is it possible?
help please!"

What is really sad for this person is  that he is aware that his problems are not hereditary or caused by a chemical imbalance. The fact that he states "i was not always like this" kind of makes me believe that it is hard for him to make himself understood in front of his therapist. I see it in my country and hear about it happening in a  lot of other places too(including U.S.), therapists being convinced you just have a faulty brain and that medication is the only thing to work.

"and it keeps getting worse and worse"

No it's not, we expect it to get worse and worse and that terrifies us. Since anxiety is fear, that is what makes it worse.

"i hate the idea of needing to be on meds and all the side-effects that come with it"

From what I know almost no one needs to be on meds when suffering from anxiety. As for the side-effects, those really do cause more and more anxiety.

I actually remember a really funny story about some medicine and its side effects.
I was having a bad flu and the doctor prescribed me some really strong stuff. I went to the pharmacy, took the box and started reading the side effects the medicine had and it read: "may cause, indigestion, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, rash". Not wanting any of those, I naturally went back to the doctor to ask for something lighter before taking it. As I walked in I told her "Don't you have something lighter? This is really making me feel anxious...".
The doctor said: "Oh, anxiety is just one of the side-effects..."
Course, I couldn't stop laughing at the fact that there was medication that could make you anxious without even taking it... :))

So yes! The thought that he might "need" medicine is amplifying his anxiety.

"i see someone on a bi-weekly for cognitive talking which is awesome, but it's not enough.."

If the guy/woman keeps scaring him with medicine, I can see why it's not enough.
Cbt, usually works, it just takes a lot of time....

"how can i naturally be who i use to be.. without the anxiety?!
is it possible?"

It started with stress overloading his amydgala. If he resets it it will be just fine. 

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Alternating bouts of anxiety and depression

Anxiety disorder is well known also for it's link with depression.
In fact, a lot of anxiety sufferers have alternating bouts of anxiety and depression which can tell us a lot about the way the anxious brain functions.
The simplest explanation one can find for why this happens is that, having panic attacks and feeling extreme fear can wear you out and lead to tiredness and depression.
A more behavioral oriented explanation, that I do favor a bit since I can identify with it, is that anxiety keeps you from working, learning and exercising, which can make you depressed since you feel lazy and worthless.
However, since we live in the age of science, a scientific explanation is required.

In psychology, there is such a thing as the law of accommodation, which states that we get used to every sensation we feel. For example, when we first put on our clothes we feel their weight and their texture on our skin, but after about 30 seconds we don't feel our clothes anymore.
The same rule applies to the feeling of anxiety. Though we do have really intense panic attacks and get scared and stuff we can't feel the same intensity 24/7.

And that is because the rule of accommodation applies and also, because, contrary to popular belief your brain knows anxiety isn't good and knows that feeling the same feeling for a long period of time can be exhausting, so it shuts it down.

When that is shut down, we then have our incapability to feel,or we feel depersonalized and that's when depression sets in.

Obviously a solution would be to become able to replace the feeling of anxiety when it stops with something more positive.
Qigong, exercise and a lot of socializing would surely help with this.
Always remember that anxiety is not that hard to eliminate!

Ping site

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Anxiety relief and social proof

Hello, dear reader!

Today I want to talk a bit about social proof and how it can affect your anxiety.

What is social proof?

When you're walking down the street and you see a group of people looking up, what you do you?
Exactly! Look up yourself...
As humans, we are social creatures and a lot of times we model what the majority is doing.
For example, if a surgeon was getting only bad reviews from his patients, we wouldn't go near him, and that's good, he probably is getting bad reviews for a reason. 
But there are also times when social proof isn't very beneficial.

Social proof and it's relation to anxiety relief

If you're reading this, you have access to the internet and since you do you obviously have access to all the anxiety forums and blogs.
This can be a good thing as it will put you in contact with anxiety sufferers from over the world, however, since most of them are desperate people with stories about how they've been suffering from anxiety for over 2 years now, they'll get you scared and convinced that since they are still struggling with anxiety so will you.
After all, if they couldn't get rid of it, why could you?
And it's not just one or two, it's hundreds!
Yes, we hear hundreds of other sufferers say they've tried and failed to get rid of their problems and suddenly anxiety becomes your Goliath.

Of course, this is just social proof in action. For example, if instead of failure stories you would hear only success stories, you wouldn't perceive anxiety as such a big thing anymore and would stand a better chance of overcoming it.
So my advice to you is to simply stop reading about how bad anxiety can be and just deal with your own experience, or read only success stories.

I hope you enjoyed my post, thank you for reading and have a really wonderful day!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

What causes anxiety attacks

Anxiety attacks are, usually, the highest points anxiety can reach, making the sufferer feel completely powerless.
Usually, immediately after having had a panic attack, people want to find out what caused it.
So...what causes anxiety attacks?

You won't like the answer...
It's not very clear what causes them, but most people, therapists and doctors all have their own opinion on what the causes for panic attacks are, and they usually stick to them even when they are introduced to evidence proving otherwise.

So if you want my opinion on what causes them, I must first state that it's my opinion only and that I might not be 100% correct.
In my opinion anxiety attacks are caused by a combination of subconscious mental habits that the person has developed over time, tiredness( they strike when we are weak), and a slight chemical or neurological imbalance due to being under stress too much.

If you want the opinion of others, there are usually those who say they are caused by genetics, by a chemical imbalance(Hyperthyroidism,Hypoglycemia, etc.)  and those that say they are simply the result of a learned behavior or a subconscious behavior.

Choosing which causes to believe, will determine the actions you take to rid yourself of anxiety. That's why I don't want to impose my opinion on anyone. Your explanation for what causes anxiety attacks is yours to choose.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Anxiety relief techniques

Hello, dear reader!
Today I want to talk a bit about anxiety relief techniques.
For me, these are the simple short-term techniques that one can use to find some anxiety relief whenever they are faced with a challenge which needs them to be relaxed.

For example, one day, during gym class, we had an inspection and we were supposed to show just how well we are trained by our teacher, and if we failed and embarrassed him, I can assure you it wouldn't have been pretty.
Before my anxiety, I was a pretty OK football(soccer) player and doing a little dribble and then shooting and scoring wouldn't have been such a challenge.  But since I was having a panic attack right that moment I could barely stand, my knees were failing me and I kept picturing myself shooting wide and my teacher looking at me in disappointment .

I knew I had to do something, so before my turn came I did the little qigong exercise I have described in "Qigong for anxiety relief" . It didn't work as good as I was hoping but it offered me some calm.
The next anxiety relief technique that came to my mind to use was something I had read about in a newsletter of Mike Brescia. He suggested the use of a mantra to keep you focused on what you want.
Whenever I failed something due to interference from my anxiety, it was because my struggle with it made me lose sight of my goal, so, as I stood up and walked towards the ball I started chanting in my mind, with the proper tonality,
" I am calm, totally relaxed, and certain to score".
This got me focused on the present moment, on the feel of the ball on the tip of my shoe as I kept driving it towards the goal. I shot, I scored, it was over and all I could say was "Phew!".
Sure, the teacher was a bit annoyed by me moving a bit too slow, as I was being too careful, but in the end it turned out OK.

I hope you enjoyed and have found my anxiety relief techniques useful. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Depression relief and hypnosis

Compared to other disorders, depression relief is pretty hard to achieve through cbt. This is because one of the symptoms of depression is lack of motivation and motivation is pretty important in achieving almost anything.
This is why most people resort to medication and this is why in the case of depression I usually recommend hypnosis. However there is one problem with that. Hypnosis requires a skilled hypnotist.

I've fooled around with hypnosis for some months and decided I wasn't cut for it. My tone was bad, my ability to tell the state the subject was in was also off and my suggestions had to be written by someone else.
So ok I'd suck at it, but problem is that since pharmacies encourage medication as it pays better, and others recommend CBT(which is pretty Ok) because it takes longer and gets you to pay more(at least in my country), we have no good hypnotherapists. This is really bad as a highly trained hypnosis could indeed help you get rid of your problems, faster, cheaper and probably for good.

Most people doubt hypnosis and go for "good ol' medicine" as they do not have enough motivation to go through therapy. Doubting hypnosis is also increased by the pessimism that comes with depression, that gets you to doubt everything., but even if pessimistic, one should try.
I know my opinion may not mean much, but hypnosis is probably the best way to achieve your depression relief.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Anxiety relief

Hello, dear reader!

Today I want to talk a bit about the concept of anxiety relief.
If you are familiar with NLP, you probably know that the way we name things, or label them, is determined by the way we perceive them.
As you have probably noticed, when I refer to curing anxiety I usually use the term "anxiety relief". This is because for me, anxiety is an oppressive condition that gets you worried, and, when you are relieved from anxiety you can simply say "phew!", knowing it won't return. This also says a lot about the way I perceive the solution to the anxiety problem: It's all about reaching the state in which you can stop worrying.

Those that use "anxiety treatment" to refer to curing anxiety, for example, usually perceive the solution as being medicine, while those that prefer to term "anxiety cure" usually think the best solutions with be a naturist one.
There are also those who talk about overcoming anxiety. They are the ones who mostly see anxiety as a challenge they must overcome through therapy.

It sure is interesting to see how people label certain anxiety relief methods, but in the end, if you want to find your relief from anxiety or depression, you have to keep an open mind about it and try out most of the available methods( leaving the ones that seem most unsuitable last, of course).

As humans we have the tendency to believe the first thing we are told and be more skeptic of whatever we hear after. If the first person you ask for help with your anxiety says that meds are the best and that everything else is just lies, you might believe that and not try out other methods that might seem a bit too weird( like qigong).
 Be objective if you want to solve your problems!