If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Posted: 02/02/2014 7:37 pm I have panic disorder. I manage chronic anxiety every single day. I had my first panic attack when I was 15 years old and (at the time) I had no idea what was going on. I thought I might be having a heart attack. It seemed like a physical problem at first. I had an uncontrollable racing heart followed by sweating and shaking. But then I quickly realized that nervous thoughts were accompanying my physical symptoms.
Thankfully, I wasn't alone. Anxiety and depression run in my family, and my mother knew exactly what was going on and how to help me. I started seeing a therapist and learned coping techniques to deal with anxiety. However, the techniques I learned were not enough. From ages 15 to 18, I still suffered from severe panic attacks that made it incredibly difficult for me to function.
For the most part, I suffered in silence. The only people who knew about my struggle with panic were my parents, my brother and my best friend, who didn't attend my high school. I attended a performing arts high school where I studied theater. I was an excellent actress, but not in the way one might think. I was well adept at hiding my mental illness from my peers.
Forget meditation and yoga: For many stressed-out Americans, the best remedy for a stressful day at work or the sting of a painful breakup is the smell of brand-new clothing, the feel of a silk dress and the sound of a credit card being swiped. If you turn to retail therapy in times of anxiety, you're not alone -- according to a recent survey, nearly one in three recently stressed Americans (which accounts for 91 percent of the general population) shops to deal with stress.
Ever feel that stress makes you more cranky, hot-headed or irritable? For men in particular, we think of stress as generating testosterone-fueled aggression – thus instances of road rage, or the need to “blow off steam” after work with a trip to the gym or a bar. On the other hand, in circumstances of extreme stress such as during natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, we hear moving accounts of people going out of their way to help others. Hurricane Sandy has led to a flourish of supportive tweets and Facebook messages directed to people on the East Coast. The tsunami in Asia a couple of years ago led to a huge influx of financial support to help afflicted areas. Many who lived in New York City during 9/11 remember that, for a few days afterward, the boundaries and class divisions between people dissolved: people greeted each other on the street and were more considerate, sensitive to each other, and gentle than normal.
The classic view is that, under stress, men respond with "fight or flight,” i.e. they become aggressive or leave the scene, whereas women are more prone to “tend and befriend,” as has been shown in research by Shelley Taylor. A new study by Markus Heinrichs and Bernadette von Dawans at the University of Freiburg, Germany, however, suggests that acute stress may actually lead to greater cooperative, social, and friendly behavior, even in men. This more positive and social response could help explain the human connection that happens during times of crises, a connection that may be responsible, at least in part, for our collective survival as a species.
I was talking with a young reporter the other day about dating. She asked how people could quell their anxiety
before a first date. As a cognitive behavior therapist, I understand
that anxiety is influenced by one's thinking. For example, you will
probably feel incredible pressure if you think, "I have to
look/sound/behave perfectly because otherwise my date, who might be
destined to be the love of my life, will judge me negatively."
been another hectic day. On impulse, you grab an extra-large candy bar
during your afternoon break. You plan to take just a few bites. But
before you know it, you’ve polished off the whole thing — and, at least
temporarily, you may feel better.
assured you’re not alone.Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the
effects of high-fat, sugary “comfort foods” push people toward
Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 40 million American adults. There are five major anxiety disorders; you may experience one, two or more of these conditions simultaneously.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that
can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which
grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that
may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or
human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
Signs & Symptoms
People with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories
of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they
were once close to. They may experience sleep problems, feel detached
or numb, or be easily started.
Effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder are
available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can
help most people with PTSD and other anxiety disorders lead productive,
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