Saturday, September 19, 2009ANXIETY
Anxiety (also known as generalized anxiety disorder) is
excessive nervousness or worry that interrupts daily activities,
without reasonable cause for nervousness. Anxious feelings occur along
with physical symptoms that are similar to those of depression, such as
difficulty concentrating, restlessness or fatigue, and insomnia. The
diagnosis of anxiety requires at least 6 months of these symptoms.
People with anxiety can also experience feelings of depression, often
alternating with anxiousness. Anxiety can also occur by itself, without
ever having any feelings of depression.
people with anxiety also have panic attacks, which are sudden episodes
of intense fear without reasonable cause. The fear associated with
panic attacks is usually accompanied by shortness of breath, a racing
heart beat, nausea, dizziness, or a headache. Some people also
experience a sudden feeling of heat or coldness, tingling of the hands
or feet, or chest pain.
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
traumatic stress disorder is another type of anxiety disorder. PTSD
occurs after witnessing a life-threatening experience. This condition
is prevalent among veterans, and is also common in victims of violent
crimes, abuse, accidents, natural disasters, and other psychologically
Symptoms of PTSD may occur immediately after
the event, or several months later. It is expected to be in shock for a
few hours to a few days after any highly stressful experience. However,
if the symptoms interfere with your daily life to a significant degree,
or if the symptoms persist for more than 4 weeks, professional
treatment may be necessary.
People with PTSD often have
difficulty sleeping, may feel more “on edge” than normal, and can have
flashbacks or disturbing thoughts that interrupt their daily
activities. Some people will block out memories of the traumatic event,
or become emotionally “numb” in an attempt to avoid the stress caused
by the experience. Many people with PTSD will feel depressed or
detached from others, and often turn to alcohol or substance abuse to
medicate their depression or anxiety.
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)
OCD is an anxiety disorder in which the person experiences obsessive,
frequent, intrusive thoughts or impulses that cause significant
anxiety. Common obsessions involve fear of infectious disease, anxiety
about things being done in a specific order, or things being positioned
in a specific place. These thoughts or impulses are not simply worries
or obsessions about real life problems. The person recognizes that
these thoughts and behaviors are excessive and inappropriate, but
cannot sufficiently control them.
In order to reduce the anxiety caused by these thoughts or impulses,
the person must compulsively perform specific mental or physical tasks,
such as repeated hand washing, counting to a specific number or pattern
of numbers, or repeating words silently. The diagnosis of OCD requires
that these obsessions and compulsions cause significant impairment in
the person's work or relationships.
Somewhat more common is obsessive compulsive personality
disorder, in which the person has a rigid personality and requires that
things be performed in a specific way, but this does not cause major
impairment for the person. It is noticeable to others, and certain
obsessive behaviors may appear somewhat excessive. In OCD personality
disorder, the person may need to check and recheck whether the doors
are locked or whether the oven was left on, but there are not
necessarily distinct, intrusive, obsessive thoughts and compulsions
that create significant anxiety.
Dr. Tara Peyman offers a free 15-minute phone consult to get details on how she can help you. Call to reserve your appointment:
Tempe, Arizona: (480) 456-0402
Mesa, Arizona: (480) 985-0000
Tara Peyman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in the state of Arizona.
Her expertise is treating depression and anxiety with natural medicine.
She has also developed comprehensive, naturopathic programs for weight
loss, diabetes and smoking cessation. She practices at East Valley
Naturopathic Doctors in Mesa (480.985.0000) and in Tempe
(480.456.0402). Visit her website for more information.