As a Holistic energy practitioner I have had an awareness of the many clients and friends I have seen with ‘anxiety’ in many forms and recently I have been working on a ‘free’ anxiety program’ to allow those with ‘anxiety to take back control of their lives. I will be offering a series of short ‘blog’ posts on the differing identified areas or types of anxieties prior to the release of this program called The 7 Steps to Freedom so that if you or someone you love suffers from this often debilitating condition then you know that help is at hand
Is it Anxiety? My family have always been excessive worriers or concerned with fears, maybe that’s what’s wrong with me?
Anxiety can be either a short term or a long term state of being. It may present as a concern or a worry about a specific circumstance in your life for example, a job interview, a test or an exam, or simply doing something with which you are not familiar.
In the long term anxiety can have a much more profound effect on your body and the symptoms or the frequency of the symptoms that you experience may be much more profound, and in these instances it can literally take over a person’s life due to its frequency or the debilitating effects that it produces.
I am going to talk about the different types of anxieties in this series of short blog posts and share with you some of the symptoms that are associated with the differing forms of anxieties and related ‘phobias’.
Anxiety can be classified as a disorder when the symptoms of anxiety become longstanding or ‘chronic’ and have an effect on our daily lives and our ability to function in our everyday life.
Everyone gets nervous or anxious from time to time—when speaking in public, for instance, or when going through financial difficulty. For some people, however, anxiety becomes so frequent, or so forceful, that it begins to take over their lives. How can you tell if your everyday anxiety has crossed the line into a disorder? It’s not easy. Anxiety comes in many different forms—such as panic attacks, phobia, and social anxiety—and the distinction between an official diagnosis and “normal” anxiety isn’t always clear.
Post traumatic stress disorder PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events in their lives, such as a major stress, sexual assault, warfare, or other threats on a person’s life. Symptoms can include disturbing recurring flashbacks, avoidance of or numbing of memories of the event, and hyperarousal which may also be termed fight or flight. In most instances these situations will continue to occur for more than a month after the incidence of a traumatic event or events
The term Post traumatic stress disorder’ came in to being in the late 1970’s in large part due to diagnoses of US military veterans of the Vietnam War. The concept of stress-induced mental disorder was already known since at least the 19th century, and had been referred to previously under various terms including ‘soldier’s heart’, ‘battle fatigue’ and ‘shell shock’
Whilst War veterans are commonly accepted to be at risk of PTSD, the majority of people who have experienced a traumatizing event do not develop PTSD. Those who have experienced an assault-based trauma are more likely to develop PTSD, as opposed to people who experience non-assault based traumas such as witnessing trauma, accidents, and fire events. Children under 10 years are less likely to experience PTSD after a trauma than adults
Although Post traumatic stress disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder the characteristic symptoms are generally not present before exposure to the violently traumatic event. In the typical case, the individual with PTSD persistently avoids all thoughts and emotions, and discussion of the stressor event and may experience amnesia for it.
PTSD is believed to be caused by the experience of a wide range of traumatic events and, in particular if the trauma is extreme, can occur in persons with no predisposing conditions.
Persons considered at risk include:
- Combat military personnel
- Victims of natural disasters
- Concentration camp survivors
- Victims of violent crime.
- Victims of severe domestic violence
- Children or adults may develop PTSD symptoms by experiencingbullying.
- Individuals may experience ‘survivor’s guilt’ for remaining alive while others died.
My own interest in Genetics and the numbers of friends and clients diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder as well as my own personal experiences led me to exploring the issues of post traumatic stress disorder and we are told that there is evidence that susceptibility to PTSD is hereditary. For example approximately 30% of the variance in PTSD is caused from genetics alone. For pairs of twins exposed to combat in Vietnam, having a monozygotic (identical) twin with PTSD was associated with an increased risk of the co-twin’s having PTSD compared to twins that were dizygotic (non-identical twins). Research has also found that PTSD shares many genetic influences common to other ‘psychiatric disorders’. Panic and generalized anxiety disorders and PTSD share 60% of the same genetic variance. Alcohol, nicotine, and drug dependence share greater than 40% genetic similarities.
There is a strong association between the development of PTSD in mothers that experienced domestic violence during the perinatal period of their pregnancy
An individual that has been exposed to domestic violence is predisposed to the development of PTSD. However, being exposed to a traumatic experience does not automatically indicate that an individual will develop PTSD.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can trigger Panic Attacks or Panic Disorder is different from the normal fear and anxiety reactions to stressful events. PTSD is a serious situation or condition that may strike without reason or warning. Symptoms of PTSD disorder may include sudden attacks of fear and nervousness, as well as physical symptoms such as sweating and a racing heart as well as memories or flashbacks. During a PTSD attack, the fear response may be out of proportion for the situation, which often is a memory rather than a real and threatening event. Over time, a person with PTSD may develop a constant fear of having another panic PTSD attack, which can affect their daily functioning and their general quality of life.
The Symptoms of a PTSD or panic attack can include
- Levels of anxieties and depression
- Mood swings
- Difficulty in breathing
- A pounding heart orchest pain
- An intense feeling of dread or fear
- The sensation of choking or smothering
- Levels of dizziness or of feeling faint
- Trembling, shaking or tremors
- Sweating, or sweating hands
- Nauseaor stomachache
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes
- Chills orhot flashes
- A fear that you are losing control or are about to die
- A mental ‘return to a previous time or state’ which appears real and is ‘happening now’
- Nightmares and disturbed sleep patterns
- Distrust of strangers
- Fears of going to an unknown place or situation
- Heightened awareness
- The consumption of products that containcaffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate may have a triggering effect or increase the symptoms of panic attacks
- Beyond the PTSD or panic attacks themselves, one of the main symptoms of these panic attacks or panic related disorders is the persistent fear of having future PTSD / panic attacks. The fear of these attacks can cause the person to avoid places and situations where an attack has occurred or where they believe an attack may occur.
- Often people with PTSD or Panic attacks may develop Agoraphobia. This is the fear of being in places or situations in which an attack may occur, or from which escape would be difficult or highly embarrassing. This fear can drive people to avoid public places and crowds, and may even progress to the point that the person will not leave his or her home. About one-third of people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia.
Generalised Anxiety worry and stress are all a part of most people’s life today. Anxiety becomes a disorder when the symptoms become chronic and interfere with our daily lives and our ability to function. People suffering from chronic anxiety and panic attacks often report the following symptoms which can be exacerbated and extremely frightening for those suffering from PTSD.
- Muscle tension
- Physical weakness
- Poor memory
- Sweaty hands
- Fear or confusion
- Inability to relax
- Constant worry
- Shortness of breath
- Upset stomach
- Poor concentration
- Unusual behaviors
These symptoms are severe and upsetting enough to make individuals feel extremely uncomfortable, out of control and helpless.
Anxiety disorders fall into a set of separate diagnoses, depending upon the symptoms and severity of the anxiety the person experiences. The anxiety disorders discussed in this series on anxiety are:
3 OCD- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
4 Social Anxieties
5 Anxieties and phobias
6 Fear of flying’
7 Fears of things that walk crawl run or fly e.g. Birds, Moths, Spiders, and Cats.
8 Separation anxiety
9 Performance anxiety
10 Fear of Failure exams
11 Fear of Failure Business
12 Fear of death or dying
13 GAD general anxiety disorder
14 Post Natal Depression
15 Panic attacks
16 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
In support of this ‘free ‘ program I have started a FB Community called Anxiety Need Not Be A Life Sentence at the link below. If this resonates with you I would invite you to please join us or to share the information with those to whom it may be of assistance
Peace Love and Light