Anxiety is caused from a number of different mental disorders which include:
- Panic disorder
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Phobic disorders
- Stress disorders
Typically, anxiety is indicated by symptoms such as the experience of panic attacks. Panic attacks involve a sudden overwhelming fear, palpitations, trembling, shortness of breath, sense of choking, chest pain, chills, hot flushes, dizziness and a sense of detachment from reality. These sudden onset of symptoms may last for up to ten minutes. Panic disorder is the repeated experience of panic attacks, and a pervasive fear of them recurring.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Generalised anxiety disorder is characterised by an excessive and unreasonable amount of worry over a prolonged period (generally longer than six months). People diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder may experience insomnia, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension and personality changes such as becoming less social.
Anxiety is also associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. A traumatic event can include a person being exposed to an experience where they nearly lost their lives, or significant harm was caused to them, or a high risk of such was experienced (automobile accident, shooting, bashing, domestic violence). Post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers usually experience anxiety related to triggers around the event (such as people, places or events associated with the trauma) and have a general attitude of cynicism and hopelessness related to their future. They can also experience hypervigilance, insomnia and agitation.
Symptoms That Require Medical Investigation
Regardless of panic attacks having similar symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, fainting and weakness should not be merely attributed to anxiety, but instead should be thoroughly investigated.
Treatment for Anxiety
Many patients receive counselling and talk therapy, related to handling the triggers for their anxiety, and receive patient education as to how to manage their levels of stress. A counsellor or psychologist can assist an anxiety sufferer to come to terms with circumstances that may provoke anxiety, and work with the person in order to formulate a treatment plan. Anxiety may be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy, and other complementary methods.
Anti-depressants are often prescribed for anxiety, as these help to regulate the neurotransmitters in the brain. Sometimes an imbalance of neurotransmitters due to a prolonged period of stress or burnout can lead a person to develop depression and anxiety. People who are anxious and depressed can also suffer from a severe lack of motivation, and find little pleasure in his or her life.
Holistic Lifestyle Treatment
It is important to look at a lifestyle holistically in order to treat anxiety and panic disorders in the best possible way. Simply prescribing antidepressants does not get to the root cause of the problem, and it would be better to examine the circumstances in the person’s life which may have contributed to the onset of the symptoms of anxiety.
Holistic treatment for anxiety includes massage, meditation, flotation tanks, aromatherapy, nutritional augmentation, exercise prescriptions such as yoga and adapting a healthier lifestyle. Certain supplements may aid in reducing anxiety such as herbs and calming teas. Sleep hygiene in order to assist in gaining better sleep quality may be warranted, and this is achieved through educating the patient as to how to improve their night time routines and how they handle episodes of insomnia.
Naturopathic Treatment For Anxiety Disorders
A naturopath is a suitable practitioner to work alongside a general practitioner in the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. A naturopath may also successfully treat anxiety using purely holistic methods, without a patient needing to be prescribed traditional pharmacological preparations such as antidepressants. Naturopaths focus on enhancing health and wellbeing, and educate patients on how to create routines that mitigate anxiety symptoms. These recommendations could include going to bed at regular hours, practicing meditation, receiving counselling, breath work, use of herbs and homeopathic supplements, acupuncture and massage.
A naturopath can examine a patient’s lifestyle, and consider different aspects which could be exacerbating anxiety and trauma symptoms, and write out a care plan that augments those things that are potentially causing issues. These include diet that is inadequate, and promoting exercise, better sleep, elimination of bad habits, and reducing substance dependence.
A naturopath looks at treating illnesses and mental disorders through a wellbeing and enhanced quality of life framework, so that the patient experiences more life enjoyment through simple changes related to lifestyle.