Depression Therapy – A Clear Road to Recovery

In the US, an estimated 17 million Americans are afflicted with depression during any 1-year period. Depression is a real illness and carries a huge cost in terms of relationships and work efficiency. Nevertheless, this depression is certainly treatable. Qualified depression therapy is more successful now than ever before.

When a person receives optimal care, depression can be treated effectively. That said, it is critical that anyone suffering with depression must be referred to a qualified mental health professional immediately. Depressed people who do not receive timely depression therapy invariably experience worsening symptoms making treatment even more difficult.

Primary Depression Therapy: Psychotherapy

Several approaches are used in psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and psycho dynamic.

Psychotherapy offers victims the chance to recognize factors that influence their depression and learn how to deal with it effectively.

Qualified mental therapists guide patients to:

  • Identify the life problems that trigger their depression and help them distinguish which of those problems they can solve or improve.
  • Understand any negative thinking patterns that influence feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
  • Explore other thoughts and behaviors that create chaos and may be aggravating their condition.
  • Guide them to regain control of their emotional well being.

Backbone of Depression Therapy: Strong Support System

Family and friends play a vital role along the road to recovery. The support system can assist by encouraging the patient to stick with the treatment regimen and apply the skills learned in depression therapy to cope and solve daily problems.

Family members who live together with a depressed person may also experience a stressful and difficult life. Watching a family member struggling with depression may bring about their own feelings of loss and deep despondency. Frequently family therapy is necessary to help family members to identify ways to cope with the depression together.

Supplemental Depression Therapy: Medications

Drugs reduce depression symptoms effectively, especially in moderate to severe depression. In most cases, a combination therapy of drugs and psychotherapy is applied to achieve a quick and effective result. However, close supervision from a professional is needed since these drugs carry concomitant negative effects.

Finally depression gravely impairs any person’s ability to function to everyday situations effectively. Nevertheless, recovery is not impossible for those who seek help. To fight off depression and regain control of life, depression therapy offers a clear road to recovery.

Effectively Managing Stress – Tips That Will Work

It seems like businesses nowadays are always looking to lay off their employees while holding on to as much of their profits as possible. That makes holding down a job these days is difficult. If you feel stressed at work or in other situations, tend to the issue immediately. The tips to follow contain ideas that will help you start effectively managing stress instead of stress managing you.

Begin Effectively Managing Stress by Changing how you deal with it

If you handle stress in unhealthy ways, find more productive ways to start effectively managing stress. If you drink or eat too much when stressed take up exercise. When you replace a bad habit with a good one and stay healthy, you will see that the stress in your every day life is significantly lowered.

  • If you want to relieve stress, consider participating in crafts projects. By using your creativity, you will allow your mind to free itself of things such as deadlines.
  • Try to make your plans in advance so that you can reduce some stress in your life. If your vehicle is low on gas, go ahead and fill up now rather than waiting until it’s empty.
  • Slow, deep breathing is a fast, effective way to immediately reduce your stress. When you start feeling overwhelmed or anxious, studies have proven that by breathing deeply, you can start to feel better.
  • Give yoga a try if you desire a really good method for handling stress. The point of yoga is to get your body and mind into a relaxed state. When you are doing yoga, you are thinking only of the movement involved. Yoga also helps to ease tension in your muscles. Your entire body and mind benefit greatly from all that yoga offers, and in the process your stress is minimized or even eliminated.
  • When you feel stressed or tense, firmly squeeze a stress ball. If you squeeze your hand in a fist and release it you can get rid of some of the body’s stress. This allows your muscles to unwind. Stress balls are easy to carry with you, and that’s one of the reasons they’re so effective when you have to handle frustration.
  • Drinking lots of water during the way will keep you satiated, eliminate harmful toxins from your body, and allow you to concentrate better during difficult times. This causes you to become less stressed. Drinking at least a liter every day is a good idea to keep your body hydrated and ward off stress.

Breathing Techniques

Practice breathing techniques that will help you relax and eliminate anxiety. An occasional breath that is deep and gradual can have a relaxing effect. Work on proper breathing techniques and watch your breathing during the day. If you find yourself breathing shallowly, slow down and take deep breaths to reduce your stress. Take a deep breath.

In conclusion, no one wants to have stress in their lives, be in their professional or personal life. At work or anywhere else in your life, stress can make it hard to function and lead to more serious problems. Take the advice you’ve learned here and put it into practice to battle your stress successfully!

Effectively Managing Stress

Managing Anxiety – Not Anxiety Managing You

Understanding and Managing Anxiety

By Brian H Allison

The experience of anxiety is common and universal. It is not an emotion restricted to the economically deprived nor to the politically oppressed. Successfully managing anxiety is an inescapable part of the human condition, for life on all its levels, from the international and governmental to the domestic and personal, is marked with uncertainty, perplexity, and stress. Many may deny their personal anxiety, or at least the intensity of it (even to themselves) for a variety of reasons, such as, the desire to avoid embarrassment, the sense of pride, the fear of rejection, the threat and unease of vulnerability, etc; notwithstanding, nearly everyone experiences anxiety to some degree. Its occurrence is disturbing and debilitating. Its persistence is crippling. As long as daily living is characterized by struggle, strife, and suffering, the anxiety-experience is an inevitability.

The Nature of Anxiety

Anxiety is a mental tension which expresses itself in worry, irritability, apprehension, or uneasiness. The mental tension results either from a sense of uncertainty about future or impending events, or from a sense of inability to control one’s environment or state of affairs. Anxiety is a natural emotional response of human beings endeavoring to survive and live comfortably. Anxiety is a constant reminder of humankind’s appalling frailty and its utter impotence to master its own destiny.

Anxiety and fear, though closely interrelated, are not synonymous concepts. Fear, sharply defined, is both the psychological and emotional response to a sense of being in danger. Fear is basically a survival mechanism in that it promotes self-preservation. Anxiety, however, is the warning signal of one’s increasing impotence to survive. It has been said that anxiety is “fear spread out thin.”

Not all anxiety is pernicious, but rather only certain forms of it. Psychologists, both secular and spiritual, generally believe that periodic mild anxiety assists in productivity and performance. Alertness is enhanced, motivation is stimulated, and concentration is heightened. One’s potential and ability are thus more efficiently harnessed. In fact, serious educational and socializing repercussions may result when anxiety is absent (such as typifies hardened criminal behaviour); or when anxiety is excessive (such as typifies sensitive children in a disruptive home).

The relationship between amiable and pernicious anxiety is similar to that of stress and distress. A moderate amount of stress is indispensable to peak performance and success. This fact is particularly evident with the athlete prepared to run a race or compete in a field event. However, the threat to health occurs when the increase of stress is transmuted into distress. This situation may arise with the business executive who has demanding daily quotas to fill and unrelenting deadlines to meet. Inefficiency and atrophy are the natural by-products. The outcome is the onset of serious emotional disturbances. Pernicious anxiety is particular focus of this article.

A further classification of anxiety may be helpful. Debilitating anxiety is basically of two types, namely, simple and neurotic. Simple anxiety is the temporary emotional tension which most people experience towards life’s pressures and struggles. Neurotic anxiety is emotional tension which has become an ingrained behavioural trait of one’s personality. A neurosis is a fixed emotional disturbance pervading the whole personality. Some neuroses, for instance, are obsessive-compulsive reaction, hysteria, phobia, hostility, neurasthenia, chronic depression, etc. An untreated neurosis may possibly develop into a psychosis, though this development is usually dependent upon hereditary and predispositional factors. Simple anxiety is primarily discussed in this article, though much of what is considered has equal relevance to neurotic anxiety. The intrinsic nature of anxiety remains constant, only its degree and intensity differ. Managing anxiety entails a specialized approach because the anxiety has become behaviorally entrenched. Personality maladjustment may also have to be addressed. The causative factors and the psycho-dynamics underlying the anxiety need to be discovered and investigated, which may require detailed discussion and analysis of childhood experiences and domestic training. People who suffer from neurotic anxiety typically need professional counseling.

The Effects of Anxiety

The costs of anxiety are exceedingly high. The effects are profound and far-reaching. These effects fall into three basic categories: the physical, the psycho-emotional, and the social. Let us first consider the physical effects of anxiety. Anxiety results in a whole array of physiological discomforts. One particular manifestation of anxiety can be labeled under psychosomatic symptoms, such as, the common upset stomach, heart palpitations, headaches, muscle cramps, and various bodily aches and pains. Sustained or chronic anxiety results in deteriorating physical health. Organic and functional illnesses, ranging from dyspepsia to heart disease, are the long term effects.

Anxiety may also occasion serious psycho-emotional disorders. Initially, failure in successfully managing anxiety decreases performance by curtailing reasoning abilities, dulling imaginative thinking, and causing general discouragement. Feelings of disorientation and depression may then ensue. Personality maladjustments are the eventuality.

Anxiety may also result in strained social relationships and retarded interpersonal development. Extremely anxious people may tend to avoid social contact, even with familiar friends, in order to reduce the anxiety level. Social contact tends to generate feelings of uncertainty, suspicion, and uneasiness, with the natural reaction being social withdrawal and alienation. Security and peace are construed as the fruit of separation and solitude. Accordingly, the development of communicative skills and social etiquette may be hampered. Extremely anxious people learn to live by themselves.

The Causes of Anxiety

The psycho-dynamics underlying anxiety are complex. Some psychologists generally describe anxiety as a vague and indirect feeling, having no particular source or fundamental cause. This claim can certainly be challenged. With anxiety there is typically a cause-effect relationship, though the cause may be hidden or misunderstood.

I suggest that the actual causes of anxiety are usually associated with specific tenuous mental states. There are basically three major tenuous mental states from which derive emotional disturbances. The first of these is guilt. Guilt by its very nature creates psychic tension. Guilt is the sense of personal wrongdoing and being liable for punishment. The guilt may be false or true (imaginary or real, psychological or moral). In either case, the psychic experience and tension are similar. True or real guilt results from the transgression or rejection either of some authoritative or socially-established law. When a person steals another’s possession, he or she may sense guilt. False or imaginary guilt, on the other hand, results from the failure to conform to the expectations or judgements of others. For instance, a child’s peers may ridicule him because he has played poorly on the sport’s team, though he has performed to his full potential. He may then feel that he has failed his friends. Consequently, he feels guilty. This guilt is ‘unjustified’, for the supposed offense does not involve moral culpability. Some of the secondary mental states attributable to guilt are depression, discouragement, loneliness, insecurity, despair, etc.

Many neuroses have guilt as their central component. Usually the impetus underlying false guilt is the need to please, to win the approval of, or to be accepted by, others. The person who feels guilty should thus ask himself or herself a series of questions: What kind of guilt am I experiencing? Is it a justified guilt? What is the cause or reason for the guilt? What is the proper way to view the situation? If the guilt is morally justified, then moral action should be pursued in order to address and resolve it. If the guilt is (morally) unjustified, then it should be acknowledged as such, assessed as harmful, and even wrong, and disowned.

The second major tenuous mental state which may generate anxiety is egoism. The individual suffering from egoism has a preoccupation with himself and with his personal needs. It should be noted that a common trait of the egoistic state of mind is anger. Egoism has two fundamental dimensions, namely, superiority (arrogance) and inferiority (inadequacy). A superior disposition compels a person to obsessively strive for personal attention and to secure the applause and praise of others. His conceit, exaggerated self-love, and his need for recognition often foster an insensitive, judgmental, and even merciless attitude. His behavior is also potentially volatile. Various examples from the worlds of show biz and professional sports could easily be cited by way of illustration. Some secondary mental states of a superior disposition are hostility, jealousy, hatred, bitterness, resentment, and envy.

An inferior disposition appears to be the more prevalent of the two dimensions in those who suffer from anxiety. An inferior disposition compels a person to socially withdraw and to feel intimidated around people. This person feels unworthy of personal recognition, and even love. He or she even lacks in self-respect. This person feels that anything he or she does is either not right or not good enough. This person views himself or herself as a failure. The child who is continually criticized by his authoritarian mother (for instance, because of an inability to intellectually grasp certain concepts in a particular discipline) may tend to view himself as stupid. Consequently, he may lose interest in academics altogether. He eventually may lose all confidence even in his ability to think.

The person with an inferior disposition learns to dislike himself, and consequently believes that others do not like him either. He or she often becomes a perfectionist, which is the path to a very unsatisfying, frustrating, and unhappy life. The person predictably never quite makes the grade, regardless of how hard he or she may try. The secondary mental states of an inferior disposition are depression, discouragement, emptiness, loneliness, insecurity, jealousy, hatred, envy, etc.

The third major tenuous mental state is fear. Not all fear is malignant. Instinctive fear is required for physical survival. Morbid fear is pernicious and is characterized by a slavish preoccupation with personal safety and well-being. An immoderate concern over securing (or maintaining) an admirable public image, a respected reputation, a high social status, good health, family welfare, material possessions, etc., may effectuate morbid fear. Morbid fear often arises when an exaggerated value or importance is assigned to these particular objects. The motivational belief is that the procurement of these objects will provide security. The person’s perception, however, has become distorted. Consequently, the threat of loss or damage of these objects may be paralyzing, and even incapacitating. The secondary mental states of fear are depression, insecurity, suspicion, panic, etc. Fear is also the essential component of various neuroses, such as, hysteria, phobia, and paranoia.

These three major tenuous mental states–guilt, egoism, fear–may may be situational or chronic. If they are situational, then their duration is temporary, if handled appropriately. If they are chronic, then professional counseling may be required in order to discover and examine the causative factors. In managing anxiety (we shall say more about this shortly), the existing mental state should be confronted and fully explored. The psychic tension is mitigated through the exposure of its underlying cause(s). In exploring the underlying cause(s) of anxiety, the antecedent perception(s) of any given mental state should be examined. One’s mental perception determines the particular mental state which is responsible for ensuing anxiety. The personal interpretation of a situation/set of circumstances effects a corresponding mental state. For instance, a person may notice after a business meeting that a colleague is looking askance at him. The colleague’s facial expression may be totally innocent and unself-conscious. However, this person, especially if he is generally suspicious and naturally sensitive, may interpret this facial expression as antagonistic. As a result of that faulty mental perception, the person may then feel guilty and rejected. He may then begin to scrutinize himself minutely, reflecting upon his present relationships and questioning his past deeds and actions. If this fallacious thinking persists, this person may eventually become depressed and anxious.

Hence, generally speaking, managing anxiety must be accomplished indirectly. For example, a person may suffer from a rejection syndrome. As a result of the psychic conflict, he may find himself continuously anxious, completely unaware that the anxiety is the result of this particular psychic conflict. The sufferer must come to realize the relationship between the psychic conflict and the anxiety. Further, an adjustment of perception or a reframing of interpretation is also critical in correcting emotional disturbances. Adjusting personal perceptions, or reframing personal interpretations, does not result in a masking or denial of the truth of the given situation, nor does it result in a subtle form of self-delusion. Mental adjustment or psychic reframing simply allows for the achievement of a right perspective in order that there may be proper understanding. The ultimate goal is to learn to think clearly and correctly.

Managing Anxiety

Successfully managing anxiety, as with other emotional disturbances, there are different schools of thought. Various therapists advocate some form of behaviour modification, such as, relaxation training, thought-stopping, modeling, and behaviour rehearsal. These techniques may prove partially helpful, but an obvious deficiency with behaviour modification is that the perception(s) and mental state that engender the anxiety may not comprise the fundamental focus or consideration in the treatment. Treatment must be primarily cognitive, not behavioural. The behavioural is usually secondary and concomitant.

Some direction managing anxiety has already been furnished above. Further elaboration and suggestions are now offered. As already argued, anxiety is dependent upon one’s mental state. Therefore, managing anxiety must begin with a confrontation and analysis of the mental state responsible for the anxiety. This approach, of course, will include a consideration of one’s perception and interpretation of the situation(s) occasioning the mental state.

First, confrontation involves self-consciously addressing one’s thinking. It consists of self-consciously turning inward on one’s thoughts and observing them in as objective a manner as possible. It is seeking to identify the commensurate thoughts of the experienced anxiety. For example, an aspiring young minister may become extremely anxious days before he is to preach. This anxiety may be more than simple “stage fright”. His mental state, though unconsciously recognized (which is often the case), may be one of fear. He may be fearful of not being impressive; fearful of rejection; fearful of appearing inadequate. Confrontation is the mental act of being honest and courageous with oneself.

Analysis is a more complex process than confrontation. It involves the critical examination of one’s mental state with a view to the understanding of its origin, justification, and validity. For example, in feeling anxiety, one may recognize that he is harboring guilt. He should ask himself why he is experiencing guilt or what has occasioned this guilt. It may be that he didn’t shake a fellow church member’s hand on Sunday or that he asked a rather simple question in the economic’s class. He then should ask himself whether it is right to feel this guilt, whether he really committed a wrong. In the first case, he may not have had a real opportunity to shake the member’s hand and thus should not feel guilty. In any event, he is not obligated to shake the person’s hand every Sunday.

Hand-shaking is an expression of spiritual fellowship and not one of mere religious duty. In the second case above, he may have asked a question to which he didn’t know the answer in order to clarify a point or enhance comprehension, and thus he should not be concerned about other peoples’ personal evaluations. He apparently is seeking to learn and grow. In the two cases cited, the person probably shouldn’t feel guilty. Next, he should ask himself what would have been the proper way to perceive and interpret the situation (i.e., the reasonable, objective way). In these two cases, the guilt is false and thus should be rejected. His thinking is faulty. His mental state is morally unjustified. So, analysis involves a close and intense investigation of the dynamics underlying and shaping one’s mental state in order to evaluate the propriety of such a state. The origin of such a state may find its roots in some childhood experience, rendering analysis complicated, and professional help may be needed at this point.

Analysis allows one to assume a particular mental position (an objective one) in order to correct a tenuous mental state which has arisen. Often when one confronts his or her thoughts and recognizes the commensurate thoughts of the experienced anxiety, he or she simultaneously recognizes the origin of the mental state (if the anxiety is situational). Hence, in this two-fold process of confrontation and analysis, it would be beneficial for the sufferer to discuss his or her anxieties with a close friend or with a competent associate. Honest, transparent communication is very therapeutic.

This exercise of ‘confrontation and analysis’ should be viewed as a special kind of cognitive procedure, namely, self-examination. This procedure allows for an object-subject relationship to be established between the sufferer and the anxiety (with its causative factors). The sufferer, rather than remaining indistinguishably one with the anxiety, being “caught up” by it as it were, is able to stand over and against it. This psycho-positioning in itself diffuses some of the force of the anxiety, but more importantly, it initiates a dissipating mechanism. The sufferer should become ‘the watcher’ or ‘the observer’. The sufferer is now able to become somewhat emotionally removed from the experience itself, establishing a quasi-objective situation in order to evaluate the validity and origin of the anxiety itself, as well as the justification for the occasioning situation giving rise to such anxiety.

This “objectivizing”–moving from a subjective relationship with respect to the anxiety (and its occasioning situation) to a quasi-objective relationship–is critical for effectively managing anxiety. Ignorance simply perpetuates the condition, and may even intensify it. Self-understanding is at the core of mental health. Only on the basis of self-understanding can the edifice of self-adjustment solidly stand. The emotive is secondary; the cognitive is primary. The emotions merely reflect or express thoughts and perceptions. Emotions are not isolated and independent entities. They are necessarily dependent upon how and what one thinks. Treatment, therefore, must be primarily cognitive. Emotional disturbances must be treated indirectly, by directly treating one’s cognitive state.

Accordingly, with the stages of ‘confrontation’ and ‘analysis’ achieved, the stage for ‘transformation’ is set. In order to overcome anxiety, one needs a change in his or her thinking patterns and attitudes. The ancient New Testament counsel of St. Paul underscores the validity and benefit of this point. He writes, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil 4:8,9).

This mind transformation, particularly in reference to anxiety, also entails cultivating a proper mind-set. This mind-set is characterized by two perspectives. First, there must be a present perspective on issues. Many anxieties stem from the assumption of a future perspective which is conducive to uncertainty and doubt. One should focus on the issues and challenges of any current day, and try not to overly focus on, and worry about, future days (which does not discount the need for proper planning). One must discipline himself to train his mind to be currently-focused, though future-aware.

Second, one should try to cultivate a more universal perspective. One should examine, analyze, and assess matters and events within the larger scope of the ‘global village’ and the ‘collective consciousness’. Narrow-mindedness and an unreasonable preoccupation with personal details typically provoke anxiety. Excessive attention given to life’s details, failing to evaluate them within the larger setting, results in a misconception of what constitutes real value and true significance.

In addition to the preceding remarks for managing anxiety, there are some practical steps which may be adopted in order to maintain control over anxiety. First, changes should be made concerning the anxiety-provoking situation(s). For instance, if one is anxious about arriving at work on time, then the clock should be possibly set 30 minutes earlier. Second, a list of daily duties and responsibilities should be made, preferably with the more exacting and demanding duties listed first. One should list only what he or she believes may be accomplished that day. Third, there should be a schedule of periodic breaks and recreation times for each day. Even walking briefly outdoors can be invigorating. Fourth, sufficient sleep each night is required. A healthy body contributes to a healthy mind. Fifth, a program of regular exercise should be adopted. Physical exercise is paramount. Exercise advances stamina and stability. Sixth, one should learn to “talk through” his or her frustrations and problems with a close friend. Again, honest, transparent communication can be quite therapeutic. Seventh, vacations should be taken regularly, and they should be a complete change from daily routine. Eighth, regular medical check-ups should be scheduled. Anxiety can have a biological or chemical basis. Ninth, one should adopt the practice of listening to melodious music. The right kind of music has a soothing and beneficial effect. Tenth, one should develop a good circle of friends. Learning to socialize has psychological benefits and rewards. One acquires a sense of belonging. Also, a good support system is indispensable for emotional well-being. Eleventh, a hobby should be undertaken. Interest and enthusiasm release positive and well-directed energy. Twelfth, eating nutritiously and healthily may help mitigate anxiety. Along with organic foods, one should consider such supplements as vitamins B and D, omega 3 fatty acids, and such minerals as calcium and magnesium. Herb teas, like chamomile, may also prove supportive.

For other resources and aids for self-improvement and personal growth, check out the author’s website Maranatha-Counseling.com

Disturbed Sleep: The Most Common Causes

  • disturbed sleep
  • disturbed sleep
  • disturbed sleep
As anyone who has ever suffered insomnia knows, getting up after a disturbed sleep is very much like getting up with a hangover. You feel drained, out of sorts, and probably with a headache as well.

This happens to more of us than you might think. Some recent sleep research studies indicate that as many as a third of US adults report experience disturbed sleep episodes more than one night per week. These problems with getting enough sleep can easily lead to other health problems like high blood pressure and worsening depression.

Of course there are many, many reasons why we deal with disturbed sleep. Listed here are several that might be robbing you of your good night’s rest.

  • STRESS No surprise here, especially since a majority of US adults report feeling high or moderate stress within the last thirty days.
    It isn’t realistic to think stress can be entirely eliminated but it is possible to learn to turn off the worry and racing thoughts when it is time for bed. Techniques such as meditation, bio-feedback, and quiet music can help.
  • DEPRESSION Insomniacs have ten times the risk for depression than those who get enough sleep. On the other hand, folks who suffer from depression also struggle with insomnia. Often it difficult to tell which condition came first.
    Making things worse is a commonly prescribed class of medications used to treat depression called “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” can often times exacerbate certain sleep disorders. If you are being treated for depression and are also having trouble sleeping it is important to have a conversation with your doctor about the possible side effects of that medication.
  • CAFFEINE Though this might seem self evident, caffeine will remain in the bloodstream for a much longer than you might realize. And although it depends a lot on a person’s metabolism, it can take as long as 14 hours for the body to get rid of just half of the caffeine you consume. If you do the math, this means that half the caffeine you drank at 8:00AM is still with you at 10:00PM that night.
    And don’t forget that tea and coffee are not the only caffeine loaded foods. Both Chocolate and soft drinks are loaded with caffeine as well.
    If caffeine is a normal part of your routine, and you are having trouble sleeping, cut out everything with caffeine from your diet and see if your sleep patterns improve.
  • ALCOHOL Many of us will have a drink or two to unwind after a difficult day in the belief that it will help us sleep. And, of course, it does because alcohol does induce sleep.
    But alcohol negatively impacts sleep in a number of ways. It reduces REM sleep and increases non-REM sleep which is a much lighter sleep. As the body metabolizes the alcohol as the night wears on, sleep is much shallower and easily interrupted.
    As with caffeine, the suggestion is to stop drinking until any sleep problems are alleviated.

Although some disturbed sleep disorders are indications of more serious conditions, the majority are simply reactions to actions we take during the day. For most of us just a few minor changes in lifestyle is all it takes to restore good sleeping habits.

But, if you have made an honest effort and are still having problems with sleep, then by all means speak with your doctor about what else might be causing your  problems with disturbed sleep.

Natural Treatments for Anxiety

Natural Treatments for Anxiety Symptoms

4 Effective Natural Treatments for Anxiety

The term “anxiety” covers a lot of different emotions. It can mean a feeling of worry, fearfulness, and nervousness, or can even cause the onset of panic attacks that can be very devastating. Treating anxiety runs the whole range from weekly therapy sessions, to prescription medications, to home remedies. Without judging any of these options here are four methods you can try that may well bring your anxiety symptoms under control without therapy and without prescription medications.

Remove All Caffeine from your Diet

Because caffeine is used in so many different products it is sometimes referred to as the most common drug. And avoiding all caffeine can be quite a challenge. Caffeine is used in soft drinks, tea, chocolate, coffee, energy drinks, pain relieving medication, headache medication and more. To avoid it completely, you will have to become accustomed to reading product labels very closely.

While caffeine is quickly absorbed by the bodies systems, it is also expelled quickly. To be certain that caffeine is not interrupting your sleep patterns, don’t consume any product containing it any later than six hours before

The drug also elevates the amounts of adrenaline, a stress hormone. This can quite easily trigger anxiety symptoms like feelings of stress and tension. Even worse, each time the body produces excess adrenaline unnecessarily it creates additional stress on the nervous system which can also lead to even more anxiety and tension.

Follow a Balanced Diet

The purpose in eating good foods is to provide the body with the appropriate vitamins, minerals, and other nutrient fuel to help all systems work at their peak capabilities. When your diet is not healthy, all sorts of imbalances happen and, arguably, some of these imbalances are leading causes for anxiety and panic attacks.

The best way to get the proper nutrients is to eat the right foods. Build a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and whole grains and restrict the amounts and types of processed foods. This is so important that you should do your own research online at respected nutritional information sites such as nutrition.gov, food and nutrition information center, and the nutrition source. If you still have questions, then consult a credentialed nutritionist.

Take a Multivitamin Daily

Hand in hand with eating a proper diet is also taking a good multivitamin daily. Even when your diet is balanced and healthy, a multivitamin daily ensures that the machine that is your body is receiving all the right fuel it requires.  To put it another way, once you get your diet under control a multivitamin will fill in any gaps for what your diet might be missing.

Establish an Exercise Routine and Stick with it

Even a little bit of exercise goes a long way towards relieving anxiety symptoms. Just a half hour walk is far better than nothing at all and the more you do, the better you will feel. It isn’t possible to dwell on all the reasons why you are anxious while the body is physically active. Using exercise to fight your anxiety is a great way to feel better physically and mentally at the same time.

And, while you are exercising, unplug from the world. Leave the phone, MP3 player, tablet and laptops behind and just unplug for a while. You will be surprised how much calmer you will be with just a half hour or so of uninterrupted quiet.

To be sure these ideas aren’t going to work for everyone. Many times anxiety symptoms are an indication of more serious mental and emotional disorders that do require professional attention. But, too many times we turn to those remedies without even trying to solve our own problems.

These four suggestions are easy to accomplish, very low cost, and will work if given the chance in a large number of cases. So, before making an appointment with a therapist, or asking for prescription medications, try these first. After all, what do you have to lose but your anxiety?

Antidepressant Medication

Prescription antidepressant medications are an important tool in the medical toolbox for treating depression. This class of medications works because they adjust the balance of chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters. The brains of those who suffer with depression symptoms don’t utilize these chemicals correctly and medications relieve this problem by making these necessary chemicals more easily available to brain cells.

For most people antidepressants are very effective and even more so when used with in combination with therapy sessions (psychotherapy). Although most that are prescribed antidepressants eventually go see improvement in mood, it is an important fact that these drugs take time to work. Mostly, it will take a minimum of two to three weeks before a patient begins to feel better and much longer, as much as three months, to get all the benefits they can offer.

It is also a fact that many patients do not respond well to the first drug prescribed. In these cases, it is the patient’s responsibility to be open and honest with their doctor about their lack of progress so a new dosage or new prescription can be tried. But, at least three weeks should be allowed to determine if a medication is effective.

Always Take Care With Antidepressant Medication

Care must always be taken with any antidepressant medication. Even if the dosage is correct and the medication is performing well patients often are tempted to stop taking the medication without consulting their doctor. Their reasons may be that the schedule of doses may not fit well with their lifestyle or because of unpleasant or unwanted side effects of the medication such as weight gain. The key is to not stop taking medication even if you are feeling better. For most people, it takes up to a year for medication to be completely successful.

If there are unwanted side effects of any medication, let your doctor know immediately. There are effective strategies to help you manage most of them. For example, if taking your depression medication with food causes nausea, schedule your does between meals. If you experience libido or erection difficulties, another type of medication may be able to help. Also, side effects are often worst in the beginning of treatment and many can diminish on their own.

Antidepressant medication can interact with other medicines you are taking, and sometimes even with OTC dietary or herbal supplements. Obviously unwanted drug interactions can cause severe side effects and even reduce the effectiveness of your antidepressant treatment. It is critical that your doctor be aware of any new prescription or OTC medicine, including supplements, which you are taking.

After some time, you and your doctor will have to decide when is the right time for you to stop taking your antidepressant medication. There is a danger that stopping abruptly can cause side effects or, in some cases, even a relapse. Most frequently, you will gradually reduce your dosage over a period of time to prevent such occurrences. During this period you should keep your doctor well informed of any sudden changes you might experience.