Archive for March, 2010

Worry and Anxiety

Anxiety and worry are part of everyday life. In today’s world there are many things that can cause us to worry or have anxiety such as job security, financial debts, relationships, our health or the health of loved ones. The list could go on and on. Anxiety is a natural part of life. Everyone has it.

Anxiety triggers our brain to produce adrenaline when we feel threatened to confront the real danger or a difficult situation. An alarm system has been activated, this is how it all starts. Our nervous system has been warned that something is wrong, that danger is present or possible. Cortisol is secreted. These stimulants rapidly course through the body. This state prepares our bodies for large physical or mental challenges. It helps us run faster from danger, study harder, and confront other obstacles. This “fight or flight” mode is triggered when anxiety reaches a certain point. The dictionary definition of worry states: anxiety and cause of anxiety. The dictionary definition for anxiety states: uneasiness usually over an expected misfortune. Okay so when does worry and anxiety become a problem?

The point that normal anxiety grows to be a problem varies with each person, depending on their resilience, the way they handle stress, and how they control their anxiety. The simple test is that anxiety becomes a problem when it starts to affect other areas of your life. The worrying can become so excessive, distressing, and intrusive that it interferes with normal functioning. Its difficult or impossible to control the anxiety and focus on something else. There are a host of physical symptoms associated with anxiety disorder. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  1.  strong episodes of anxiousness and panicky feelings
  2. racing heart and chest discomfort
  3. dizziness or lightheadedness
  4. feelings of bewilderment and unreality
  5. inner nervousness
  6. scary, uncontrollable thoughts
  7. nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea
  8. hot and cold flashes
  9. numbness or strange aches and pains, muscle tension
  10. feelings of depression and hopelessness
  11. restless feelings, sleeping too much or insomnia
  12. difficulty in breathing (hyperventilation)
  13. uncontrollable bouts of anger

People that have an anxiety disorder then tend to worry and stress over the physical symptoms internalizing a fear of having a heart attack, going insane, losing control, embarrassment, death, illness, hurting themselves or someone else, fainting, or difficulty in breathing. The irony is that these fears actually create the above symptoms and the above symptoms create these fears. It become a very vicious cycle.

It has been estimated that as many as 10% of the people who repeatedly make visits to health-care providers may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are very treatable. Treatment methods can include medication, and talk therapy with a professional counselor. In therapy you will learn to deal with worry, negative thoughts, and the “what ifs” syndrome not only for a short term but for the rest of your life. 

Until Next Time,

Lory Naugle, MS, NCC, DCC

Welcome to my first Blog Post

Okay it is finally happening. I am officially blogging and from my own website! You see I am trained as a professional counselor and not an IT person. Counseling continues to evolve into the 21st century and the majority of people seeking counseling now find their counselors through the internet. The other evolution that is continuing to grow is that of receiving counseling through distance means such as through secure email, secured chat room, skype, and telephone counseling. These are convenient ways to receive the help you need by a professional able to provide it and adds a new dimension to the field of counseling. I offer counseling in my office and also by distance means through my web site.

Blogging is the next step in my growth as a competent counselor who is becoming internet savy. In my blogs I hope to provide you (my readers) with information that pertains to mental health issues. Some of my forth coming posts will include the difference between anxiety and worry, grief and ways to handle it, children issues, and tips to help live life to its fullest. So here it is, the first blog post of  my journey. I hope you will take the trip with me and keep coming back. 

Until next time,

Lory Naugle, MS, NCC, DCC

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