Anxiety disorder statistics and medical approaches to resolving anxiety, panic attacks, generalized anxiety and other stress disorders. You will also find here information about natural, holistic and nutritional approaches to resolving anxiety and stress.
According to The Mayo Clinic
Approximately 3% to 13% of people in Western countries experience social anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. The disorder typically begins to be most noticeable in the early to mid-teens, but can sometimes start much earlier or later. It is more prevalent in females than in males.
According to the NIH (National Institute of Mental Health)
“Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if they are not treated.”
“Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the anxiety disorder.”
According to the DSM (American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) the criteria of Social Anxiety Disorder include:
- Avoidance of situations that may produce anxiety
- Persistent fears of social situations in which they feel they may be embarrassed or humiliated.
- Anxiety level is excessive or out of proportion for the situation
- Anxiety affects his or her life on a daily basis
- Social situations cause a lot of anxiety.
Medical Approaches to Anxiety Disorders Anti-Anxiety Medications
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox and Prozac are the most common medications prescribed for patients with social anxiety disorder. They are not always effective and can cause a number of side effects which may include:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Suicidal thoughts
Benzodiazepines – these anti-anxiety medications help reduce anxiety levels. Examples include Xanax and Klonopin. These can cause dependence and have side affects which may include:
- Loss of balance
- Memory loss
Beta-blockers – this type of medication helps block the stimulating effects of adrenaline (epinephrine). They are usually prescribed for specific situations, such as having to make a presentation. They are not used for general treatment.
Medications may work somewhat for the time you take them, though they are not a long-term solution. There are also many possible negative side-effects. Many people do not like the way it feels to be on them, and want something that is truly effective. A child’s brain, a developing brain should not be medicated. That is setting the child up for a life-time of physical and mental illnesses.
Holistic, Biochemical and Nutritional Approaches
Diet and nutrition definitely play an important factor in contributing to and resolving anxiety disorders. It is often necessary to clean up the diet by lessening foods and drinks that cause stress on the body, brain, adrenals, heart and nervous system. This includes foods high in sugar and that raise sugar levels, such as grain based products. Certain food additives and preservatives, like MSG and high fructose corn syrup can also cause excessive stress, inflammation and allergic reactions in the body-mind. So can wheat and gluten in people sensitive to it. Food and drinks that contain caffeine should also be avoided by highly sensitive people prone to anxiety.
People who have been suffering with high stress and anxiety often are in need of and can greatly benefit from additional nutritional supplement support. There is often a greater need for magnesium, natural food-based B complex, vitamin C. Adaptogenic herbal supplements and adrenal support are often highly beneficial in lessening anxiety and stress in the body-mind. Adequate protein and fats from healthy sources are also important and beneficial.
Digestive disorders are also common and can play a major role in anxiety. Liver, gallbladder and thyroid conditions as well. As are nutritional deficiencies. It is important to address these issues. The physical body and biochemical issues are often overlooked.
Toxic conditions like excessive lead or mercury in the body, pesticides and other toxic chemicals are known to cause anxiety producing stress on the brain, hormonal and nervous systems. They will need to be safely detoxed from the body.
Endocrine and neurotransmitter disorders also can play a role in anxiety disorders. Sanesco has an excellent program for diagnosing and remedying neurotransmitter imbalances, including serotonin, as well as safely transitioning off pharmaceutical medications and using natural alternatives instead.
Where can I find nutritional and herbal support for anxiety disorders?
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To find out more about Sanesco products and the HPA Profile Neurotransmitter and Adrenal Assessment, click here.