losing touch with reality

The signs may be quite subtle at first. A friend or loved one may seem “off” of late. They may have stopped caring about their appearance, not their norm at all. Maybe you are plagued with a sense that someone is watching you.

These early signs of a mental health issue may not seem a problem at first. But as the symptoms begin to gather steam it may mean you are losing touch with reality.

Psychosis is the symptom of a mental health disorder, not an illness itself. An estimated 100,000 people in the U.S. have these symptoms each year. These center on having trouble knowing what is real versus a figment of their imagination. Their actions and thoughts are simply not the norm for the person.

When you notice that you or a loved one seems to be out of touch with reality it is time to seek help. It could be that the symptoms relate to a health or neural problem that needs treatment. If it is indeed the early signs of psychosis, getting timely care is key.

What are Psychotic Disorders?

Psychotic disorders are the types of mental illness that feature the loss of touch with what’s real. These feature odd actions, feelings, and thoughts. People will see or hear things that are not really there. When a mental health issue has psychosis as a primary symptom, it will be called a psychotic disorder.

According to an article in JAMA, about 3.5% of U.S. adults will have psychosis at some point. Its features can be caused by severe anxiety, depression, or bipolar. It can also be its own mental health disorder.

The cause of this type of mental health issue is still mainly unknown. There are, though, some theories. These include that neural problems, viral infections, extreme trauma or prolonged stress, certain drugs, and genes could factor in.

Different Types of Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders emerge with differing features while sharing core traits. The types of these disorders include:

  • Schizophrenia. This is the most common type of psychotic disorder. Symptoms focus on losing touch with reality, with hallucinations, delusional thoughts, angry outbursts, and extreme mood swings.
  • Schizoaffective disorder. This combines features of schizophrenia with a mood disorder that includes depressive or manic episodes.
  • Brief psychotic disorder. Brief psychotic disorder is a short-lived disorder that is sometimes triggered by a traumatic event.
  • Schizophreniform disorder. This is similar to schizophrenia but tends to affect young adults and teens, and lasts 1-6 months in duration.

What Are the Symptoms of Psychosis?

The main feature of psychosis is losing contact with what’s real. The different types of these disorders will have unique features. There are, though, some general symptoms. Example of common symptoms include:

  • Insomnia.
  • Feelings of being watched.
  • Mental confusion.
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations.
  • Delusional thoughts.
  • Strange or confused speech or writing.
  • Inappropriate behavior.
  • Avoids social scenes.
  • Decline in academic or work performance.
  • Unusual body positioning or movement.
  • Paranoid behavior.
  • Unusual preoccupation.
  • Irrational or angry behaviors.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Loss of interest in appearance and hygiene.
  • Personality changes.

The earlier the disorder is addressed and treated, the better the clinical outcome.

Treatment for Psychotic Disorders

Treatment of psychotic disorders relies mostly on psychotherapy and drug therapy:

Psychotherapy: While in a treatment the individual will be involved in therapy. The focus involves helping the person regain healthy thought patterns. One-on-one, group, and family therapy are all offered in the program.

Support groups: Group sessions allow small groups to discuss and share their mental health issues based on the topics. These groups provide a safe space for sharing, and also foster peer support.

Coping skills: Part of treatment is helping the person to improve their social skills. This gives them the tools to get along with people better.

Meds: Drugs are prescribed to help reduce symptoms. This helps improve quality of life.

ECT: This is reserved for the most severe forms of psychosis in those who do not respond to the meds.

Holistic therapies: Activities such as yoga, mindfulness training, guided meditation, acupuncture, and massage help control stress. Patients learn how to initiate mindfulness at any time of day.

Transitional housing. It can be helpful for the patient to reside in housing that is geared toward the healing process. This type of housing provides a safe living space that allows the patient to slowly adjust to regular daily life.

When Does a Psychotic Break Require Hospitalization?

When someone has a psychotic break they are no longer are tracking with reality. In this case it may be proper to have the person admitted. This might be a psychiatric hospital or a wing within a hospital. This level of care is distinct, as a hospital is equipped to manage a severe mental health event. In the hospital setting the patient will likely be kept in a special ward away from other patients. They may need to be restrained to avoid the risk of self-harm or harm to others.

In the hospital settling, the individual will be watched closely. Medications will be reviewed and the focus will be on acute stabilization measures. This process may take a couple of days. Later the patient can step down to a residential mental health treatment center.

Elevation Behavioral Health Leading Residential Mental Health Center in Los Angeles

Elevation Behavioral Health is a private mental health program. It features a small, cozy, home-like space for healing. Elevation Behavioral treats all forms of mental health disorders, including psychotic disorders, using a proven approach. If you feel you’re losing touch with the real world, contact our team today at (888) 561-0868.

 

So Depressed Cant Function

Anyone who has ever suffered through a bout of prolonged depression can attest to how depleted it makes you feel. In what seems like an instant, you feel so down that you can’t function. Even the most mundane tasks are so hard to complete.

The effects of the depression touch all aspects of life. Coworkers will complain that you are not pulling your weight. Loved ones will feel they are being neglected. Even your health will begin to suffer. Depression is a serious mental illness that should not be ignored.

Crawling out of the dark hole of depression takes effort. When in the thick of it you might not feel you can muster up the strength to beat it. But with expert psychiatric help, and lots of patience, daily functioning and quality of life will be restored.

What Causes Depression?

Why do some people manage to cycle through setbacks while others get stuck in depression? Life events, such as loss of a loved one, divorce, job loss, or financial problems can be so hard. Why are some people better able to cope with these?

Science is still unclear about the exact cause of major depression. Studies are ongoing, seeking answers through the study of the brain, gut health, and genetic markers. Still, depression is complex and hard to get a handle on.

There are some factors that can lead to depression. These include:

  • Genetics. Family members who also have struggled with depression.
  • Abuse. Past history of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Trauma. Seeing or experiencing a highly traumatic event.
  • Loss. Sudden loss of a loved one.
  • Health problems. Some health issues can cause symptoms of depression.
  • Medications. Certain drugs can cause depression.
  • Substance abuse. Depression can co-occur with substance abuse.

The Symptoms of Depression

When you are not being able to function at even the routine daily tasks, you may indeed have depression. According to the DSM-5, depression exists when the symptoms (a cluster of five or more) persist for more than two weeks. The symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling sadness or despair most of the time.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Slowed thought functions and movements.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Sudden weight change.
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyed.
  • Feelings of guilt or shame.
  • Having trouble making decisions or staying focused.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

How is Depression Treated?

The treatment plan for major depression includes both antidepressants and therapy. In recent years, holistic therapies have been also found to enhance the overall treatment outcomes.

Antidepressant Drug Therapy

Currently, there are about thirty antidepressant drugs on the market. These drugs are classified into four groups, including:

  •  SSRI
  •  SNRI
  •  MAOI
  • Tricyclics

These drugs remain the core treatment method for depression. The effects of the medication may take 4-6 weeks to be felt. Sometimes doses need to be tweaked or other drugs trialed to find the best fit.

Antidepressants come with an array of side effects that make these drugs hard to prescribe. A doctor will weigh the benefits against the side effects when he or she decides to prescribe them. Common side effects include weight gain, sexual issues, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, and insomnia.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is part of the core treatment for depression. The type of therapy chosen is based on the type of issues that factor into the depression. Psychotherapy can be offered in one-on-one sessions as well as group sessions.

Some of the types of therapy include:

  • CBT. CBT is a short-term therapy that assists patients in changing thoughts that hurt their mental health. They are taught to reshape them towards more positive thoughts while also changing behaviors.
  • DBT. DBT helps patients manage emotions and better cope with stress. DBT also helps teach healthy interpersonal skills.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy. Focuses on feelings and pain caused by past events, trauma, or childhood issues.
  • Interpersonal Therapy. Focuses on relationships, social skills, and helps with problem areas that might be factors in depression.
  • MBCT. Combines cognitive therapy with mindfulness to manage thoughts.

Holistic Therapies for Depression

There are some actions that can help a patient better manage their emotions and stress levels. When stress is controlled it can help to improve mood. Knowing how mind and body connect, mental health workers now include these in treatment. Some of these actions include:

  • Keep a journal. Patients find relief when they unload their thoughts and feelings on to the written page. This helps reduce the power of the problem while also helping them to process their feelings.
  • Mindfulness. This can help patients focus on the present moment instead of being distracted by negative thoughts.
  • Acupuncture: This ancient practice has shown promise as a natural treatment for helping to reduce low mood. Tiny needles are placed at certain parts of the body to help balance energy flow.
  • Aromatherapy. Certain essential oils can help boost mood. The essence of the oil is diffused into the air to be inhaled, or is rubbed onto certain points on the body.
  • Yoga. The yoga postures combined with deep breathing can increase GABA and help patients find some relief from depression symptoms.
  • Exercise. Regular cardio exercise is also a mood booster. This is because it can produce hormones that impact our state of mind. It can also help improve sleep quality and regulate stress, both of which will contribute to wellbeing.
  • Diet. A diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and fresh veggies and fruits also helps our mood.

When you feel like you can’t function it is time to seek help. There are many ways to improve mood and thus improve your life. Seek the mental health help you need today.

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Comprehensive Depression Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is a residential mental health program in L.A. If you are feeling so depressed that you can’t function, contact the team at Elevation. We are here to help you overcome depression and get your life back. Contact us today at (888) 561-0868.

Can You Go to Rehab for Depression

When you think of rehab, you probably think most often of treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. Many people, though, seek help at residential treatment centers every year for mental health issues. Inpatient treatment for depression can help improve the life of someone struggling with this serious mental health problem.

If you are having thoughts about harming yourself, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Understanding Depression

Depression is not something to be taken lightly. Nearly 7% of American adults are experiencing major depression in any given year. Pause for a moment and think about this. Take a sports stadium holding 40,000 people. This would mean that about 2800 people in the crowd have depression. It helps you see just how many people struggle with this difficult issue.

There are different types of depression. These may include major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, substance-induced depressive disorder, and postpartum depression. Since there are many types of depression, it is important to seek help from a trusted mental health worker. These experts can identify the exact type of depression, which allows them to treat it.

There are many self-help resources available, like anxiety and depression worksheets, self-help books, and support networks. Dealing with depression, though, often requires clinical therapy and medication. By working with a therapist and/or psychiatrist, you can get the right help. They will address the depression and help you recover fully. Without help, depression can escalate. There are many adverse affects of untreated depression.

According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, people with depression are four times as likely to have heart attacks. Depression is the cause of over ⅔ of suicides in the United States. There is no need to suffer like that. The National Institute of Health estimates that about 80% of those who seek help will improve in only 4-6 weeks. Sadly, over half of people who suffer from depression never seek clinical help.

Rehab for Depression and Anxiety Near Me

rehab for depression

While therapy, support groups, and meds can all be useful in treating depression, sometimes you may need a higher level of care. There are treatment centers that care for people struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Some of these rehabs address co-occurring disorders. This means the person has both a mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder.

At a rehab for depression, patients are offered professional care to help them recover. Through various types of therapy, the person works with a trained clinician to address their issues and improve. These therapies include CBT, interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and more.

In many cases, antidepressants and mood stabilizers are prescribed. A doctor will review each patient to determine his or her needs. During their stay, the person’s state of mind is closely observed to tell whether the medication is working. Together with the support network and therapy offered, the person improves. Slowly they begin to climb out of the depressed state.

Treatment centers that are primarily addiction rehabs may not have the right staff or program to address mental health disorders. Can you go to rehab for depression? Yes. But make sure you find a program that is truly equipped to help. With proper help at a depression rehab facility, people have the opportunity to fully recover and improve their quality of life. Depression is highly treatable.

When to Seek Inpatient Treatment for Depression

It may be helpful to seek help from a psychologist as a first step. As you build a relationship with a therapist, they will get to know your needs. Although depression will surface in certain ways, we are all unique. When a trained therapist sees you in ongoing sessions they begin to develop a plan for your care. Their expert help will go a long way in helping you manage your depression and improve your quality of life.

If you think you may need help, reach out. Find a center that offers inpatient treatment for depression and give them a call. We are just not equipped to figure out our depression on our own. Although you may not feel that you need inpatient treatment, it could perhaps be beneficial.

The biggest piece here to remember is that there are professionals out there to walk you through your situation. Suffering from any depressive disorder is painful, difficult, and can leave us feeling hopeless. Nobody has to go it alone. There are people willing to guide you through finding treatment, but first you need to ask for help. Although it may not feel like it, depression can be treated. It may take a little time to find the best treatment, but there are many methods out there. Reach out and get the help you need and deserve.

care for a loved one with mental illness

COVID-19 changed our world drastically.

There is never-ending news, alerts, bans, orders, double notifications, shortages, diplomacy, financial consequences. Most are too heavy to handle and absorb. The mental tension will calm down after the initial uncertainty, worries, anger, and frustration. Many would adapt to the growing environment as we adapted to the twists and turns of life.

It is important to keep in mind some of these symptoms are encountered by everyone from time to time, but may not inherently mean a person is depressed. Likewise, not every person who has depression would show any of those signs.

The real imbalance is of particular concern to those who lack social support. Depression risk factors, experience, and community supports can make it harder for others to adapt. Many with complex transition responses with signs of chronic distress, excessive anxiety, obsessions, isolation, and traumatic stress may suffer long-term consequences.

More so, in struggling days like this, there are many ways on how to cope with depression such as engaging in many entertaining online courses or enrolling in music lessons. Well, we got more for you.

Here, we have provided you a good read that would help you know how to care for a loved one with mental illness during lockdown.

Let’s start off with:

How Might the Pandemic Affect Those Experiencing Depression?

The tension of social isolation, anxiety about work, finances, and wellbeing and the intense feeling of deprivation that most of us are facing at the moment could intensify symptoms of depression if you have been already diagnosed.

Everything can feel incredibly gloomy and helpless when you’re suffering from depression. This will mess with your ability to think rationally, destroy your strength, and makes it terribly hard to keep going through the day challenging.

Signs That Someone May Be Depressed

Feeling down occasionally is a normal part of growing up. However, depression is considered when thoughts and feelings like despair and hopelessness take shape and just don’t go away.

More often than mere sadness in reaction to the difficulties and missteps of life, depression affects the way you think, feel, and function in everyday activities. It can interfere with learning, work, eat, sleep, and better living. It can be unbearable only to try and get through the day.

Tips to Help Someone Who Seems Down:

It is natural to feel down, or discouraged from time to time. But if those emotions last two weeks or more than that, or begin to affect daily life, it can be a symptom of depression.

Depression can unfold slowly. Someone who is miserable does not always realize or recognize that they do not feel or act as they normally do. It is often a friend, family member, or carer who first discovers the need for support. They may be encouraging their family member or friend to see their GP or finding some other support.

Here are the tips you should take note of.

  • Learn About Depression on Your Own

How many instances have you seen anyone sound sad because they’re a little frustrated or angry about it? Many may use the term ‘depression’ to describe a lot many different items, or just to make comments. But depression is truly a disease we all need to take at face value. It is natural to feel sad occasionally. While feeling depressed is a warning that you may require extra help.

You should therefore also know yourself that mental illnesses are diseases that affect your mind. Depression has an influence on your attitude and the way you act. It leaves you feeling very close to zero, helpless, or unhappy. Changes of attitude in certain areas of your life will trigger major changes.

  • Accept Them as They Are, Without Judging Them

When someone you love is distressed, there are a variety of complicated feelings you may feel, including hopelessness, disappointment, rage, anxiety, remorse, and sorrow. All those sentiments are reasonable. It isn’t easy to deal with depression from a friend or family member. And it may get frustrating if you ignore your own wellbeing.

That being said, if your loved one is to survive, your friendship and help will be essential. You can help them recover with depressive symptoms, surmount bad emotions, and restore their energy, positivity, and life enjoyment.

Begin by learning everything you can regarding depression as well as how to talk to your friend or relative about it. Even when you step out, don’t neglect to look after your own mental health — you’ll want it to get your loved one’s all-out help.

  • Talk and Be Open

The mere act of conversing face to face can sometimes be a huge blessing to someone experiencing depression. Motivate the depressed person to speak about their emotions and be ready without judgment to listen.

Don’t expect the end of a single conversation. Depressed people tend to retreat and dissociate themselves from others. You might need to communicate your interest and ability to listen again and again. Be patient and yet strong.

  • Listen and Reflect

Even when you speak to others about depression it is hard to know what to do. You could be afraid that the person might get angry, feel offended, or disregard your worries if you start bringing up your concerns. You can be uncertain as to what questions to pose, or how to answer them.

It is important to remember that it is much more essential to be an empathetic listener than to give advice. You needn’t try to “fix” your friend or family member; you just need to be a good listener.

  • Offer Practical Support

Your loved one may not realize they ‘re coping with anxiety, or they may be uncertain how to find help. Also though they realize counseling could improve, finding a psychiatrist and scheduling an appointment may be overwhelming.

When your partner seems to be engaging in therapy, try to have them review therapists. You will help your friend remember questions to ask future therapists in their first appointment and the stuff they want to say.

Inspiring them to make that first meeting, and continuing to support them, can be so beneficial if they find it difficult.

  • Try to Be Patient

Depression usually develops with treatment, although a lengthy phase that requires some different techniques may be required. Until they discover something that improves their problems, they can need to seek a few specific therapy strategies or drugs.

Yet good treatment doesn’t necessarily mean sadness falls away absolutely. Your friend might keep on having symptoms from time to time. While, they are sure to experience some positive days, and some bad days.

Stop thinking a decent day means they ‘re “healed,” and seek not to get upset if a series of rough days makes it seem as though your friend’s never getting better.

  • Get Support for Yourself

If you’re worried about those struggling with stress, it’s easy to drop everything and be at their side and support them. Wanting to help a friend is not wrong but taking care of your own needs is also essential.

Setting limits can help. You could let your friend realize, for example, that you are ready to connect when you get home after work.

When you’re concerned about them thinking they can’t touch you, so try to help them come with a backup plan if they need you throughout your working day. That may mean having a number that they should dial or coming up with a code word that they should send to you while in distress.

You will be promising to come every other day or carry a meal twice a week, rather than wanting to support daily. Engaging other friends might help make a bigger base of connections.

Bottom Line:

When you’re particularly worried about your loved one, you may fear that referencing them could trigger suicidal thoughts. Yet simply speaking about it is good. Ask your loved one if they have contemplated suicide seriously. They might want to speak about it to someone but are confused about how to bring up the tough subject.

Empower them to explore certain feelings with their psychiatrist, whether they have not already done so. Volunteer to help them develop a safety plan that they can use if they think they can act upon those thought processes.

i don't want to get out of bed

Learn About the Symptoms of Depression

Our mental health may be more fragile than we realize. We all have a certain amount of resilience, but when events begin to spiral our mental health can really suffer. This is when depression can set in.

Depression is a very common mental health issue. More than 17 million adults struggle with this mental health problem every year. Depression takes a toll on many aspects of daily life. It hurts our relationships, our careers, and our health.

When depression becomes so severe that you can’t get out of bed anymore it is time to get some help. There are treatment methods that can help manage the symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

The Signs of Severe Depression

It is hard to describe severe depression to someone who has never felt its affects. Loved ones may wonder why you can’t just snap out of it. It helps for these folks to have a better sense of what depression looks like. Symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad. Feeling hopeless and sad is a main symptom of depression. The person sees him or herself in a bad light. He or she might even blame themselves for what they see as their faults and flaws.
  • Changes in Eating Habits. There may be a sudden change in weight. Some may have an increased appetite and eat more as a way to cope. This results in weight gain. Others may become so depressed that they have no desire to feed themselves. This can lead to weight loss.
  • Loss of Interest.  One of the most common signs of severe depression is the sudden loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. When so depressed, they have no desire to attend social events or to even see friends.
  • Sleep Disturbances. Feeling depressed can cause changes in sleep habits. In some cases the person will wants to sleep much more than normal. It can also cause problems falling asleep or staying asleep.

Additional Symptoms include:

  • Anger or Feeling Irritable. Anger symptoms are more common in depressed men, although depressed women can also exhibit mood swings. The source of the anger may be due to frustration or a sense of feeling out of control. Depression can make someone feel annoyed and even prone to angry outbursts.
  • Fatigue.  A pronounced loss of energy is one of the common signs of severe depression. The person feels so tired they can barely function. Even daily hygiene habits or fixing meals requires too much effort.
  • Increased Substance Use.  Some who feels very depressed may begin to self-medicate through the use of a substance. Substance abuse is a reaction to feelings of despair. The person may drink or use drugs to numb the emotional pain.
  • Suicidal Ideation. People who are depressed often obsess about dying or even taking their own life. In fact, 90% of the individuals who commit suicide had an underlying mental health disorder like depression.

Suicide Warning Signs

Recent statistics show that more people in the United States now die by suicide than in car accidents. About 44,000 adults choose to end their lives each year. In many cases, there may have been red flags that were missed. These warning signs and symptoms might include:

  • Symptoms of depression
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Feeling guilt or shame
  • Anger
  • Substance abuse
  • Avoid family and friends
  • Aggression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Over sleeping
  • Saying they are a burden to others
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Saying they have no reason to live
  • Sharing that they are in pain
  • Gives away prized things
  • Talks of killing self

In the event a loved one is showing signs of a mental health crisis or suicide warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Treatment for Depression

When someone is in the grip of depression they may not be aware of how serious the problem has become. Often it is a loved one who becomes alarmed at the rising signs of depression in their family member. They will then reach out to a mental health worker to get the person help.

Depression treatment consists of a blend of antidepressants and therapy. Other actions, such as yoga and mindfulness training can increase the effects of the treatment. Changes in diet and getting daily exercise can also improve mood.

Medication

Medication is the first-line treatment for people with depression. Antidepressants are drugs, such as SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, or tricyclics that help adjust brain chemistry. Over time these drugs can reduce the symptoms of depression.

Therapy sessions

One-on-one talk therapy sessions can help to guide the person toward new thinking patterns. Changing thought patterns also changes the attitude. Also, any past trauma, childhood abuse, grief and loss, divorce, or other painful life events can be worked through.

Support groups

Small groups discuss topics introduced by the therapist. This helps the group members to engage in sharing their feelings and life stories. This provides a sense of peer support with others who are also struggling with depression.

Holistic therapies

There is a growing trend in mental health treatment to include holistic therapies as part of the treatment of depression. These can help reduce stress and help create feelings of inner peace and calm. These include massage, yoga, art therapy, and mindfulness.

If there is a mental health crisis, like a suicide attempt, a higher level of care is proper. A treatment program that offers acute stabilization and extended care for severe depression would be needed. The residential rehab setting can provide a more focused treatment plan for a loved one with depression.

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Depression Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is a full-spectrum mental health center that provides mental health treatment in a private home setting. We also offer transitional housing and outpatient services. Elevation Behavioral Health believes in a combined approach to treating depression. This involves evidence-based therapies and holistic activities for a well-rounded program. For more details about our program, please reach out to us today at (888) 561-0868.

i feel like i'm losing my mind

Anxiety Can Make Daily Life Quite a Challenge

Anxiety can be so hard to live with. Constant worry and stress keeps you in a state of constant fight-or-flight mode at the slightest little trigger. You may try to reason with yourself, that the stress triggers are no big deal. Your brain, though, is locked and loaded to take you through the spectrum of anxiety symptoms. You just can’t seem to break the stress cycle.

Many who approach a doctor with their complaints about their symptoms have truly suffered. They are seeking ways to manage the stress so they can live a normal, happy life. This goal is very possible to reach with the right treatment plan. Anxiety treatment can help reduce the daily struggle and greatly improve your life.

i'm losing my mindHelp! Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I am Losing my Mind

Anxiety disorder is a broad grouping of mental health disorders, each with excess worry or fear driving it. Anxiety disorders are very common, with 40 million people struggling with one each year. This disorder is different from the common fear you might feel before having to make a public speech.

We all have felt afraid from time to time, like when we are pushed out of our comfort zone. Anxiety disorders, though, are very intrusive. Constant stress can be so difficult to manage that it impacts one’s lifestyle, career, health, and friendships.

On one hand, when someone suffers from this problem, something will trigger a cascade of symptoms. There are many types of anxiety and each has its own unique features. The basic anxiety symptoms include:

  • Feelings of dread and fear.
  • Always being on alert for danger.
  • Racing heart.
  • Shaking.
  • Sweating.
  • Fast breathing.
  • Shortness of breath, holding one’s breath.
  • Stomach upset, diarrhea.
  • Feeling jumpy or restless.
  • Insomnia.
  • Headaches.

Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are varied ways that anxiety is expressed. For this reason, there are six types of the mental health disorder. The anxiety spectrum includes:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: GAD features constant worry for much of the day. This can result in headaches, muscle tension, nausea, and trouble thinking.
  • Panic disorder: Sudden and unexplained feelings of intense terror. This can cause racing heart, shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, and feeling dizzy. May lead to social isolation to avoid having an attack.
  • Social anxiety: Intense fear of being judged or critiqued. Fear of being embarrassed in public. Causes social isolation.
  • Specific phobias: Irrational fear of a certain thing, place, or situation. To manage this fear, the person will go to great measures to avoid triggers.
  • Trauma disorder: PTSD is about never getting over a trauma, even months later, It can lead to avoidance of people, places, or situations that trigger thoughts of the event. Flashbacks, nightmares, or repeated thoughts of the trauma stoke the symptoms.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: OCD involves worries about such things like germs, causing harm, or a need for order. This drives compulsive behaviors tin an attempt to manage the symptoms of anxiety caused by the fear.

How to Manage Anxiety

Do the symptoms of anxiety make you feel like you’re losing your mind? If so, it is time to meet with a mental health worker. At the first meeting, a therapist will assess what type of anxiety you are dealing with.

He or she will then design a treatment plan that will help you manage the symptoms. Treatment uses a combined approach with psychotherapy, drugs, and healthy actions that help to reduce stress.

Therapy for anxiety is based on the type you have. CBT is very helpful for people that struggle with excess worry and fear. It also helps you to notice how your thoughts are driving the panic type response to a trigger. CBT then guides you toward changing those fear-based thoughts into more positive ones. Once the thoughts are reframed, the actions that follow will also be positive.

Anti-anxiety drugs from the benzo group can be helpful for some people. These drugs work swiftly to help calm nerves and relax you. In some cases, antidepressants are used to treat anxiety as well.

i'm losing my mind

Holistic Therapies That Help Manage Stress

Holistic therapies actions are now often found in the treatment plan for anxiety. This is because these activities can help improve the treatment outcome. They do this by teaching patients ways to achieve a relaxed state of being. For instance, some of these include:

  • Yoga.
  • Mindfulness.
  • Deep breathing
  • Acupuncture.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Equine therapy.
  • Art therapy

Elevation Behavioral Health Provides Expert Treatment for Anxiety 

Elevation Behavioral Health is an upscale residential mental health treatment center in Los Angeles. If you feel like anxiety makes you feel like you’re losing your mind, our caring team of experts can help. It is time to seek the treatment you deserve to regain your quality of life.

When your outpatient treatment is not giving the results you desire, consider a residential program. Treatment is much more focused, and the home-like setting gives you a chance to heal. Take a break from the stressors or triggers in your daily life. Enjoy our upscale private home and gorgeous setting. Our team will help guide you back to health and wellbeing. For questions about our program, reach out to us today at (888) 561-0868.

how to improve your mental health

For many, spring signifies new life or optimism for the future. We must take the chance to put oneself first and find stability in our lives as we reach the ‘fresh’ phase. Like anything else, it is always simpler said than done, when our time has infinite pressures. Yet, we still need to take care of ourselves in order to be able to fulfill these expectations or take good care of others. Mental health after all is as important as physical health.

While we frequently equate eating well and exercising while taking care of oneself, we overlook that it often involves maintaining our minds healthy. Hence, all we ever aimed at the end of the day is a sober life filled with positivity.

There is a lot more about mental health than just a label. The fact that you feel about yourself as well as others, as well as your capacity to control your emotions and cope with daily challenges, is your ultimate psychological well-being. and that can mean finding clinical assistance and therapy when taking into consideration your emotional wellbeing, It also involves taking action of your own to maximize your mental wellbeing.

Daily lifestyles, social connections, and physical health can be affected by mental health. This relation still functions in the other way, though. Aspects in the lives of individuals, emotional links, and physical variables may all lead to disturbances of mental wellbeing. Taking after emotional wellbeing will sustain the willingness of a person to experience life. Doing this means finding a balance between life events, commitments, and mental recovery measures.

Mental well-being may all be influenced by disorders such as stress, depression, and anxiety and disturb the lifestyle of a person. And although the term mental well-being is widely used, there are physical origins of certain problems that physicians identify as psychiatric disorders.

In this article, we explain what people mean by mental health and mental illness.

What is Mental Health?

Our interpersonal, psychological, and social well-being requires mental wellbeing. It determines how we perceive, act, and respond. It also tends to help decide how we cope with tension, interact with others, and make decisions. At any level of life, from infancy and adolescence into adulthood, mental well-being is valuable. And over the course of time, your perception, attitude, and actions may be influenced if you have mental health issues.

Several factors lead to mental health disorders, such as:

  • Biological considerations, such as genes or chemical imbalances
  • Encounters of life, like traumatic experiences
  • family has a history regarding mental illnesses

Early Warning Signs:

Not certain if you are dealing with mental health challenges or anyone you know? It may be an early indicator of a concern to have one or more of the following thoughts or behaviors:

  • Drifting away from people and normal practices
  • Getting little to no energy
  • Feeling hopeless or like nothing counts
  • Catching recurrent discomfort and aches
  • Defenseless or desperate feeling
  • Higher than average, smoking, excessive drinking problem that requires treatment, and drug addiction
  • Feeling oddly puzzled, indecisive, furious, irritated, concerned, or terrified, on the edge.
  • Yelling or arguing with family members and friends
  • Beginning to experience extreme mood swings which trigger emotional issues
  • You cannot get out of your mind by getting constant perceptions and memories
  • Hearing thoughts or believing something that is not genuine
  • Thinking about doing damage to yourself or others
  • Inability to carry out everyday activities, such as looking for the children or going to work or school

Here Are The 6 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Health:

  1. Tell Yourself Something Positive

Research reveals that how you perceive yourself will have a strong influence on how you feel. If we poorly view ourselves and our lives, we may end up seeing things in a manner that reinforces that idea. Practice, however, using terms that inspire a sense of self-worth and mental fortitude.

Rather than saying, for instance, “I’m such a failure. I’m not going to get the work since, during the interview, I shrank,” Try something, “In the interview, I did not perform well as I would have wanted to do, but it doesn’t imply that I won’t get employed ever.”

  1. Surround Yourself with Good People

In particular, people with good family or social ties are happier than those who miss a circle of support. Make preparations or check out events with friendly family members and acquaintances in which you can meet other people, including a group, class, or service organization.

  1. Exercise Regularly

After you work out, the body activates stress-relieving and mental state-boosting endorphins, and that is why exercising is a good remedy to tension, depression, and anxiety. Look for little opportunities to introduce exercise to the day, such as heading on a quick stroll or using the staircase rather than the elevator, target for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to get the most value, and strive to do it outside.

Light from the sun exposure makes the body develop vitamin D, which raises the amount of dopamine in the brain. Plus, time in the environment is a confirmed modulator of tension.

  1. Go to Bed on Time

A wide body of evidence has found that there is a serious effect of lack of sleep on the mood. Start to go to bed every day at a normal time, and follow healthy habits to rest well. These involve turning down computers for at least one hour before bed, using the bed for sleeping or relaxation things only, and minimizing the consumption of daily caffeinated beverages.

  1. Learn How to Deal With Stress

Stress is part of our lives whether we agree on it or not. On some occasions, it’s completely inevitable. try practicing better skills for coping: As an anxiety reducer, consider One-Minute Stress Techniques, do Tai Chi, yoga, take a leisurely stroll, interact with your cat, or pursue writing tasks. Often, in life, try to smile and discover the fun. Studies suggest that laughing can strengthen the immune system, alleviate pain, calm the body, and decrease stress.

  1. Avoid Alcohol and Other Drugs

Keep to a low the consumption of alcohol and prohibit such substances. People often use alcohol and drugs for “self-medication,” however alcohol and other drugs just make things worse in fact, often requiring the help of rehab centers, or even dual diagnosis treatment centers, when both an addiction and mental health issue is present.

Final thoughts

Your general well-being will be enhanced by putting any or some of these suggestions in place. By using basic strategies, it can require as little as a minute to help boost your health and wellbeing. Our brains fly too much at the speed of light jumping from thought after thought, all of which are frustrating. It can help alleviate anxiety and contribute to physical relief by taking a full deep breath or concentrated relaxation.

Start today. Start now. If you feel you need help from a professional, do not be afraid to seek treatment options.

alzheimers and addiction

Alzheimer’s disease has no treatment and no means to delay the worsening of the disorder. Fortunately, Alzheimer’s care facilities for seniors are there to assist us towards guiding the needs of our seniors.

There are so many subsets which can be specifically related to substance abuse disorder, whereas dementia can be incurable.

It is because, at such a higher pace than aging alone, medications and alcohol destroy neurons.

One research showed that in middle age, individuals who ingested five or more bottles of alcohol in one session or one glass of wine are three times more probable to experience dementia by some time they reached 65 than individuals who did not consume excessive drink.

While dementia caused by Alzheimer’s and alcohol seem identical, their effects are distinct. That’s why it’s indeed necessary to consider attending senior assisted living homes and facilities to make sure that we get the best support for our seniors. Treatment for alcohol addiction can be done in an inpatient alcohol rehab center before going to a memory care home.

Here are the things that you need to know about Alzheimer’s and Addiction.

What is Addiction and Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer ‘s disease allows the mind of an individual to devolve and inhibits their memory, social control, comprehension, and vision greatly. Alzheimer’s as well as other causes of dementia become primarily known as adverse effects among seniors, often resulting in things like delusions, hallucinations and even something called the Sundowners Syndrome.

That said, some occasions where these conditions are known to be spontaneous and can affect any person despite their maturity level. Various factors including such genetic background as well as environmental influences cause the brain modifications correlated with Alzheimer’s.

The links regarding Alzheimer’s and the misuse of medications or alcohol remains well-known. Individuals who have been abusing insanely addictive drugs for a significant amount of time can induce dementia or speed up Alzheimer’s-related neurological harm.

Signs, Symptoms, and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Addiction

Reliable dementia diagnosis, like Alzheimer’s, necessitates the guidance of a specialist. The preparation and capabilities to fully understand the signs of chronic neurological disease is accessible to medical practitioners.

Alzheimer’s common symptoms are:

  • Short-term difficulties in memory
  • Poor attention and focus
  • A deterioration throughout problem-solving skills
  • Forgetting people, addresses, and experiences
  • Communication and voice problems
  • Physical endurance and balance failure
  • Loneliness
  • Getting caught up even in common locations
  • Perceptible decline in hearing ability
  • Modifications of temperament and attitude
  • Loss of expertise in essential self-care.
  • Ambiguity connected with time
  • Trouble learning or managing new data
  • Aggressive or aggressive answer to caregivers, relatives, and peers.

For drug abuse disorders to be identified, two of the preceding signs have to be recognized. And the condition is considered serious if six signs are known.

  • Increased sensitivity for substances or alcohol, increasing the frequency of use
  • Many initiatives have struggled to limit or discourage alcohol and opioid use.
  • Alcohol or medications are consumed more often, for a longer time and in larger concentrations than originally expected.
  • As a consequence of substance or alcohol misuse, technical and personal obligations are ignored.
  • Substance dependence triggers or worsens behavioral or social problems.
  • It takes a long time to develop, use and recover again from the impact of medications or alcohol.
  • Treasured social or leisure practices in favor of drinking or medications are neglected.
  • Due to various alcohol or substance addiction, mental wellbeing or physical conditions develop; but the addiction still persists.
  • Usage of drugs adds to reckless or harmful actions.
  • Serious and unmanageable cravings for the use of alcohol or medications
  • Strong signs of withdrawal

When an individual does have mental health problems, there are qualified physicians who are able to diagnose drug and alcohol abuse.

Dosage and Side Effects

Physicians typically begin patients with low doses of the medication and steadily raise the dosage depending on how effectively the medication is handled by a patient. There are also some growing evidence amounts of cholinesterase inhibitor prescriptions may help several patients. Nevertheless, the larger the dosage, the more possible the side effects appear.

Patients may be opioid-sensitive in some areas, and before an opioid is initiated, they can be watched. Disclose any troubling signs promptly to the treating doctor. While having any drug, even vitamins and vitamin products, it is essential to obey the doctor’s orders.

Also, when adding certain drugs nor changing them, let the doctor be informed.

Risk Factors

Any of the health conditions that boost the risks of Alzheimer’s and dementia are:

  • Age. The threat of Alzheimer’s disease rises every five years after the age around 65.
  • Genetics. Studies have found that early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer’s can be caused by hereditary gene defects, whereas some hereditary gene variants can raise the risk of a person having the condition.
  • Heart and blood vessel conditions. Both contributing factors for Alzheimer’s involve developing heart disease , diabetes, increased blood pressure, high blood pressure, or even a record of strokes.
  • Brain neurological disorder. In older life, even brain accidents that arise early in life will boost the likelihood of signs of Alzheimer’s.
  • Poor lifestyle. Dozens of research have shown that nutritional changes, daily exercise, reducing stress, avoiding smoking, and eliminating prolonged lack of sleep will shield a person from Alzheimer’s disease.

Treatment and Prognosis for Addiction and Alzheimer’s Disease

While Alzheimer’s care that doesn’t involve addiction can be treated in memory care facilities, a variation of client, group , and family counseling will be used in the treatment services for men and women with substance reliance and Alzheimer’s disease, with all therapy sessions conducted in a relaxed and supportive way in a healthy , supportive setting designed to encourage healing. The speed in counseling will be dictated by the preferences and conditions of a patient, and nothing that brings them undue discomfort or contributes to their distress will never be required to do.

Treatments regarding depression, anxiety and the signs of dementia can be offered in relation to treatment, based on the advice of experts in alcohol and mental wellbeing. Patients who are willing to engage in such programs can be given comprehensive recovery services, like counseling, physical therapy, exercise, acupuncture, and exercise training.

As individuals with Alzheimer ‘s disease have such a diminished desire to handle their lives on their own, therapy programs will be critical for recovery. For those who experience this condition, complete recovery from Alzheimer’s disease can not be realistic, even though their drug abuse disorders are taken under control.

However, with the caring and competent support of skilled caregivers, addiction counselors, and supportive family members who are eager to respond to the healing process in whatever manner they can, changes hence the standard of living will be accomplished.

Bottom Line

For individuals who develop dementia, like Alzheimer’s, recovering from substance or alcohol abuse can be extremely hard. Such disorders cause harm to the vision, memory, and cognitive ability of a person. And then when associated with drug or alcohol misuse, the effects of Alzheimer’s disease intensify.

Even so, amid the difficulties, there are rehab programs that have developed therapy regimens which address the particular demands of patients with Alzheimer’s, including such correlated treatment.

extreme anxiety

Living with extreme anxiety is exhausting. So much energy is gobbled up just trying to function like a normal person. Imagine something as mundane as going grocery shopping being a gargantuan task if you suffer from intense anxiety. The effort it takes, for someone with extreme anxiety, to muster up the courage to enter the store and complete the shopping excursion is mind-boggling.

When you struggle with this level of anxiety you would give anything to feel good again. However, if you are hoping for an overnight cure to your anxiety disorder it is best to let that dream go as learning how to manage anxiety, even with the guidance of an excellent therapist, is a process not an endpoint. Thought distortions that keep you trapped in a state of fear must be overcome. Old dysfunctional thought patterns must change. New relaxation methods need to be learned. In all, recovering from extreme anxiety symptoms will take some time.

That said, an anxiety disorder is highly treatable, even severe anxiety. While it is possible to obtain valuable support and guidance from a private practice psychiatrist, the residential treatment program offers a much higher level of care for someone with significant impairment. Your mental health provider is the best person to determine the appropriate level of care for treating your particular anxiety disorder.

What is Anxiety?

With approximately 40 million Americans experiencing some form of anxiety disorder each year, more people struggle with anxiety that any other mental health condition. Most of us experience events that stir up intense feelings of fear or worry. The difference between an occasional bout of anxiety and an anxiety disorder is the persistence of the anxiety and the level of impairment the symptoms can cause. Within the anxiety disorder spectrum, there is a wide variance of severity of symptoms and different ways anxiety is manifested. Extreme anxiety is usually associated with panic disorder, agoraphobia, or PTSD.

Anxiety has a physiological root cause, and that is the inborn fight or flight fear response built into every human being. When encountering a situation, person, place, or object that triggers the fear response, the brain immediately begins producing the stress chemicals called adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol. These chemicals cause us to experience a heightened awareness and burst of energy, like being on high alert in anticipation of a threat. When we have an anxiety disorder, this fear response is triggered constantly, leading to maladaptive responses such as substance abuse, compulsive behaviors, or isolation in hopes of avoiding the triggering situations.

Anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Personality traits
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Undeveloped coping skills
  • Chronic stress
  • Certain medications

The Different Kinds of Anxiety:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): When someone experiences excessive and irrational fear and worry that is disproportionate to the situation it can result in shortness of breath, irritability, heart palpitations, fatigue, sweating, dizziness, and headaches and stomach problems, and sleep disruptions.

Social anxiety disorder: Intense fear of being judged or rejected by others, causing public humiliation or embarrassment, can cause sweating, blushing easily, muscle tension, nausea, rapid heartbeat, and lightheadedness. Because people with social anxiety try to avoid situations where they could be judged, it often leads to isolation and loneliness.

Specific phobia: When someone has an extreme and irrational fear related to a specific object, place, person, or situation, they may go to great lengths to avoid it. Agoraphobia is an example of this, as these individuals have an intense fear of being trapped in a crowded or tight space with no way to escape, so they just stay home in order to avoid these situations.

Panic disorder: Panic disorder features unpredictable panic attacks that cause chest pain, trembling, shortness of breath, nausea, a sense of doom, and dizziness. These symptoms are very similar to a heart attack, so many who have a panic attack rush to the emergency room fearing they are having a heart attack.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): When someone has a prolonged response to having experienced or witnessed a traumatic event that does not resolve after a month, then it is referred to as PTSD. Symptoms include irritability, flashbacks, insomnia, nightmares, detachment, hyper-arousal response, substance abuse, and avoidance behaviors.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): Someone with OCD experiences a pattern of alternating obsessive fears and the compulsive behavioral responses to that fear. Common OCD patterns include fear of germs, so the individual might wash their hands dozens or even hundreds of times a day, or fear of burning the house down, resulting in obsessive checking rituals to make sure appliances are turned off before leaving the house.

How Does Living with an Anxiety Disorder Affect Your Life?

Because the core feature of all anxiety disorders is fear, living with extreme anxiety can be very difficult. Fear can hold us back from going after our goals and dreams, or even from building relationships. When we wrestle with an anxiety disorder, it holds us hostage by tricking us into thinking we aren’t good enough, smart enough, or attractive enough to be worthy of those goals and dreams. As a response to the irrational fear, we might avoid anything that we perceive as stress inducing, which can lead to isolation. The isolation often leads to loneliness and depression, which can result in maladaptive behaviors, such as substance abuse.

Anxiety also has a negative impact on our physical health. Chronic worry causes the stress hormones to remain at elevated levels. This can lead to increased health risks, such as weight gain, heart disease, digestive issues, and sleep disturbance. In addition, consistently elevated cortisol can damage the immune system and leave us vulnerable to illnesses.

How is Anxiety Disorder Treated?

When someone seeks professional guidance for treatment of an anxiety disorder they will learn that anxiety is a complex disorder with various causes and often co-occurring disorders involved. Because of this complexity, treatment for the anxiety can be varied. The features of the person’s particular anxiety condition, and any coexisting conditions such as depression, will factor in to the treatment plan. Here are the mainstays for treating anxiety disorder:

Medication. In recent years it has been found that antidepressants prescribed for depression also helped manage the symptoms of a co-occurring anxiety disorder. For this reason, more and more doctors are now treating anxiety patients with antidepressants, in particular the SSRI and SNRI category of these medications. Other medications used to treat anxiety include the benzodiazepine class of drugs. The sedatives help to quickly reduce many of the anxiety symptoms, however they do have a drawback, as benzodiazepines are highly addictive. Other drugs used for anxiety treatment include beta-blockers and off-label options such as buspirone.

Psychotherapy. Therapy helps individuals learn new ways of responding to anxiety triggers, things that can include thought distortions, phobia triggers, and other stressors such as public speaking. Evidence-based psychotherapies that are effective for helping individuals with anxiety include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT helps individuals change their thinking and behavior patterns. For example, irrational thoughts can lead to overreacting to stimuli, which can result in isolating behaviors. CBT can help the person shift their thoughts to be more logical and rational.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy. DBT is related to CBT but focuses on psychosocial aspects and utilizes actions like practicing mindfulness and emotion regulation techniques.
  • Exposure therapy. For individuals with panic disorder or trauma-based anxiety, exposure therapy can help to reduce the emotional impact of the traumatic memory or situation by introducing increasing exposure to it over time.
  • Peer support. Group therapy helps foster peer support between participants who are encouraged to discuss their own personal experiences with anxiety disorder, while a therapist introduces coping skills.

Alternative. Some individuals might benefit from transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a brain stimulation therapy that can alter neurotransmitters. Others might find hypnotherapy to be a useful technique for addressing stress triggers.

What is Holistic Anxiety Treatment?

Holistic solutions to managing anxiety are increasingly included in the treatment plan and aftercare activities. These are natural therapies that help to reduce stress while increasing relaxation. Some holistic anxiety treatments include:

  • Yoga. Yoga has been shown to decrease blood pressure and induce relaxation by combining certain physical poses with focused breathing and aspects of mindfulness.
  • Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that helps the individual train their mind to pay attention to the present moment instead of getting caught up in distressing thoughts.
  • Deep breathing. Deep breathing techniques can quickly reduce heart rate, blood pressure and invoke a sense of calm.
  • Massage. Therapeutic massage provides deep relaxation effects by reducing muscle tension and toxins.
  • Herbal supplements. Once discussing the option of using herbal remedies for anxiety treatment, consider kava, St. John’s Wort, and chamomile.
  • Diet and exercise. A strong relationship exists between getting regular exercise and emotion regulation and mood. Nutrition is also important, as it has been shown that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can aid in mental health.

Recovering from extreme anxiety will involve utilizing a multi-pronged approach. By adhering to the treatment recommendations and aftercare activities, anxiety is indeed highly treatable.

Elevation Behavioral Health Residential Anxiety Treatment

Elevation Behavioral Health is located in a peaceful and tranquil setting, just the type of environment to help someone suffering from extreme anxiety. Our compassionate team of mental health experts is devoted to providing the utmost in mental health treatment while you enjoy every creature comfort of the luxury accommodations. If you seek to overcome debilitating anxiety, do not hesitate to contact the team at Elevation Behavioral Health for assistance. We are here for you and we want to help. Call us today at (888) 561-0868.

 

Paralyzed with Fear and Anxiety

If you have ever experienced a panic attack you know what it means to feel paralyzed with fear and anxiety. Panic attacks are like a tsunami of intense fear that appear out of nowhere, often without provocation, and sweep you up in a torrent of uncontrollable anxiety. As unpredictable as they are frightening, a panic attack might even feel life threatening.

So what exactly are these over-the-top manifestations of fear? The panic attack is a sudden and unforeseen wave of extreme fear that literally takes over the body. Although the panic attack usually lasts only about 10 minutes, to the one suffering attack it may feel like an hour.

About Panic Disorder

In some cases, panic attacks become more frequent, and are not associated with any specific triggering event. This condition is diagnosed as panic disorder. Panic disorder is one of the mental health disorders within the anxiety disorder spectrum. Panic disorder impacts about 6 million U.S. adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and affects twice as many women as men.

When not treated, panic disorder can be highly disruptive in daily life, with the constant dread or fear of the next attack. This is because it is very hard to know when a panic attack might be forthcoming, which inhibits sufferers from leaving a place where they feel safe and in control. Panic disorder can have a devastating impact on someone’s quality of life.

The symptoms experienced can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Racing heart or palpitations
  • Trembling
  • Sense of choking
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Sweating
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Feeling that you have no control over it
  • Fear of dying

The exact cause of panic attacks remains a mystery, although there is a tendency for these attacks to run in the family. Severe stress attributed to negative life events such as divorce, loss of a job, sudden death of a loved one, or any major life transition can set up conditions for panic attacks. Certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, or a heart condition called mitral valve prolapse may also be behind the panic attack symptoms.

Actions to Take if You Experience a Panic Attack

What should you do if you are paralyzed with fear and anxiety? Here are 4 helpful tips for navigating a panic attack:

  1. Acknowledge the panic attack instead of trying to deny it is happening. Make pronouncements aloud, such as “I am only having a panic attack and I will not die from this,” or “I feel like I am having a heart attack, but my heart is fine.” Talk yourself off the cliff with realistic self-talk that helps ground you, telling yourself that it is a difficult but temporary event.
  2. Focus on your breathing during the attack. Make a conscious effort to practice slow and deep breathing—which may be easier said than done if the panic attack causes hyperventilation. Mindful breathing is a powerful relaxation technique that can quickly help the body normalize the respiratory physiology. Breathe in slowly and deeply to a count of 5, hold the breath for a count of 5, and release the breath for a count of 5. Repeat this pattern several times.
  3. Find a comfortable place to sit and practice meditation or guided meditation. A short impromptu meditation can be extremely helpful in diffusing the attack. Using visualization helps distract yourself from the symptoms and help you regain a sense of control. Whether you go to your “happy place” or use a mantra to help unwind the fear, a brief meditation session can be helpful.
  4. Sip some chamomile tea. Just taking the proactive steps to prepare a cup of chamomile tea can help distract you from the event. The tea itself has relaxation effects that can help. Sip the tea while deep breathing with eyes closed and meditating thoughts, and it will take the edge off the attack. Closing the eyes reduces stimuli and allows you to concentrate on your breathing.

Try These Tips to Avoid or Reduce Anxiety

Rather than allowing this mental health condition to run away until you feel paralyzed with fear and anxiety, why not adopt some of the many accessible methods at our disposal for managing anxiety when it crops up:

  • Get moving. Multiple studies have confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt the power of exercise to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. Just being outside in the fresh air for a short daily walk will net both physical and mental health benefits. Selecting an activity that makes you smile, like taking a Zumba class or hiking along to an energetic playlist, can make the time spent moving your body even more enjoyable.
  • Get organized. So much of the daily stress we experience is due to feeling out of control. With never-ending tasks, appointments, and errands gobbling up our time it is easy to feel like you are drowning in the demands of the day. Jotting down a quick to-do list in the morning helps put a sense of order to the day and alleviates that feeling that you will forget something important. Practicing better time management and organizational skills can go a long way to minimizing anxiety.
  • Nutrition. Skipping meals or eating a diet heavy in junk food and sugars will exacerbate your feelings of anxiety. The brain needs lean proteins, fresh veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds, and whole grains for peak functioning. Instead of defaulting to candy bars and chips when you feel hungry, have a handy stash of almonds, walnuts, or peanuts on hand that you can grab. A banana is a great choice for a quick snack, and so is a chunk of beef jerky.
  • Unplug. Recent studies show that social media is responsible for ramping up stress and anxiety. Feelings of insecurity resulting from the sense that everyone else’s life is superior to your own can result in social anxiety and low self-esteem. The freeing feeling of unplugging, even for just a day, will remind you that real life is way more interesting that those filter-enhanced photos on Instagram.
  • Get better sleep. Sleep deprived people do not manage stress well. Humans need at least 7 hours of sleep per night to be able to face the demands of the day. Begin winding down with a cup of herbal tea an hour or two before bed. Take a bath with aromatherapy-infused Epsom salts for a boost of magnesium, a natural stress-reducer. Put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillowcase, and purchase a white noise machine if you need to block out sleep distractions.
  • Practice mindfulness. Once you train yourself to access awareness of the present moment you will quickly notice how helpful the practice of mindfulness is in managing anxiety. When something upsetting or stress-inducing is happening, force your thoughts to focus only on your breathing and your senses. This purposeful attention immediately results in a calm state of being. You can practice mindfulness anywhere and anytime that anxiety strikes.
  • Journal. It’s great to have a best friend and confidant to share your fears and worries with, but writing in a journal about struggles, conflicts, and worries can promote relaxation when a friend is not around.This is because while jotting down your concerns or hurt feelings over this or that you are processing emotions and thoughts. Just the process of writing itself can be like dumping all that worry out onto paper, and that takes away its power.
  • Resolve conflicts. Nothing can stoke anxiety like unresolved conflicts. You sit there ruminating about someone insulted or offended you, and then all the things you wished you had said. In reality, mulling over the events in your head is self-defeating and a big time waster. Why not practice timely conflict resolution? The easiest way is to either a) apologize for any role you had in it, or b) tell the offending party that you would really like to put it away and move forward, or c) forgive them.
  • Be constructive. When things are bothering you, get up and do something about it. For example, if you are having financial troubles, sit down and make a budget for the month. Note the ways you might be squandering money and commit to some cost cutting measures. In like manner, if you are worried about work, make a plan to improve productivity or your job performance instead of sitting there worrying about losing your job. Take constructive action, take control, and watch stress melt away.

If you experience an occasional panic attack, ensure yourself that the intense surge of fear and resulting physical symptoms will soon pass. Incorporating regular stress-reducing practices, such as yoga or mindfulness exercises, can go a long way to training your mind to cope more effectively with anxiety-provoking stimuli in daily life. A skilled psychotherapist can work with you in developing the techniques that can assist you during a panic attack, as well as helping to prevent them in the first place. If outpatient counseling isn’t effective in taming your anxiety, you might consider a higher level of care such as a residential mental health center.

Elevation Behavioral Health Evidence-Based Mental Health Treatment for Anxiety

Elevation Behavioral Health is located in a serene setting that is perfect for individuals struggling with severe anxiety. Our compassionate team of mental health experts strives daily to provide a safe, healing space to guide our guests back to wellness. If you are feeling paralyzed with fear and anxiety, do not hesitate to contact the team at Elevation Behavioral Health for assistance. Call us today at (888) 561-0868.