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The Connections Between Sleep And The Mind

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Even in this fast-paced and hectic world, sleep is one of those things that are considered indispensable. Regardless of how much stress is placed on someone, a person’s body and mind simply will not allow one to go for an extended period without some sleep. There are numerous ways to keep a person awake despite the overwhelming desire to go to sleep, such as caffeine and work-related stress and anxiety. The toll that sleep deprivation and insomnia have on the body is well-documented, but there is less concrete evidence on the effects on mental health. It is generally assumed that the mind does not fully shut down during sleep, but that does not mean it does not require a period of rest. There are several potential side effects of insomnia upon one’s mental health, some of which can aggravate the problem itself.

Among the most well-documented side effects of a lack of sleep is instability of emotions. People who frequently lack sleep tend to be moody and irritable. In some cases, their emotions seem to be on hair-triggers, shifting from “normal” to “angry” with the slightest comment. There has yet to be any form of concrete information on why this is the cause, but it is a well-documented problem related to insomnia. It is theorized that sleep somehow replenishes certain chemical receptors related to emotions within the brain, such that a lack of sleep disrupts the normal production of these chemicals. It is currently unclear whether being asleep cuts off production or increases them, or if it affects these compounds in some other way. There are other theories as to why insomnia affects emotions, but those also lack concrete studies to back up their assumptions.

One of the more infamous side effects of insomnia is depression, though it is arguable whether one is really a product of the other. In the same way that emotions are affected by a lack of sleep, one’s overall mood can also be affected by prolonged insomnia. Since depression is closely tied to one’s emotional state, the disruption caused by a lack of sleep can be enough to push a person into clinical depression. However, there is some argument as to whether or not insomnia is truly a factor for depression. There are some that believe that while there is a connection, it is more viable to assume that depression leads to a lack of sleep, rather than the other way around. It should be noted that, despite the ramifications on mental health, neither theory has been put under serious academic scrutiny.

Some have also attributed some anxiety disorders to insomnia. There is some question as to whether or not this actually counts, however. While there is clear evidence that connects the two problems, most are inclined to believe anxiety disorders cause insomnia, rather than the reverse. However, there is some data showing people developing minor anxiety disorders during a period where they lack adequate sleep. As with the above, further study is required due to the lack of any concrete statistical data to back up the theories and observations.

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Anxiety Fear and Possible Treatment

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Redefining Fear

Anxiety fear is an intense feeling of fear produced to an individual despite the absence of any real threat. This type of irrational fear affects even adults and situations that could produce severe levels of anxiety fear can result to panic attack. Therefore, those who suffer from this are recommended to respond or look for proper ways of dealing with the situation since it is potentially dangerous. Aside from that, the person suffering from anxiety attack lack the ability to think clearly or lose connection with reality.

To deal with anxiety fear, a person must realize that he or she has a choice in the way they respond to stimulus of fear. Knowing this will immensely alter and reframe the way you look at fear. Now, you will be able to gain power over your fear instead of being controlled by it. Because if not, then fear always finds a way to create negative impacts on your brain and the way you perceive things. Look at fear in a different light, so that it does not produce the same anxious feeling as it usually does on you.

Symptoms of Anxiety Fear

How do you know you have anxiety fear? Of course, it is important to identify the symptoms for this condition because only then can you make the proper diagnosis and take steps to improve your condition. Here are common symptoms shared by people with anxiety fear:

• intense sweating
• feeling of nausea
• breathlessness
• incontrollable shaking
• dry mouth
• heart palpitations
• loss of touch with reality
• inability to think clearly or focus

Treatment Options for Anxiety Fear

As with how you respond to fear, you also have a choice on treatments that will help reduce the symptoms of anxiety fear or get rid of it altogether. Therefore, you are able to respond to situations logically instead of letting the fear consume you. Here are possible options to consider:

Hypnotherapy

The objective of this treatment is to reprogram your subconscious min, which is a contributor in creating those irrational fears. One you have altered that program in your brain, then symptoms are also consequently minimized. If you have any reluctance when it comes to the control of your brain programs, then you have to be assured that hypnotherapy is a safe method. Before you know it, you have let go of some brain programs that produce the high level of anxiety associated with your irrational fears.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

This method will serve to interpret how you produce your idea of reality. From an analysis of your own constructs, psychological professionals will suggest new ways in which you can create your perspective of the world. This will help you get rid of any form of thoughts that produce anxiety fear.

Energy Psychology

Like with the two treatment methods above, this one is a rapid and effective method. It is built around the same foundation as acupuncture, minus the needles. Instead, this method can be dubbed as emotional acupuncture wherein you change your behaviors and thought patterns, since they have been recognized as effective means to get rid of unnecessary fears in life.

Exercises to Combat Fear

One of the best ways to combat fear is to stop and take time to connect with your body. You can try following the steps below and find yourself free of any anxiety fear:

• Sit quietly or lie down while you keep your eyes shut.

• Starting from your feet and working your way upwards, scan your body for sensations.

• Take time to pause in each area of your body and give notice to the different sensations they undergo.

• Then, proceed to the center of your body – at the abdomen area or around the navel. Then, breathe into it.

• Try doing this technique at least once a day and you will notice you will feel relaxed after doing it. Indeed, meditation has been pointed out as one of the most effective methods of healing and you can do the same with anxiety fears.

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Anxiety Disorders In Children And Young Adults

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Anxiety disorders in children are very treatable. Unknown to most Americans, anxiety disorders are extremely high on the list of health problems in children. Unfortunately, most people do not know what to look for, so the symptoms go untreated. It has even been suggested that many adults’ problems had their root in childhood, though left undiagnosed. These roots then grew, took hold, and often later showed up in their adult counterparts.

Anxiety is usually described as being a sense of worry mixed with fear, apprehension, and even distress. These feelings are perfectly normal in our lives, however, one must be able to judge when these feelings head toward being too frequent and overwhelming. Physical symptoms tend to include sweating, jitteriness, nausea, and headache; whereas the emotional counterparts are nervousness and fear. In anxiety disorders, these feelings and physical symptoms are much more severe. This can cause a child’s rational thinking and decision making to become skewed, for them to view their own environments differently, as well as making sitting in school and trying to learn very difficult. Children with severe symptoms often complain of stomach aches, dizziness, diarrhea, not being able to breathe, feeling weak.

There are many types of anxiety disorders that can surface in children. General anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive feelings of apprehension, worry, and fear happening almost every day for longer than 6 months. The child cannot control these feelings and is often restless, hyper, irritable, and cannot fall asleep or stay asleep so is also easily tired out. Children with this type of general anxiety disorder have problems functioning in their daily lives and this causes them more feelings of distress and anxiousness.

Panic disorders are not the same as panic attacks. Panic disorders are actually repeated panic attacks with the addition of worrying about having other attacks and how it is affecting their behavior. Many people with this disorder find it difficult to function normally as they are constantly on edge worrying about when another panic attack will happen.

Obsessive-compulsive disorders are characterized by recurring unwanted thoughts and/or repeated behaviors. It is an obsession that has to be done no matter how hard the child wants to stop doing it. Obsessive-compulsives often wind up living alone as they cannot stand to have someone else soil their home, arrange their possessions, or not lock a door or window.

Posttraumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder can be similar as these disorders are usually the result of witnessing, experiencing, or confronting a traumatic event. The only difference is that posttraumatic stress disorders persist longer than one month whereas acute stress disorder occurs and dissipates in less than a month. Both disorders cause extreme amounts of distress, sleeplessness, worry, and fear.

Phobias can also cause extreme amounts of stress in children. The main concern is for parents to be able to distinguish between a normal fear, such as monsters under the bed, and an irrational fear, such as being out in public. Once these are distinguished, then the parents can help the child seek out the appropriate treatment.

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Coming Back To Haunt You

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Children all tend to show signs of anxiety. This is understandable since as children have a lot of things to adjust to that adults have already allowed their minds to get used to. All those new experiences can be a little overwhelming for a child whose mind has yet to fully adapt to his own situation, let alone being thrust into an entirely unfamiliar environment. To a certain degree, a little child anxiety is actually perfectly normal and, to a degree, perhaps even expected. However, if your child does not outgrow his anxiety, it can lead to some psychological disorders later in life. If that occurs, a little social anxiety might turn out to be the least of your worries.

Child anxiety, contrary to what some might believe, can lead to problems later on in life. The obvious evolution would be social anxiety, particularly if the child just can’t seem to adapt himself to the social situations he finds himself in. Since being sociable and being able to adapt to changing social situations is an integral part of a professional development, being seen by one’s superiors to be unable to work well within a team or organization can result in a stunted career. Social anxiety can also cause the child to lose confidence in other facets of his life, which can then result in an inferiority complex.

There are very few concrete studies that show how child anxiety can develop into any other mental disorder, though there is ample evidence to suggest that this is happening. The question, in reality, is just what this anxiety can develop into when a person reaches adulthood, as well as when the critical time for dealing with the problem would be. Another concern is how to tell when the child’s behavior is perfectly natural and when the child is starting to show signs of a problem that needs to be fixed. All too often, it is considered a highly subjective thing and it can be difficult for even medical professionals to tell the difference between the two.

Among the more common disorders that require moderate therapy include social anxiety and separation anxiety disorder. Children generally have difficulty with the concept of “letting go” of the people that they feel safe with. This inability to let go can easily develop into separation anxiety if allowed to develop into adulthood. While the targets of the problem changes, the nature of it remains essentially the same. The inability to adapt to situations socially has already been mentioned, though this can also potentially lead to performance anxiety if the adult is capable of recognizing his own skills but is incapable of utilizing them to full effect.

A problem here is the lack of concrete information on the development of this problem, as well as the lack of attention it is receiving. There are only a few studies that are dedicated to this particular facet of psychology, mainly because anxiety disorders in adults tend to be the more prominent focus. Another problem lies in the number of environmental factors to be considered, as well as the various differences in children’s personalities. However, the core problem in diagnosing this problem lies in the perception of the parents themselves. One parent’s child anxiety can be interpreted as nothing more than ordinary shyness by another parent.

Anxiety

Basic Anxiety Information: Understanding its Nature and Treatments

Basic Anxiety Information: Understanding its Nature and Treatments

It is normal for a person to be anxious. Anxiety often triggers whenever an individual encounters distressing and aggravating experiences or events in their lives. It is basically a part of a person’s innate response to life problems and worries. Anxiety is also one way of indicating possible dangers that might happen.

However, it is no longer normal if the anxiety condition comes with extreme worrying and fear that prevents a person from living the accustomed life they would want to. When this happens, that person may have developed an anxiety disorder.

Today, having or experiencing anxiety disorders is quite common among stressed individuals. Fortunately for people diagnosed with anxiety disorders, there are already a number of compelling treatments for these types of conditions. As such, knowing the basic anxiety information will aid people in the foremost details of this disorder.

Defining anxiety disorder

Anxiety disorder generally covers different types of aberrant forms of phobias, fears, and worries. One may have sudden worrying attacks for no reason at all. A person may experience consuming panic attacks that often trigger without any warning. Anxiety may also come in the form of compulsions and obsessions, or one may develop a phobia of a situation, event , or object that normally do not bother other people.

Although anxiety disorder comes in many types and forms, it is basically the same in one thing: they are persistent and they trigger quite powerfully. The severity and cycle of these anxiety disorders can be disruptive, immobilizing, and distressing.

Signs of anxiety disorders

One of the most important aspects of basic anxiety information is to know the symptoms and signs of this condition. Anxiety disorders have varied physical and emotional symptoms.

Emotional or psychological signs include:

1. Dread and uneasiness
2. Avoidance
3. Irritability
4. Strong desire to escape
5. Confusion
6. Jumpiness or nervousness
7. Insecurity

Physical symptoms include:

1. Chills
2. Shortness of breath
3. Fatigue
4. Insomnia
5. Headache
6. Muscle tension and aches
7. Clammy hands
8. Heart palpitations

The symptoms enumerated above are only a few of the common emotional and physical indications of having an anxiety disorder. Since there are quite a number of physical symptoms associated to anxiety disorders, some people tend to assume that they have health issues. Hence, it is really best to know the many physiological aspects of anxiety to avoid confusion.

Treating Anxiety

People who are suffering from anxiety disorder have really no excuse for consulting their conditions because there are a lot of acknowledged treatments today that are actually quite effective. Among the top recommended treatments for anxiety are cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication.

1. Medication
Most doctors prescribed medications like anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs as short term treatments for anxiety. Medications are recommended among patients suffering from this condition as they act as supplementary treatments once other types of therapies are taken. However, anxiety drugs and medications may become addictive when abused.

2. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
One very effective form of anxiety treatment is the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT. This treatment aims to change the behavior and cognition patterns of a person suffering from severe case of anxiety. This treatment is generally conducted within 12 to 20 weeks, with the patient undergoing either in an individual or group therapy.