GAD = Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Repost: I originally did this piece in 2019 – Its a good resource and general information for General Anxiety Disorder. Thanks for supporting my blog, enjoy todays post.

Let me start this post off with a link to a great resource the Anxiety and Depression Association of America . This site has excellent information for anyone who thinks they have an anxiety disorder or knows they do and you just need more information. This website has a lot of information and resources and can assist with a multitude of issues. I strongly recommend taking a look at the site and the reference material it offers.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is essentially a catch all for nonspecific anxiety triggers most of us call them phobias. “GAD is diagnosed when a person finds it difficult to control worry on more days than not for at least six months and has three or more symptoms” . When I read this I realized that at several points in my life this applied to me. GAD isn’t a constant condition it can come and go but I’ve found in my travels that more often than not it is always present just to varying degrees.

“GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Women are twice as likely to be affected. The disorder comes on gradually and can begin across the life cycle, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age. Although the exact cause of GAD is unknown, there is evidence that biological factors, family background, and life experiences, particularly stressful ones, play a role.”

I thought this excerpt from the site was particularly potent. 6.8 million adults… Ya we aren’t alone. I found it very interesting that they claim women are twice as likely to be affected. I can logically extrapolate some instances why, pregnancy, physical appearance and family pressures come to mind. The worse part though is the multitude of factors and the lack of specificity as to why this occurs.

Essentially anything can trigger this, maybe you went to a concert Saturday and your ears were ringing when you got up the next day “am I going to go deaf?” you ask yourself. A common seemingly sterile situation right? So the next time you don’t hear something correctly are you now delving back into anxiety? Technically yes, again its degree’s but you are anxious about a future outcome based on an example of the past. You can’t absolutely say that your past experience will be identical to your future outcome but it’s your best gauge.

Then you begin to think “god if I just didn’t go to that concert I wouldn’t have this issue” and on and on it goes. That’s just one very simple example but it’s a prelude to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. There is no definitive moment as to when it begins for anyone, but when you are “in the moments” of anxiety you know it. The sensations are unique to everyone but if you’ve had panic attacks you know the gambit it can run. You can be highly functional and then for days struggle to get out of bed because you can’t overcome the anxiety.

Then, one day you feel good. Not perfect, not “wow that was silly I am free and clear” but the fog clears for you and you go on without worrying about it at all. This is GAD and it can flip day to day, week to week for your entire life. Knowledge is power and remember you aren’t alone.

Philippine diocese creates mental health ‘hopeline’

Hello to all my friends in the Philippines! Yes I see you, I know a large % of my audience is from the Philippines! Came across an article on how the church is working to help people effected by mental health issues. Again, more services, regardless of source is a net positive for those suffering from mental health issues. You can find a link to the article here.

From the article: “Covid Hopeline” is phone-in counselling service of the Diocese of Kalookan in Metro Manila.  Its team of mental health experts and priests provides psychological and moral support to those suffering anxiety and stress due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown. 

“We launched our own ‘Hopeline’ so that we’ll be able to help our people in the diocese when they need the guidance of a priest or a psychiatrist,” Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan told Church-run Radio Veritas.”

Regardless of your religion, help is out there if you need it.

Now as many of you know I am not Christian. That said I support any and all institutions that support mental health issues. Everyone is affected by the pandemic, those of us with mental health issues this can be hell as we are already prone to anxiety attacks. Having hotline and support networks are extremely helpful. Of course we have to be mindful of cultural differences as well.

I am not going to profess to be an expert in south East Asia or its social dynamics but in an ideal world friends and family in all cultures can recognize issues with people they care about and encourage them to get help. This blog is an example, anyone can view it who has internet access. Maybe it helps? Maybe you are in the Philippines or Kazakhstan?

Point here is take advantage of the resources available to you. The goal is more than just getting through the day it’s to learn how to live with anxiety and have the best life you can. Maybe this hope line can help you? Maybe you know someone with issues that could use the help? Everyone’s situation is different but if you are reading this then you are somewhere in the mental health sphere, take the next step and use the resources or tell someone you know about it.

Covid 19 will pass, something else will come up. You or someone you know will likely always be in the midst of war with anxiety and mental health issues. Fight back, you can win. You are doing awesome, one day at a time.

Did you like this post and would like to read another like it? Check out my post here.

stressed-out-woman

10 Signs your stress is out of control

I came across a very good article here about signs your stress is out of control. The key to this article isn’t to take the individual items on the list but to see if multiple indicators are true for you. Many of us with Anxiety have several different drivers that contribute to our overall condition.

Many of the items on this list are physical manifestations of stress and each one can contribute to your overall anxiety. So the opening paragraph from the article:

“Everyday stress can elicit the body’s stress response and become harmful over time if too pronounced. From headaches to increasing your risk of disease (largely a result of the bad habits stress causes such as eating junk food, not getting enough sleep, and not moving enough), long-term, chronic stress wreaks havoc on both your mind and body.”

Now the article goes on to illustrate specifics, and it’s a valuable to look at. How does this translate into anxiety? Stress drives anxiety, it’s not the only factor mind you there are hormonal issues, dietary, environmental and genetic.

That said it’s critical to keep in mind some of these physical manifestations of stress as they will drive your anxiety higher and that is not good. If you have any of these symptoms you need to be diligent and investigate the cause and the solution.

I could elaborate on each item listed but I am no doctor. What I do know is several of the items in the article have or still do pertain to me. I still break out from time to time with acne and I’m 50 years old. This always happens to me when I have a lot of stress and it is toxins releasing itself through my skin.

I go to a steam room regularly now and sweat a lot keeping my pours clean and thus making my skin healthier and am able to resolve these acne break outs faster. Perhaps you have something in your life that is happening regularly, back pain perhaps? If it isn’t an injury perhaps it’s a symptom of your stress level rising.

Invest some of your resources in your personal care. Massages, a personal day off whatever it is that calms and relaxes you do it. Life is short, fight back against anxiety and stress. You are doing awesome, one day at a time.

For our stressed-out friends in the UK

So, anxiety appears in every corner of the earth, all peoples. To what degree and how it manifests itself is often unique culturally. As we explored in another blog post I did here UK moms are stressed out. Our friends in the UK are also dealing with one of if not thee most divisive issue in their society since WWII, Brexit.

If you live in a western culture, chances are you have access to resources that can help you through lives challenges. More and more we are seeing governments and societies recognize the debilitating impact that stress and anxiety has in its citizens. In my travels around the web I found a great website here

This is an excellent resource and means to get assistance for our friends in the UK. From the website:

Anxiety UK is a national registered charity (number 1113403) (company number 5551121) formed in 1970 by someone living with agoraphobia for those affected by anxiety disorders. Today we are still a user-led organization, run by people with experience of living with anxiety, stress or anxiety-based depression, supported by a high-profile medical advisory panel.

We work to relieve and support those living with anxiety and anxiety-based depression by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy. We work regularly with external agencies and healthcare professionals to improve services for those living with anxiety and anxiety-based depression and campaign to raise awareness of the conditions.

I clicked through the site and it appears to have a very robust offering of resources for UK citizens. As someone living with anxiety myself, one of the most challenging things you face is determining at what point do you, if at all, reach out for outside help. Not everyone is in need of services outside of their immediate family. As a matter of fact, most people don’t seek help at all.

It’s okay to need help in your life, it’s okay to use resources available to you. Take advantage of help if its offered, there is no shame in it. If you are healthy, you are productive and leading a good life. If that becomes your new normal, you might be in a position someday to offer someone help who is just like you used to be.

Remember, one day at a time, you’re doing great. You can do this !

5 ways to relieve stress fast

So if you read this blog, you either have stress and anxiety or no someone who does. Let’s bang out 5 quick ways to relieve stress and get back on track:

1. Aromatherapy: The section of your brain that processes scent is close to the area that controls your emotions. Put a few drops of essential oils onto your wrists. Lavender, Orange, Lemon and Rose are great choices.

2. Write it down: Maybe don’t create a blog post but open up your word processor and write a paragraph of what is happening to cause you stress. Writing it down is a direct action you are taking to address an issue. It may not solve the problem, but having a chance to read it, in your own words might help.  

3. Take a walk: exercise in general helps mood with the release of hormones. Increased heart rate brings blood to the brain and needed nutrients. Walking means you are moving, potentially, AWAY from the stress source. This also allows you to retain a personal moment.

4. Laugh: Easy for you to say Karac. No really find some stupid jokes and repeat them in your head. Here are a few:

Karac Avalron’s full proof pick up line: “Is your name Wi-Fi? because I am definitely feeling the connection”

Joke: “what did the elephant say to the naked man?” “How do you breathe through that tiny thing?”

Witticism: “Don’t trust atoms, they make up everything”

5. Repeat your mantra: An old technique for getting through tough spots is to repeat something you find inspirational. Maybe it’s a quote maybe it’s something you heard as a kid and always said. A Mantra is a word or saying that helps you focus, it can be anything that you want, it’s the repetition and the positive emotional association you have to it that is the benefit.

Example: My Father used to say all the time “It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing”

Remember in the moment things often seem horrible, you will get through it. Hang in there, one day at a time.