Anxious by a Fear Mind
“There has been an “explosion” in anxiety in Britain over the past decade, research has shown."
Some days ago (Mon 14 Sep 2020) The Guardian published this title, with some interesting and alarming news:
“There has been an “explosion” in anxiety in Britain over the past decade, research has shown, with the financial crash, austerity, Brexit, climate change and social media blamed for massive rises in the condition.
The debilitating mental illness has trebled among young adults, affecting 30% of women aged 18 to 24, and has increased across the board among men and women under 55.”
What can we do? Is there a solution or a way out of this situation?
What the people experience?
“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” —Anais Nin
“Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.” —Jodi Picoult
“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.” —Brené Brown
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” —Thích Nhất Hạnh
“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” —Arthur Somers Roche
“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” —Walter Anderson
We find in the DSM the description of different anxiety disorders:
Panic disorder, which refers to recurring sudden episodes of intense apprehension, palpitations, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
- Phobias, which are fears and avoidance out of proportion to the danger,
Agoraphobia, fear of being alone in an open place or in public places. It is the opposite of claustrophobia.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder, consisting of repetitive thoughts, images, or impulses experienced as intrusive or of repetitive behaviors that are performed according to certain rules or in a stereotyped fashion.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), entailing chronic, persistent, and excessive anxiety and worry.
Synonyms for anxiety
Agita, agitation, anxiousness, apprehension, apprehensiveness, care, concern, concernment, disquiet, disquietude, fear, nervosity, nervousness, perturbation, solicitude, sweat, unease, uneasiness, worry.
What is Anxiety?
- Anxiety is a reaction of our body and mind in face of unknown, dangerous or stressful situations, it is a mental-physiological phenomenon. Until certain level help us to be aware and alert. But, could become a disorder called “anxiety disorder”. This reaction or phenomenon include a conscious state of worry about a future unwanted event, or fear of an actual situation.
Is there a difference between fear and anxiety? They are related, fear is considered an adaptive response to realistic threat, whereas anxiety is an emotion that could be an unreasonable or an excessive reaction to current or future threat.
Anxiety defined as a subjective sense of unease, dread or foreboding. Anxiety is described as an uncomfortable feeling of vague fear or apprehension accompanied by characteristic physical sensations. Anxiety can produce uncomfortable and potentially debilitating psychological (e.g., worry or feeling of threat) and physiological arousal (e.g., tachycardia or shortness of breath).
· The prevalence of anxiety disorders tends to decline over the lifetime. Nevertheless, anxiety disorders are still common in older adults.
· 8-12% of the population has an unexpected panic attack due to stress. Only 5% develop anxiety, thereby, having panic disorder.
· India, China and the U.S. are the countries most affected by anxiety, according to WHO.
· In the UK, up to 2 people in 100 have panic disorder.
· Anxiety disorders are the most common of the psychiatric illnesses in the United States, with approximately 30% of the population experiencing anxiety-related symptoms in their lifetime (Kessler et al., 2005).
· Eighteen percent of the U.S. population have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
· About 58% of patients with lifetime major depressive disorder have anxiety disorder.
· Patients who suffer from major depression and anxiety disorder suffer of severe, chronic types of anxiety.
What are the symptoms?
- Sensitivity of noise.
- Dry mouth.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- Restlessness, tremor.
- Gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Constriction in chest.
- Poor concentration.
Environmental and external factors:
- Trauma from events such as abuse, victimisation or the death of a loved one.
- Increase in stress: stress in a personal relationship, marriage, friendship and divorce.
- Stress at work, from school, about finances and money, from a natural disaster.
- Lack of oxygen in high altitude areas.
· Anemia, asthma, infections and several heart conditions.
· Some health related causes: symptoms of a medical illness, lack of oxygen from emphysema, or pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung).
· Exposure to physical or emotional trauma.
Family members with an anxiety disorder could increase the likelihood that a person will develop it. That is, some people may have a genetic predisposition that gives them a greater chance of suffering from anxiety disorders.
- Unemployment, poverty.
- Drug abuse.
- Side effects of medication.
Brain chemistry & nutritional factors
Research has shown that people with abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain are more likely to suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. When neurotransmitters are not working properly, the brain´s internal communication network breaks down, and the brain may react in an inappropriate way in some situations. This can lead to anxiety.
We must remember that the food that we eat is transform in neurotransmitters, if we do not eat the right food, then our brain will suffer the consequences.
· We recommend a vegetarian or vegan diet (without any animal product like meat, milk, eggs, cheese).
· Eliminate refined products like white foods (white rice, white starch, white spaghetti, white macaroni, white breads, and white sugar).
· Eliminate caffeinated or decaffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate).
· Deep breathing: consciously taking a deep breath, with a good posture at all times, taking a deep breath at the change of every hour. Clothing should be loose, especially around the chest or abdomen.
· Consciously control the rate of breathing to keep it normal.
· Hydrotherapy: Take hot baths daily for 20-30 minutes five days per week for three weeks.
· A gentle massage or simply a foot rub. More than just psychologically relaxing, massage has a healing benefit for emotional and mental disorders that cannot be easily defined.
· Physical activity or exercise to the point of sweating daily.
· Catnip tea taken in the daytime can have a very calming effect. About 20 minutes prior to leaving the house take a cup of the tea. If a more calming effect is needed, use, along with the catnip herb, some valerian, hops, and skullcap, one or more. Kava kava and St. John’s wort have also been recommended for mild anxiety.
The strength of psychological and spiritual practices
The spiritual power
· Many organizations have demonstrated the benefits of prayer—Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Al-Anon, and many others.
· Prayer is a powerful practice. If anxiety begins, switch the thoughts to a sacred theme. Millions have obtained help through prayer. It is a law of our nature that God is able to do for us what we cannot do, if we do not thus pray.
· Learn to sing aloud. Outdoors sing louder. Memorize entire chapters of the Bible: Psalms 1, 91, 23, and I Corinthians 13, and quote these aloud when out-of-doors or fearful.
· If an anxiety attack occurs say, “Stop!” audibly. Pray, and then switch the thoughts to a previously selected topic, such as quoting Scripture or singing a hymn you have memorized.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) done by a trained therapist, is one of the best psychotherapy known, evidence based. It´s aim is to recognize and change the patient´s thinking patterns that are associated with the anxiety and bothersome feelings. This type of therapy has two main parts: a cognitive parte designed to limit distorted thinking and a behavioural part designed to change the way people react to the objects or situations that trigger anxiety.
Bibliotherapy, meditation, workbooks, healthy friendships, spirituality.
Some promises that can give you strength
Jeremiah 1:8 “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.”
Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 7:1 “O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:”
Psalm 22:5 “They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded”
Psalm 25:20 “O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.”
Isaiah 46:4 “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”
George Fink. Stress: Concepts, Cognition, Emotion, And Behavior. Academic Press Elsevier London, UK. 2016.
Lambert R. (2015). Lifestyle Behaviours Add to the Armoury of Treatment Options for Panic Disorder: An Evidence-Based Reasoning. International journal of environmental research and public health, 12(6), 7017–7043. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120607017
King James Version, Bible.
The Guardian link:
For more information contact:
Amazing Natural Medicine
2 Waterloo Road, Capel Hendre,
Ammandford, SA18 3SF, UK.
Phone: (44) 07562425749
Silvia Rojas Reyes
(MBPsyS, N.D., Health Life Coach)
“Healthy Lifestyle Matters in Prevention of Diseases”