Frequently Asked Questions On Chronic Anxiety

 

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Each of us feels anxious sometimes. We worry mostly about our families and other issues related to them. However, if you are worrying and feeling scared constantly to the point where your capacity to function and calm down is disrupted, you may have GAD or generalized anxiety disorder.

GAD is a typical anxiety disorder described as having persistent and chronic worry, tension, and apprehension. It is not the same as phobia, where your fears are related to a particular event or thing. The anxiety experienced in GAD is subtle but diffused – an overall feeling of discomfort or fright that engulfs your entire life. This form of anxiety is not as severe as a panic episode, but it lasts longer, making it hard for you to get a hold of a normal, peaceful life. GAD is physically and mentally draining. It exhausts you of your energy, it fatigues your body, and it impedes sleep.

If you are experiencing generalized anxiety disorder – or chronic anxiety – you may almost always be concerned bout similar things that others do. Still, you consider these worries to be way bigger. A colleague’s thoughtless comment regarding a future project becomes something that is a red flag to you; a text message to a close friend that isn’t instantly returned becomes a concern that you must have done something wrong. Sometimes, just thinking about surviving a busy day elicits anxiety. You perform your tasks filled with extreme pressure and anxiety even when there is nothing to provoke you.

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Below are more details about chronic anxiety that you should know.

How do you treat chronic anxiety?

GAD or generalized anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that presents chronic anxiety and extreme tension and worry, even if there’s nothing that’s provoking the situation. Some long-term techniques that you can do for your chronic anxiety can include:

  • Finding ways to deal with your triggers
  • Practicing a regular meditation or mindfulness routine
  • Going through cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Taking supplements and changing your diet
  • Consulting your doctor regarding medications
  • Keeping your mind and body healthy 

What are the symptoms of chronic anxiety? 

If you are suffering from chronic anxiety, you are constantly feeling restless, tense, or nervous, and you often have a sense of imminent danger or doom. Your heart rate is usually fast; you are almost always sweating, trembling, and hyperventilating. Finally, you often feel tired and have difficulty focusing because you are always thinking about your recent concerns. 

Does chronic anxiety ever go away?

The first form of anxiety will disappear by itself. The second might not go away. Most individuals with anxiety never fully recover from their condition. But they can learn to control how they feel and tremendously decrease the extent of their anxiety by going through therapy and taking medications if necessary.

Can chronic anxiety cause physical symptoms? 

Individuals with a generalized anxiety disorder are chronic worriers who are tense and anxious almost always, and they don’t even know why. The anxiety that is associated with GAD frequently presents with physical indications such as stomach problems, fatigue, restlessness, and insomnia. 

How can you reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety?

To help you decrease the physical symptoms that you are experiencing because of your anxiety, you can start by taking time to exercise regularly. This lowers your stress levels and enhances your physical health. You should also try avoiding nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, as these three could definitely worsen anxiety symptoms. Practicing relaxation strategies and trying to get enough sleep are also great ways to decrease your physical symptoms of anxiety. 

Can physical symptoms be caused by thoughts? 

Yes, it can. And when physical symptoms lead to or are worsened by one’s thoughts or mental state, this is psychosomatic. Many individuals think that psychosomatic symptoms are unreal, but they actually are very true symptoms caused by psychological factors. For instance, when you imagine or over-think that you are sick when you’re not, this can potentially make you truly sick through a ‘nocebo effect.’ Pretentious sickness could emerge because of a person’s overactive imagination, overreaction, or over-diagnosis. 

Is Googling for symptoms a bad idea?  

Aside from inappropriate diagnoses, using Google to come up with a diagnosis for your symptoms can cover up a possibly life-threatening condition. So besides a hazy and incorrect diagnosis from various medical websites on the web, it is the danger of not recognizing a disease appropriately that is far worse than you think.

Why do I always think something is wrong with me?  

When you often think that something is wrong with you, you have a condition called illness anxiety disorder, sometimes referred to as hypochondriasis. You constantly worry that you may become severely ill, even without seeing or feeling any physical symptoms. At times, ‘catastrophizing’ can also occur to individuals at any point in their lives. It might be because of one’s mental health problems such as depression or anxiety, or it could have developed from a previous negative experience or trauma that you have not been able to overcome. 

Can anxiety cause weird body sensations? 

It is not uncommon for people with anxiety to feel tingling or numbness, which may happen at almost any part of the body but most commonly sensed on the hands, arms, legs, feet, and face. This results from blood running to the most vital parts of the body that supports the fight and flight response. 

How does anxiety make your body feel? 

For a brief period, anxiety increases one’s heart rate and breathing, focusing blood flow to the nervous system, where the person needs it most. This physical indication allows you to anticipate the severe or extreme circumstance you’re about to be confronted with. If the situation becomes too extreme, however, you may begin to feel dizzy and nauseated. 

How do I stop feeling jittery? 

You can minimize the ‘jittery feelings’ by drinking lots of water and avoiding too much caffeine from soda and coffee. You would also want to replace electrolytes, taking regular walks, and practicing meditation and deep breathing techniques.

Is staring a symptom of anxiety? 

Staring in blank space is the body’s normal way of coping with anxiety. This anxiety gaze is a symptom that is associated with heightened stress levels.

Why does my body feel shaky inside? 

When you are extremely worried, angry, or stressed, your nerves’ sensation is increased, causing your body to shake. Some individuals are also more sensitive to prescriptions for anxiety compared to others. Antidepressants, antihistamines, lithium, or medications for asthma can cause shakiness as well.

Why do I feel jittery and shaky?

When you have anxiety, your body is preparing to cope with the stress and tension, decoding the anxiousness as a sign of your need to run from the threat or stand your ground. Your body’s different muscles get ready to take action, causing the body to tremble, shake, and twitch. If tremors accompany these symptoms, the type of tremor is called psychogenic tremor.

Why do I feel shaky and weak?

If you unexpectedly feel shaky, lightheaded, and weak, you could be having a hypoglycemic attack. Other indications of lowered blood sugar include sudden headaches, trembling, fatigue, or tremors of the legs or arms.

 

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Bottom Line 

Whether you acknowledge that our anxiety is far exaggerated than the circumstances call for or think that your constant worrying guards you in whatever way, the outcome is the same – you cannot turn off your extremely anxious ideations. They continue running inside your head repeatedly. But even if things may seem so intense and overwhelming right now, you can be free of this chronic anxiety, find ways to pacify your anxious mind, and get back that sense of hope in you.

 

 

How Families Can Benefit From PCIT

 

 

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Definition

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy or PCIT is described as a blend of behavioral and play therapy for young kids, and their parents or guardians. Here, the adults get to learn and be hands-on on the skills and strategies that they would acquire from the therapy and are associated with children and their behavioral patterns, emotions, disabilities, or mental health concerns.

Geared mostly towards parents and guardians, this type of therapy teaches particular skills that they can utilize to help them become better at communicating with their children. PCIT was created for kids between 2 and 7, and so far, it has been proven to be successful for children who manifest disturbing behavioral patterns, have gone through trauma, or those who are on the spectrum. This type of therapy, including its related programs, are also used as interventions for helping counteract neglect and child abuse as well as reducing children’s risk of criminal and antisocial behavior.

Expectations

Indeed, parents and guardians have a crucial role in PCIT during treatment while the therapist plays observant and teaches from the next room furnished with a one=way mirror. The therapist talks with the parent or guardian using earphones while giving instruction and assistance. The adults are advised not to use negative language and are encouraged not to focus on the innocent and unhelpful behaviors. They should also acquire other skills, including echoing the child’s reactions back to him to help better the communication. They are to describe these behaviors aloud to maximize the child’s vocabulary, and replicating his positive behavior so the child is aware that the behavior is approved.

 

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How PCIT Works

By acquiring knowledge on certain strategies and skills, families, especially parents and guardians, can establish a stronger relationship with the child. The child is also able to manifest better behaviors. On the whole, PCIT can help regain good family dynamics by reducing negative behavioral patterns within the whole family, as well as learn new behaviors and techniques of collaborating that can be more inspiring and comforting. When these techniques are done regularly, they can build confidence, improve individual child and parent behavior, and decrease anger and hatred.

The PCIT Therapist

The parent-child interaction therapist, including the counselors and social workers, are employed privately or in community mental health. He has been certified by the PCIT International and has a license to provide mental health services through his master’s degree and other training and experiences in PCIT. Additionally, the therapist of your choice should be someone that you, as a parent, guardian, or family member, feel comfortable with working on personal concerns.

If your child is going through behavioral or emotional problems, you probably should have attempted to do a lot of techniques to pacify his behaviors, such as punishment and positive feedback. But if the child has not demonstrated a more pleasant behavior, you may be frustrated about not being able to do the right thing for your child.

It is significant to note that amidst all your efforts to keep yourself calm and collected, parents can become exhausted and annoyed when they are demonstrated with the same unpleasant behaviors from their child repeatedly. When this occurs, you might act inappropriately and affect the child negatively. Consequently, the child can imitate your bad reactions and habits and replicate them, which might also be the reason why they are behaving rather unpleasantly – because they see you react negatively when you are frustrated. If you are experiencing this kind of situation, then PCIT is the perfect therapy for you.

 

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It goes to say that parent-child interaction therapy is a therapy for the parent, the guardian, or the family member. You are given lessons from a child psychologist about how to manage your negative behaviors while improving your connection with your child. This type of therapy assists in controlling behavioral patterns in a young child. PCIT is a 15 or 20 therapy program developed for parents or guardians and their children who are ten years old or younger. They may be going through emotional, mental, or other behavioral problems.

Benefits

  • It can help kids deal with their violent and rebellious behaviors.

PCIT focuses on various defiant behaviors in kids. Some of these include fighting, swearing, demonstrating tantrums, reduced self-confidence, lying, and refusing to follow the rules. With many more of these behaviors present in children, parents and guardians often doubt if this kind of therapy is the appropriate solution. But to be able to fix these behavioral concerns, they need to get to the bottom of the real problem of the child. Frequently, the behaviors manifested by the kids are ones that are replicated from the parents – and the parents might have been doing these behaviors unintentionally. For instance, when you reprimand your child, and they talk back at you, you might unconsciously start an argument. When this happens a number of times, a habit is developed, and it may be difficult to fix it without the help of a professional. The parent must now learn to break these habits and practice techniques that will help him positively deal with his child.

 

  • It assists in improving relationships between the child and the parent.

One of the most important benefits of PCIT is that you are allowed to improve your connection with your child. Most parents and guardians yearn to have a strong bond with their child, yet they do not know how to do it. This type of counseling facilitates the learning of good communication through parental guidance while respecting your child in the process. Building a positive and enduring relationship with your child is easier when they are younger rather than in their later years.

 

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  • It reduces the incidence of child abuse.

When parents are discouraged or annoyed, they may verbally show these feelings out loud and can be painful and mentally disturbing to a child. Regrettably, they sometimes cannot realize this, as they may have been disciplined this way when they were children themselves. PCIT attempts to cut this vicious cycle of child abuse and guides the adults into the process of disciplining their children without mentally, physically, or emotionally assaulting them.

 

 

 

Help Kids Cope With Stress During This Pandemic

One of the misconceptions during this pandemic is that adults believe children are not that affected by the situation. They assume that kids do not understand what the world is going through. That all these children have to do is listen to what adults tell them. However, adults do not recognize the emotional and mental stress that kids also had to go through during this global health crisis.

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For Your Information

Children may respond to stress differently. Some tend to be so clingy, anxious, stubborn, withdrawing, angry, and impulsive. Most of the time, parents do not look at the signs intently because they somehow assume that children’s behavioral issues are normal and are a part of growing up. However, given this pandemic situation, the emotional stress that kids feel is different from what parents know. Children in times of crisis may suffer from mental decline due to lack of social school interaction, limited access to outdoor play, and sudden change of routines. With all these complications, here are some of the things parents can do.

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Providing Reassurance

One of the factors that cause children to become emotionally unstable is the lack of emotional support. That is the reason why most children tend to act and respond to their surroundings differently. Some of them become too anxious that they can no longer pay attention to themselves. So in this unfortunate condition, parents must learn how to listen to their kids. If the children say they are worried and afraid, prioritize by giving them an assurance that whatever happens, they will never go through the struggle alone. Make them realize that the situation is only temporary so that they can find it in their minds and heart not to get emotionally distracted with what they negatively see and hear on the news.

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Explain Things Calmly

Understandably, adults get too stressed because of the limited things they can do in this time of crisis. But they are not the only ones. Kids also feel deprived of their freedom because they understand they are not allowed to do things they were supposed to. These include playing and socializing. Thus, it is the parents’ responsibility to talk to the children and explain things calmly. At first, the children will get confused and might ask a lot of questions that can sometimes tend to be annoying. But that doesn’t have to cause an emotional burden to parents because that’s how kids are. They are curious about everything. Therefore, that is enough reason to tell them the truth about the people and the world’s suffering.

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Avoid Any Forms Of Separation

As much as parents want to keep their children safe, it is essential to not allow kids to feel alone in times of crisis. One thing that most adults wrongly do is trying to keep the children safe by allowing them to be with people they thought are more capable of taking care of the kids. Yes, assuming there’s the possibility there. But to avoid children’s emotional stress, parents must always stay by their kids’ sides. And if example, a member of the family needs to go to the hospital or might need to run an errand, they must ensure regular communication with the kids. That way, children will never feel left out, especially in moments that they need their parents’ with them.

For most of us, we somehow underestimate the children’s understanding of the situation. Thus we often make mistakes in taking care of them. In this time of crisis, we must all learn to understand that kids also feel the pressure, anxiety, and stress we all feel.

Keeping Kids Busy During A Lockdown

Since the spread of COVID-19 diseases, all of us became homebound. That is because staying at home is our best precaution to avoid getting infected. And since the lockdown closes a lot of establishments, we, parents, are now dealing with our kids all day long unexpectedly. With all the exhaustions of keeping our kids safe and nurturing them at the same time, we need more resources. In this article, I am going to share with you some of the activities that will keep your kids busy and productive.

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Health And Fitness

For health and fitness activities, you and your kids can spend time exercising. You can choose exercises that are easy to follow. Well, it doesn’t have to be the same as the basic exercises you do at the gym, though. You can go for some stretching, yoga, as well as dance. You can always make it engaging by putting up some music to it. You can also build them an obstacle course inside the house with the use of kid-friendly materials such as pillows, carton boxes, plastic bottles, and so on. Or, if you like, you can also schedule them house chores that they can do every day, such as washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, flower the plants, and re-arranging the closet. Honestly, there are a lot of physical activities that fit children’s capability. As a parent, you just have to be creative.

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Entertainment

For the entertainment’s first choice, you and your kids can have fun watching movies together. There is a wide range of websites that offer suitable films in different categories that you can watch for free. If you already have subscriptions, you can select the best movie that you like based on you or the kids’ preference. But if you want to limit screen time, you can play board games. There is chess, snake and ladder, monopoly, etc. If you wish to activities that are less demanding of winning, then you and your kids can spend time doing art. Some of these can include drawing, painting, coloring, craft-making, and many more. Creating art will not only entertain your kids but also improves their mental and emotional strength. It is the best option since the whole lockdown situation is a nerve-racking experience for everyone. But if you want fun and engaging entertainment, you can always go for karaoke sing-along.

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Learning With Fun

Learning with fun is probably the most engaging type of activity that offers so many options. You and your kids will have time to bond together while enhancing skills. The kids can learn to cook. I assure you, your children will love the opportunity to get busy in the kitchen, along with your supervision. Not only can you encourage kids’ skills in meal-preparation, but it will also allow you to teach them the importance of healthy living. Or if your kids do not like the kitchen, you can go for other stuff like sewing and knitting, playing instruments, composing songs, and more. If you want a little more relaxed, then you can read some books. Not only is it entertaining, but it will also enhance your children’s vocabulary. The options are endless. As long as you understand what your kids want, you can always make the best choices for them.

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In choosing the best thing to do during this lockdown situation, you do not have to follow a structured-like activity. Besides, this lockdown pretty much seems like a holiday experience for the kids. As long as there are a lot of options, you and your kids can decide which and what activity suits best.