Dealing With Death Anxiety

The fear of death is one of the oldest fears of the human race, stemming largely from the fact that nobody is entirely sure what’s “on the other side.” On some instances, the fear of death becomes even worse when the person is suffering from a terminal illness and is inevitably aware that his time is almost up. This feeling, sometimes referred to as “death anxiety” is often accompanied by bouts of depression and experience a number of problems connected to their interpersonal relationships. This “death anxiety” can sometimes be a problem for the people around the dying, though some psychological side effects have also been observed.

For the most part, this problem is largely ignored in favor of either prolonging the patient’s life, or making their last days as comfortable and painless as possible. For most medical professionals, the physical aspect of death is far simpler to deal with than the emotional and psychological facets of it. However, fairly recently, more and more people are starting to pay attention to the problems posed by “death anxiety” and the measures that could be taken to help reduce the emotional pain of those involved. Inevitably, this includes both the dying patient himself and the people around him, who would have to deal with the emotional reckoning even after the patient has passed away.

The depression that a person can feel because of “death anxiety” is no easier to deal with than regular depression would be. In fact, since the inevitability of death is looming over the horizon, it is quite possible that the problem would actually be worse than normal. This is true for both the patient and the patient’s loved ones, who would have to also deal with the grim reality that someone they care about is going to die. When taken into context, the depression could easily be seen as something that is compounding even beyond death, such that a problem that only seriously affected the patient “infects” the people the patient left behind.

Recent findings show that support groups were often good for helping people emotionally prepare for death. This is for both patients and the patients’ families, who all might need just a little extra help to cope with the arrival of death. Others find it helpful to be exposed to others who are suffering, or have suffered through, the same problems. Most psychologists believe that being exposed to others that feel the same pressures and problems can be instrumental in helping someone cope with both the loss of a loved one and the potential psychological damage that a terminal illness can do.

Standard support materials, such as magazines, pamphlets, and the like, have been in circulation among the terminally ill for a few years now. Most mental health experts note that these do have an observable positive effect on a person’s overall mood during periods of “death anxiety,” but they often are not sufficient to keep someone from slinking into depression. These can be helpful and are usually found readily in the offices of doctors and specialists who regularly deal with this sort of problem, however.

A Guide to Overcoming Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Scientific research is now validating that stress has a considerable influence on our body’s physiology, contributing to many acute and chronic illnesses. A report by the World Bank stated that 1 in 5 people suffer from depression or anxiety. Typical stresses that may be encountered in daily life include physical, chemical, infectious and psychological stresses.

The stress cycle involves our thoughts, emotions, the chemical reactions in our brain, our body and the physical sensations we feel as a result of these. Once this process begins it snowballs, gains momentum and life may feel out of control. The first stage, our thoughts is the most powerful as it is not the event that causes us stress, but the way we react to it. Thoughts start in the cortex of the brain and move quickly to the limbic system or mid brain where our emotions lie. Negative thoughts trigger an immediate emotional response such as anger, fear, hatred, grief, regret, anxiety, sadness, embarrassment or jealousy. These thoughts stimulate our nervous and hormonal systems to release stress hormones, most notably adrenaline and cortisol from our adrenal glands (kidney bean shaped glands which sit above our kidneys). In response chemicals are released throughout the body which reach the pituitary gland in the brain and stimulate the release of more hormones and stress chemicals. The final stage of the stress cycle is activated as these chemicals alert every organ in the body to work faster. This results in symptoms such as sweating, tremor, anxiety, churning stomach, reduced salivation, dry mouth, increased muscular activity and hyperventilation, irregular heart beat (palpitations), chest pain, visual disturbances and tingling and numbness, as well as muscle tremors, exhaustion, general weakness and sleep disturbances.

Once upon a time it was very beneficial for the human body to undergo these physical changes, as the main emotion experienced by our ancestors was fear triggered by an attack from a wild animal. The stress chemicals released during the attack enabled the early humans to push their bodies to the necessary extremes and escape the attack. In the 21st century however, more complex stress emotions are triggered far more often and they don’t necessarily require a physical reaction. As a result, this continual stress response starts to wear out the body – the over production of stress chemicals and hormones eventually take its toll on the body and may eventually lead to cell death. Cortisol one of the predominant hormones released by the adrenal glands in response to stress, produces many of the adverse effects of long-term stress. This includes depletion of DHEA, a hormone which is important for the manufacture of sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone; an antidepressant and our so-called anti-aging hormone. A reduction in DHEA produces symptoms of fatigue, hormonal imbalance, depression and general unwellness. Consistently elevated cortisol levels may also lead to a reduction in serotonin neurotransmission. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which is required for healthy mood. Low serotonin transmission is a major defect in depression.

Stress Lowers Immunity

Immune system function is also adversely affected by excess cortisol leading to depression of antibacterial, antiviral defense and increasing our allergy response. This may result is symptoms such as frequent colds and flus, cold sores, hay fever, asthma, sinusitis, migraines, and food intolerances.

Stress Increases Toxins

Stress also has significant effects on toxicity. The intestinal barrier function is a major defense against an immense load of disease causing microorganisms from ingested food, resident bacteria, invading viruses and other insults. Psychological stress has been clearly demonstrated to disrupt intestinal permeability. Acute stressful events are closely associated with inflammation of the colon; cells of the mucous membranes of the colon have been shown to produce elevated levels of inflammatory substances such as prostaglandin 2 and cyclooxygenase 2. This situation not only increases bacterial adherence to the intestinal lining, but also reduces the secretion of important immune system compounds such as immunoglobulin A. This may lead to a condition called leaky gut, whereby improperly digested food particles and other matter leaks into circulation leading to immune activation with subsequent enhanced stress response. Certain foods in particular seem to provoke this response, including wheat, dairy and yeasts. Symptoms of leaky gut include low appetite, bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain and cramping, irregular bowel movements, as well as sinus, headaches and skin rashes.

What Can You Do?

Fortunately there are an abundance of treatment options for stress, anxiety and depression. If the symptoms are severe or have been persisting for a considerable length of time, it may be useful to combine several approaches as outlined below:

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicines may be very beneficial for the treatment of stress, anxiety and depression. In fact, many clinical trials have found herbs such as St Johns Wort to be as effective as pharmaceutical anti-depressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Other herbs which are useful for alleviating symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, include Oats, Lemon Balm, Skullcap, Zizyphus, Passionflower, Verbena and Chamomile. Another class of herbs which assists our bodies to cope with stress are the adaptogens. These include the ginsengs, such as Panax or Korean Ginseng, Siberian Ginseng, American Ginseng and Indian Ginseng also known as Ashwaganda or Withania. Other important adaptogens include Rhodiola, Shisandra, Codonopsis and Gotu Kola. Since herbs are powerful medicines, it is best to consult a professional naturopath or herbalist who can prescribe an individual prescription containing a combination of herbs specific for your needs.

Supplements

Nutritional supplements may also be of benefit in times of increased stress since increased physical, emotional and mental demands increase our demand for certain vitamins and minerals, most notably:

• Magnesium required for muscle relaxation, energy production, hormone production and healthy heart function. Magnesium deficiency is a very common occurrence. Symptoms of deficiency include muscle cramps, headaches, neck and shoulder tension, premenstrual tension, period pain and low energy. Dietary sources of magnesium include: nuts and green leafy vegetables;

• B vitamins required for healthy nervous system function, hormone and neurotransmitter, production and energy production. As B vitamins are water soluble they are easily removed from the diet. Consuming excessive amounts of diuretics such as tea, coffee and cola drinks as well as certain medications will promote their removal from the body. Good dietary sources include: whole grains, such as oats and brewers yeast;

• Vitamin C is important for many functions in the body, including immune system function and adrenal gland function. It is also an important antioxidant and is required for collagen production;

• Essential fatty acids such as fish oil and evening primrose oil. These are essential for healthy brain function and are often deficient in the diet. Good sources include oily fish such as salmon, ocean trout, snapper, wild barramundi and deep sea cod. Evening Primrose Oil is best taken as a supplement. When buying oil supplements ensure you buy ones with added antioxidants such as vitamin E as all oil supplements are prone to oxidation. In addition, since many fish are contaminated with mercury and pesticides, ensure you buy fish supplements which has been tested and purified.

Dietary Recommendations

In times of stress we often go for an afternoon coffee or a cola drink with sugary snacks such as chocolate, cakes, biscuits, donuts, etc, which give us comfort and a short burst of energy. Unfortunately these may be exacerbating our anxiety and in the long term promoting weight gain and reducing our energy and immunity. As a result, these foods should be kept to a minimum. During times of acute anxiety it is best to avoid caffeine containing substances altogether as coffee (especially instant), chocolate, cola and tea may precipitate anxiety and panic attacks. Instead eat a diet of whole grains including oats, grain breads, nuts, seeds and vegetables, particularly leafy greens such as broccoli, bok choy, spinach and rocket. Include more good oils in the diet, including deep sea fish, nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) and good quality proteins such as eggs, lean pasture fed red meat and antibiotic free chicken.

Lifestyle Recommendations

There are many other therapies which are useful for reducing stress, including massage, hypnotherapy and acupuncture. Listening to relaxing CDs may also be beneficial. Practices such as yoga, meditation and tai chi are also beneficial as they not only calm our body by producing “feel good” chemicals called endorphins but also improve immune system function, bone density and promote the removal of wastes from our bodies.

As a Naturopath, I am passionate about educating people regarding drug free alternatives to pharamaceutical medications to treat their anxiety and stress. One such alternative which I am particularly excited about is Brainwave Entrainment. Brain Wave Entrainment Technology has made it possible to alter your brainwaves by using audio technologies to tune your brainwaves to specifically designed brainwave states simply by listening to a CD or MP3 recording. The entrainment process has been scientifically proven to naturally synchronize your brainwaves to the embedded carrier frequencies on the CD. I have personally used these technologies for over a decade with great success for insomnia and anxiety issues as well as for memory enhancement. For detailed information on our brainwave CDs visit our website listed below.

You should also aim to get adequate exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling, aerobics or weight training at least four times per week for at least 20 minutes. This will not only improve your fitness levels and cardiovascular function but will also increase the body’s production of endorphins-chemical substances that can relieve anxiety and depression. Scientific research shows that routine exercise can positively affect mood and help with depression. As little as three hours per week of aerobic exercise can profoundly reduce the level of depression. The most important thing is that you find something you like and do it regularly.

Below is a list of additional recommendations to help reduce stress:

  • Develop a positive attitude about everything you do; associate with positive attitude people
  • Make time to relax. If you don’t know how now’s the time to learn!
  • Learn proper breathing exercises (yoga, taichi)
  • Cultivate a good sense of humour & laugh more…
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Pamper yourself or be nice to yourself, e.g. have a massage or facial visit with friends and do things that you enjoy
  • Permit yourself to stretch from time to time
  • Get out of the hum-drum and do something different (a vacation, bush-walk, picnic)
  • Always get proper rest
  • Learn about your inner spirit, pray or meditate according to your conscience and beliefs
  • If your not enjoying yourself, ask why & do something about it – Life’s too short
  • Keep a diary of your feelings to monitor your progress
  • Find something to appreciate about life every single day!

Depression And Anxiety Medications – Drugs That Treat Them Both

Medications that are used in treating problems relating to anxiety do not always work for depression. It is quite unfortunate that though the two conditions go together they do not work for the same kind of medication. Luckily, doctors do have a separate list of medicines that are useful for both these symptoms at the same time. Zoloft and Paxil are two medications that work better for anxiety depression. The brand named drugs and the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors work pretty well for both.

SSRIs list of depression anxiety medications has been proven clinically to help solve many a number of conditions. They block what is called the neurotransmitter serotonin in getting reabsorbed by certain type of cells present in the brain. This leaves serotonin in larger quantities in the brain. This neurotransmitter is linked with both depression and anxiety.

Drugs that are classified as SSRI?s

Lots of well known brands of depression anxiety medications are now available in the market. Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil are a few of the common names.

Forms of anxiety that can be treated by SSRIs

The SSRIs are quite capable of treating anxiety disorders. All antidepressants do not treat them as well as the SSRIs do. Medications of anxiety depression like Celexa, Paxil and Luvox were proved as useful in being able to treat the whole spectrum of disorders of anxiety inclusive of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety and post traumatic disorder of stress.

Time taken to work

Anti depressants take quite some time to work unlike the anti anxiety medications which work in a few hours after they are taken. The anti depressants may take some days or even several weeks for the full effect of it to be felt. It is important for the patients to follow the instructions well if they are taking these depression anxiety medications. Dosage is the most important.

Side effects

These medicines may be very useful, but the do come out with a lot of side effects. They are however considered safer than many anti depressants. Over dose of these will not cause danger.

Some of the side effects include:

  1. upset stomach
  2. sexual desire is reduced
  3. you may get headache
  4. drowsiness, insomnia, restlessness and agitation
  5. gaining weight
  6. serotonin syndrome – very rare side effect. It can however be life threatening. It is caused due to high amounts of serotonin in the brain. SSRIs and other medications are not prescribed together for this reason only. When supplements like St.Johns wort is taken with SSRIs it may cause problems. Symptoms that you need to keep an eye on include hallucinations, seizures, increased heart rate, fever and change in blood pressure.

Depression anxiety medications in the class of SSRIs have been useful. Although they have complications, relief is got on taking them.

A Simple Cure For Anxiety And Depression

Our innate desire is to be happy, and when we move away from it, we experience fear. This fear is actually millions of years old, for it arises from the biological programming of our species.

While we may not have to contend with a sabre-toothed tiger on any given day, we still use those very reactions to deal with events looming ahead.

We think, “Will I be fired for making that mistake at work?” or “Will I be able to meet the mortgage after I fix the car?” or “Will my health continue to decline?” or “Will my relationship fall apart after that argument we just fell into?”

Running questions with this type of urgency and helplessness trains our brains to prepare now for future danger by loading our bodies up with the stress hormone cortisol.

Anxiety is our anticipation of a dangerous future. We imagine having even less of the little that we have today. This anxiety does not help us in any way to meet the future any better. In fact, it weakens and exhausts us. We usually worry most about things that we can’t even control. Worrying about your dental visit, for example, will not make the visit better.

Anxiety, in fact, is a silent killer. It is enervating, and it drains you of purpose and hope, faith and initiative. It fogs up your thinking. And it makes the body suscble to illneseptis.

When anxiety–a fear of an event in the future–is high enough then you feel a deep sense of helplessness. This, in turn, translates into depression. You even begin to view the past as disappointing.

Caught between a miserable past and a frightening future you create a pattern of emotions that can lead to a variety of mood disorders, including manic-depression.

How do we escape from this vicious cycle?

Here is what I did 20 years ago and I have never since suffered from any serious mood disorder. I started to cultivate my awareness of my mood swings–from elation to black despair.

I did this by basically watching myself when I was manic, and watching myself when I was depressed, and watching what I did to turn on these states. For example to get depressed, I used my love of literature to focus on dark, morbid, and unhappy stories about life. And to get elated, I would talk a lot, move very quickly, and do things in a dramatic way.

An interesting thing happened when I made my unconscious behaviour conscious. I could not take my mood shifts seriously. This is what I learned from that experience: when you are able to observe yourself over the course of a few weeks, you develop a curious detachment.

A paradoxical situation developed for me: I found it difficult to stay anxious and depressed when I was observing myself feeling anxious and depressed.

Ultimately, anxiety and depression are culturally-induced patterns of thinking that can be overcome through a deliberate cultivation of awareness. When you become your own observer, you weed out the unconscious habits that afflict you.

Despite the billions of dollars spent to heal anxiety and depression, and all the mood disorders and behavioural anomalies that arise from them, the cure is simple, quick, and free.

Depression and Anxiety – The Best Treatments

If you have been having a truly awful time of it, where it feels as though nothing has gone right and that you are never going to be able to get to a good place or even a safe place, you may find that it is time for you to consider the twin issues of depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety, as so many people know, will feed off of each other and there is a very good reason for that. At the most basic level, you will find that depression is something that will very easily result from a state where you feel as though there is nothing that you can do, while anxiety easily results from the fear of the consequences that come from helplessness! When you are taking a look at the issues together, how can you solve them in your own life?

The first thing that you need to do is to get out of your environment. No matter where you are feeling the most upset or where you are staying, remember that both depression and anxiety can have a lot to do with the physical place that you are. This might just be a factor of habit and memory or perhaps there is something else at work, but remove yourself from that situation, if only for a little bit of time. With depression and anxiety, you will discover that it is time for you to change what is going on. Remember that you should keep in mind that change is possible, even if you don’t necessarily believe it yet!

Also remember that you should take some time to exercise. When you exercise, your body will produce natural endorphins, which can go a long way towards soothing some of the chemical problems of depression. Similarly, it will also have a positive effect on your anxiety. In many cases, anxiety is made much worse when you are building up stress and that stress has no good or reliable outlet. When this happens, it can manifest in strange or unfortunate ways, like suddenly bursting into tears or lashing out at someone who wants to help. Get some exercise and see if this method of blowing off stress can help you.

Another thing that you might want to think about when you want to treat both depression and anxiety is whether you have identified your triggers. What can send you into a downward spiral and what can make things suddenly look very dark? For some people, it is a reminder of a similar time in their lives while for other people, it might be as generalized as the seasons turning. When you can identify what sets you off, or what can bring on a dark mood, you may find that you can avoid it entirely or that you can at least brace yourself for it.

There are thousands of people who suffer from this very issue and if you find that you are concerned about depression and anxiety in yourself or in your loved ones, you are certainly not alone. Take a moment to make sure that you consider our e-course, which will give you a fast, natural and effective solution to depression of all types!

The Relationship Between Fear, Anxiety, And Depression

Ultimately, all our depression and anxiety are born out of some sort of fear or the realization of a fear. Fear, according to the Bible, brings torment. This article explores the various mental, emotional, and spiritual torments that often lead to depression and anxiety.

There is a direct correlation between fear and depression. In fact, you will discover that highly depressed people often have fears that are very real to them and very near to their thinking.

To break it down a bit more, anxiety is the fear of your fears. Depression is often the result of feeling as if you are living your fears. For example, a loved one that is sick does not necessarily bring depression, but there could be a lot of anxiety over his health. If, God forbid, he dies, people often are plunged into depression because they are now living their fears and do not have the wherewithal to handle it well.

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

From my experience as a counselor and pastor for nearly two decades, I have come to see the tremendous truth of the above Bible verse. Fear brings a torment to the psyche that affects the emotions, mind, and spirit. Let’s list a few of these torments.

  1. Fear consumes the mind and becomes the only thing a person can see.
  2. Fear can destroy and limit your relationships as few relationships can withstand the pressure of being dominated by fear.
  3. Fear creates nonexistent problems that trouble your emotions and dictate your actions.
  4. Fear prevents positive action.
  5. Fear creates an unstable environment that others will studiously avoid leaving you isolated and alone.
  6. Fear dominates your emotions.
  7. Fear causes you to be reactive instead of active.
  8. Fear builds an atmosphere of anxiety in even the most comfortable and normal environments.

Take someone who fears rejection and thus avoids social situations. Since his interaction with people is severely limited, he still can’t avoid the feeling he is being rejected by others. His social anxieties, therefore, lead him straight into depression-all because of a fear.

A wife who fears that her husband is either cheating on her or is interested in another woman will become very anxious when she can’t physically keep an eye on him. If she believes her fears to be a reality, she may sink into a depressed state believing her marriage is at an end. The truth of his faithfulness is irrelevant to her state of mind in this case. It is all based on her belief of the reality of her fear. Her fear will dominate her thinking and any protestations on his part will usually be seen as verification of her fears, leading to even more depression.

To overcome depression and anxiety, a person’s fears must be dealt with adequately. This can be a problem as people fear their own fears. Any type of confrontation with one’s own fears is emotionally challenging.

Interestingly, the opposite of fear is love. True love will result in security. The more secure you are, the less you fear. The key to overcoming anxiety and depression is finding a degree of love that brings a sense of security to your life. It won’t happen, however, by continuing to hide from your fears. Fear will prevent you from experiencing the love mentioned here. You must, at some point, face those fears.

Depression and Anxiety – How Do They Differ?

Depression and anxiety are often considered to be same, and have been often been substituted and confused with each other. However, there is a thin line of difference separating them, which has been agreed by psychologists worldwide. It is also very important to determine which came first – the depression, or the anxiety. There are certain similar symptoms such as lack of concentration, improper sleep and appetite, etc, but there are many differences as well.

Anxiety relates to day to day immediate worries such as losing your job, car or your loved one. Anxiety can easily be determined on the basis of mood swings. It is highly possible that after some passage of time, an over anxious person would behave normally, which would not be the case in depression. “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (OCD), is one of the major symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety could ultimately result into depression, but this is a very preliminary and easily treatable condition. However, if depression comes before anxiety, such as some long standing strain, then it could be termed as “true clinical depression”, and requires appropriate treatment.

At this stage, it is important to understand “Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” This state is more of a mix of both depression and anxiety. Here, an individual could exhibit symptoms of anxiety for some period of time, and then switch back to depression, and vice versa.

Depression is more than just daily worries and passing moods. Clinically, depression refers to “several weeks of profound sadness and despair that interferes with normal functioning of life”.

An anxious person experiences feelings of fear and apprehension. On the other hand, a truly depressed person feels helpless, hopeless and empty from within. Anxiety could result in enormous display of energy, agitation, muscular tension, etc. Depression on the other hand could lead to a lethargic display in terms of physical movement.

Anxiety could also result from the fact that the person focuses on perfectionism, and is very much concerned about the result of his/her activities. A depressed person on the other hand has no sense of ambition and generally exhibits poor performance.

Anxiety may make one fear death, but it would not result in suicidal tendencies. Depression could cause the person to exhibit suicidal tendencies.

How To Stop Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are psychological conditions that affect a large degree of people at various circumstances in life. Attacking anxiety depression can be somewhat puzzling because anxiety and depression are two separate conditions thought it has similar symptoms and can occur together or separately.

Anxiety and depression usually occur due to direct stress affecting our lives, these changes in mental health has a direct bearing on our physical health. We cannot isolate the mind from the body, both are interconnected and the impairment of one will follow suit with the other. Therefore it is important to start attacking anxiety depression as early as possible.

A few simple guide lines can help you to start attacking anxiety depression effectively, it is very important to understand thoroughly if you suffer from this condition, therefore you must arm yourself with self knowledge, know its triggers, symptoms, its impact on your life and effective relaxation techniques, Knowledge and acknowledgement is a key component to attacking anxiety depression.

People get bouts of anxiety depression due to pessimism or sudden let downs, betrayals, disappointments etc and you see yourself at an unexpected cross road in life and yet with no end in sight.

One way to overcome this wallowing in depression is to realize and learn to cope with very situation in life as a new direction, think of experiences as an opportunity to learn more about life and move on to better things. Power of positive thinking can go along way not only can it dispels the blues away in all actuality it can bring you closer to what you really want and value in life.

Another positive way of attacking anxiety depression is find an outlet to vent your emotions that may be causing anxiety depression. This can vary from person to person, if you’re an introvert writing poetry or keeping a journal may be very therapeutic, if you prefer the finer arts joining a theater club, dancing, even martial arts can be helpful, actually any physical activity will be helpful for it helps to release endorphins and oxytocin the bodies natural feel good hormones.

Meditation is perhaps the best way to start attacking anxiety depression, since all these problems appear due to proliferation of the same line of thinking which nurses all the fears and anxieties associated with this condition, meditation can bring much needed relaxation to your mind.

By focusing on a meditative object you will feel yourself letting go of all harmful destructive thoughts and symptoms, don’t forget the mind cannot think two things at the same time. Cultivating lifestyle changes such as meditation and physical exercise which helps to combat stress can go long way in attacking anxiety depression for good.

Explaining Depression And Anxiety

While we all feel blue and down in the dumps at some time in our lives, for others these feelings are more intense and remain with them throughout every day of their lives. Individuals such as these live in constant fear and often see themselves as cowards. This is far from true; those suffering depression and anxiety are some of the bravest individuals to be found. They fight the unknown and their own battles day in and day out while somehow managing to cope.

Depression and anxiety in its most chronic form forces the individual to remain tied to their home. They lose respect of themselves and if they do not respect themselves then how can they expect others too? They feel inferior and feel people know there is something not right with them. It is a never ending circle. They constantly worry and some may even have panic attacks. Panic attacks are perhaps one of the most frightening aspects of anxiety and depression.

Panic attacks are a series of intense feelings that overcome the sufferer throughout the course of the day. The frequency of when they come depend on the individual, they can have one or two during a day or the attacks can sweep over them every few minutes. These attacks leave the sufferer exhausted and fearing another episode.

It is important to remember that the attacks are nothing more than your fear and adrenaline coursing throughout the body. In fact if the individual were to take no notice of the symptoms they feel then the attack would subside and go away. The key to overcoming panic attacks is to break the cycle of fear of them.

The symptoms of panic can be varied depending on the individual. There are many symptoms that make up feelings of panic.

· A sick feeling in the pit of the stomach

· Feeling like lead in the stomach or butterflies

· Extreme tiredness and lethargy

· A feeling of absolute dread, you do not know what you fear but fear something is about to happen

· A feeling of shaking or trembling in various parts of the body, most commonly the hands and fingers

· Pain in the head and neck or a feeling of tightening around the head and scalp

· Vomiting or feeling nauseous

· A loss of appetite and balking at food

· Light-headedness and a feeling of falling

These symptoms if they should occur on their own are bad enough but those suffering anxiety can have several at once. To make matters worse they can have these feelings come on them several times throughout the day for what appears to be no reason or the feelings remain static with them. The more the sufferer worries about these feelings then the more they occur, give them no thought and let them wash over you and they would subside and eventually go away altogether.

Those who do suffer from the feelings that panic attacks bring, feel they have a life threatening illness. This adds to the worry and so brings about the feelings more. The first step you should take is to talk with your Doctor, have a full medical and be assured by the Doctor you do not have a serious medical condition then let it go. Practice just relaxing and letting the feelings wash over you when they arise. Taking deep slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth can also help to calm the person. It is a slow process but with practice you are able to beat the symptoms and panic attacks that are brought on by depression and anxiety. It is not easy and there is no simple immediate cure, but it can be done and millions of people throughout the world have suffered and recovered in time.

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