Anxiety is a broad term that describes the disorders that cause feelings of apprehension, fear, nervousness, and worry. These disorders have an effect on our feelings and behaviors and can even manifest into real physical symptoms.
Severe anxiety can be debilitating and have a major impact on your daily life, and mild anxiety is usually unsettling and vague- you feel nervous or fearful, but you’re not sure exactly why.
Often, you may experience a general feeling of fear or worry before you come upon something challenging such as a test/exam, interview, or recital. These feelings are normal and easily justified- these are not considered to be part of an anxiety disorder.
However, if these feelings keep you from being able to sleep or function, that is when these feelings become a problem. Basically, a person is considered to be suffering from anxiety when their reaction is totally out of proportion with normal expectations of a situation.
Anxiety disorders can be divided into several specific types as follows:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This is a chronic disorder that is characterized by superfluous, long-lasting worry and anxiety about events, situations, and objects without being specific about what is causing the worry or fear. These feelings are way out of proportion with normal expectations of a situation. Those suffering from GAD automatically expect to fail and disaster to occur- to the point that it affects their daily functioning in work/school, social activities, and even relationships.
This is a form of anxiety that is characterized by sudden and brief attacks of extreme apprehension and terror that leads to confusion, difficulty breathing, dizziness, nausea, and shaking. These attacks come on quickly and usually reach their peak after about ten minutes- however, in some cases, they can last for several hours. Panic attacks cause sufferers to expect attacks in the future, which can cause them to make some major changes in their behavior to avoid them.
This form of anxiety is characterized by irrational fears and avoidance of particular objects or situations. These are much different than GAD, as a phobia is a response that has a specific cause. The individual may acknowledge that the fear is unnecessary or irrational, but they can’t control their anxiety that results in response to the object/situation.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
This form of anxiety is a social phobia that is characterized by fear of being publically embarrassed or negatively judged. This form of anxiety includes fear of humiliation, fear of intimacy and even stage fright. It can cause people to avoid human contact or public interactions to the point that it is impossible to live a normal life.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
This form of anxiety is characterized by actions and/or thoughts that are distressing, intrusive, and repetitive. Typically, those suffering from OCD realize that their compulsions are irrational, but those actions help to alleviate anxiety.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This type of anxiety occurs in those individuals who have experienced traumatic situations such as rape, military combat, a serious accident, or hostage situation. PTSD is characterized by flashbacks and changes in behavior to avoid certain triggers.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
This type of anxiety is characterized by an intense anxiety when separated from a place or a person that offers safe and secure feelings. In some cases, the separation causes panic. This is considered to be a disorder when the response is inappropriate or excessive.
Treating Anxiety Naturally
You shouldn’t have to live with your anxiety, but this isn’t the sort of condition that can be cured on a whim. Those who suffer from anxiety will need some sort of treatment that will break the effects that anxiety has on their lives so that they will be able to be more relaxed and happier.
In some cases, people turn to prescription medications. However, there are many dangers, including the possibility of becoming addicted with these medications. This is why more and more people are turning to natural treatments for anxiety. There are several options available to treat and cure anxiety naturally that don’t require prescription medications. You should know that the term “natural” means “without the use of chemical medicine. Natural treatment opens up many different doors for treatment.
You should keep in mind that “natural” medicines such as herbs and mineral supplements are still medicines and have an effect on your body. The most “natural” way to treat/cure anxiety is without ingesting any sort of medication- herbal or not.
Non- Medicinal Therapies
If you are willing to commit some time to treatment that doesn’t involve medicine or plants, following are some of the most effective and most common options for treatment:
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Holistic Therapy
- Yoga/Meditation/Deep Breathing/Relaxation
- Gestalt Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
There has been extensive research on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT and is typically recommended for treating anxiety and depression. However, other therapies could also offer some benefits. Some people may prefer “alternative” therapies such as:
- Sound Therapy
Additionally, there are other “alternative” therapies, such as laughter therapy that can help some treat/cure their anxiety. However, therapies such as this have much less support and research. Still, many swear to the fact that they can reduce anxiety and a host of other mental health issues.
Keep in mind that these treatments for anxiety are totally natural. Even herbal medications cannot be considered to be this natural. You should also know that you should never use any supplement or medication without also using some other way to cope long term, such as some form of therapy. All medications- natural and not- will only truly give you temporary relief of your symptoms. In the end, you must make sure that you’re willing to commit to some sort of treatment that can help you cope for life, not just for the day.
Herbal/Mineral Treatments for Anxiety
Many times, when people think of natural ways to treat anxiety, the first thing that comes to mind is herbal/mineral medicine. The good news is that there are lots of options for herbal treatments. However, you should consult your physician before taking anything because some could have some interactions with other medications. Also, don’t drink alcohol when using herbal treatments. Some common herbal/mineral medications to treat anxiety are:
- Valerian Root