Generalized anxiety, stress, panic attacks, and depression affect many people worldwide. Women are disproportionately prone to suffer from anxiety for a variety of reasons ranging from hormones to heredity, from societal pressures to work and family responsibilities. One in thirteen people suffer from anxiety today. Women are twice as likely as men to be affected. Symptoms often present at adolescence, but can occur at any time and are more likely to appear during times of stress.
Anxiety can negatively impact work, education, household duties, and interpersonal relationships. Anxiety symptoms include:
– Feeling emotionally overwhelmed
– Restless thoughts/inability to concentrate
– Obsessing over problems
– Mood fluctuations
– Sleep disorders
– Overactive startle response
– Digestive difficulties
– Frequent urination
– Feeling dizzy or light-headed
– Difficulty swallowing
– Body aches and pains
Many people seeking relief from anxiety have been prescribed benzodiazepines (Valium, Ativan, and Xanax). These medications often cause severe side effects and are potentially addictive.
Others have been prescribed antidepressants (Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, Prozac, and Lexapro). These also can create side effects and chemical reliance, generating new problems in addition to the original anxiety.
However, there is hope. One avenue to explore is natural, holistic healing practices. These include exercise, mindful meditation, and the use of herbs.