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ANXIETY DISORDERS IT’S MORE THAN STRESS.

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What Not To Do | Kyndal Whitfield works diligently on a paper for her Supernatural Folklore class. “Procrastinating is not something that helps my anxiety at all, I don’t recommend it, “ said Kyndal.

our muscles tense up. Your hands begin to sweat. Your thoughts are scattered. Breathing gets harder and your heart begins to race. You feel like you’re drowning and no one is there to help you. That is what it feels like to have an anxiety attack. Anxiety disorders impact millions of Americans and they are being diagnosed, now, more than ever. NBC’s “Today’s Show” did the piece “Anxiety in America” on August 20, 2012. Their chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman reported that there has been a 1200% increase in anxiety disorder diagnoses since 1980. This report, and several others like it, have raised red flags in the medical field. When discussing anxiety disorders, people must remember that

experiencing everday stress does not mean that they have an anxiety disorder. However, if that normalized stress develops into an uncontrollable

has been “ ...there a 1200% increase

in anxiety disorder diagnoses since 1980.

sense of fear or apprehension, paired with physical symptoms such as fatigue, edginess, trouble sleeping, or difficulty concentrating, then they may need to seek medical attention. With any type of mental disorder, the hardest thing to do is realize that you need help.

Know the

FACTS

•40 million American Adults are impacted by anxiety disorders •One-third of those who suffer from an anxiety disorder will be treated for it

8 •1 inchildren will be affected by an anxiety disorder by age 13

•25.1%of 13-18 year olds will show lifetime prevalence of an •#1

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anxiety disorder

is what anxiety disorders rank in number of diagnoses among mental disorders

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Relax Your Mind | Kyndal Whitfield, a sufferer of GAD, does a forward bend. Yoga is a common form of unconventional treatment done to treat anxiety and other mental disorders. Whitfield says, “It is a great way to destress and relax.”

TREAT YOURSELF

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iving with an anxiety disorder is difficult, but it is even harder without treatment. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, one third of every person who has an anxiety disorder goes without treatment. That means about 13.3 million people haven’t recieved medical help for their anxiety disorder. Although there are multiple types of disorders with various symptoms, there are Three main types of treatment. Upon diagnosis, the first, and most common form of treatment is therapy. CognitiveBehavioral therapy involves identifying the problem and modifying ones’ thinking patterns. Another common form of therapy is exposure therapy. To reduce the reaction to a stimulus, the patient will be gradually exposed to it, until a response is minimal. The second type of treatment is medication. Often, it is paired with

therapy treatment. The medication usually promotes relaxation, improves moods, and reduces muscle tension. Medication can either be used as a long term or short term treatment depending on the severity of the disorder. The third type of treatment are unconventional methods. Yoga and other relaxation techniques are becoming more mainstream methods of treatment. Meditation coupled with physical postures are used during Yoga. These techniques relax, both the body, and mind. Acupuncture is another unconventional method. Beginning in China, this ancient technique uses specific placement of needles to change energy flow in the body. Most unconventional methods are used simultaneously with the other two types of treatment. It is important that those who suffer from an anxiety disorder get the help they need. These disorders are not something that should be taken lightly. See your doctor if you believe you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

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Compare and Contrast | this graph illustrates a breakdown of the number of diagnoses of many different mental disorders. Anxiety disorders are the most common. Women outnumber men in all categories, but there haven’t been many studies done to find why there is such a significant difference between the two genders.

TYPES of disorders Generalized Anxiety Disorder (G.A.D.) Characterized by a consistent, unrealistic worry about everyday activities and things. Symptoms: fatigue, restlessness, muscle tension, irritability Panic Disorder - Agoraphobia Characterized by unexpected panic attacks. Those who suffer from it are preoccupied by fear of a recurring attack, agoraphobia may come into play when they avoid places where a previous attack has taken place. Symptoms: sweating, shortness of breath, nauseau, heart palpitations, chest pain Social Anxiety Disorder Characterized by the extreme fear of public scrutiny or embarassment. This fear can cause a person to avoid social situations at all costs. Symptoms: abdominal distress, feelings of detatchment, dizziness, rapid heartbeat

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Characterized by irrational obsessions that are usually follolwed by some type of ritualistic compulsion used to ease that anxiety. Symptoms: persistent intrusive thoughts that create irrational fear, hoarding, repeating, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Characterized by intrusive flashbacks or memories of a traumatic event. These flashbacks can cause physiological reponses. Symptoms: avoidance of a particular stimuli because it reminds someone of an event, restlessness, feelings of guilt, anger or shame, self destructive behavior Specific Phobias Characterized by the avoidance of a phobia at all costs, whether the fear makes sense or not. Symptoms: depersonalization, smothering feeling, heat flush, chills, the need to escape

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A PERSONAL ACCOUNT WKU students Will Meloney and Kyndal Whitfield tell their stories.

Will Meloney is 20 years old and he has Generalized Anxiety Disorder, just like 6.8 million other Americans. Although he wasn’t diagnosed until last year, he believes anxiety has always had an impact on his life. Many people who have been diagnosed don’t find out until later in life, even though many children show the signs early in life. Listen to Will’s story.

His Story | WKU sophomore, Will Meloney shares the story of his struggle with GAD and how he fights for a normal life.

Meet Kyndal. At age 16 she was diagnosed with GAD. Anxiety has been a part of her life for years. She said she was, “having panic attacks on the playground.” As a college student, Whitfield is exposed to all types of triggers, but she says friends , family, and yoga have helped her cope.

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