Tackling anxiety

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The Problem: You often feel anxious, with negative thoughts and a racing heart. Frequently, your stomach feels queasy and occasionally you stop in the middle of the room and can’t remember what you’re doing. More and more, you find yourself in tears over the smallest things.

Mental Diagnosis: Anxiety. If the problem is ongoing, you could be diagnosed with GAD – generalised anxiety disorder. Your doctor will probably be keen to establish whether or not there has been any event in your life that may have triggered the psychological change, a death, break-up or another tragic event. If so, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder may be made.

Treatment for anxiety is wide ranging, from relaxation techniques and counselling to cognitive therapy and learning about what you are dealing with so you can problem-solve when anxiety arises. With anxiety, knowledge is definitely power.

Tranquilisers or antidepressants may be recommended by your GP, but usually only as a temporary measure while you’re getting your life back on track with other therapies.

Physical Diagnosis: Anxiety can have a dietary cause. Inadequate intake of B vitamins and calcium can promote anxiety and magnesium deficiency can certainly contribute towards anxiety, particularly noticeable when added to PMS. 

Anxiety can also potentially contribute towards bladder infections and, interestingly, a bladder infection can, in turn, trigger anxiety. The biochemical reaction can also work on the gut and bowel, leading to symptoms of IBS, bloating and diarrhoea.

Discover four breathing techniques that help reduce stress.