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Vocapedia > Health > Mental health > Phobia, Anxiety

 

           

 

 

 

 

Mickey Duzyj

 

Understanding the Anxious Mind

NYT        By ROBIN MARANTZ HENIG        October 4, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/magazine/04anxiety-t.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fear

 

 

 

 

be terrified of N

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Stop a Panic or Anxiety Attack - Deep Breathing Technique        18 August 2016

 

 

 

 

How to Stop a Panic or Anxiety Attack - Deep Breathing Technique        Ben from BrilliantSide        18 August 2016

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkiQXbJwt68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

panic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

panic attack        UK / USA

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/panic-attacks

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/30/
708332971/dealing-with-trauma-after-a-mass-shooting-over-the-long-term

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/18/
630069876/director-bo-burnham-on-growing-up-with-anxiety-and-an-audience

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/
smarter-living/how-to-combat-your-anxiety-one-step-at-a-time.html

 

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=kkiQXbJwt68 - 18 August 2016

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/05/27/
409792775/paralyzed-by-doubt-heres-a-guide-for-the-worrier-in-us-all

 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/15/
anxiety-epidemic-gripping-britain

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/
sports/golf/charlie-beljans-panic-leads-to-hospital-and-then-pga-title.html

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/nov/15/
ronan-keating-boyzone-gately

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

panic disorder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

become suicidal

 

 

 

 

USA > Rosemary Kennedy    1918-2005        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2005/jan/11/
guardianobituaries.usa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

phobia        USA

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/03/
things-to-fear-and-loathe/

 

 

 

 

phobia        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/nov/30/
health.healthandwellbeing  

 

 

 

 

agoraphobics

 

 

 

 

agoraphobia

 

 

 

 

claustrophobia        UK

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/claustrophobia/

 

 

 

 

arachnophobia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did My Son Inherit My Anxiety?        NYT        31 October 2018

 

 

 

 

Did My Son Inherit My Anxiety? | Conception Season 2        NYT        31 October 2018

 

She never told her son

about what happened in their small town.

 

After Parkland,

he has trouble in public spaces.

 

She wonders,

will he ever escape his fear?

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=3w5z-8vZmy4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga Breathing        Alternate Nostril Breathing        22 January 2014

 

 

 

 

Yoga Breathing | Alternate Nostril Breathing        Yoga With Adriene        22 January 2014

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VwufJrUhic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternate Nostril Breathing        31 July 2012

 

 

 

 

Alternate Nostril Breathing / Nadi Shodhan / Wechselatmung - Art of Living Yoga        Art of Living Productions        31 July 2012

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbbr6Udg1UA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to End General Anxiety        8 June 2009

 

 

 

 

How to End General Anxiety        Barry McDonagh        8 June 2009

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mcrtpzOkbA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anxiety / clinical anxiety / anxiety disorder / generalised anxiety disorder        India / UK / USA

 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/generalised-anxiety-disorder/

 

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/07/24/
744465884/how-to-help-your-anxious-partner-and-yourself

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/30/
708332971/dealing-with-trauma-after-a-mass-shooting-over-the-long-term

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/feb/05/
youth-unhappiness-uk-doubles-in-past-10-years

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/01/
well/mind/anxiety-drug-shortage-buspirone.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/21/
687255684/field-guide-to-the-north-american-teenager-taps-into-the-raw-anxiety-of-adolesce

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/16/
676188220/how-to-make-sure-your-math-anxiety-doesn-t-make-your-kids-hate-math

 

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=3w5z-8vZmy4 - NYT - 31 October 2018

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/03/
night-terrors-what-do-anxiety-dreams-mean

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/18/
630069876/director-bo-burnham-on-growing-up-with-anxiety-and-an-audience

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/07/18/
620074926/empowering-kids-in-an-anxious-world

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/07/16/
619328200/got-math-anxiety-here-s-one-way-to-calm-it-down

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jun/23/
schoolchildren-facing-mental-help-epidemic

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/06/11/
616900580/back-off-how-to-get-out-of-the-high-pressure-parenting-trap

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/04/23/
604307015/anxiety-relief-without-the-high-new-studies-on-cbd-a-cannabis-extract

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/18/
i-couldnt-sit-still-i-couldnt-be-on-my-own-how-i-coped-with-my-crippling-anxiety

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetorch/2018/02/07/
583330979/everyone-has-anxiety-dreams-olympic-athletes-have-olympic-sized-ones

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/01/31/
582112597/researchers-discover-anxiety-cells-in-the-brain

 

 

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/
smarter-living/how-to-combat-your-anxiety-one-step-at-a-time.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/04/
every-day-trauma-keeping-calm-anxious-world-therapist-tips

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/16/
554063496/floating-away-your-anxiety-and-stress

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/
magazine/why-are-more-american-teenagers-than-ever-suffering-from-severe-anxiety.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/09/
older-people-depression-anxiety-silence

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2017/10/05/
555855908/what-is-it-like-to-suffer-from-an-anxiety-disorder

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/02/
554550787/for-children-with-severe-anxiety-drugs-plus-therapy-help-best

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/09/29/
554280219/mommy-mentors-help-fight-the-stigma-of-postpartum-mood-disorder

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/23/
stress-anxiety-fuel-mental-health-crisis-girls-young-women

 

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=4bOPJzXc8rc
- Narcissistic Recovery Healing for Empaths - 17 September 2017

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/07/
tackling-health-anxiety-could-save-nhs-over-400m-a-year-study-finds

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/26/
543739986/having-a-best-friend-in-your-teenage-years-could-benefit-you-for-life

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/03/
letter-husband-who-copes-with-my-anxiety-disorder

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/
well/move/what-chill-mice-can-teach-us-about-keeping-calm.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/12/03/
504136736/how-a-psychedelic-drug-helps-cancer-patients-overcome-anxiety

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/video/2016/oct/06/
teenage-girls-talk-about-anxiety-video

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/30/
health/teenagers-stress-coping-skills.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/13/
478834629/for-kids-anxiety-about-school-can-feel-like-being-chased-by-a-lion

 

 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/28/
443203592/club-drug-ketamine-gains-traction-as-a-treatment-for-depression

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/25/
443444964/parents-can-learn-how-to-prevent-anxiety-in-their-children

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/09/22/
is-depression-treatable-with-a-mobile-phone-app

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/
opinion/sunday/the-anxious-americans.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/05/27/
409792775/paralyzed-by-doubt-heres-a-guide-for-the-worrier-in-us-all

 

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/27/
anxious-students-strain-college-mental-health-centers/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/
opinion/sunday/the-feel-good-gene.html

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/21/
fear-and-withdrawal/

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/12/
breaking-up-with-my-meds/

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jun/08/
film-anxiety-mental-health-walz-bashir-solaris

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/books/review/
my-age-of-anxiety-by-scott-stossel.html

 

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/11/
julie-myerson-mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/
opinion/sunday/alzheimers-anxiety.html

 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/15/
anxiety-epidemic-gripping-britain

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/
nothing-to-do-but-embrace-the-dread/

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/19/
clinical-anxiety-is-becoming-a-worry

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/apr/26/
optimism-appealing-pessimism-more-my-thing

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/
separation-anxiety/

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/
the-ways-ive-worried/

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/
you-are-going-to-die/

 

 

 

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/
brain-scan/

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/14/
its-still-the-age-of-anxiety-or-is-it/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anxiety dreams        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/03/
night-terrors-what-do-anxiety-dreams-mean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

suffer from severe anxiety        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/
magazine/why-are-more-american-teenagers-than-ever-suffering-from-severe-anxiety.html

 

 

 

 

extreme anxiety        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/28/
443203592/club-drug-ketamine-gains-traction-as-a-treatment-for-depression

 

 

 

 

crippling anxiety        USA

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/18/
i-couldnt-sit-still-i-couldnt-be-on-my-own-how-i-coped-with-my-crippling-anxiety

 

 

 

 

anxiety dreams        USA

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetorch/2018/02/07/
583330979/everyone-has-anxiety-dreams-olympic-athletes-have-olympic-sized-ones

 

 

 

 

economic anxiety        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/16/
insecure-britain-poll-economic-recovery-immigration

 

 

 

 

economic anxiety        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/
opinion/the-president-on-inequality.html

 

 

 

 

chronic social anxiety        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jan/22/
student-death-did-university-do-enough-help-natasha-abrahart-bristol

 

 

 

 

people with distressing symptoms of anxiety

 

 

 

 

Anxiety UK

a charity supporting anxiety disorder sufferers

https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

overcome anxiety        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/12/03/
504136736/how-a-psychedelic-drug-helps-cancer-patients-overcome-anxiety

 

 

 

 

anxious        USA

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/06/11/
616900580/back-off-how-to-get-out-of-the-high-pressure-parenting-trap

 

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/27/
anxious-students-strain-college-mental-health-centers/

 

 

 

 

obsessive compulsive disorder    O.C.D.        UK / USA

 

Sufferers are tormented

by persistent unwanted thoughts

about a feared situation

- the obsessions -

which they then usually

try to counteract

with mental or physical rituals

- the compulsions.

 

These are usually

excessive repetition of actions,

such as washing (the most familiar)

or checking, counting,

or ruminating about arrangement

and symmetry.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2005/jul/19/mentalhealth.lifeandhealth

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/03/
letter-husband-who-copes-with-my-anxiety-disorder

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/08/
science/animal-madness-a-look-at-tense-dogs-elephants-and-more.html

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jan/21/
mad-fat-diary-rae-earl-childhood-mental-health

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/15/
obsessive-complusive-disorder-gamma-knife

 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2005/jul/19/
mentalhealth.lifeandhealth 

 

 

 

 

anxious        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/oct/23/
britons-more-happy-wellbeing-anxiety

 

 

 

 

anxious        USA

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/
phys-ed-why-exercise-makes-you-less-anxious/

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/
magazine/04anxiety-t.html

 

 

 

 

mildly anxious patient

 

 

 

 

suffer extreme anxiety attacks / panic attacks        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/19/
clinical-anxiety-is-becoming-a-worry

 

 

 

 

anti-anxiety drugs > buspirone        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/01/
well/mind/anxiety-drug-shortage-buspirone.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anguish        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/may/30/
mark-bridger-life-sentence-april-jones-murder 

 

 

 

 

dread        USA

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/
nothing-to-do-but-embrace-the-dread/

 

 

 

 

alarm        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/26/
optimism-appealing-pessimism-more-my-thing

 

 

 

 

worry        USA

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/
the-ways-ive-worried/

 

 

 

 

worries        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/dec/07/
britain-uk-therapists-porn-addiction-body-dysmorphia-mental-health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benzodiazepines:

America's

'Other Prescription Drug Problem'

 

April 26, 2018

11:38 AM ET

NPR

JOHN HENNING SCHUMANN

 

Drew was in his early 30s. His medical history included alcohol abuse, but he had been sober for several months when he became my patient.

His previous doctor had given him a prescription for Ativan, or lorazepam, which is frequently used to allay tremors and seizures from alcohol withdrawal.

My first inclination was to wean him off the medication by lowering the dose and telling him to take it less frequently. But inertia is strong in medical care, and Drew prevailed upon me to continue providing lorazepam at his regular dose for another month while he solidified his situation with a new job.

The next time I heard about him was a couple of weeks later when a colleague read me Drew's obituary in the local paper. There was no cause of death listed. But I knew he could have run into serious trouble if he had mixed alcohol or other drugs with his lorazepam.

Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine, a class of medicines known as sedative-hypnotics. They're used frequently in the U.S. to treat anxiety and insomnia. Other drugs in the same category include Valium and Xanax.

The problem with benzos, as they're also known, is that they're highly addictive medications, both physically and psychologically. Abruptly stopping them can lead to withdrawal symptoms like the ones Drew hoped to avoid when he kicked alcohol.

Moreover, with long-term use, our metabolism adjusts to benzos. We need higher doses to achieve the same effects.

When taken regularly, benzos can have the unintended effect of impairing your ability to sleep without them. When used for anxiety, their disruption or withdrawal can lead to a wicked return of the symptoms they are intended to treat.

Because of their addictive potential, benzos are controlled substances, whose use is regulated and monitored by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

With so much of our attention now understandably directed at the nation's insatiable appetite for those other controlled substances — opioids — it's no wonder that the dangers of benzodiazepine overuse haven't drawn as much scrutiny.

But that is starting to change.

A recent essay in the New England Journal of Medicine titled "Our Other Prescription Drug Problem" highlights massive growth in the use and abuse of benzos in the U.S., including the fact that the number of deaths attributed to benzodiazepine overdose has risen sevenfold over the past two decades.

That's not altogether surprising when you consider that the number of prescriptions written for benzodiazepines increased 67 percent to 13.5 million per year in 2013 from 8.1 million in 1999.

While death rates and prescriptions for opioids still substantially outnumber those for benzos, it's combinations of the two types of drugs that are particularly fatal.

Three-quarters of deaths attributed to benzodiazepines also involve an opioid, resulting in a stern warning from the Food and Drug Administration in 2016 about the danger of combining the medicines.

Stanford psychiatrist Anna Lembke, lead author of the New England Journal of Medicine essay, calls our overprescribing and overconsumption of benzos a "hidden epidemic," because it remains underpublicized in the glare of the opioid crisis. "Even if we get the opioid problem under control, the benzodiazepines will still be there," she told me in an interview.

Her essay also mentions the growing problem of synthetic benzos manufactured in clandestine laboratories and sold on the Internet without FDA approval, doctors' prescriptions or pharmacy oversight.

One such designer drug is called clonazolam: a chemical combination of clonazepam (brand name Klonopin) and alprazolam (brand name Xanax).

Clonazolam serves no medical purpose. It's a chemical devised for recreational use and profit. But it's a hundred to a thousand times more potent than our standard array of benzos, according to Lembke. This means its potential for overdose is substantially higher, too.

In another recent piece about benzos, author Maia Szalavitz points out that these medicines have exhibited explosive growth in use even without the marketing that brought opioids to the fore in the 1990s and early 2000s. Most benzos were already available as generics then and still are today — yet the numbers of prescriptions continue to grow.

Journalist Paula Span, who writes regularly about aging for The New York Times, published a recent feature about the widespread use and risks of benzos in the elderly, for whom they pose a particular danger.

The American Geriatrics Society lists benzos as "inappropriate" for use in the elderly, because of their potential for adverse drug interactions. In older people, benzos also heighten the risk of falls and can hamper memory.

Unfortunately, since the quality of sleep diminishes as we age, many Americans are prescribed benzos to help them doze.

As with Drew, I've had many other patients come to me already taking benzos prescribed by another doctor.

With the growing awareness of our nation's opioid problem, many patients ask me to help them taper off opioids or not to start them in the first place.

I wish the same could be said for benzodiazepines.



John Henning Schumann is an internal medicine doctor and serves as president of the University of Oklahoma's Tulsa campus. He also hosts Studio Tulsa: Medical Monday on KWGS Public Radio Tulsa, and is on Twitter @GlassHospital.

Benzodiazepines: America's'Other Prescription Drug Problem',
NPR,
April 26, 2018,
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/04/26/
602213172/benzodiazepines-america-s-other-prescription-drug-problem

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Still the ‘Age of Anxiety.’

Or Is It?

 

January 14, 2012

3:00 pm

The New York Times

Opinionator

A Gathering of Opinion From Around the Web

By DANIEL SMITH

 

Anxiety: We worry.

A gallery of contributors count the ways.

 

It’s hard to believe that anyone but scholars of modern literature or paid critics have read W.H. Auden’s dramatic poem “The Age of Anxiety” all the way through, even though it won a Pulitzer Prize in 1948, the year after it was published. It is a difficult work — allusive, allegorical, at times surreal. But more to the point, it’s boring. The characters meet, drink, talk and walk around; then they drink, talk and walk around some more. They do this for 138 pages; then they go home.

Auden’s title, though: that people know. From the moment it appeared, the phrase has been used to characterize the consciousness of our era, the awareness of everything perilous about the modern world: the degradation of the environment, nuclear energy, religious fundamentalism, threats to privacy and the family, drugs, pornography, violence, terrorism. Since 1990, it has appeared in the title or subtitle of at least two dozen books on subjects ranging from science to politics to parenting to sex (“Mindblowing Sex in the Real World: Hot Tips for Doing It in the Age of Anxiety”). As a sticker on the bumper of the Western world, “the age of anxiety” has been ubiquitous for more than six decades now.

But is it accurate? As someone who has struggled with chronic anxiety for many years, I have my doubts. For one thing, when you’ve endured anxiety’s insults for long enough — the gnawed fingernails and sweat-drenched underarms, the hyperventilating and crippling panic attacks — calling the 20th century “The Age of Anxiety” starts to sound like calling the 17th century “The Age of the Throbbing Migraine”: so metaphorical as to be meaningless.

From a sufferer’s perspective, anxiety is always and absolutely personal. It is an experience: a coloration in the way one thinks, feels and acts. It is a petty monster able to work such humdrum tricks as paralyzing you over your salad, convincing you that a choice between blue cheese and vinaigrette is as dire as that between life and death. When you are on intimate terms with something so monumentally subjective, it is hard to think in terms of epochs.

And yet it is undeniable that ours is an age in which an enormous and growing number of people suffer from anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders now affect 18 percent of the adult population of the United States, or about 40 million people. By comparison, mood disorders — depression and bipolar illness, primarily — affect 9.5 percent. That makes anxiety the most common psychiatric complaint by a wide margin, and one for which we are increasingly well-medicated. Last spring, the drug research firm IMS Health released its annual report on pharmaceutical use in the United States. The anti-anxiety drug alprazolam — better known by its brand name, Xanax — was the top psychiatric drug on the list, clocking in at 46.3 million prescriptions in 2010.

Just because our anxiety is heavily diagnosed and medicated, however, doesn’t mean that we are more anxious than our forebears. It might simply mean that we are better treated — that we are, as individuals and a culture, more cognizant of the mind’s tendency to spin out of control.

Earlier eras might have been even more jittery than ours. Fourteenth-century Europe, for example, experienced devastating famines, waves of pillaging mercenaries, peasant revolts, religious turmoil and a plague that wiped out as much as half the population in four years. The evidence suggests that all this resulted in mass convulsions of anxiety, a period of psychic torment in which, as one historian has put it, “the more one knew, the less sense the world made.” Nor did the monolithic presence of the Church necessarily help; it might even have made things worse. A firm belief in God and heaven was near-universal, but so was a firm belief in their opposites: the Devil and hell. And you could never be certain in which direction you were headed.

It’s hard to imagine that we have it even close to as bad as that. Yet there is an aspect of anxiety that we clearly have more of than ever before: self-awareness. The inhabitants of earlier eras might have been wracked by nerves, but none fixated like we do on the condition. Indeed, none even considered anxiety a condition. Anxiety didn’t emerge as a cohesive psychiatric concept until the early 20th century, when Freud highlighted it as “the nodal point at which the most various and important questions converge, a riddle whose solution would be bound to throw a flood of light upon our whole mental existence.”

After that, the number of thinkers and artists who sought to solve this riddle increased exponentially. By 1977, the psychoanalyst Rollo May was noting an explosion in papers, books and studies on the subject. “Anxiety,” he wrote, “has certainly come out of the dimness of the professional office into the bright light of the marketplace.”

None of this is to say that ours is a serene age. Obviously it isn’t. It is to say, however, that we shouldn’t be possessive about our uncertainties, particularly as one of the dominant features of anxiety is its recursiveness. Anxiety begins with a single worry, and the more you concentrate on that worry, the more powerful it gets, and the more you worry. One of the best things you can do is learn to let go: to disempower the worry altogether. If you start to believe that anxiety is a foregone conclusion — if you start to believe the hype about the times we live in — then you risk surrendering the battle before it’s begun.

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Daniel Smith is the author of the forthcoming book “Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety” (Simon & Schuster, July 2012). His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, n+1, New York, The New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. He writes regularly about anxiety at his Web site, The Monkey Mind Chronicles.

 

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: January 15, 2012

An opinion essay on Jan. 15

about the prevalence of anxiety disorders

erroneously attributed a distinction

to the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, or Xanax.

It was the only psychiatric medication among the top 15

— not the top 25 — prescription drugs in the United States

in 2010.

A summary accompanying the article

also referred incorrectly to Xanax.

It was prescribed 46.3 million times in the United States

in 2010, as the article correctly noted

— not to 46 million people.

It’s Still the ‘Age of Anxiety.’ Or Is It?,
NYT,
14.1.2012,
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/14/
its-still-the-age-of-anxiety-or-is-it/

 

 

 

 

 

Panic Attack Symptoms

 

October 1, 2007

Filed at 4:22 p.m. ET

The New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

A study of more than 3,000 older women found a panic attack may signal future risk of heart attack or stroke. Symptoms of a panic attack include:

--Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate

--Sweating

--Trembling or shaking

--Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering

--Feeling of choking

--Chest pain or discomfort

--Nausea or abdominal distress

--Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint

--Feelings of ''unreality'' or being detached from oneself

--Fear of losing control or going crazy

--Fear of dying

--Numbness or tingling sensations

--Chills or hot flushes

------

Source:

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

 

(This version CORRECTS lead to reflect

that study focused on possible risk, not symptoms.)

Panic Attack Symptoms,
NYT,
1.10.2007,
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Panic-Attacks-Glance.html

 

 

 

 

 

Panic Attacks

May Hike Heart Attack Risk

 

October 1, 2007

Filed at 4:13 p.m. ET

The New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

CHICAGO (AP) -- The rapid pulse and shortness of breath of a panic attack can feel like a heart attack, and it may signal heart trouble down the road, a study of more than 3,000 older women suggests.

Women who reported at least one full-blown panic attack during a six-month period were three times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke over the next five years than women who didn't report a panic attack.

The researchers took into account other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, inactivity and depression and still found that panic attacks raised risk.

The findings add panic attacks to a list of mental health issues -- depression, fear, hostility and anxiety -- already linked in previous research to heart problems, said study co-author Dr. Jordan Smoller of Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital.

''Postmenopausal women who are experiencing panic attacks may be a subgroup with elevated risk,'' Smoller said. ''Monitoring them and reducing their cardiovascular risk may be important.''

The study, published in Monday's Archives of General Psychiatry, wasn't designed to explain the link, Smoller said. He speculated that a panic attack may trigger heart rhythm problems or that stress hormones released during an attack may harm the heart.

The findings don't surprise Susie Rissler, 51, of Terre Haute, Ind. A panic attack sufferer since childhood, she's also has had three mini-strokes.

''You feel like the whole world is caving in,'' Rissler said of her panic attacks, which can include a racing heartbeat and chest pains. ''I've had shaking, sweating, curling up in a ball totally afraid to even look around. Panic attacks can really destroy a person in a lot of different ways.''

Some of the reported panic symptoms may have been heart problems in disguise, Smoller said. Symptoms such as racing heart, chest pain or shortness of breath, experienced as a panic attack, may have been caused by an undiagnosed heart problem.

''One study doesn't settle a question,'' he cautioned. ''The number of events seen in this sample is still relatively small.'' Forty-one of the 3,243 women in the analysis had a heart attack or death from a heart problem. An additional 40 had strokes.

The study, which enrolled women from 1997-2000 and followed them for five years, was funded by the drug company Glaxo Wellcome, which is now GlaxoSmithKline PLC. The company makes Paxil, an anti-anxiety drug. Some of the study's co-authors reported financial ties to that company and others.

The research relied on the women's memories, rather than doctors' diagnoses, which could be considered a weakness of the study, said Dr. JoAnn Manson of Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital. But Manson, who wasn't involved in the study, said it's likely the findings point to a real connection between panic and heart problems.

''It does tie together very well with what we know about the biology and physiology of the stress hormones,'' Manson said. ''I think it does suggest that this is something to discuss with your doctor'' for women prone to panic attacks.

Previous research has found that panic attacks are more common in women than in men. The researchers found that 330 of the women, ages 51 to 83 years at the start of the study, reported a full-blown panic attack during the previous six months. Of those, about 4 percent, went on to have a heart attack or stroke. That compares with 2 percent of the women who reported no panic attacks but who had heart attacks or strokes.

Once the researchers adjusted for other health factors, they found the heart and stroke risk three times greater among women who had panic attacks.

A full-blown attack was defined as a sudden attack of fear, anxiety or discomfort accompanied by at least four of 12 symptoms, such as shortness of breath.

Laura Kubzansky of the Harvard School of Public Health, who wasn't involved in the new study but does similar research, said stress hormones may cause immediate heart damage or wear-and-tear over time. During panic, ''the body is flooded with hormones that in the short run help the body cope with an emergency, but in the long run take a toll,'' she said.

While treating panic with medication may help some people with the psychological distress, there's no evidence yet that medication alone reduces heart risk, Kubzansky said.

''We still don't know how best to address this or how reversible these effects are,'' Kubzansky said.

------

On the Net:

Archives of General Psychiatry:

http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/

Panic Attacks May Hike Heart Attack Risk,
NYT,
1.10.2007,
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Panic-Attacks-Heart.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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