That croaky, squeaky voice that seems to have possessed your vocal chords is your immediate reaction to a stressful situation. When anxious feelings creep in, fluids are diverted to more essential locations in the body , causing spasms in the throat muscles. This results in tightness, making it dry and difficult to swallow. Liver reactions. When the body undergoes stress and anxiety, the adrenal system produces an excessive amount of the stress hormone cortisol. That hormone production leads the liver to produce more glucose , the high-energy blood sugar that engages your “fight or flight” reactions. For most people, this extra blood sugar in the body can be simply reabsorbed with no real damage. However, for those at risk for diabetes, the extraneous blood sugar could potentially cause health issues . Skin reactions. That cold, clammy sweat or your warm, flushed cheeks is the body’s outward sign of immediate stress — all due to a change in blood flow. When we experience anxiety, the body’s “fight or flight” system pushes more blood to your muscles — a useful reaction when there’s an immediate need for it. However, a long-term, overexposure to this reaction has the potential to make the skin age faster . Other skin reactions include perspiration and even increases in histamine , which can result in swelling.
View Source: How Anxiety Influences Your Health (INFOGRAPHIC)
Daniel Born/AP Photo Copy Another complication has temporarily halted the Oscar Pistorius trial, after the trial judge ordered Pistorius be sent for a mental health screening. The order was given after Dr. Merryll Vorster testified for the defense and said that Pistorius has general anxiety disorder, a psychiatric condition that could make the athlete more likely to fight a threatening situation than flee it. Get the Latest News on the Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial But experts say Pistorius will have to undergo extensive testing to be diagnosed with the condition. Youre looking for things that would supercharge that nervous system and leave it more vulnerable, said George Everly, associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. You can have chronic exposure or traumatic event — either one works. Everly said some people with the disorder have a genetic history or have experienced traumatic events that make them hyper-sensitive to perceived threats. In severe cases, people can feel so afraid that they want to protect themselves in seemingly overzealous ways, he said, from installing extra security alarms to amassing weapons. Think of a lightning bolt going through electric currents [of the brain], he said. The result is a sensitization you get a sense of a person walking around, theyre hyper-sensitive to everything. Everything is magnified, specific fears are magnified. Everly said experts testing Pistorius will look for a family history of the anxiety disorder as well as exposure to trauma or anxiety-inducing events before forming a diagnosis. For a person with severe general anxiety disorder, Everly said it’s certainly plausible that they acted irrationally because they were so fearful of perceived threats. If generalized anxiety disorder is to be used effectively [in the trial], it must demonstrate that it created a potential for a biological hyper-sensitivity,” he said, “or lead to a learned pattern of physical and psychological overreaction.” Without proof of that biological hyper-sensitivity, Everly said the Pistorius defense team may be sitting there in the water without a paddle.
Full story: Pistorius Trial Temporarily Halted Over Anxiety Diagnosis for Blade Runner – ABC News
Helping pregnant women cope with anxiety – FOX 13 News
This anxiety can lead to avoidance of panic-inducing situations. What are the symptoms of panic disorder? The most significant symptoms of this disorder are the symptoms of panic attack – and the fear of those attacks. Panic attack symptoms are similar to our body’s normal responses to dangers and threats, like increased heart rate, sweating, or shortness of breath. But in panic attacks, there is no actual threat to justify the response. Learn more about common panic attack symptoms . What are the causes and risk factors of panic disorder? A cause of panic disorder has not been conclusively proven, though genetics may affect your risk. Women and those in their 20s or 30s may be at higher risk, but panic disorder can happen to anyone at any age and can come out of nowhere or following a traumatic or stressful life event. How is panic disorder diagnosed? If you’re worried that you might have panic disorder, talk to your doctor about the symptoms you’ve experienced. Since feelings of panic and anxiety can accompany other conditions and illnesses, your doctor will likely perform a thorough examination to rule out other possible causes. You are more likely to be diagnosed with panic disorder if you: have recurrent, sudden panic attacks worry about having more attacks and what will happen if you do change your behaviour and habits because of panic attacks How can panic disorder be treated?
More: Panic disorder – Mental Health – C-Health
Panic disorder – Mental Health – C-Health
Psychiatrist Dr. Merryll Vorster said events during Pistorius’ life, including the amputation of his lower legs as a baby and his late mother’s habit of sleeping with a gun under her pillow, contributed to his “increasing stress.” “Overall, Mr. Pistorius appears to be a mistrustful and guarded person,” Vorster testified. She said the Olympic athlete displayed “escalating levels of anxiety” through his life when she interviewed him this month. Vorster said she also spoke to members of Pistorius’ family, some of his friends and his agent. Pistorius’ defense said at the outset of its case that it would show his feelings of “vulnerability” and his disability contributed to him shooting Steenkamp. Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. Vorster’s testimony also dealt with what she said was Pistorius’ fear of crime and how, because he was a double amputee, he reacted to perceived threats in a different way to other people. She noted Pistorius’ mother, who died when he was a teenager, slept with a gun in her bed and also had a fear of being attacked in her home. Cross-examining Vorster at the start of the eighth week of the trial, prosecutor Nel asked if she was saying Pistorius had a mental illness and should undergo a 30-day period of observation, and if he was changing his defense to one of “diminished responsibility.” Nel also asked the psychiatrist if someone who was suffering from an anxiety order of the kind that she had diagnosed in Pistorius, and also had access to guns, would be a danger to society. Vorster said the person would, indeed, be a danger. Talking specifically about the shooting of Steenkamp, Vorster said Pistorius was more likely to try and “fight” what he thought was an intruder than run away, because his disability meant it was harder for him to flee. Pistorius was on his stumps when he fired four times through the toilet stall door with his licensed 9 mm pistol, killing Steenkamp.
Full article: Oscar Pistorius has anxiety disorder, defense psychiatrist says during murder trial – CBS News
Oscar Pistorius has anxiety disorder, defense psychiatrist says during murder trial – CBS News
And pregnancy is tricky. You’re not just treating the woman, but her developing baby. And Carey, a pediatric nurse, knows the risks better than most. She says, “The thing I liked the most is that they didn’t tell me what I had to take, they actually gave me all the research, and let me read the articles myself, so that I could really make an informed decision about what really would be best for us.” Carey chose to stay on her medication, and she plans to keep taking it going forward. Dr. Goldsmith says, Careys case is very common. We see women with lots of anxiety disorders, panic disorder, generalize anxiety disorder. Lots of women want to have children. And, unfortunately, lots of women have psychiatric illnesses that need to be treated.” It’s a balancing game. Carey says, I want other women to know that having an anxiety disorder doesn’t mean that you can’t have a baby, that you can’t be a great mom, and you can’t be successful at it.” Deacon is now seven months old, and healthy. Carrie says the anxiety is still there.
Full story: Helping pregnant women cope with anxiety – FOX 13 News