Joey Douglass from the LDS Hospital sat down with the hosts today to talk about coping with anxiety. This time of year can be very stressful with kids getting ready to go back to school, the last family vacation for the year is getting planned, or maybe you’re starting to think about all the upcoming expenses or deadlines you may have.
Feeling anxious is a normal part of life. Stress and anxiety can happen when the unexpected happens, when someone has something important that they would like to accomplish, or when changes in your life happen like marriage, divorce, new job, or having to appear on the news!
Anxiety is a medical condition affecting 40 million Americans and can severely affect people’s daily living. However, it’s a very treatable disorder that many people can overcome through proper treatment and awareness.
What are Anxiety Disorders? Anxiety disorder is different from normal every day worries. It’s a chronic medical disorder that cause the person severe IRRATIONAL worry, tension, or dread. Without treatment, they can grow to overwhelm all aspects of daily life.
What causes it?
•Brain chemistry. How do we know this? Because symptoms are often treated and relieved by medications that alter the chemicals in the brain.
•Life: Exposure to a traumatic event (such as violence, abuse, and even poverty).
•Genetics: Studies show that anxiety disorders run in the families. In fact identical twins are more likely to share an anxiety disorder than twins who are not identical.
•Learned Behaviors/ thinking: People with low self-esteem and poor coping skills may be more prone to developing anxiety disorders.
How do you treat anxiety?
•Talk to your doctor about treatment options. Usually counseling and/or medications are needed to help. They might not CURE the disorder but it definitely can help treat it, making life much more manageable for you and your family.
•Live healthy! Regular exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet all will tremendously help!
•If you start taking medications for treatment: DON’T STOP without consulting your doctor first! Some medications can be very dangerous to just stop taking all at once. Take your medications EXACTLY as prescribed (ie: if it says only take up to 3 times a day as needed, don’t start taking it 4 or 5 times a day; some medications can be habit forming)
Back to School Tips for parents and their children/ teenagers with anxiety:
Myth: “Emotional and behavioral problems normal parts of growing up.”
Fact: Like we said earlier everyday stressors and anxiety happens. If they are having problems affecting school, family, and/or socializing don’t be too quick to just dismiss it as an “Awkward phase”. These don’t always mean there is an anxiety disorder, but it does mean you should be paying closer attention to behaviors: If they are severe seek professional help!
Myth: “Anxiety in children and teens are not a big deal. They’ll get over it!”
Fact: Some people do recover on their own, but not treating anxiety in some way is a big risk! Research shows that those who have anxiety that is not addressed appropriately have more trouble in school, and miss out on important part of being a kid such as parties and other social events.
Myth: “I should help my child avoid stress as much as possible”
Fact: It’s more helpful to SUPPORT your child through stressful situations than to avoid them. Recognize and praise small accomplishments, and don’t punish mistakes or lack of progress.
To learn more visit the LDS Hospital Website!
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