I’m not crazy, but…
I feel like my brain won’t shut off. It won’t let me sleep. Thoughts swirling. Re-hashing every conversation I had today. Wishing that I had said something different. Worried that someone is thinking that I’m horrible or not good enough. I wake up in the middle of the night with dreams where horrible things happen to the people I love. I can’t concentrate or get anything done-- all I can do is worry.
When you are feeling like this it could be anxiety. Worry can be helpful and protective. Worry prompts us to plan. Worry keeps us from doing stupid stuff. Anxiety is when worry turns toxic. Anxiety makes us feel sick. Anxiety causes our brain to send danger signals, that trigger a rush of adrenaline. The true enemy can be our thoughts. The result is adrenaline when without an outlet, implodes.
* the heart to race and pounds,
*our breathing to speed up and feel difficult,
*makes all of our muscles tense,
*our throats feeling like it is impossible to swallow.
Sometimes the anxiety is so bad that you might even feel like passing out with dizziness and lightheaded. Sometimes it’s called Generalized Anxiety Disorder with or without panic.
How can I help myself? Breathing. I swear breathing is the best and fastest way to control worry. The adrenaline makes us breathe fast and shallow trying to get oxygen to our arms and legs to fight off the danger. It can be hard to remember to exhale. And a lot of times when people get worked up, we actually hold our breath. Really pay attention the next time you are nervous or angry. It’s like your brain is going so fast if forget to breathe. No one likes to breathe into a bag. So, don’t. The goal is to breathe slow, deep, and exhale fully. There are a million breathing practices. They all work to a certain degree.
*notice your breathing
*focus on one good breath followed by another. (Google 4-7-8 Breathing)
Other things you can do that don’t involve a co-pay
*Meditate (some apps are free now due to COVID)
*Exercise, it’s the best medicine for anxiety
When should I reach out for help:
*when anxiety becomes panic and feels like a heart attack.
*When anxiety keeps you from taking care of yourself
*when anxiety keeps you home from work,
*when anxiety keeps you from talking to your friends and family.
What help looks like:
Counseling. It is more than talking about your problems like you do to your friends. Counselors are your thinking trainers. You have to learn how to change bad habits of thinking errors.
Personal training. If exercise and meditation on your own aren’t helping,
then, trainers, counselor,s and life coaches can help you achieve your goals.
Acupuncture. Eastern medicine is very helpful for anxiety.
Medicine (prescription and natural). Medicine won’t make problems go away but make anxiety and difficult situations easier to manage.
Anxiety does not discriminate, it attacks all races, genders, and creeds. Don’t let it control your life.
Put the salt down, get sun when it shines, fish oil is your friend.
About the Author:
Doctor Melissa Albert hails from Clarksburg, West Virginia, and graduated valedictorian from Notre Dame High School. She attended West Virginia University and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. She continued at WVU to complete medical school and receive a Doctorate of Medicine.
Dr. Albert first completed a three-year residency in Pediatrics at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. While working with children and families she realized that she wanted additional training to focus on emotional needs. She then returned to West Virginia University and completed a three-year Psychiatry residency. She also served as Chief Resident during her final year.
She worked at the WV University at Chestnut Ridge Center from 2007-2011. She worked with children hospitalized medically for issues of stress, anxiety, and depression. She then worked for Cornerstone Care a non-profit network of Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (FQHC) from 2011-2016. She then returned to West Virginia as she felt it important to care for individuals in her home state. She worked with PSIMED Corporation in the Morgantown and Charleston locations. She cared for adults, children, and adolescents providing outpatient psychiatric care as well as youth court-ordered to residential juvenile treatment. She now works at Wedgewood Family Practice and Psychiatry. There she provides outpatient psychiatric evaluation and medication management for adults, adolescents, and children.
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