Dealing with Anxiety Disorder after Addiction

Addiction and recovery side effects can include, anxiety disorder, and panic attacks. In this episode Dr Tra Ahia, Psychologist offers treatment options for dealing with, anxiety disorder.

I was listening to a podcast last week and the guest was talking about her, anxiety disorder, and her story triggered a memory of a personal acquaintance who was a heroin addict and developed, anxiety disorder.

My first introduction to Anxiety Disorder

In the late 80’s I was working in sales and my boss’s daughter was an, Heroin addict. We were close enough that she would tell me what it was like being addicted to Heroin. She told me how she would cook the heroin until it became a liquid and then she would shoot it into her neck because she got a more immediate high. She showed me the holes in her neck which she covered up with scarves. Her father who was wealthy gave her a car and she sold that car for peanuts to get money to buy Heroin.

She attempted to go to rehab several times; but always walked out because she said they just left you in a room to scream in pain. She said the pain of withdrawal was unbearable. She then started a methadone treatment which is a synthetic version of Heroin.  They reduced the dose of the methadone gradually to wean your body off Heroin. But what I want to get to was her, anxiety disorder. She got such bad, panic attacks, her gut was always in knots, that she couldn’t leave the house without her safe person, her boyfriend. I don’t remember if he used drugs; but when the relationship ended she was unable to leave to leave the house for weeks, not even to buy groceries. Then she was too anxious to start dating. She stressed about some man asking “Can I touch your boobs” I don’t know what became of her; but I think of her often.

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What happens to the brain with Anxiety Disorder

If you have an, anxiety disorder – Your brain raises ahead to predict the future. The guest on the podcast had, anxiety disorder, and she described it as “life fright” or , agoraphobia, She said to think about Stage fright. You feel nervous, you think you are going to freeze up or faint, you start to sweat, you think people are going to laugh at you etc. well people with, anxiety disorder, or, agoraphobia, feel like that all the time.

They have, agoraphobia, talking to strangers, checking out at the grocery store, at the bank, going for an interview, at a cocktail party, almost any conversation with a stranger, that’s why the guest called it “life fright.”

 

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How does Anxiety lead to Life Fright

Dr Tra  as the author of the book “Call me an Addict, war on women” How does my story regarding anxiety being called “Life Fright” relates to your experience?

I think for that young lady or whoever coined that term, for her that helped her manage her, anxiety disorder.  That term helped her understand for herself this thing that she was feeling, so for her that was a good term to use, this, Life Fright. My thoughts when I think about, life fright,  is that I’m afraid of living period.  The entire gamut of life, so for me I would not use that term as a replicator to, anxiety disorder; but I can see why she did.

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I understand there are 3 types of, Anxiety Disorders,

  1. Situational anxiety
  2. social anxiety and
  3. high functioning anxiety

Can you explain the difference of these forms of, anxiety,  and which is most common with substance abuse?

There are more than just three types of, anxiety disorder,  way more.  I think it’s important also for the audience to understand that when we talk about, anxiety disorder, we’re talking about an irrational fear or, agoraphobia, of something that someone is experiencing.  It’s irrational, it’s not logical that you are excessively fearful over this specific situation or you’re apprehensive about something or you have difficulty managing daily tasks.  So when we think about, agoraphobia, or,  anxiety disorder, I want them to know that it’s irrational to know your heart is racing, and you feel like you’re going to die.

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There are six main categories of, anxiety disorders,  like I said there are more than three!

  1. Phobias
  2. Panic attacks, with or without, agoraphobia, you have
  3. Generalized, anxiety disorder,
  4. Obsessive compulsive disorder or, OCD,
  5. Acute stress disorder and
  6. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD

 

The American Psychological Association lists research on how, anxiety disorder, is diagnosed.

This disorder called, anxiety disorder, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

It’s normal to become anxious and at one time or another. A car almost hit you, you are going for an interview, you sense danger etc. Anxiety is normal under certain conditions, what we are talking about here is the irrational fear or, agoraphobia, that is a disorder.

Something who’s unable to leave their home. This is, agoraphobia, they have a fear of leaving surroundings that they’re familiar with.

This a serious affliction.

 

There are three systems of functioning that need to change in, Anxiety Disorder

  1. Cognitive
  2. Physical and
  3. Behavioral

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How would, high-functioning anxiety, work?

An addict could develop a, panic attack, because perhaps they’re they don’t have the substance anymore, or it could be someone who gains, agoraphobia,  as a result of some interaction they’ve had with a place they frequented to attain their substance.

An addict with, high-functioning anxiety, usually is on a treatment plan in conjunction with medication to control their, anxiety disorder.

An addict could develop a, panic attack, because perhaps they’re they don’t have the substance anymore, or it could be someone who gains, agoraphobia,  as a result of some interaction they’ve had with a place they frequented to attain their substance.

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Anxiety disorder is a form of mental illness. Dr Tra outside of substance abuse, what are some other  contributing factors to, Anxiety Disorder?

I understand that mental illness presents itself in many forms:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Anorexia
  • Depression
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My research shows that these disorders present themselves as early as 14 years old and can be treated successfully by mental health professionals if treatment is started early; but because people feel that mental illness equals crazy, they don’t talk about it or seek help.

Research show that 90% of suicides results from mental illness like, anxiety disorder, and depression. How does talk therapy from a Life Coach, social worker or Psychologist such as yourself help patients?

Talk therapy allows the client to feel listened to and understood.  It allows them to download and get advise.  It can save many from suicide.

 

How would you help someone suffering from, anxiety disorder?

Mental illness is something that keeps a lot of people up at night but nobody wants to talk about during the day

It is the visitor who enters without knocking

1 in 20 become disabled by mental illness i.e. Can’t function in society

So let’s start talking.

ANXIETY, has become the defining mental health issue of our decade — women are affected at twice the rate of men, and now children and young adults are also more stressed and anxious than ever before. Join us to learn nutritional and gut solutions for your anxiety!

 

Additional Resources

Drug and Alcohol Treatment for Women with Trauma

https://blog.myhelps.us/understanding-and-managing-compulsive-behaviors/

https://blog.myhelps.us/call-me-an-addict-child-abuse-statistics-p3/

https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/suicide

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/kc/suicidal-thoughts-ideation-193026

7 reasons Mindfulness Meditation can Grow your Business

detoxing the body and soul

Mindfulness Meditation,  is not just for Buddhists and monks.  Meditation, unlocks the power you have within to take your business to the top.

When you, meditate, you strengthen your intuition, spirituality, awareness, and most importantly, your own sense of self.  As many successful entrepreneurs know, reduced stress  is the foundation to creating the business and lifestyle you want.  If you are not removing your limiting beliefs and constantly working on your vision, you are limiting your own growth and the growth of your company. You are the lid!

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation

As a leader or an Entrepreneur there is no better way to overcome obstacles, rise to the top or be creative with out first quieting the noise in your head. When you become still you tap into your creative power by connecting to your source. During, mindfulness meditation, you experience that peace that surpasses all understanding that the bible talks about.  When you forget about all the things you have to do and just focus on the life inside you by witnessing your breathing, you move closer to becoming conscious and understand your purpose. Being quiet and still allows you to listen to instructions from the  higher power who guides you. It is said that it is easier to guide a horse in the direction it is running in; so when you fall into line with what God wants you to do for his Kingdom then your business and your life become less of a struggle.

The reasons we practice, mindfulness meditation, are as varied as the many ways there are to, meditate. In the West, most people are drawn to, mindfulness meditation, to quiet the internal chatter of the brain and to reduce stress. Mindfulness meditation, is indeed a very effective stress reducer, but its benefits—sometimes mysteriously hidden—are far more bountiful. The actual act of, mindfulness meditation, can be as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath while repeating silently a, mantra, a word or phrase. for example the, om mantra, or the Gayatri mantra. There are countless traditions and no singular “correct” way to practice, mindfulness meditation.

Find a practice that you like and stick with it for a while. Notice how you feel as you go about your days. If you find that you have more patience, feel grounded and better able to respond to stressful situations, and are more in touch with your intuition or “gut feelings,” you are enjoying the many benefits of, mindfulness meditation.

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I practice, mindfulness meditation, by finding a quiet place in the morning as I drink my coffee. I listen to a, guided mindfulness meditation, tape on topics such as “activating consciousness“, visionary me meditation, “the law of attraction” etc. as I listen I clear my mind by mentally repeating a centering thought and witnessing my breathing.  At the end of my meditation I am  relaxed,  totally open and creative. I usually write some deep insights after my meditation sessions and I get answers from God and the Universe to questions I ask. This is the perfect way to become a visionary and an innovate leader.

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Mindfulness Meditation, is good for our Physical Bodies

Scientists gathering data on, mindfulness meditation, have found that a consistent practice of, mantra meditation, not only boosts the mind, but it also bolsters the body. Studies shows that, meditation, can help reverse heart disease, reduce pain, and support the immune system, better enabling it to fight disease.

The mind-body connection between stress and disease is abundantly apparent as science is finding that, mindfulness meditation, can lower production of the stress hormone cortisol. This means, mediators, are better able to adapt to stress in their lives.

2: Mindfulness Meditation, is good for Our Relationships

Paradoxically, while, meditation, helps us tune in and turn inward to our true essence, it also helps us detach from our own egos to connect with others in more meaningful ways. Couples counselors have found when they assign their clients,  mindfulness meditation, the couples become less angry, more self-reflective, and more loving. When we become aware of—and honor—our interconnection with other beings, we are able to recast our perspectives, see our worries in a different light, and embrace gratitude, which is the heart’s memory.

The bible teaches that we can’t change others only ourselves and when we, meditate, we tune into who we really are. Our ancestral legacy is a brain that is primed to focus on negative experiences and has a tendency to get stuck in conditioned patterns of thinking, returning again and again to thoughts of anxiety, depression, and limitation. So in our relationships we tend to focus on what we do not have instead of what we do have.  As you meditate on a regular basis, you develop what is known as “witnessing awareness”—the ability to calmly and objectively observe a situation, notice when you are being triggered, and consciously choose how you want to respond. The ability to be present and aware is extremely valuable in every relationship.

3: Mindfulness Meditation, helps prolong our lives

When you, meditate, you strengthen your intuition, awareness, and most importantly, your own sense of self.  Yogis and doctors both agree, mindfulness meditation, even just a few minutes of deep breathing—relaxes the brain, reduces anxiety, and decreases depression. We say we can’t afford the time to, meditate, but the truth is we can’t afford not to. When we tell ourselves we don’t have time to exercise, or meditate, then we will make time for sickness and depression. During most of our waking lives, our minds are engaged in a continuous internal dialogue in which the meaning and emotional associations of one thought triggers the next.

We hear a snippet of music and suddenly we’re thinking about the first time we heard that song with an old boyfriend or girlfriend and how that relationship ended. If we’re still holding emotional pain over that ending, those feelings may bubble up and then our mind may veer into criticism, self-pity, or worries about the future. Mindfulness Meditation, is one of the best tools we have to counter the brain’s negativity bias, release accumulated stress, foster positive experiences and intentions, and enjoy the peace of present moment awareness. A large body of research has established that having a regular meditation practice produces tangible benefits for mental and physical health, including:

  • Decreased blood pressure and hypertension
  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline
  • More efficient oxygen use by the body
  • Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA
  • Improved immune function
  • Decreased anxiety, and insomnia

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4: Mindfulness Meditation, Reduces Stress and Burnout

What role is more stressful than the role of a Leader? None, as a Leader you are responsible for the lives of your employees, families, and your commitment to your community? Chronic, unmanaged stress can make you sick and accelerate aging. As many scientific studies have found, prolonged stress can contribute to:

  • high blood pressure,
  • heart disease,
  • stomach ulcers,
  • autoimmune diseases,
  • anxiety,
  • cancer,
  • insomnia,
  • chronic fatigue,
  • obesity,
  • depression,
  • and accelerated aging.

During, mindfulness meditation, your body releases stress and reverses the effects of the flight-or-fight response—that ancient instinct we all have to either run from perceived danger or take it on in battle. Intended as a short-term protection mechanism, fight or flight causes our body to speed up our heart rate, increase our blood sugar, suppress our immune system, reduce insulin production, pump out stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, and reduce the blood supply to our digestive organs. All of these reactions happen so that our body can focus on either running away as fast as it can—or staying to fight. Although few people reading this face daily threats to their bodily existence, many live in a prolonged state of fight or flight, generating stress in response to bad traffic, criticism from a spouse, or a disagreement.

Regular, meditation, dissipates accumulated stress and cultivates a state of restful alertness. There are many compelling studies showing the power of, mindfulness meditation, to relieve stress and promote inner calm. For example, a 2011 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal found that full-time workers who spent a few hours each week practicing, mindfulness meditation, reported a significant decrease in job stress, anxiety, and depressed mood.  The reason, meditation, is so popular among successful individuals is it helps release stress, lets go of excess thoughts and expand awareness. As you dive deeper into your, mindfulness meditation, practice you see people events and circumstances as they really are, not as they are perceived to be. It allows you to have an internal Locus of control. That means that you don’t react to external stimuli but are proactive with action plans and goals. It also means that as challenges arise in your business, you will not get overwhelmed; but face those challenges calmly and efficiently.  As an Entrepreneur Leader, meditation allows you to turn your failures into successes.

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5: Mindfulness Meditation, Enhances Your Concentration, Memory, and Ability to Learn

As researchers have found, mindfulness meditation, can help you tap into your brain’s deepest potential to focus, learn, and adapt. While scientists used to believe that beyond a certain age, the brain couldn’t change or grow, we now know that the brain has a quality known as plasticity, enabling it to grow new neurons and transform throughout our lives.  Meditation is a powerful tool for awakening new neural connections and even transforming regions of the brain.  A recent study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that after only eight weeks of meditation, participants experienced beneficial growth in the brain areas associated with memory, learning, empathy, self-awareness, and stress regulation.  In addition, the meditators reported decreased feelings of anxiety and greater feelings of calm. This study adds to the expanding body of research about the brain’s amazing plasticity and ability to change habitual stress patterns.

Many other studies provide evidence for the value of, mindfulness meditation, in improving the ability to stay focused in world filled with increasing distractions, and demands on our attention. For example, research conducted by the UCLA Mindful Awareness Center showed that teenagers and adults with ADHD who practiced various forms of, meditation for just eight weeks improved their ability to concentrate on tasks, even when attempts were made to distract them. In the world of the Entrepreneur Leader, the ability to focus when you are pulled in so many different directions is extremely important to your success.

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6: Mindfulness Meditation, Improves Your Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills in your Business

We each have an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day—unfortunately, many of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday, last week, and last year. The mind tends to get stuck in repetitive thought loops that squeeze out the possibility for new ideas and inspiration. Mindfulness meditation, is a powerful practice for going beyond habitual, conditioned thought patterns into a state of expanded awareness. We connect to what is known as the field of infinite possibilities or pure potentiality, and we open to new insights, intuition, and ideas. And as we meditate and focus on our breathing, we stop this continuous cycle.

 

7: Mindfulness Meditation, Decreases Anxiety, and Insomnia

The emotional effects of sitting quietly and going within are profound.  The deep state of rest produced by, mindfulness meditation, triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Each of these naturally occurring brain chemicals has been linked to different aspects of happiness:

Dopamine plays a key role in the brain’s ability to experience pleasure, feel rewarded, and maintain focus. Serotonin has a calming effect. It eases tension and helps us feel less stressed and more relaxed and focused. Low levels of this neurotransmitter have been linked to migraines, anxiety, bipolar disorder, apathy, feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, and insomnia. Oxytocin (the same chemical whose levels rise during sexual arousal and breastfeeding), is a pleasure hormone. It creates feelings of calm, contentment, and security, while reducing fear and anxiety.  Endorphins are most commonly known as the chemicals that create the exhilaration commonly labeled “the runner’s high.” These neurotransmitters play many roles related to well being, including decreasing feelings of pain and reducing the side effects of stress.

Additional Resources 

https://blog.myhelps.us/medical-intuitive-readings-what-your-spirit-is-telling-you-through-symptoms/