"Do not be
anxious about anything, but in everything, by
prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present
your requests to God. And the peace of God, which
transends all understanding, will guard your
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
|Everyone experiences occasional
anxiety and fear, and usually these feelings
subside as time (and the stress factors) pass.
But sometimes the anxiety persists and eventually
gets so bad that the victim cannot function
normally. Panic attacks, terror, phobias,
obsessive behavior, "post-traumatic stress
syndrome" and physical side effects are
associated with severe anxiety problems. A
person may not be able to work, or may break out
in fear and trembling at inappropriate times.
Odd, compulsive behavior is sometimes seen.
Sometimes physical examinations reveal gastric
ulcers. When a person experiences three major
panic attacks within a three-week period, or when
general anxiety last for more than a month, it is
time to seek help.
When I treat a person suffering from
acute panic or general anxiety, I use
psychotherapy to help him or her understand the
problems. In cases of panic attacks, I try to
help the patient understand why attacks are
occurring and what stimuli seem to trigger them.
If a person has fairly good relationships with
others, a stable environment, inner strength, and
a real desire to end the problems, he or she
reacts very well to frank discussions with a
trained therapist. Being able to accept advise
and reassurance are important qualities or people
who can be treated. Christians who have a strong
belief in the love of God and their own
self-worth in the eyes of God are generally able
to overcome anxiety attacks very well. It is
interesting that quiet meditation is also
effective is warding off anxiety attacks.
Care use of drugs
(usually benzodiazepines) help control symptoms.
Adrenergic blocking agents are also reported to
be effect treatments, but I should stress that
drugs should be used cautiously and a good
working relationship with the therapist is as
important as drug therapy.
Related to the
anxiety states I mentioned in the previous
paragraphs are somatoform and dissociative
disorders. Somatoform disorders are sometimes
associated with old, popular terms such as
"hysteria", or physical complaints
(pain, fainting, difficulty swallowing, abdominal
problems, sexual impairment, dizziness, etc.)
that don't seem to be based on actual physical
problems. Treatments vary, with the therapist
being careful not to waste excessive medical
attention (surgery, medication, tests) on the
sufferer. A caring attitude on the part of a
therapist and a sympathetic family are the best
medicine for some of the people with this
disorders involve the sudden loss of
consciousness, memory, identity or movement (a
victim goes into a hypnosis-like state,
sleepwalking state, or simply goes about his
business without later memories of what he or she
does.) In a dissociative state, the individual is
disconnected from normal consciousness. Happily,
this problem is not common and victims often
Anxiety and fear