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Living Well With Anxiety

Guest Author - Carolyn Chambers Clark, RN, EdD

Here's the Table of Contents and First Chapter for the book:

LIVING WELL WITH ANXIETY

Introduction

Part 1 - ANXIETY AND MEDICAL TREATMENT

1.Anxiety: Causes and Effects
2.Self-Diagnose Your Anxiety
3.Types of Anxiety Disorders
4.Anxiety, Your Brain, and Medication

Part 2 - HOLISTIC APPROACHES TO ANXIETY

5.Nutrition
6.Herbs
7.Environmental Changes
8.Exercise
9.Other Anxiety Reduction & Healing Measures
10.Relationships, Life Purpose, and Spirituality

Part 3 - CREATING YOUR ANXIETY PLAN

11.Changes, Demands, Supports
12.Finding and Working with the Right Practitioner
13.Putting It All Together: Your Anxiety Success Plan


Resources: web sites, relaxation tapes and other resources to help you

References: the studies that back up what I recommend

Index: so you can find what you're looking for easily, quickly

LIVING WELL WITH ANXIETY: WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DOESN'T TELL YOU...THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Chapter 1.


Introduction

Anxiety conditions are the number one mental health problem among American women and second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. The frequency of anxiety is also increasing among children, and it contributes to decreased social connectedness (divorce, living alone, decreased birth rate, marriage later in life). The increase in physical or psychological threats (violent crime, worry about nuclear war, fear of diseases such as AIDS, and the entrance of more women into the workforce) are identified as significant factors in the upswing of anxiety.

Approximately ten percent of the population of the United States, or more than 30 million people, suffer from anxiety disorders each year, yet only a small proportion receive treatment. Many who suffer from high anxiety are too embarrassed or ashamed to discuss their anxieties. For many people, this book may provide the only help they will ever receive.

Letís take a look at some of the varied conditions that result from uncontrolled anxiety.

Hillary wakes up every night a couple of hours after going to sleep, her heart racing, feeling dizzy, with a tightness in her throat, and fearful something terrible is going to happen.

Joe just got a promotion because of his Internet sales ability. Now he must
contribute to group sales meetings and he knows heís going to be tongue-tied,
stammer instead of speak coherently, and get so restless he canít sit still.


Ruth, a bank teller, has been forcing herself to go to work, and once she gets
there, sheís afraid she might say or do something silly, and wants to leave.


Adam just entered college, and heís afraid to speak up in class, even
though he knows the answer, and he freezes when he has to take a written exam.


Sylvia was raped a year ago. She continues to have repetitive, distressing
thoughts about the event, nightmares, flashbacks and emotional numbness.



Why Anxiety is Such A Problem Today

Anxiety conditions appear as a result of cumulative stress over time. Individuals in western societies experience more stress than ever before. As a result, they experience more anxiety. The increased pace of modern society, the increased rate of technological change, lack of traditionally prescribed values and stands, a barrage of inconsistent world views presented in the media, terrorism threats and more make it more difficult to remain calm, and to experience a sense of stability or consistency in their lives. The result is increased stress and anxiety. As anxiety continues to mount in our society, this book can provide the comfort and specific direction anxious individuals need.


A Traditional Medical Approach May Not Be Enough

For most anxiety-related conditions, the best medicine can do is keep some of your symptoms at bay, and even that is questionable. The more we learn about the medications used to treat anxiety, the more we learn that these drugs often have unwanted effects that are worse than the anxiety.

The root cause of anxiety is rarely---if ever---addressed in a medical model. Only the symptoms are treated. That means you may never learn the source of your anxiety, and as you will learn, if you havenít already discovered, fear of the unknown brings on the worst kind of anxiety.

You may be fearful your anxiety is untreatable or that it means you are crazy or on your way to a lifetime of hospitalization and treatment. You may be fearful your anxiety may build into dramatically worsening conditions and phobias. You may be fearful that even though youíre learning to deal with your anxiety, you suspect that new symptoms will appear and you will be unable to control them. You may be fearful that for the most part, doctors, unless they are psychiatrists, think youíre faking it, or that your problems are all in your head. You may be fearful because most doctors donít have an answer to your question when you ask if your anxiety is going to affect your family, work and friends. You may be fearful that over time, your anxiety is going to lead to other more dangerous conditions such as heart attacks, suicide or even cancer. You may be afraid that you will never be able to overcome your anxiety, that you cannot stop its inexorable march as it seems to envelope and overtake every facet of your life. You may be afraid that there are no answers, no cure, no respite from the discomfort you feel and that no one really understands what youíre going through.

Rest assured, there are answers and there are ways you can learn to reduce your anxiety.

You just arenít likely to hear them from the typical HMO or primary care physician, who may not even recognize or diagnose your condition, much less know how to treat it, especially now that typical HMO appointments are mandated to end in 15 minutes or less.

You may not be able to obtain an answer from the average psychiatrist either, the medical doctors who treat psychiatric conditions. These doctors must rush through dozens of patients a day, prescribing and monitoring drug effects. They simply donít have the time, and sometimes donít have the know-how, to delve into the complicated and connected conditions anxiety evokes.

And even those medical doctors who consider themselves experts in treating anxiety rarely venture into the uncharted territory of dealing with the source of anxiety. Most are content, and are paid to, focus on treating the symptoms of anxiety, not the source. They are comfortable prescribing anti-anxiety drugs, but ask these doctors how to help you remove the source of your anxiety, and they will probably draw a blank.

Why I Wrote This Book

My masterís degree is in psychiatric/mental health nursing and my minor at the doctoral level was psychology. My major in my doctoral program was education, specifically novel methods of teaching and learning. I am also board-certified as an advanced holistic/wellness practitioner.

Over the years, Iíve experienced high degrees of anxiety due to graduate school stress, performance anxiety (when I first started to make presentations to large audiences), a fear of heights (after I was almost pushed off the second floor of a balcony), as well as the many stresses and strains of our society that create anxiety. Through the years, Iíve learned how to reduce my stress and thereby my anxiety. Iíve also taught many of my clients wellness procedures Iíve developed for reducing stress and enhancing calm through my Wellness Institute workshops, my private clinical practice, and on my web site http://HolisticHealth.bellaonline.com.

A wellness approach to anxiety focuses not only on the mind, but also on the body and spirit---the whole person. Over the years Iíve personally and professionally explored alternative and complementary methods for reducing anxiety, including cognitive behavioral approaches, yoga, relaxation therapy, affirmations, coping skills, environmental changes, herbs and nutrition. I wrote this book because anxiety pervades all our lives...and because you need to know how to reduce it so you can live well.

Variations of my story are repeated every day when someone suffering from high anxiety wonders, as I did, if the panic I felt meant I was going crazy. Or when someone who is fearful of heights, or animals or elevators or airplanes or some other situation, can ever overcome their fear and learn to remain calm in previously upsetting situations

Why You May Need This Book

This book is for you if...

*You strongly suspect you are suffering from high anxiety, but are having difficulty finding someone to explain to you what the condition is about.

*You arenít sure if your discomfort points to anxiety, but youíre trying to find out more.

*Youíve been diagnosed with an anxiety condition, been prescribed pills, but want more information about your condition.

*You are receiving what your doctor thinks is sufficient treatment for your anxiety, but you still donít feel well.

*Youíre an open-minded health practitioner looking for innovative ways to understand and help your patients who suffer from high anxiety.

*You want to learn about living well with anxiety from the perspective of an empowered consumer.

About This Book

Living Well with Anxiety is different from most books on anxiety. This is your book, written by a nurse practitioner who has not only counseled individuals with anxiety conditions, but has experienced high anxiety and has learned ways to reduce anxiety to manageable levels and teach them to yo

Living Well with Anxiety provides the type of information about anxiety you may not find out from your doctor, pharmaceutical company, patient organizations, or in other books about anxiety. In this book, I talk honestly with you about the traditional medical approaches to anxiety, including the drugs that are prescribed for specific conditions and their risks. But this book is really about living with anxiety and the kinds of self-care measures you can take to reduce and manage it.

In this book, youíll find out things your doctor may not tell you about risks, diagnosis, drugs, and alternative approaches that work to reduce anxiety. Youíll also hear the voices of real people just like you who have struggled with anxiety and learned to deal with health care practitioners, tried different approaches, suffered setbacks and enjoyed successes. Each person quoted in this book expressed a determination to share his or her own story, difficulties, ideas, advice and hope with you. Thatís why youíll be able to recognize your own experiences, fears, and frustrations, and be touched and moved by the incredibly honest and direct stories of others who have learned to live well with anxiety. Above all, youíll know you are not alone in your struggle.

My Disclaimer

I hope what you learn in this book will help you decide what kinds of health care practitioners to seek, what questions to ask them, and what your goals are. Seek out caring, informed health care practitioners and work in a partnership with them. Donít try to go this alone. Seek out the conventional, alternative and complementary practitioners to be your partners in wellness. And donít forget to share this book with them.

To purchase an autographed copy, click on http://home.earthlink.net/~cccwellness/id28.html
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Content copyright © 2014 by Carolyn Chambers Clark, RN, EdD. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Carolyn Chambers Clark, RN, EdD. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Teresa Post for details.

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