Anxiety Disorders And Mental Health Problems In Nigeria | Anxiety Treatment At Home

Anxiety Disorders And Mental Health Problems In Nigeria | Anxiety Treatment At Home

October 15, 2018 0 By mcsenior
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What Is Anxiety Disorder: Anxiety Disorders Affecting Nigerians

When you are stressed, your body normally reacts with anxiety; Anxiety may become a serious health concern when you are no longer able to control it such that it now starts affecting your daily activities. Studies shows that women are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders when compared to men but can be treated with counseling, medicine, or a combination of both and in some cases yoga.

What Is Anxiety Definition?

Anxiety is considered a normal reaction to stress, characterized with a feeling of worry, nervousness, or fear about an event or situation. Whenever you experience any challenging situation like work stress, preparing for exams, sudden attack or about to give a public speech etc, anxiety makes you stay alert.
Anxiety becomes a problem when you cannot control it such that it starts affecting your daily activities that you usually do with ease before

How Common Is Anxiety Disorders In Nigeria?

Anxiety disorder is a self diagnosed and treatable medical condition that is considered common in Nigeria based on findings. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million cases is being recorded annually in the country.

What Is Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety disorder is a mental illness that may hinder your ability to do daily activities or things you usually do before with ease as well as other sudden change in behavior.

The major types of anxiety disorder according to U.S. Department Of Health & Human Services are:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): People suffering from this condition are always bordered about ordinary issues like health, money, work, and family. It is characterized with physical and mental stress, inability to sleep and always thinking about worst case scenarios.
Panic disorder: This happens when people are always scared of things that aren’t real. It is a panic attack that causes the fear of unknown, unexplained fear of losing control or unforeseen danger ahead.
Social phobia: This category of people always feel uncomfortable with themselves, always thinking about what people will say about them or how they will be judged after doing certain things.
• Specific phobia. People who suffer from this condition always have phobia for little things that may not be that harmful as they see them. The may be afraid of heights, water, objects, animals, or specific situations
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People suffering from this condition always have negative taught going on in their mind. They always have negative feeling about everything around them and how those things can harm them. This may cause certain change in behavior like checking if something is in the right position more often.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This usually happen as a result of previous bad experience that fails to go away from the memory. For instance, someone who previously had a bike accident may find it difficult to take bike next time he or she is offered that choice.

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Who Is At Risk Of Having Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety disorders affect about 2 million Nigerian adults every year. Anxiety disorders also affect children and teens. About 8% of teens ages 13 to 18 have an anxiety disorder, with symptoms starting around age 6.
Women are more than twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Also, some types of anxiety disorders affect some women more than others:
• Generalized anxiety disorder
• Social phobia and panic disorder

Causes Of Anxiety Disorders

Researchers think anxiety disorders are caused by a combination of factors, which may include:
• Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle
• Genetics. Anxiety disorders may run in families.
• Traumatic events. Experiencing abuse, an attack, or sexual assault can lead to serious health problems, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.

What Is Anxiety Symptoms

People suffering from anxiety disorder often experience a combination of anxious thoughts or beliefs, physical symptoms, and changes in behavior, including avoiding everyday activities they used to do. Physical symptoms may include:

• Weakness
• Shortness of breath
• Rapid heart rate
• Nausea
• Upset stomach
• Hot flashes
• Dizziness
Physical symptoms of anxiety disorders often happen along with other mental or physical illnesses. This can cover up your anxiety symptoms or make them worse.

Anxiety Disorders Diagnoses

You need to consult your doctor to be sure if you are suffering from anxiety disorder or not. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, your medical history, consult a physical examination, or do other tests to rule out other health problems that could be causing your symptoms.

Anxiety disorders are diagnosed when fear and dread of nonthreatening situations, events, places, or objects become excessive and are uncontrollable. Anxiety disorders are also diagnosed if the anxiety has lasted for at least six months and it interferes with social, work, family, or other aspects of daily life.

Anxiety Treatment Options

Treatment for anxiety disorders depends on the type of anxiety disorder you have and your personal history of health problems, violence, or abuse.
Anxiety disorders treatment may include:

• A combination of counseling and medicine
• Counseling , also known as psychotherapy
• Medication

How Does Counseling Help Treat Anxiety Disorders?

There is a type of counseling often used for anxiety disorders known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which can be used to improve your mental health condition.
This therapy will help you to:

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• Change your thinking pattern around your fears
• Change your way to react to situations that causes anxiety
• Reduce feeling of anxiety
• Improve your behavior caused by chronic anxiety
• Learn more about relaxation therapy
• Learn the basic problem solving methods

Anxiety Treatment Medication: What Types Of Medicine Treat Anxiety Disorder?

Several types of medicine treat anxiety disorders include:

Antianxiety (benzodiazepines): This is a short term medication for this condition because they are addictive. It should only be used when your doctor ask you to.
• Beta blockers: These works by preventing and improving physical symptoms of an anxiety disorder, like trembling or sweating.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs):This works by increasing the amount of serotonin available to help brain cells communicate with each other, often comes with side effects like insomnia, stomach disorder, and a low sex drive.
Tricyclics: This works same way as SSRIs but with more serious side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, or weight gain.

What If My Anxiety Disorder Treatment Fails?

One of the reasons why you need a doctor or nurse advice for your recovery from anxiety disorders is to know the best treatment or combination of treatment that works best for you.
In case you notice any side effect from anxiety disorder medications, do not stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor. Your doctor or nurse may adjust how much medicine you take and when you take it.

What If My Anxiety Disorder Comes back After Treatment?

In some cases, the symptoms of anxiety disorders may come back after completion of treatment. This may happen during or after a stressful event. It may also happen without any warning. Whenever this occurs, you need to consult your doctor and you may have to change or adjust your medicine or treatment plan.

Can Alternative Medicine Help Mange Anxiety Disorder?

You can actually use alternative medicine therapy to lower anxiety.
Alternative therapies that may help anxiety include:

• Physical activity: You need to maintain regular physical activity swimming, yoga and most aerobic exercise to raises the level of brain chemicals that control mood and affect anxiety and depression
Meditation: You need to discuss with your doctor to determine the best medication for you base on the kind of symptoms you.

Anxiety Disorder Treatment And Pregnancy?

If your treatment is counseling, it will not affect your pregnancy.
If you are on medicine to treat your anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor. Some medicines used to treat anxiety can affect your unborn baby.

Anxiety Disorder Medications And Breastfeeding?

You need to discuss with your doctor if you are a nursing mother and need to take anxiety disorder medicine because some medicines often used in treating anxiety can pass through breast milk. Certain antidepressants, such as some SSRIs, are safe to take during breastfeeding.

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Complications Of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders may affect other health problems which include:
• Depression
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Chronic pain
• Cardiovascular Disease
• Asthma

Herbs For Anxiety And Depression: Natural Remedies For Anxiety Disorders

 

Passion Flower For Anxiety Disorder

This is a non drowsy natural sedative that provides relief from nervousness and anxiety attacks. You can make a decoction or herbal tea from this and drink regularly to maximize this effect.
Ginkgo Biloba For Anxiety Disorder
This herb improves blood circulation in the brain and elevates mood. You can make use of he leaves, powder or supplement to improve your mental alertness. You may start with a lower dose of not more than 120 mg daily.

Lemon Balm {Melissa officinalis} For Anxiety Disorder

This herb is a relaxing and tonic herb, reduces anxiety, restlessness and nervousness, and helps with panic disorder, palpitations, racing heart, overactive thyroid. It is also effective for digestive upset from stress or anxiety; nausea, indigestion, colic. It is an anti-depressant that is good in synergistic combination with other herbs.

Passionflower {Passiflora incarnata } For Anxiety Disorder

This is a sedative herb that relieves anxiety, tension, spasms, pains, neuralgia. It helps promotes restful, refreshed sleep; induces relaxation, mild euphoria. Passionflower is suitable for nervousness in children and the elderly.

St. John’s Wort { Hypericum perfoliatum} For Anxiety Disorder

This herb is effective long-term action for anxiety and tension, as well as irritability and depression. It is also good for mood changes during menopause, and for pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia, arthritis and neuralgia.

Almond Milk For Anxiety Disorder

Soak 10-12 raw almonds in water for at least 8 hours and peel off their skins. Blend the almonds with a cup of warm milk, little ginger and nutmeg. Drink this preparation before going to bed.

Baking Soda For Anxiety Disorder

Add equal amounts of baking soda and ginger powder in water for having a warm bath.

Essential Oils For Anxiety Disorder

Massage the whole body with warm sesame oil including scalp and the bottoms of your feet. Other oils like those of sunflower, coconut, or corn oil can also be used for massage before bath.

Orange For Anxiety Disorder

Peel and inhale an orange whose aroma is considered to reduce anxiety. Orange juice with a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of nutmeg can also be had to relax the nerves.

Note: Have celery and onions- raw or cooked- with meals for a couple of weeks. They both have good quantities of potassium and folic acid whose deficiencies also cause anxiety

Learn More About Common Nigerian Herbs For All Kinds Of Diseases HERE

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Credit:
• U.S. Department Of Health & Human Services: OWH
• Dr Izharul Hasan M.D (PSM), NIUM Bangalore

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