GAD is characterized by excessive, unrealistic worry that lasts six months or more. In adults, the anxiety may focus on issues such as health, money, or career. In addition to chronic worry, GAD symptoms include trembling, muscular aches, insomnia, abdominal upsets, dizziness, and irritability. The symptoms are severe enough to impair work, social and family life. Individuals with GAD tend to be chronically anxious, but their tension can escalate to intolerable levels under stress or perceived threat to safety.
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An intensive fear of a specific object or situation (such as spiders, dogs, or heights). The level of fear is usually inappropriate to the situation or trigger. Despite the fact that the sufferer perceives the fear as irrational, he or she avoids the feared object. This inordinate fear may lead to the avoidance of common, everyday situations.
Social anxiety disorder is characterized by extreme anxiety about being judged by others or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or ridicule. This intense anxiety may lead to avoidance behavior. Physical symptoms associated with this disorder include heart palpitations, faintness, blushing, and profuse sweating.
Panic disorders are onslaughts of intense fear that seem to come from nowhere with an intensity that feels unmanageable and unstoppable. Symptoms include heart palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, tingling, trembling, and nausea.
Individuals with OCD are plagued by persistent, recurring thoughts (obsessions) that reflect exaggerated anxieties or fears; typical obsessions include worry about being contaminated or fear of behaving improperly or acting violently. The obsessions may lead an individual to perform a ritual or routine (compulsions), such as washing hands, repeating phrases, or hoarding, to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsession.
PTSD may result from an exposure to a traumatic event such as a sexual or physical assault, witnessing a death, the unexpected death of a loved one, or natural disaster. There are three main symptoms associated with PTSD: “reliving” of the traumatic event (through flashbacks and nightmares); avoidance behaviors (such as avoiding places related to the trauma); emotional numbing (detachment from others); and physiological problems resulting in difficulty sleeping, irritability, or poor concentration.
A hallmark of PTSD is flashbacks. In these acute episodes of panic, survivors often become immersed in both the physical and emotional state in which their trauma occurred, including the physical sensations experienced during the time of their trauma. The reliving of their trauma on a regular basis in the form of both flashbacks and nightmares can interfere significantly with both daily functioning and normal sleep patterns.
People with PTSD often feel detached or alienated from themselves and others. The complexity of symptoms often causes people with PTSD to also suffer from depression, substance abuse, cognitive problems, or other physical or emotional complaints.
Insomnia can diminish a person’s quality of life, cause health problems, and put someone at a higher risk for accidents. Millions of people have what is known as a “sleep debt.” In general, most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep each night. When there are no existing health problems contributing to insomnia, then therapy may provide a drug-free solution to the lack of sleep. Visualization techniques, clinical hypnosis, stress reduction and guided imagery are highly effective tools for treating insomnia.
Dr. Daitch has produced a CD program which incorporates the above techniques.
Emotional and physical stress have a direct effect on the immune system, which explains why people who suffer from prolonged stress are often more likely to be sick. Other physical reactions to stress are fatigue, headache, mental confusion, depression, anxiety, irritability, hypertension, and heart disease, to name a few. Clinical hypnosis has proven to be a highly effective treatment for chronic and prolonged stress. Treatment can help you to worry less and to become more resilient to life stressors.