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Generalized Anxiety Disorder
by Rebecca Dirks, ND

Anxiety is a common part of our daily life, but it has become a primary concern
of many of us over the past few years. Often it can be mixed with depression, hopelessness and a sense of being powerless over one’s life. When does that level of anxiety breach normalcy and mean Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you worry excessively about many different events or activities? Does this occur more days than not, for at least 6 months?
  2. Do you find it difficult to control worrying?
  3. Is worrying causing you problems socially, at work, or at home?
  4. Do you feel restless or on edge?
  5. Do you tire easily?
  6. Do you have problems concentrating or does your mind go blank?
  7. Are you irritable?
  8. Are you aware of excess muscle tension?
  9. Are you having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or do you have restless sleep?

If your situation doesn’t fit the description, but still concerns you, consider seeking advice regarding your stress. Stress has many negative affects on your health that can predispose you to diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, heart disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

Stress decreases normal bodily functions like detoxification, digestion, healing time & all immune functions. A variety of treatments are available to help with anxiety, and it is possible to control mild anxiety on your own with a few simple tools. When you learn to intentionally relax, your pulse slows, your breathing deepens and the release of stress hormones decrease which in turn decreases the production of free radicals in your body.

All of this can actually slow the aging process. Ask your doctor at NCOH for a complimentary stress reduction handout. Treating anxiety may be more complex, require an assessment, and a change of dietary and lifestyle factors. Herbal or nutritional medicines can also aid in relaxation and ease your symptoms to then allow you to explore and resolve the causes of your stress.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Northwest Center for Optimal Health at (360) 651-9355.




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