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Anxiety - Is it "curable"?
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echamplin posted:
I'm a healthy 20-year old male, and was struck with anxiety last month, literally overnight. Every since then, I've been placed on medicine to dowse the effects of anxiety during the day, and I still haven't been able to sleep at night. My question is, will my anxiety eventually naturally subside, or will I be on meds for the rest of my life? I've been seeing a counselor, and he had anxiety 15 years ago, and he said his anxiety was "cured" after about a year, but that everyone is different. I'd really appreciate some professional advise regarding this topic. Thank you!

In the meantime, I have completely cut out soda (used to drink it every day), have been getting more exercise, and have been getting more sleep (or at least try to get more sleep; I have yet to not wake up at least once during the night).
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gonnafindaway responded:
Hello echamplin i was diagnosed with anxiety disorders at age 14. and i am now in my mid 30's . there are times when i go years with nothing wrong i mean i have had years were there was no anxiety at all and years were there have been . i actually thought for a long time i was cured. but there is no cure for it. sometimes it may just go away but there will always be a chance that it will come back. good job on the soda and exercise thats a great step. good luck too you.
 
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crazygirl0036 responded:
i'm also 20. i was diagnosed with GAD around the age of 17. i was on medication for about a year and a half and then thought i was cured so i stopped. i had developed the best coping skills but after a while i didn't need them because i thought it was gone. here i am about 3 years later and i'm struck with anxiety worse than before. i exercise regularly and don't drink soda. i don't think you'll need to be on medicine forever as long as you find valuable coping methods. i also don't think there's a cure, as i'm finding out it goes away and can potentially come back.
 
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Anxiety is a normal part of life and we cannot exclude it completely from our lives. It becomes a problem when we are no longer able to manage it. Saying that there is a "cure" would seem to indicate that someone who had excessive anxiety managed to learn how to contain it, not that they had been "cured."


In fact, anxiety also serves a useful purpose and that is as a motivator, not the terrible destructive force that many people believe it to be. Therefore, it can be seen in both a good and a bad light. But removing it from your life completely is unrealistic and would be unhealthy. I believe your counselor is indicating they had excessive anxiety and have managed to learn how to contain it. Good for them.


No, medication is not the only way to handle excessive anxiety. Since you indicate that your's came suddenly only a month ago, I would think that there is something that has caused you to become concerned about something in your life. Considering that you are 20 years old, I would think this might be regarding your financial situation, education or personal relationships. All of these things need to be considered and explored. For everything there is a way to manage it, but the 1st step is to find out what it is.


In the meantime, in addition to your counseling sessions, I would think you need to look at lifestyle changes and the things that you need to incorporate in your life which may be lacking right now. The fact that you are not getting sufficient sleep at night would lead me to believe that you would be more anxious during the daytime. This is a natural reaction to insufficient sleep.


I'm not sure what your treatment plan is and what you and your counselor are working on, but you might want to take a look at our Tips column where we do have some things I think would be helpful. I would recommend that you watch the relaxation breathing video tutorial and I would also recommend that you look at these simple exercises which you can do. Please don't think that exercise is something that you just do for your physical well-being because research has proven it to be a very powerful way to help us with stress, anxiety and depression. When we exercise the muscles begin to promote the production of substances which help our mental outlook on everything. Therefore, it is not just to maintain your muscle strength, but your mental health as well.


I hope you have found this helpful.


Dr. Farrell
 
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booger8141 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
I have been suffering from an anxiety disorder myself i am 42 I have been suffering for years I have been on medicine because that is the only thing that keeps my panic attacks away however i am on mood stabilizers and they seem to help, but i am also bi-polor, scizophrenic, and multi-personality disorder so i have to deal with alot. I agree with alot of what you have to say however i don't know why people insist on telling people well you really need to get more sleep at night, some of us with anxiety disorders cant do that as hard as we try and no matter what we take. I take remron, risperdone, xanax 2mg, seroquel 300mg, and i am up at least 6 times a night sometimes for 30 minutes just thinking abouth things or worrying.
 
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BlissfulWriter responded:
With the aid of a good doctor, you should find the cause of the anxiety and hence is curable. There can be many different physiological reasons that cause anxiety. In particular, digestive gut health and brain health are related via the gut-brain axis. If you have gluten sensitivity, then foods with gluten over many years can increase intestinal permeability and permeability of the the blood brain barrier.



Magnesium deficiency can result in anxiety. Most people on western diet are deficient and can benefit from supplementation. Magnesium is the number one relaxation mineral. Learn more about the importance of magnesium here...
http://blissfulwriter.hubpages.com/hub/Benefits-of-Magnesium

Are you a vegetarian? Low DHA omega-3 fatty acid can result in mental symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Plant-based omega-3 does not have the DHA that the brain needs. In Dr. Mercola's interview of Chris Masterjohn, Chris said that his anxiety disappeared after started back on animal products after years of vegetarianism.

Google "magnesium anxiety" and "omega-3 anxiety" and "gut health anxiety" and you will find more info on what I've been talking about. Once you take care of the underlying cause of the anxiety, yes it can be cured.