Anxiety and Panic Attacks Prevalent

The research published in 2015 shows anxiety and panic attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent in the U.S. and tops all forms of cancer by 800%. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says that the prevalence of anxiety disorders, social anxiety and panic disorder may be as high as 40 million, which is about 18% of the population over the age of 18. This makes it the most common mental illness in the nation. The Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State also has research indicating anxiety has surpassed depression as the most commonly diagnosed mental health problem among college students.

There are many available optional treatments aimed at anxiety-ridden students that prove successful. They are also the safest and least expensive treatments and do not involve drugs. The University of Central Florida is testing a new online app called Tao Connect for treating anxiety that includes a seven module cognitive behavioral program that allows the student to conduct videoconferences with a therapist. It can offer effective treatment with 1/3 of the counselor time and ½ of the overall cost of traditional individual face-to-face treatment.

Genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events play a role in the development of anxiety disorders, but stress is a common trigger.

In some people the anxiety becomes overwhelming and difficult to cope with even though anxiety is a normal response to stress. Other situations and underlying issues can contribute to the problem such as exposure to cell phones and nonnative electromagnetic fields, radio frequencies, gut dysfunction, food additive, food dyes, GMOs, glyphosate, lack of magnesium, lack of vitamin D, lack of omega-3, use of artificial sweeteners, improper breathing, excessive consumption of sugar and exposure to toxic mold.

These attacks can be very frightening and they usually come on abruptly, producing intense fear and a sense of impending doom or death. The attack might be accompanied by hyperventilation, heart palpitations, trembling, sweating, hot or cold flashes, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness and numbness or tingling sensations. The panic attack will usually peak within 10 minutes and usually subside within 30 minutes.

Breathing exercises can help quell the anxiety and panic attacks by taking a small breath into your nose, a small breath out, then hold your nose for five seconds in order to hold your breath.

Resume regular breathing after this exercise and breathe normally for 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence several more times breathing in through your nose and releasing small breaths out.

Patrick McKeown, a leading Buteyko Breathing expert has written a book specifically aimed at the treatment of anxiety through optimal breathing called “Anxiety Free: Stop Worrying and Quieten Your Mind-Featuring the Buteyko Breathing Method and Mindfulness.”

Other ways to cope with anxiety is to go for a brisk walk outside, listen to nature sounds or calming music, exercise and call someone you trust to talk it out. A long-term solution that can produce rapid results is EFT (Energy psychology technique). To read more on EFT treatment please visit or read the publication in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Review of General Psychology. EFT is coming near to meeting the criteria for an “evidence-based treatment.”

–Dr Fredda Branyon

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