Anxiety Issues & How to Make Your Anxiety Work for You Instead of Against You

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Anxiety Issues & How to Make Your Anxiety Work for You Instead of Against You

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How to Make Your Anxiety Work for You Instead of Against You ... ket-newtab

While some cases of anxiety are serious enough to require medical treatment, everyday anxiety is a fact of life and can actually be helpful, says psychologist Bob Rosen, author of Conscious: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life.

“How you use it makes all the difference,” he says. “As the world gets faster and more uncertain, it’s easy to let [anxiety] overwhelm you. People get hijacked by their reptilian brain survival instincts and fear. On the flip side, denying or running from anxiety causes you to become complacent. You can use anxiety in a positive way and turn it into a powerful force in your life if you strike a balance.”

The first hurdle to get over is viewing anxiety through a negative lens. “We see anxiety as something to fear and avoid,” says Rosen. “That thinking is self-defeating and makes it worse. In a sense, we need to see anxiety as a wake-up call; a message inside of our mind telling us to pay attention. We need to accept it as a natural part of the human experience.”

Another problem is our faulty thinking around change, says Rosen. “For centuries, it was viewed as dangerous or life threatening,” he says. “But stability is an illusion, and uncertainty is reality. Uncertainty makes you anxious and vulnerable, and anxiety leads you to worry or run away because you’re not in control of life anymore and you feel worse.”

People often move back and forth between too much, just enough, and too little anxiety, and anxiety is contagious, says Rosen: “We communicate our level of anxiety to others because we’re connected to each other,” he says. “Studies show that your blood pressure can go up when you deal with a manger who is disrespectful, unfair, or overly anxious. People are hijacked more and more because of too much anxiety.”

Anxiety is energy, and you can strike the right balance if you know what to look for:

Too Much Anxiety

Some people naturally have too much anxiety, and that’s a problem. “These are the people who need to be right, powerful, in control, and successful,” says Rosen. “They orchestrate everything around them, and are mistrustful or suspicious. They’re scared of inadequacy, failure, being insignificant, or being taken advantage of.”

You have too much anxiety if you tend to expect respect and admiration, are frustrated a lot, question the motives of others, and are overly impatient, says Rosen.

Too Little Anxiety

Too little anxiety isn’t good either. “You put your head in the sand in the face of change,” says Rosen. “You don’t want to take risks. You value status quo and live in a bubble.”

You have too little anxiety if you’re too idealistic and cautious, detaching from all of the change around you. “The world is changing faster than our ability to adapt. We need to learn new things, and can’t stay complacent for long,” he says. “It’s important to allow yourself to stretch and to feel just the right amount of anxiety.”

Good Anxiety

Living with the right amount of anxiety provides just enough tension to drive you forward without causing you to resist, give up, or try to control what happens. “It’s a productive energy,” says Rosen.

The first step is getting comfortable being uncomfortable. “A lot of people think the goal of life is to be happy, but it’s not,” says Rosen. “The goal is to live a full life, and sometimes you’ll have good days and sometimes bad days. Develop the skill of being uncomfortable. Knowing you can and will get through it is important.”

Listen to your body; it speaks to you, says Rosen. “Whether it’s stomach pain or heart palpitations or a stiff neck or back, these are ways the body tells you that you are anxious,” he says.

Ask yourself why you’re anxious. Is it because you’re excited? How you interpret anxiety could be good or bad. If you’re about to give a speech, for example, anxiety is good. Instead of trying to avoid it, understand it. “If you’re not anxious, you’re probably not going to give a great speech,” says Rosen. “And if you’re too anxious, that won’t be a great speech, either.”

When you have too much anxiety, it’s often because you’re telling yourself a story. “For example, ‘If I don’t do a good job I’ll get fired,’ ‘My boss hates me,’ or ‘I’m going to embarrass myself,'” says Rosen. It’s often not the event that causes anxiety; it’s the story we tell ourselves about it.”

When this happens, take a long walk or breathe deeply if you have too much anxiety. Meditation is a force that helps you live in the present moment. “When you meditate, you get a better sense of how your body and mind are reacting,” he says. “Deep breathing creates a direct connection between your breath and reducing stress. You can get a sense of the source of the anxiety, peel back the onion, and find the cause.”

All change happens in the gap between our current reality and desired future, says Rosen. “We have a problem we want to solve or have a goal we want to accomplish,” he says. “In the gap sits our motivation, our engagement, and our anxiety. Anxiety is the energy that moves us across the gap. We need to have enough energy to change. You can’t change or transform yourself unless you allow yourself to feel uncertainty and vulnerability.”
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Re: How to Make Your Anxiety Work for You Instead of Against You

Post by trader32176 »

Anxiety Disorders ... ndex.shtml


Occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.

Signs and Symptoms

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. The fear and anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work.

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:

Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
Being easily fatigued
Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
Being irritable
Having muscle tension
Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep

Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that come on quickly and reach their peak within minutes. Attacks can occur unexpectedly or can be brought on by a trigger, such as a feared object or situation.

During a panic attack, people may experience:

Heart palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heartrate
Trembling or shaking
Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking
Feelings of impending doom
Feelings of being out of control

People with panic disorder often worry about when the next attack will happen and actively try to prevent future attacks by avoiding places, situations, or behaviors they associate with panic attacks. Worry about panic attacks, and the effort spent trying to avoid attacks, cause significant problems in various areas of the person’s life, including the development of agoraphobia (see below).

Phobia-related disorders

A phobia is an intense fear of—or aversion to—specific objects or situations. Although it can be realistic to be anxious in some circumstances, the fear people with phobias feel is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object.

People with a phobia:

May have an irrational or excessive worry about encountering the feared object or situation
Take active steps to avoid the feared object or situation
Experience immediate intense anxiety upon encountering the feared object or situation
Endure unavoidable objects and situations with intense anxiety

There are several types of phobias and phobia-related disorders:

Specific Phobias (sometimes called simple phobias):
As the name suggests, people who have a specific phobia have an intense fear of, or feel intense anxiety about, specific types of objects or situations. Some examples of specific phobias include the fear of:

Specific animals, such as spiders, dogs, or snakes
Receiving injections

Social anxiety disorder (previously called social phobia): People with social anxiety disorder have a general intense fear of, or anxiety toward, social or performance situations. They worry that actions or behaviors associated with their anxiety will be negatively evaluated by others, leading them to feel embarrassed. This worry often causes people with social anxiety to avoid social situations. Social anxiety disorder can manifest in a range of situations, such as within the workplace or the school environment.

Agoraphobia: People with agoraphobia have an intense fear of two or more of the following situations:

Using public transportation
Being in open spaces
Being in enclosed spaces
Standing in line or being in a crowd
Being outside of the home alone

People with agoraphobia often avoid these situations, in part, because they think being able to leave might be difficult or impossible in the event they have panic-like reactions or other embarrassing symptoms. In the most severe form of agoraphobia, an individual can become housebound.

Separation anxiety disorder: Separation anxiety is often thought of as something that only children deal with; however, adults can also be diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder. People who have separation anxiety disorder have fears about being parted from people to whom they are attached. They often worry that some sort of harm or something untoward will happen to their attachment figures while they are separated. This fear leads them to avoid being separated from their attachment figures and to avoid being alone. People with separation anxiety may have nightmares about being separated from attachment figures or experience physical symptoms when separation occurs or is anticipated.

Selective mutism: A somewhat rare disorder associated with anxiety is selective mutism. Selective mutism occurs when people fail to speak in specific social situations despite having normal language skills. Selective mutism usually occurs before the age of 5 and is often associated with extreme shyness, fear of social embarrassment, compulsive traits, withdrawal, clinging behavior, and temper tantrums. People diagnosed with selective mutism are often also diagnosed with other anxiety disorders.

Risk Factors

Researchers are finding that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Although the risk factors for each type of anxiety disorder can vary, some general risk factors for all types of anxiety disorders include:

Temperamental traits of shyness or behavioral inhibition in childhood
Exposure to stressful and negative life or environmental events in early childhood or adulthood
A history of anxiety or other mental illnesses in biological relatives
Some physical health conditions, such as thyroid problems or heart arrhythmias, or caffeine or other substances/medications, can produce or aggravate anxiety symptoms; a physical health examination is helpful in the evaluation of a possible anxiety disorder.

Treatments and Therapies

Anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. There are many ways to treat anxiety and people should work with their doctor to choose the treatment that is best for them.


Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” can help people with anxiety disorders. To be effective, psychotherapy must be directed at the person’s specific anxieties and tailored to his or her needs.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an example of one type of psychotherapy that can help people with anxiety disorders. It teaches people different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to anxiety-producing and fearful objects and situations. CBT can also help people learn and practice social skills, which is vital for treating social anxiety disorder.

Cognitive therapy and exposure therapy are two CBT methods that are often used, together or by themselves, to treat social anxiety disorder. Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying, challenging, and then neutralizing unhelpful or distorted thoughts underlying anxiety disorders. Exposure therapy focuses on confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder to help people engage in activities they have been avoiding. Exposure therapy is sometimes used along with relaxation exercises and/or imagery.

CBT can be conducted individually or with a group of people who have similar difficulties. Often “homework” is assigned for participants to complete between sessions.


Medication does not cure anxiety disorders but can help relieve symptoms. Medication for anxiety is prescribed by doctors, such as a psychiatrist or primary care provider. Some states also allow psychologists who have received specialized training to prescribe psychiatric medications. The most common classes of medications used to combat anxiety disorders are anti-anxiety drugs (such as benzodiazepines), antidepressants, and beta-blockers.

Anti-Anxiety Medications

Anti-anxiety medications can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, or extreme fear and worry. The most common anti-anxiety medications are called benzodiazepines. Although benzodiazepines are sometimes used as first-line treatments for generalized anxiety disorder, they have both benefits and drawbacks.

Some benefits of benzodiazepines are that they are effective in relieving anxiety and take effect more quickly than antidepressant medications often prescribed for anxiety. Some drawbacks of benzodiazepines are that people can build up a tolerance to them if they are taken over a long period of time and they may need higher and higher doses to get the same effect. Some people may even become dependent on them.

To avoid these problems, doctors usually prescribe benzodiazepines for short periods of time, a practice that is especially helpful for older adults, people who have substance abuse problems, and people who become dependent on medication easily.

If people suddenly stop taking benzodiazepines, they may have withdrawal symptoms, or their anxiety may return. Therefore, benzodiazepines should be tapered off slowly. When you and your doctor have decided it is time to stop the medication, the doctor will help you slowly and safely decrease your dose.

For long-term use, benzodiazepines are often considered a second-line treatment for anxiety (with antidepressants being considered a first-line treatment) as well as an “as-needed” treatment for any distressing flare-ups of symptoms.

A different type of anti-anxiety medication is buspirone. Buspirone is a non-benzodiazepine medication specifically indicated for the treatment of chronic anxiety, although it does not help everyone.


Antidepressants are used to treat depression, but they can also be helpful for treating anxiety disorders. They may help improve the way your brain uses certain chemicals that control mood or stress. You may need to try several different antidepressant medicines before finding the one that improves your symptoms and has manageable side effects. A medication that has helped you or a close family member in the past will often be considered.

Antidepressants can take time to work, so it’s important to give the medication a chance before reaching a conclusion about its effectiveness. If you begin taking antidepressants, do not stop taking them without the help of a doctor. When you and your doctor have decided it is time to stop the medication, the doctor will help you slowly and safely decrease your dose. Stopping them abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are commonly used as first-line treatments for anxiety. Less-commonly used — but effective — treatments for anxiety disorders are older classes of antidepressants, such as tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

Please Note:
In some cases, children, teenagers, and young adults under 25 may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts or behavior when taking antidepressant medications, especially in the first few weeks after starting or when the dose is changed. Because of this, patients of all ages taking antidepressants should be watched closely, especially during the first few weeks of treatment.


Although beta-blockers are most often used to treat high blood pressure, they can also be used to help relieve the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat, shaking, trembling, and blushing. These medications, when taken for a short period of time, can help people keep physical symptoms under control. They can also be used “as needed” to reduce acute anxiety, including as a preventive intervention for some predictable forms of performance anxieties.

Choosing the Right Medication

Some types of drugs may work better for specific types of anxiety disorders, so people should work closely with their doctor to identify which medication is best for them. Certain substances such as caffeine, some over-the-counter cold medicines, illicit drugs, and herbal supplements may aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders or interact with prescribed medication. Patients should talk with their doctor, so they can learn which substances are safe and which to avoid.

Choosing the right medication, medication dose, and treatment plan should be done under an expert’s care and should be based on a person’s needs and their medical situation. Your doctor may try several medicines before finding the right one.

You and your doctor should discuss:

How well medications are working or might work to improve your symptoms
Benefits and side effects of each medication
Risk for serious side effects based on your medical history
The likelihood of the medications requiring lifestyle changes
Costs of each medication
Other alternative therapies, medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking and how these may affect your treatment; a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the best approach for many people with anxiety disorders
How the medication should be stopped (Some drugs can’t be stopped abruptly and must be tapered off slowly under a doctor’s supervision).

For more information, please visit Mental Health Medications Health Topic webpage. Please note that any information on this website regarding medications is provided for educational purposes only and may be outdated. Diagnosis and treatment decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor. Information about medications changes frequently. Please visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website for the latest information on warnings, patient medication guides, or newly approved medications.

Support Groups

Some people with anxiety disorders might benefit from joining a self-help or support group and sharing their problems and achievements with others. Internet chat rooms might also be useful, but any advice received over the internet should be used with caution, as Internet acquaintances have usually never seen each other and what has helped one person is not necessarily what is best for another. You should always check with your doctor before following any treatment advice found on the internet. Talking with a trusted friend or member of the clergy can also provide support, but it is not necessarily a sufficient alternative to care from a doctor or other health professional.

Stress Management Techniques

Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy. Research suggests that aerobic exercise can help some people manage their anxiety; however, exercise should not take the place of standard care and more research is needed.

Join a Study

Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions, including anxiety disorders. During clinical trials, treatments might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, new psychotherapies, or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe.

Although individual participants may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future. Decisions about whether to apply for a clinical trial and which ones are best suited for a given individual are best made in collaboration with a licensed health professional.

To learn more about clinical trials, please visit the NIH Clinical Research Trials and You website. To find a clinical trial, visit

Learn More

Free Brochures and Shareable Resources

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): When Worry Gets Out of Control: A brochure on GAD that explains the signs, symptoms, and treatment
I’m So Stressed Out!: This fact sheet intended for teens and young adults presents information about stress, anxiety, and ways to cope when feeling overwhelmed.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: When Unwanted Thoughts Take Over: A brochure on OCD that explains the signs, symptoms, and treatments
Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms: A brochure on panic disorder that explains the signs, symptoms, and treatments
Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness: This brochure discusses symptoms, causes, and treatments for social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia).
Shareable Resources on Anxiety Disorders: Help support anxiety awareness and education in your community. Use these digital resources, including graphics and messages, to spread the word about anxiety disorders.


Watch: Bullying Exerts Psychological Effects into Adulthood: Once considered a childhood rite of passage, bullying is no longer seen as benign. Its effects linger well into adulthood. Bullies and victims alike are at risk for psychiatric problems such as anxiety, depression, substance misuse, and suicide when they become adults, according to a study partially funded by the NIMH that was published in the April 2013 issue of JAMA Psychiatry.
See: Multimedia about Anxiety Disorders

Federal Resources

Anxiety Disorders (MedlinePlus – also en Español)
Specific Phobias (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

Research and Statistics

Join a Study: Adults - Anxiety Disorders
Join a Study: Children - Anxiety Disorders
Journal Articles: References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine).
Statistics: Anxiety Disorder: This webpage provides information on the statistics currently available on the prevalence and treatment of anxiety among people in the U.S.
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Re: Anxiety

Post by trader32176 »

Anxiety disorders increase among US citizens during COVID-19 pandemic

11/5/20 ... demic.aspx

Scientists from the University of North Carolina and City University New York have recently revealed that a majority of United States citizens have suffered from anxiety disorders amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Financial adversity is one of the major causative factors for anxiety symptoms. The study is currently available on the medRxiv* preprint server.

Since its emergence in December 2019, the rapid spread of the potentially lethal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has placed a significant burden on healthcare systems and the socioeconomic structures of many countries across the world. The US has been among the worst-hit countries by the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 9.4 million cases of the virus confirmed and over 122,000 COVID-19-related deaths. Previous studies conducted during other pandemic conditions, such as the SARS pandemic in 2003, have found that the frequency of anxiety episodes, suicidal attempts, and other emotional distress increases among individuals during pandemic conditions.

In the US, about 31% of the general population suffer from anxiety symptoms at some point in their life. Therefore, it is likely that continuous stressful circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic may excaberate or further accelerate episodes of anxiety symptoms in susceptible individuals. Specifically, people with comorbid health complications, such as diabetes, cardiopulmonary disorders, and obesity, are at higher risk of developing anxiety disorders because of the additional fear of developing life-threatening illnesses from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Similarly, people directly involved in healthcare settings, such as physicians, nurses, and other healthcare staff, are more susceptible to develop anxiety disorders because of significantly increased workloads and fear of becoming infected on the job.

Besides, there could be many other factors, such as financial hardship, unemployment or underemployment, and job uncertainty, which can trigger anxiety development in susceptible individuals. To better manage the overall physical and mental wellbeing of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to identify both anxiety triggers and susceptible members of the population.

Current study design

Given the possible impact of COVID-19 on mental health conditions, the scientists aimed at investigating the prevalence of anxiety disorders among US citizens, and the association between various stress factors and the onset of anxiety symptoms. The scientists believe that the study’s findings will help develop appropriate strategies to identify and treat people who are more likely to develop anxiety symptoms during the pandemic.

Important observations

The study was conducted on 5,250 geographically and socio-demographically diverse US citizens. About 27%, 16%, and 18% of the study participants reported having mild, moderate, and severe anxiety symptoms, respectively.

About 33% of participants reported having various health complications, and the scientists found that all the health conditions analyzed in the study were associated with moderate-to-severe anxiety symptoms. Interestingly, about 31% of the participants reported that they were previously diagnosed with depression.

The relationship between various stress factors and anxiety symptoms

The prevalence of anxiety was significantly higher among individuals who recently experienced COVID-19 like symptoms. Similar consequences have also been observed during the SARS pandemic in 2003.

People with medically confirmed depression were also susceptible to anxiety disorders. This is somewhat expected as depression and anxiety are highly comorbid. Several cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBTs) have been developed in recent years to treat these comorbid mental conditions.

A significant correlation was observed between smoking status and anxiety level in the study. People who smoke daily showed a higher prevalence of moderate or severe anxiety symptoms. Previous studies have also pointed out that people with anxiety disorders develop a tendency to smoke daily. Therefore, an increase in the rate of smoking is likely among people suffering from anxiety in adverse conditions like the COVID-19 pandemic.

People who had extreme fears about getting a SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as those who had extreme fears about their friends and family becoming infected, were at higher risk of developing anxiety symptoms, the study also found.

Regarding work-related stress factors, financial hardship was found to be the major cause of anxiety. About 45% and 17% of participants reported a loss of income or a loss of employment during the pandemic, respectively. An increased prevalence of anxiety was also observed among healthcare and non-healthcare essential workers. Financial hardship is considered to be a major contributing factor to the worst mental health outcomes. Given the pandemic-related financial crisis, appropriate social support systems and coping measures should be developed to minimize the impact of financial stress on emotional distress.

Regarding demographic factors, females and transgender people were more likely to develop anxiety symptoms. Interestingly, despite having a higher risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19, elderly people (age range: 50 years and above) showed a lower prevalence of anxiety than younger people (age range: 18 – 29 years). A relatively higher impact of unemployment and financial crisis may be associated with higher anxiety levels among younger people.

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:

Parcesepe, A. (2020) The relationship between anxiety, health, and potential stressors among adults in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. medRxiv preprint server; doi:, ... 20221440v1
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Re: Anxiety Issues & How to Make Your Anxiety Work for You Instead of Against You

Post by trader32176 »

OCD, anxiety and depressive symptoms worsen in young people during COVID-19

11/9/20 ... ID-19.aspx

Many children and young people with obsessive thoughts and compulsions experience that their OCD, anxiety and depressive symptoms worsen during a crisis such as COVID-19. This is shown by a new research result from Aarhus University and the Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Central Denmark Region. The findings have been published in BMC Psychiatry.

Trauma and stress can trigger or worsen OCD. Researchers already know this. They have also shown us that COVID-19 may be associated with adults developing psychiatric disorders. But we do not know much about what the corona crisis means for children and young people.

A team of researchers from Aarhus University and the Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Central Denmark Region, therefore decided to examine how children and young people with OCD experience the crisis. Professor, Department Chair Per Hove Thomsen led the research project.

Condition worsened

During the spring of 2020, the researchers sent a questionnaire to two groups of children and young people between the ages of seven and 21. One group had been diagnosed with OCD in a specialised OCD section at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - and all had been in contact with a therapist at the hospital. The other group was identified through the Danish OCD Association. The majority of these children and young people had been diagnosed years ago. A total of 102 children responded to the questionnaire.

" Their experience was that their OCD, anxiety and depressive symptoms worsened during a crisis like COVID-19. This worsening was most pronounced for the group identified through the OCD Association."

- Per Hove Thomsen, Professor, Aarhus University

Almost half of the children and young people who belonged to the first group reported that their symptoms had become worse, while a third of them replied that their anxiety had worsened and a third that their depressive symptoms had worsened. And of these, almost a fifth experienced that both symptoms had got worse. In the other group, 73 per cent reported that their condition had worsened, just over half that their anxiety had worsened, and 43 per cent answered that the depressive symptoms had increased.

Disinfect and wash hands

Judith Nissen, who is a consultant, was also one of the driving forces behind the study. She emphasises that it is no coincidence that the researchers have chosen to study OCD.

"The disorder is particularly interesting to study in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, because OCD is a disorder with many different clinical expressions, including not least health anxiety, fear of bacteria and dirt, and excessive hand washing/use of disinfection. It's therefore important to examine how such a significant crisis can affect the expression, frequency and progression of the disorder," she explains.

The children and young people who in the questionnaire had described thoughts and anxiety over how something serious could happen, e.g. that they themselves could become ill or lose family members, experienced the most significant worsening of their OCD symptoms. In particular, children who had begun suffering from OCD at an early age experienced the most pronounced worsening.

"For children who are already anxious about loss, the daily descriptions in the media of illness and death and recommendations about isolation and focus on infection can exacerbate these anxious thoughts, perhaps also especially for the youngest children, who may have greater difficulty understanding the significance of the infection, but who are also very dependent on parents and grandparents and thus are most vulnerable to loss," says Judith Nissen.

On the other hand, there is no correlation with anxiety about infection and impulsive hand washing. The study thus indicates that children and young people with OCD may be vulnerable in relation to a crisis such as COVID-19, where anxiety about something serious happening - including the loss of close relatives - characterises a particularly vulnerable group.

"This may be related to both the direct threat of the infection and to the consequences of having to maintain social distancing, social isolation and the significant level of focus on hygiene. The crisis is not over yet, and it's therefore very important that we continue to focus on vulnerable children and young people in the future," says Judith Nissen.


Aarhus University

Journal reference:

Nissen, J.B., et al. (2020) The immediate effect of COVID-19 pandemic on children and adolescents with obsessive compulsive disorder. BMC Psychiatry.
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Re: Anxiety Issues & How to Make Your Anxiety Work for You Instead of Against You

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Fibromyalgia during COVID-19, anxiety and pain

11/30/20 ... -pain.aspx

Early research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic found persistent related anxiety in the general population. Researchers in the UK hypothesized that this anxiety would be associated with increased pain in chronic pain patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FM).

Fibromyalgia affects around 2% of the world’s population. A recent literature review showed the frequency of fibromyalgia in the general population was between 0.2 and 6.6%. It’s often reported as higher in women, at a ratio of three to one.

Fibromyalgia requires long term care and support. Anxiety and pain are associated with fibromyalgia and have increased with the stresses of the ongoing pandemic.

Researchers led by first author A Y Kharko from the Faculty of Health, the University of Plymouth, and others from School of Psychology, Cardiff University and Faculty of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University, have released the findings of their study on patients with fibromyalgia on the preprint server medRxiv*. Their study is titled, “The Anxiety and Pain of Fibromyalgia Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic”.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), has infected over 63.18 million people worldwide and claimed over 1.46 million lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a vast population suffering from anxiety and related problems. The team of researchers hypothesized that those with fibromyalgia could have aggravated pain-related symptoms owing to the increased anxiety during this pandemic.

Pandemic related restrictions and anxiety

The SARS-CoV-2 is a highly infectious virus that spreads rapidly between humans. To prevent the spread of the virus, many countries implemented lockdowns once the pandemic was declared. This restricted movements of the citizens and prevented gatherings. These impositions were public health measures deemed necessary to reduce the burden on the healthcare system with a rising number of cases. With time, these restrictions, however, started having consequences on the mental health of the populations.

The authors wrote, “While the momentous impact of these changes has been widely posited, the negative impact of individual lived experiences on mental and physical wellbeing remains to be fully characterized.” As many as 55 percent have demonstrated high anxiety levels, an earlier study from the United Kingdom has shown.

Fibromyalgia and anxiety

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that is typically characterized by:

Chronic musculoskeletal pain
Sleep problems and nonrestorative sleep
Several other problems, including anxiety disorders

Studies have shown that generalized anxiety disorders are seen in around 30 percent of people living with fibromyalgia. In 60 percent of fibromyalgia sufferers, there are symptoms of anxiety, the authors write. Anxiety is related to an increase in pain symptoms in these patients, the team writes.

Study design

This study aimed to look at the symptoms of anxiety among patients with fibromyalgia and increase in pain symptoms. The researchers performed a 10-day survey of participants diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A total of 58 female participants between ages 18 and 60 years were included. These participants had no other pain conditions. The study was conducted between May and June 2020.

At the start, the team identified the aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which increased the symptoms of anxiety. A daily rating was sought from the participants in terms of experienced symptoms of anxiety and pain on a 101-point visual analog scale (VAS). The whole survey was conducted for ten days. On days 2 to 10, the questions on pain history and general anxiety questionnaires were omitted.

The hypothesis was that the source of anxiety in fibromyalgia could be multiple, but the most prominent one was the contraction of the virus. The team hypothesized that an increase in COVID-19 anxiety could be associated with an increase in pain symptoms.


The results of the study showed that some of the major causes of anxiety among participants with fibromyalgia included:

The impact of the pandemic and its restrictions on relationships
Fear of a family member contracting COVID-19
Possible financial hardships
Fear of access to medication during the pandemic
Fear of home loss or eviction

The modeling analysis showed that the increase in pain was significantly associated with an increase in anxiety. They accounted for other factors such as daily caffeine intake. Other factors associated with the pain were the use of mild analgesics or pain relievers and the increasing age of the participant.

Conclusions and implications

The researchers concluded that pandemic anxiety is present among fibromyalgia patients, and it is also associated with an “amplified self-assessed chronic pain.” The daily psychological fluctuations of the fibromyalgia patients, the team wrote, were one of the leading determinants of fibromyalgia pain. The team wrote that this study “confirms the previously raised concerns that the ‘new normal’ introduced by the pandemic may qualitatively differently impact vulnerable populations.” It also confirms the “relationship between mental and physical wellbeing in FM pain.”

They called for further studies to look at daily evaluations of fatigue and sleep, along with anxiety symptoms among fibromyalgia patients. Further, the team explains that this study was conducted during the early months of the pandemic, and the picture may be graver now after nearly a year of the pandemic. They called for studies on this now, stating that it would “advantageous for the understanding of long-term development of COVID-19 anxiety in the presence of chronic pain”.

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:

The Anxiety and Pain of Fibromyalgia Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic, A. Y. Kharko, K. J. Hansford, P. L. Furlong, S. D. Hall, M. E. Roser, medRxiv, 2020.11.24.20188011; doi:, ... 20188011v1
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Re: Anxiety Issues & How to Make Your Anxiety Work for You Instead of Against You

Post by trader32176 »

COVID-19 related to high anxiety and depression symptoms among physicians in Bangladesh

12/11/20 ... adesh.aspx

A study from Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world, reveals a high prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms among frontline physicians. These findings indicate the need for policies to mitigate the psychological impact of COVID-19 on these high-risk workers by appropriate physical and emotional support.

The study was published on the pre-print server medRxiv*.

The sudden and rapid emergence and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a heightened perception of infection risk and increased emotional stress on health workers the world over. Earlier studies have shown that, in 34 Chinese hospitals, frontline workers had depressive symptoms and signs of anxiety while dealing with COVID-19.

COVID-19 Situation in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh outbreak was reported to have begun on March 8, 2020, and the first COVID-19-related death occurred on March 18. Within seven months from the beginning of the outbreak, there were almost 3 million cases.

About 7,800 physicians were included, and 88 of them died. This is in keeping with the death of 278 physicians the world over within the first five months of the pandemic.

The situation in Bangladesh is worrying because of the poverty of the region, with a severe resource crunch and a lack of support for doctors working with these patients. Many of them live in extended families, within crowded quarters, and simply cannot quarantine after they return home. Thus, not only do they face exposure to potential infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), but they carry the emotional impact of potentially taking it home to their family.

Study Details

The current cross-sectional study aims to explore the level of anxiety and depression, and the associated risk factors, in this segment of the population in Bangladesh, during the current pandemic. The researchers used convenience sampling to identify participants in their online survey, in view of the risk involved in collecting data within the hospitals.

The questionnaire used had three parts, one covering the demographics of the participant population, the second relating to the pandemic, and the third covering the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

The study had 412 participants, with about 56% being female. About 93% of invitees took part in the survey. Most participants were between 25 and 34 years, and about 57% were unmarried. Just under half had an income of 40,000 BDT per month, about 365 GBP, or more.

The researchers found that female participants were more likely to have anxiety, at ~75% vs 58% in males. The risk was 2.5 times higher in females. With depression, the difference was smaller, at ~54% and 42% in females and males, respectively. The risk of anxiety was greater in those with symptoms suspicious of COVID-19 vs those without, at 78% vs 66%. The odds of depression in the former group were 63% higher.

Another risk factor that contributed to anxiety was inadequate training about COVID-19, cited by 72% of anxious respondents vs ~61% of those who felt they had been properly trained.

Anxiety was higher if the participant was not ready to deal with COVID-19 patients, at ~75%, but even among those who were ready for this situation, anxiety was reported in 60%. In these groups, depression was reported in ~57% and 40% of physicians, respectively.

Those who were worried about contracting the infection suffered anxiety, in ~82% of cases, but this was reported in less than a third of physicians who were not very worried about this possibility.

Other risk factors included excessive tendencies to check on the latest updates on the disease, addiction to social media, being so busy that they had less than 2 hours of leisure a day, earning too little to support one’s family, experiencing difficulties with commuting to, or from work with police or other regulatory officials.

People with a tendency to become upset easily, or who disliked human contact, were also more likely to become anxious or depressed. In the latter category, the adjusted odds for anxiety and depression were well above 2.7 times higher than for those who were comfortable with human contact.

Risk Factors for Mental Distress

Overall, about 68% and 49% of physicians in the study met the HADS cut-offs for anxiety and depression, respectively. The risk factors for these conditions included the lack of financial incentive, the need to spend out of pocket for personal protective equipment, perceived inadequacy of training, feelings of not being able to control their management of COVID-19 patients, fear of infection, fear of trouble or humiliation related to commuting to or from work, and lack of leisure time, along with disturbed or inadequate sleep, inability to support one’s family, and poor socialization skills.

Such findings are in agreement with earlier studies using the same or other research scales, though at higher levels. This could be explained by the marked shortage of physicians in Bangladesh, with most of them being in urban areas, along with documented higher rates of infection and mortality among healthcare workers. Coupled with the very long working hours, an extreme deficit in PPE, and the poor recompensation for emotional and physical burdens, this contributes to a high prevalence of psychological distress.

The markedly higher impact among females is in keeping with the observed gender gap for mental distress during the current pandemic. Both biological and hormonal mechanisms may underlie this phenomenon. Interestingly, there was no increase in depression or anxiety related to age, comorbidity, or mental state before the pandemic.

Sleep and leisure were inversely linked to mental distress, with the risk of depression being fourfold among those who had less than 2 hours of leisure a day compared to those who had 4-6 hours.

Implications and Conclusion

Despite the obvious potential for biases in this study, it points to the need for policymakers and health authorities to support their frontline staff in the battle against this pandemic, especially in resource-poor locations. In such situations, support from outside is often lacking, while financial stress is likely to increase, especially when physicians have to provide their own PPE.

Given the vulnerability of the physicians and other health care staff in this extraordinary condition whilst they are shouldering the overwhelming weight of the epidemic, fighting social stigma and putting their lives at risk to help the affected, health authorities should addressing their psychological needs and formulate effective strategies, SOPs, and appropriate interventions.”

*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:

Hasan, M. T. et al. (2020). Prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms among physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh: a cross-sectional study. medRxiv preprint. doi: ... 20245829v1
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:22 am

Re: Anxiety Issues & How to Make Your Anxiety Work for You Instead of Against You

Post by trader32176 »

Study finds increase in drinking among people with anxiety and depression during COVID-19

1/19/21 ... ID-19.aspx

People with anxiety and depression are more likely to report an increase in drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic than those without mental health issues, according to a new study by researchers at NYU School of Global Public Health published in the journal Preventive Medicine. While drinking grew the most among younger people, older adults with anxiety and depression saw a sharper increase in their risk for harmful alcohol use.

" This increase in drinking, particularly among people with anxiety and depression, is consistent with concerns that the pandemic may be triggering an epidemic of problematic alcohol use."

- Ariadna Capasso, Doctoral Student, NYU School of Global Public Health and Study's Lead Author

People often drink to cope with stress and traumatic events; a 2002 study found that a quarter of New Yorkers increased their alcohol consumption after the September 11 terrorist attacks. COVID-19 has created many stressors, including isolation and the disruption of routines, economic hardship, illness, and fear of contagion, and studies suggest that people are drinking more during the pandemic.

Individuals with existing mental health conditions are particularly susceptible to increased alcohol use during stressful events. To understand the pandemic's impact on this population, NYU researchers created and administered an online survey in March and April 2020, using Facebook to recruit U.S. adults from all 50 states. The researchers asked participants about their alcohol use during the pandemic, gathered demographic information, and measured symptoms of depression and anxiety based on self-report.

Of the 5,850 survey respondents who said that they drink, 29 percent reported increasing their alcohol use during the pandemic, while 19.8 percent reported drinking less and 51.2 percent reported no change. People with depression were 64 percent more likely to increase their alcohol intake, while those with anxiety were 41 percent more likely to do so.

Drinking behaviors varied by age. In general, younger adults under 40 were the most likely to report increased alcohol use (40 percent) during the pandemic, compared to those 40-59 years old (30 percent) and adults over 60 (20 percent). However, older adults (40 and older) with symptoms of anxiety and depression were roughly twice as likely to report increased drinking during the pandemic compared to older adults without mental health issues.

"We expected that younger people and those with mental health issues would report drinking as a coping mechanism, but this is the first time we're learning that mental health is associated with differences in alcohol use by age," said study author Yesim Tozan, assistant professor of global health at NYU School of Global Public Health.

The researchers support increasing mental health and substance use services during COVID-19--using telehealth to overcome barriers to accessing care--and actively reaching out to people with mental health issues who may engage in unhealthy drinking in response to stress. They also recommend tailoring public health messaging by age group to more effectively communicate the risks of excessive alcohol use.

"Lessons we've learned from previous disasters show us that intervening early for unhealthy substance use is critical and could help lessen the pandemic's impact on mental health," said Ralph DiClemente, chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at NYU School of Global Public Health and the study's senior author. Additional study authors include postdoctoral associate Joshua Foreman and doctoral students Shahmir Ali and Abbey Jones of NYU School of Global Public Health.


New York University

Journal reference:

Capasso, A., et al. (2021) Increased alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic: The effect of mental health and age in a cross-sectional sample of social media users in the U.S. Preventive Medicine.
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