Anxiety Attacks and Panic Attacks

It's our professional opinion that the best treatment for anxiety is a combination of  Christian Counseling and in some cases medication. For those taking anti-anxiety medications and also for those suffering from anxiety and who don't wish to take medications, we can often help in the following ways: we can help you identify anxiety triggers and lessen their control, we can teach a variety of relaxation techniques, we can educate you and your family about anxiety, we can help you replace negative self talk with positive coping self talk, we can teach you how to deal with anxiety's symptoms, and teach you how to manage stress.

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or 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 feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder etc.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Panic Attacks

Social Anxiety

When Stress Turns into Distress

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Abortion Anxiety

Work and Anxiety, Stress and Burnout

Strategies for Stress Management

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is a normal part of life. You might worry about things like work, money, or family problems. But people with generalized anxiety disorder feel extremely worried or feel nervous about these and other things. Even when there isn’t reason to worry about them. People with generalized anxiety disorder display excessive anxiety or worry for months and face several anxiety-related symptoms. People with anxiety generally find it difficult to control their anxiety or staying focused on daily tasks.  For example:

Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge Being easily fatigued Difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank Irritability Muscle tension Difficulty controlling the worry Worry very much about everyday things Have trouble controlling their worries or feelings of nervousness Know that they worry much more than they should Feel restless and have trouble relaxing Have a hard time concentrating Are easily startled Have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep Feel easily tired or tired all the time Have headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches, or unexplained pains Have a hard time swallowing Tremble or twitch Be irritable or feel “on edge” Sweat a lot, feel light-headed or out of breath Have to go to the bathroom a lot

The good news is that Generalized Anxiety Disorder is treatable. Make and appointment with your doctor or to talk with a counselor. Symptoms may get better or worse at different times, and they are often worse during times of stress. Those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder are often excessively nervous about everyday circumstances.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Make and appointment to talk with a mental health professional about your symptoms.

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Panic Attacks 

People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate, sweating, depersonalization, trembling or shaking, sensations of shortness of breath, derealization, smothering, or choking, and fear of death.

These panic or anxiety attacks occur at unpredictable times with no obvious trigger. This causes those burdened with panic disorders to worry about the possibility of having another panic attack at any random time. Some who suffer with panic attacks carry their prescribed anti-anxiety medications with them wherever they go. They say that having the medication with them at all times quells their worry about having a panic attack because when they feel a panic attack starting they can simply take their medication to prevent the panic attack. 

People with panic attacks have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer. Panic attacks are characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. A person may also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. It may feel like having a heart attack. Panic attacks can occur at any time, and many people who suffer with panic attacks worry about the possibility of having another attack.

Left untreated, panic attacks can lower your quality of life because it can lead to other fears and mental health disorders. Sometimes a person with panic disorder can’t carry out normal routines like going to work or driving. 

Panic disorder is generally treated with counseling and/or medication.  

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Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder is much more than just being shy.

Social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition. It is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. This fear can affect work, school, and every day activities. It can even make it hard to make and keep friends. But social anxiety doesn’t have to stop anyone from living a fulfilled life. Treatment can help you overcome your symptoms.

Social anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder. A person with social anxiety disorder feels symptoms of anxiety or fear in certain or all social situations, such as meeting new people, dating, being on a job interview or having to talk to a cashier in a store. Doing everyday things in front of people causes anxiety or fear. The suffer of social anxiety is afraid that they will be humiliated, judged, or rejected.

The fear that people with social anxiety disorder have in social situations is so strong that they feel it is beyond their ability to control. So, it gets in the way of going to work or doing everyday things. People with social anxiety disorder often worry about these and other things for weeks before they happen. Sometimes, they end up staying away from places or events because they think they might have to do something that will embarrass them.

Some people with the disorder don’t have anxiety in social situations but have performance anxiety instead. They feel physical symptoms of anxiety in situations such as giving a speech, playing a sports game, or being on stage.

When having to perform in front of others people with social anxiety disorder tend to show the following physical symptoms - THEY:

Blush, sweat, tremble, feel a rapid heart rate, or feel their mind goes blank. Feel nauseous or sick to their stomach. Show a rigid body posture, make little eye contact, or speak with an overly soft voice. Find it scary and difficult to be with other people, especially those they don’t already know. Have a hard time talking to them even though they wish they could. Are very self-conscious in front of other people and feel embarrassed and awkward. Are very afraid that other people will judge them. Stay away from places where there are other people.

Social anxiety disorder has the following behavioral symptoms which include - THEY: 

Feel highly anxious about being with other people and having a hard time talking to them.

Feeling very self-conscious in front of other people and worried about being embarrassed, humiliated, rejected, or fearful of offending others.

Are very afraid that other people will judge them.

Worrying for days or weeks before an event where other people will be.

Staying away from places where there are other people.

Having a hard time making friends and keeping friends.

Blushing, sweating, or trembling around other people.

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When Stress turns to Distress

We all feel stressed from time to time and stress affects everyone to some degree and some people more resilient and better at handling their stress than others. Some people may cope with stress more effectively or recover from stressful events more quickly than others. 

There are different types of stress, all of which carry physical and mental health risks. A stresser may be a one time or short term occurrence, or it can be an occurrence that keeps happening over a long period of time.

Stress can affect health. Stress can cause high blood pressure, and even heart attacks. It is important to know how to deal with stressful events so that you know when to seek help.

Examples of stress include:

Routine stress related to the pressures of work, school, family and other daily responsibilities.

Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce or illness.

Traumatic stress experienced in an event like a major accident, war, assault, or a tornado.

Different people may feel stress in different ways. For example, some people experience mainly digestive symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome, while others may have headaches, insomnia, depression, anger or irritability..

Routine stress may be the hardest type of stress to notice at first. Because the source of the stress tends to be more constant than in cases of traumatic stress, the body gets no clear signal to return to normal functioning. Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental disorders like depression or anxiety.

The effects of stress tend to build up over time. Taking practical steps to manage stress can reduce or prevent these effects. The following are some tips that may help to cope with stress:

Recognize the signs of your body's response to stress, such as difficulty sleeping, increased alcohol and other substance use, being easily angered, feeling depressed, and having low energy.

Learn some stress management techniques. Get regular exercise. Just simply walking 20-30 minutes per day can help boost your mood and reduce stress. Take a walk on a beach or in a park. It is reasonable that these practices have anti anxiety value. Stay connected with friends and family for emotional support. To reduce stress get help from religious organizations.

Try other relaxing activities. Schedule regular times for relaxing activities. Explore stress coping programs. Pray more. Learn to say no to new tasks if they are putting you into overload. Stress management techniques can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and even enhance the effects of therapy.

If you’re overwhelmed by stress talk with your family doctor or make an appointment to see a mental health professional like a counselor or psychiatrist. 

WARNING - Caffeine, street drugs, and even some over the counter medications can worsen anxiety.

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental health problem in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) which they feel an urge to repeat over and over. Obsessions are repeated thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels compelled to do in response to an obsessive thought.

People with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions and/or both. These symptoms can interfere with all aspects of their lives, like work, school, and personal relationships. 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders symptoms include:

Repeatedly checking on things, such as repeatedly checking to see if the door is locked or that the oven is off.

Fear of germs or contamination.

Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, and harm.

Excessive cleaning and/or hand washing.

Ordering and arranging things in a particular, precise way.

Compulsive counting.

Aggressive thoughts towards others or self.

Having things symmetrical or in a perfect order.

A person with OCD generally:

Can't control his or her thoughts or behaviors, even when those thoughts or behaviors are recognized as excessive.

Spends at least 1 hour a day on these thoughts or behaviors.

Doesn’t get pleasure when performing the behaviors or rituals, but can sometimes feel relief from the anxiety caused by the thoughts.

Experiences significant problems in their daily life due to these thoughts or behaviors.

Some individuals with OCD also have a tic disorder. Motor tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements, such as eye blinking and other eye movements, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Common vocal tics include repetitive throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds.

Symptoms may come and go, ease over time, or worsen. People with OCD may try to help themselves by avoiding situations that trigger their obsessions, or they may use alcohol or drugs to self medicate.  Although most adults with OCD recognize that what they are doing doesn’t make sense, some adults and most children have very little insight and don’t realize that their behavior is out of the ordinary.

The causes of OCD aren’t actually unknown, but risk factors include a combination of genetics, brain anatomy and physiology, and environment. See Scrupulosity- a quasi spiritual. People who have experienced physical or sexual abuse in childhood or other trauma are at an increased risk for developing OCD.

OCD is typically treated with medication, counseling or a combination of the two. Although most patients with OCD respond to treatment, some patients continue to experience symptoms.

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split second hormonal changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. The fight or flight response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience some reaction after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. 

Not every traumatized person develops chronic or even short term acute PTSD. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some experiences, like the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD. Symptoms usually begin early, within 3 months of the traumatic incident, but sometimes they begin years afterward. Symptoms must last more than a month and be severe enough to interfere with relationships or work in order to be considered PTSD. The course of the illness varies. Some people recover within 6 months, while others have symptoms that last much longer. In some people, the condition becomes very long term.

People with PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.

PTSD symptoms include:

Re-experiencing symptoms include:

Flashbacks, Bad dreams, Having angry outbursts, Frightening thoughts, Feeling on edge or tense, Distorted feelings, Loss of interest in enjoyable activities, Easily triggered startle response, Sleep problems, Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event, Negative thoughts about oneself.   PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, anxiety or other mental health problems

Children and teens can have PTSD, but their symptoms may not be the same as adults.

Bed wetting after they have been potty trained     Forgetting how to talk     Acting out the scary event during playtime or in play therapy     Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult     They may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors.

Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some people develop PTSD vicariously, after a friend or family member experiences danger or harm. But it’s important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder.

Risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD, while resilience factors can help reduce the risk of the disorder.

Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:

 Living through dangerous events and traumas     Getting hurt     Seeing another person hurt, or seeing a dead body     Childhood trauma     Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear     Having little or no social support after the event     Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home     Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse

Some resilience factors that may reduce the risk of PTSD include:

Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family     Finding a support group after a traumatic event     Learning to feel good about one’s own actions in the face of danger     Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it     Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear

The main treatments for people with PTSD are medications and counseling, often both. 

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Post Abortion Anxiety

In this book we will not go over the specific steps of relaxation skills since this work has a different direction than cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.  These skills and techniques are easily acquired through hundreds of books and can be found on the internet.  That being said, let me get back to the business of this book.  In short, there are three techniques:  deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation exercises, and visualization exercises.  The Rachel’s Vineyard model uses all three techniques.

In secular books on anxiety they will take anxiety and reduce it to neurotransmitters in the brain. In this work on anxiety we will take anxiety and explore the spirituality behind it.

Anxiety contributes to spontaneous and premeditated abortion. The more anxiety, more abortions. The crisis of the pregnancy intrinsically stresses mothers out causing miscarriage. Having excessive anxiety can also prevent a person from hearing the voice of the Lord, causing hardening of their heart impeding them from responding to the Holy Spirit. When a person is incapable of hearing the voice of the Lord during a crisis pregnancy, abortions increase.

Anxiety is very complicated because it’s symptoms appear in the body, soul, and spirit; mind, will, and emotions; and behaviors. Excessive anxiety drains the soul of its interior resources and energy. Anxiety is weakening and makes people more prone to do the bad things which cross their minds, ex., abortion, while simultaneously makes them incapable to complete the good things God intends, child birth. When people pray for healing, the more specific they can pray, probably the more benefit they will receive. This reasoning is extremely important because humans can’t really be subdivided into mind, will, and emotions, or body, soul, and spirit. Part of being in God’s image is that he has allowed us to be triune in nature. Therefore what affects one part to some degree affects all the other parts.

The anxious are physically and emotionally responding in the present to a future fear. The person who won’t stop thinking anxious thoughts about the future only reinforces continued anxious thoughts about the future. 

When there is no actual objective threat and we feel anxiety, sometimes to the level of panic attack, then we need some healing. These patterns of dwelling on negative expectations becomes second nature. 

Anxiety does have survival value, as when we see a poisonous snake nearby. When there is a genuine threat anxiety is very helpful. It becomes bad when it’s a maladaptive response to a nonthreatening situation.

There is normal everyday anxiety and then there is diagnosable anxiety. Normal anxiety can motivate people to accomplish tasks, but excessive anxiety debilitates. What makes one person anxious may simply just annoy another person but when anxiety begins to overwhelm and control, this is probably a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.

Anxiety just doesn’t effect the one who has it. There is a spread of effect. Anxiety can make the anxious person withdraw from responsibilities which puts an extra burden on to coworkers, friends, family, strangers, and spouse. In these cases, anxiety is not only affecting the anxious, which is bad enough, but it is spreading its wicked effect. This one pebble dropped into the still pond spreads its ripples in the pond. When a person dreads giving birth, and then actually aborts, the act of abortion itself becomes a negative reinforcer, increasing the probability to repeat the abortion behavior. 

Having anxiety, every day experiences are associated with unconscious danger. When harmless every day events are in some way paired with stress, a Pavlovian conditioned response is established. Now harmless every day event, as a conditioned response, intrinsically creates more anxiety. 

The anxiety prone person sees more things as stressors as compared to the less anxious person who sees things more like rainbows, butterflies, unicorns, and lollipops.  The anxious person makes mountains out of mole hills while the non anxious person just sees molehills.  

Best practice is to dwell on the good and holy things not terrible or bad things. If this can be mastered or at the least increased, the soul could use their imagination for the pursuit of healing. Anxiety makes its victims do something that Jesus tells us not to do. It makes them ruminate the past and worry about the future. ( Bible Quote ) Since the light of Christ has already shined into their interior darkness, and brought the anxiety to their conscious awareness, it becomes a Christian duty to examine, process, and press on toward God’s healing, through increased Mass attendance, prayer, fasting, counseling, seeing a physician for medications, and reading books, not through self sufficiency, to gain mastery over anxieties torture. 

When a person prays about their anxiety they could pray against having anxiety or they could pray for peace. Pulling and pushing both work. Healing from anxiety is facilitated by understanding it, because it is best to know our enemies. Within the spiritual realm this principle also holds true. The enemies power over us is decreased when his secret strategies are brought to light. More importantly, knowing yourself is the number-one things to become more holy, more healed, and more like God.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) develops in response to an actual trauma whereas the other anxieties do not necessarily get caused by trauma. The DSM defines the symptoms for the PTSD diagnosis. 

Post Abortion trauma may present as any combination of the following but it never meets any full diagnostic criteria for the PTSD disorder.  Sometimes abortion trauma manifests as constriction of emotions, emotional numbness, the re-experiencing of the trauma through dreams, flashbacks, and sometimes dissociation.  Others avoid reminders like parks with children, conversations on or TV shows about abortion. They may have a very high startle response, tremble, have hot and cold flashes, suffer insomnia, have amnesia about the abortion, concentration problems, physical tension, etc.  They experience some of these but too few for a PTSD diagnosis. Others are traumatized but do not develop the psychiatric disorder PTSD.

During the beginning of the post abortion healing industry, there was a clinically driven political push which posited that everybody who had an abortion always, 100%, had PTSD. Research has disproved this theory coming in at about 25%. 

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Work and Anxiety, Stress and Burnout

Often I can help with reducing work related stress, burnout, and making complex work related decisions. You may become able to find career satisfaction, productivity, success, and understand how your job can damage the lives of family and friends outside of work.

I work with people suffering from job related adjustment disorders. I don't administer aptitude tests or provide career placement.

Everyone encounters stress during their lives at one point—never-ending bills, demanding schedules, work, and family responsibilities—and that can make stress seem inescapable and uncontrollable. Stress management skills are designed to help a person take control of their lifestyle, thoughts, and emotions and teach them healthy ways to cope with their problems.

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Strategies for Stress Management

The first step in stress management is identifying your stressors. While this sounds fairly easy—it’s not hard to point to major changes or a lot of work piling up—chronic stress can be complicated, and most people don’t realize how their habits contribute to their stress. Maybe work piling up isn’t from the actual demands of your job, but more so from your procrastination. You have to claim responsibility for the role you play in creating your stress or you won’t be able to control it.

Once you’ve found what causes your stress, focus on what you can control. Eliminate the realistic stressors and develop consistent de-stressing habits. Instead of watching TV or responding to texts in bed after work - take a walk, or read a book. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough quality sleep, will ease feelings of stress and help you relax.

Also, make a conscious effort to set aside time for yourself and for relaxation. Alone time can be whatever you need it to be. Some people like doing activities such as tai chi, yoga, or meditation, but you can also treat yourself to something simple, like taking a bubble bath, listening to music, or watching a funny movie.

Finally, don’t feel like you have to solve your stress on your own. Reach out to your family and friends. Whether you need help with a problem or just need someone to listen, find a person who will be there to positively reinforce and support you. If stress becomes chronic, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a therapist.


Anxiety and Codependency - The anxiety of codependence can take a variety of forms, from free-floating, chronic anxiety to panic attacks, phobias, and existential dread.  Some of this anxiety is in response to the random chaos inherent in living with an active chemical dependent.  It becomes free-floating because of the generally high level of denial the codependent must maintain.  In some cases, the denial blocks the codependent from acknowledging that the chemical dependence even exists; in other cases, it protects the codependent from having to face up to the level of stress he or she is living under.  When one is able to remain unaware of that level of stress and its source, the anxiety appears "sourceless" and free-floating and is perceived as still another sign of personal inadequacy. 

While the deep existential dread that codependents experience often goes unrecognized, therapists can use it as an avenue for making an important empathic connection. Codependent anxiety reaches this stage for two reasons.  First, when one's self-worth must continually be validated by someone else, there is an ever-present risk that one's identify will be thrown into limbo should the relationship come to an end.  (As one depressed widow said, "I used to be half of something wonderful.  Now I'm half of nothing, and half of nothing is nothing.")  Second, codependents are by nature chameleons. They become whatever their partners want and need them to be.  But mirroring the actions and emotions of others means abandoning one's true self in favor of a facade - a false self.  And even this false self must shift and change according to others' needs.

Gradually the true self becomes less and less substantial, until the anxiety the codependent is feeling becomes anxiety about his or her very existence.  When one devotes more emotional energy to one's false self that one's true self, there is a genuine risk of emotional death.  This is what the codependent senses, even if he or she can not articulate it.

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