Tag Archives foranxiety

Anxiety Symptoms and Treatments

Many individuals use the term anxiety to refer to a great deal of worry. But what does anxiety really mean? And what does anxiety look like? Awareness of anxiety symptoms and treatments can increase the likelihood of getting help and relieving any stress you may be feeling.

 

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety means an excessive worry or anxiousness that lasts for more than six months. The fear and worriedness manifest themselves in various extreme forms. These forms could look like physical and emotional ailments or psychological unrest. The toll that anxiety takes on an individual is very severe. For many individuals, it may not seem clear or evident that he or she is experiencing an anxiety disorder due to the lack of knowledge and information about its manifestation (anxiety.org).

 

Research suggests that women are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder in their lifetime than men (McLean, 2011, pp. 1). Gender differences and anxiety has shown that the manifestation of anxiety in both women and men could be presented in a similar fashion. However, research suggests that the main difference is “the observed differences between men and women are somewhat influenced by gender-related differences in the conceptualization and reporting of symptoms” (McLean, 2011, pp. 11).  

 

Common Anxiety SymptomsAnxiety Symptoms and Treatments

Anxiety’s most common psychological symptoms are: excessive worriedness, nervousness, irritation, racing thoughts, and a sense of panic. On the other hand, anxiety could take a much more physiological form in certain individuals. These common symptoms are: increased heartbeat, difficulty sleeping or remaining asleep, loss of appetite, tense muscles, and sweating. “These shared physiological states suggest a shared underlying biology and that anxiety maybe a whole-body condition” (Jovanovic, et al., 2018).

 

Treatment for anxiety could include various options. When combined, evidence-based therapy (EBT), cotemporary and alternative therapies have been shown effectiveness in the treatment of anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an example of one type of EBT. “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.” Typically, some therapies are combined to increase their effectiveness in treating anxiety. CBT and exposure therapy have been utilized quite a bit together to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD) (NIMH, 2018).

 

Another form of treatment for anxiety disorders that has been researched intensively is the use of medical marijuana. The research that has been complied thus far suggests that medical marijuana is capable of reducing anxiety, relaxing muscle tension, and stimulating appetite (Lava, 2018). Pennsylvania is one of the 33 states that has legalized the medical use of marijuana, “short-term use of medical marijuana with low THC and high CBD content has been shown to be most effective in treatment of anxiety disorders” (Sasko, 2019).  

 

How Can We Help? Anxiety Symptoms and Treatments

Rahmah Albugani is a doctorate intern who is conducting evaluations and ongoing counseling here at Makin Wellness. She is a nationally certified counselor with experience in setting goals for clients that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time manageable. If you are interested in mental health counseling for anxiety, please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule with Rahmah!

 

 

References:

Jovanovic, T., Lott, A. P., Michopoulos, V., Stevens, J., Rooij, S. van, Keller, J. M., … Sierra Carter. (2018). What Is Anxiety & How to Treat It – Anxiety Definition. Retrieved from https://www.anxiety.org/what-is-anxiety#anxiety-and-physical-health

 

Lava, N. (2018). Medical Marijuana FAQ. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/medical-marijuana-faq

 

McLean, C. P., Asnaani, A., Litz, B. T., & Hofmann, S. G. (2011). Gender differences in anxiety disorders: prevalence, course of illness, comorbidity and burden of illness. Journal of psychiatric research45(8), 1027–1035. Doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.03.006

 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (2018). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml#part_145353

 

Sasko, C. (2019). People with Anxiety Disorders Can Soon Get Pa. Medical Marijuana Cards. Retrieved from https://www.phillymag.com/news/2019/07/12/anxiety-medical-marijuana-pennsylvania/

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

Rahmah Albugani Makin Wellness

Gender Differences with Anxiety

What is Anxiety? Gender Differences with Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, and they can affect approximately 264 million people worldwide. Women are twice as likely to develop an anxiety disorder than men, and each gender may present and describe the symptoms differently. Understanding gender differences with anxiety can potentially bring awareness to symptoms. This will hopefully contribute to more men and women seeking therapy to relieve stress in their life. Anxiety can cause excessive fear, nervousness, apprehension, and uncertainty. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are all considered common anxiety disorders. A licensed counselor may diagnose you with an anxiety disorder when you meet any of the following criteria almost daily for more than six months:

  • excessive worry
  • fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • sleep disturbances
  • muscle tension
  • rapid heart rate
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • chest pain

 

Generalized Anxiety Disorders: severe, excessive, ongoing anxiety that disrupts daily activities

Panic Disorder: episodes of intense fear followed by physical symptoms, based on a perceived threat rather than imminent danger

Social Anxiety: nervousness when interacting with other people

Phobias: excessive, persistent fear of an object or situation

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to disruptive and repetitive behaviors (compulsions)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event

 

Women with Anxiety Gender Differences with Anxiety

Women are twice as likely to develop an anxiety disorder than men, and each gender may present and describe the symptoms differently. Scientists have some ideas as to why women have higher anxiety diagnosis rates. Dr. Charles Goodstein, a clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center, says “this may have an impact on psychological functioning.” One reason is that woman have more hormonal fluctuations caused by their menstrual cycles. Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that affect appetite, digestion, and energy levels. If these hormones are irregular, a woman’s mood can be affected. If she also experiences a difficult cycle, she may become apprehensive and worry about frequent aches and distress towards the following months.

Another reason women may experience anxiety more often than men is because women are more likely to experience sexual abuse and violence. Women who have been exposed to sexual abuse and violence may have an overwhelming sense of anxiety at all times, or they may have a sudden attack of intense fear. If a woman is in an abusive relationship, sometimes she may feel guilt and manipulation from her spouse. They may spend an excessive amount of time trying to reason why they are being abused. Women may either think about ways to get out of the relationship, or think about ways to cover up their injuries and make excuses for their partner.

Women that tend to take on a lot of responsibilities such as working a full-time job, cooking, cleaning, laundry, establishing childcare, etc., are more prone to anxiety symptoms. Sometimes women in these situations feel like they can never catch a break. This can be considered a cultural acceptance in our society – women tend to “do it all” – which can lead to overwhelming stress and exhaustion.

Studies have shown that women tend to seek help from medical professionals more often than men. For this reason alone, women are more likely to be diagnosed with a variety of health disorders, not just ones that are mental health related. Women tend to be more in tune with their health and report illnesses more frequently than men. This plays a role in one of the many reasons why women live longer! They are more likely to follow up with appointments and treatment after diagnoses as well.

 

Men with Anxiety

In an article written in Men’s Health magazine, author Mike Zimmerman explains how he had no idea what was happening to his body during his first panic attack. He stated that he was sure he was having either a stroke, a heart attack, or an aneurysm. Panic attacks are often misdiagnosed as other ailments. Men who are afraid of a panic attack being diagnosed as something more severe are less likely to seek treatment.

According to a survey conducted by Cleveland Clinic, men are less likely to participate in routine physicals. The chances of men seeking professional help when they feel they have a serious illness are even smaller. There tends to be a cultural bias that men who seek medical treatment feel that it lowers their masculinity. This heavily prevents men ever expressing symptoms, especially those who experience mental health disturbances. Men are often told to “man up” and hold their emotions inside which can be remarkably unhealthy. Men are also more likely to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs in order to avoid meeting with a mental health professional.

 

How to Help Both Genders

Early recognition of psychological stressors are important when treating anxiety. Regardless of gender, lifestyle changes are a critical part of reducing anxiety symptoms. Diet and exercise are one of many ways to eliminate stress in your life. Reducing technology use can be beneficial and make you feel more calm and alert. Instead of focusing on work, deadlines, and social media, try spending a few moments away from the computer or cell phone. Try to reduce your obligations and prioritize what is most important versus what can be done at another time. Make sure to make time for yourself as well. Learn your stressors and develop strategies for distraction. Many people find peace in going for a walk, reading a book, or journaling. You can even try different meditation and breathing techniques to alleviate anxiety.

 

How Can We Help?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to get help. With the proper mental health advice, the overwhelming feelings of anxiety can be treated and we can help you get your health on track. We can provide mental health counseling for anxiety right here in our office. Please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule according to your availability and preferred location. 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Understanding Abnormal Psychology

What is Abnormal Psychology?

Abnormal psychology is a subdivision of psychology that deals with “abnormal” behavior or behaviors that don’t follow the norm. It is easier to visualize what we mean by this when we look at a bell curve. The height of the bell curve is the normal behavior. If we were looking at stress levels, for instance, then the stress levels held by most people define the normal behavior. This represents the peak of the bell curve. The outliers, people with higher levels of stress, are those with abnormal behavior. Abnormal behavior doesn’t always have a negative association, as outliers in this example could also be people with an abnormally low amount of stress.

Characteristics of Abnormal Psychology

When considering if a certain behavior is abnormal or not, there are four characteristics that should be considered. Deviance, dysfunction, distress, and danger are all factors that are important to take into account. The bell curve example above illustrates the deviance criteria. This means evaluating how an individual’s behavior relates to the standard behavior of the population. Dysfunction refers to how the behavior interferes with the individual’s life. If someone had an anxiety disorder that prohibited them from being able to go out in public places, then the disorder was interrupting the daily functioning of the individual’s life.

High levels of fear, anxiety, depression or the emotions can be used to measure a level of distress. Phobias can demonstrate distress. An individual who has a phobia of snakes would feel distress while walking in the woods or other areas that snakes usually reside. Danger is the last criteria. Being a danger to yourself or others defines this category. An example of this could be an individual with a substance disorder. A substance disorder not only brings danger to the individual that is abusing a harmful substance but also is a danger to those around him. It can be hard to control one’s actions when under the influence. Abusing a substance can put friends and family of the abuser in harms way.

Common Diagnoses

Many disorders, ranging from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia, fall under the category of Abnormal Psychology. These diagnoses are widespread, with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reporting that anxiety disorders affect about 18.1% of the US population  every year. This may sound like a small percentage, but 18.1% translates to around 42 million adults. On the other hand, Abnormal Psychology also covers the less diagnosed disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that schizophrenia has a prevalence rate between 0.25% and 0.64% in the United States. The most common disorders are depressive and anxiety disorders.

Depressive Disorders

Depressive disorders include major depressive disorder, postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder.

One of the disorders, major depressive disorder, is feeling depressed or sad for an extended period of time while experiencing symptoms of hopelessness or loss of pleasure in previously exciting things. Symptoms can also affect an individual somatically through the loss or gain of weight, decreased energy, or headaches/pains that don’t have a clear source. Depression changes a person’s attitude and can make them more irritable or restless. This disorder affects around 16 million American adults a year, making it one of the more common disorders. Risk factors for depression include having a family history of depression, going through a traumatic or stressful time, or even some physical illnesses and medication. Every individual is different, so depression can manifest in a wide range of symptoms that can make each person’s experience with depression different.

Another widespread depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, occurs typically during the winter months when there is less sunlight. Symptoms of this disorder include social withdrawal, weight gain, and increased sleep. This disorder is temporary in the fact that the depression usually decreases during the spring and summer months when the amount of daylight increases.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders affect more people in American than any other mental disorder and include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), to elaborate on one specific disorder, is intense worry and anxiety that does not have a specific source and occurs over an extended period of time. These negative thoughts are usually accompanied by trembling or shaking, trouble sleeping, muscle tension, or headaches.

GAD generally occurs during childhood or adolescence and builds up gradually. However, it is possible for GAD to come on during adulthood. GAD is associated with fear of future events and anticipating the worst. Individuals with GAD tend to get stuck in thought loops which occur when a person is unable to stop ruminating about a negative thought and the thought continues to be repeated. The individual usually realizes that whatever unpleasant thought they are catastrophizing is irrational, however they do not have the ability to shake their concerns. Many of the anxiety disorders share symptoms, panic attacks and excessive worry being some common symptoms. GAD is different from other anxiety disorders in the fact that it is usually less interruptive in people’s day to day lives. People with GAD tend to be less likely than people with other anxiety disorders to avoid certain situations because of their disorder.

Treatments

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Various forms of psychotherapy can treat these diagnoses. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective type of therapy that helps depression, anxiety, and other disorders. The therapy aims at making the patient aware of their negative thoughts and looking at them from an objective, rational point of view. CBT typically occurs in four different steps. It begins with identifying the troubling parts of your life, whether it be specific anxieties involving school or problems dealing with social relationships. Then, the patient takes notice of these negative thoughts when they occur and can either share their thoughts with their therapist or write them down in a journal. From there, the therapist asks the patient to pay attention to their reaction to these thoughts. The goal is to recognize that the thoughts are negative and irrational. The final step of CBT is to take these unpleasant or inaccurate thoughts and correct them.

If a patient was struggling with anxiety about a presentation in class, they could think that if they mess up then the whole class will laugh at them or the teacher will automatically fail them. CBT would have the patient identify that this an irrational thought and then think about how the situation would go realistically. For instance, most students don’t pay that much attention to presentations and will most likely not remember the presentation come the end of the day. Teachers will probably not fail a student for a mistake in a presentation, and even if, the class can always be taken again. CBT is an effective therapy that some pair with medications like antidepressants or anti-psychotics.

How Can We Help?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to get help. With the proper mental health advice, the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and depression can be treated and we can help you get your health on track. We can provide mental health counseling for anxiety and depression right here in our office. Please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule according to your availability and preferred location

 

 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

 

Anxiety: Common Symptoms & Treatment

Many individuals use the term anxiety to refer to a great deal of worry. However, what does anxiety really mean? And what does anxiety disorder look like? anxiety disorder

 

Anxiety disorder means an excessive worry or anxiousness that lasts more than six months. The fear and worry manifest themselves in various extreme forms. These forms could look like physical ailments, emotional, and or psychological unrest. The toll that anxiety takes on an individual is very severe. For many individuals, it may not seem clear or evident that he or she is experiencing an anxiety disorder due to the lack of knowledge and information about its manifestation (anxiety.org). anxiety disorder

 

Research suggests that women are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder in their lifetime than men (McLean, 2011, pp. 1). Gender differences and anxiety has shown that the manifestation of anxiety in both women and men could be presented in a similar fashion. However, research suggests that the main difference is “the observed differences between men and women are somewhat influenced by gender-related differences in the conceptualization and reporting of symptoms” (McLean, 2011, pp. 11).

 

So, what are the common symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety’s most common psychological symptoms are: excessive worry, nervousness, irritation, racing thoughts, and a sense of panic. On the other hand, anxiety could take a much more physiological form in certain individuals, the common symptoms are: increased heartbeat, difficulty sleeping or remaining asleep, loss of appetite, tense muscles, and sweating. “These shared physiological states suggest a shared underlying biology and that anxiety maybe a whole-body condition” (Jovanovic, et al., 2018).

 

Treatment for anxiety could include various options. When combined, evidence-based therapy (EBT), cotemporary and alternative therapies have been shown effective in the treatment of anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an example of one type of EBT. “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” Typically, some therapies are combined to increase their effectiveness in treating anxiety. CBT and exposure therapy have been utilized quite a bit together to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD) (NIMH, 2018).

 

Another form of treatment for anxiety disorder that has been researched intensively is the use of medical marijuana. The research that has been complied thus far suggests that medical marijuana is capable of reducing anxiety, relaxing muscle tension, and stimulating appetite (Lava, 2018). Pennsylvania is one of the 33 states that has legalized the medical use of marijuana, “short-term use of medical marijuana with low THC and high CBD content has been shown to be most effective in treatment of anxiety disorders” (Sasko, 2019). anxiety disorder

 

 

 

References:

Jovanovic, T., Lott, A. P., Michopoulos, V., Stevens, J., Rooij, S. van, Keller, J. M., … Sierra Carter. (2018). What Is Anxiety & How to Treat It – Anxiety Definition. Retrieved from https://www.anxiety.org/what-is-anxiety#anxiety-and-physical-health

 

Lava, N. (2018). Medical Marijuana FAQ. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/medical-marijuana-faq

 

McLean, C. P., Asnaani, A., Litz, B. T., & Hofmann, S. G. (2011). Gender differences in anxiety disorders: prevalence, course of illness, comorbidity and burden of illness. Journal of psychiatric research45(8), 1027–1035. Doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.03.006

 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (2018). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml#part_145353

 

Sasko, C. (2019). People with Anxiety Disorders Can Soon Get Pa. Medical Marijuana Cards. Retrieved from https://www.phillymag.com/news/2019/07/12/anxiety-medical-marijuana-pennsylvania/

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Rahmah Albugani Makin Wellness

Anxiety And Depression … What’s the Difference?

Anxiety and depression are very common mental health disorders in the United States. The terms are often used interchangeably and sometimes the symptoms appear to be similar. About half of individuals diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety. Getting a proper analysis of the disorder can be extremely important when diagnosing and treating these two different conditions. So, what really determines whether a person feels anxious, depressed, or both?

 

What is Depression?

Approximately 17.3 million adults suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. Depression can feel like a continual sense of sadness and restlessness. It can lead to a range of physical and behavioral symptoms. It can cause heavy impairment in a person’s life if left untreated. Many people seek help from a licensed counselor when depression begins to interfere with completing simple tasks. There are specific criteria in order to be diagnosed with depression. In order to be clinically diagnosed, a person must experience 5 or more of these symptoms within a two-week period:

  • depressed mood
  • loss of interest/pleasure in enjoyable activities
  • weight loss/weight gain
  • insomnia/hypersomnia
  • psychomotor agitation
  • fatigue
  • feelings of worthlessness/guilt
  • difficulty concentrating
  • suicidal thoughts or behaviors

 

What is Anxiety? Anxiety And Depression

Anxiety disorders are more prevalent than depressive disorders, affecting 40 million adults in the United States. Like depression, anxiety can feel like a sense of restlessness, fatigue, and leave a person with the inability to focus. Anxiety can also interfere with daily activities. Different types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A licensed counselor may diagnose you with an anxiety disorder when you meet any of the following criteria almost daily for more than six months:

  • excessive worry
  • fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • sleep disturbances
  • muscle tension
  • rapid heart rate
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • chest pain

 

Anxiety and the Brain

Medical professionals believe that anxiety starts in the amygdala of your brain, which is the part that controls emotional responses – like pleasure and fear. When a person feels anxious or stressed, signals from the brain are sent to other parts of the body which is commonly known as the “fight-or-flight” response. When the body responds, stress hormones known as adrenaline and cortisol are released. Too much of this response can become unhealthy for the body. During the process, a person may become dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, and possibly faint.

 

Depression and the Brain

Aside from anxiety, there are actually three parts of the brain that can play a role in depressive symptoms – the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is located at the front of the brain. It controls emotions, decision making, and memory forming. The hippocampus is near the center of the brain and it is responsible for cortisol production. High levels of cortisol are believed to play a role in the deterioration of all of these major parts of the brain. As a result, these structures physically shrinking can put a person at a higher risk of being diagnosed with depression.

 

Anxiety and the Body

Anxiety and depression seem extremely similar when you look at the symptoms. But anxiety and depression have different influences on different parts of your body. In the same way that they affect your cognitive thinking, they can affect your physical health.

Hyperventilation is a common anxiety symptom. When this happens, breathing may become shallow or rapid. This can make a person feel like they are not getting enough oxygen and begin gasping for air.

Anxiety can affect changes in blood circulation and a person’s heart rate throughout their body. An increased heart rate can cause blood vessels to narrow, affecting a person’s body temperature and giving off sensations of hot flashes. As the body beings to naturally cool down, a person will then feel cold. This rapid change of blood circulation can potentially damage the cardiovascular system.

Too much cortisol can also impair a person’s immune system by blocking areas that usually fight infections. As a result, it is likely that a person with an anxiety disorder may experience a common cold or the flu more often than others.

 

Depression and the Body

People who are diagnosed with chronic health conditions may often feel defeated and helpless when it comes to managing their symptoms. As a result, they are more likely to develop depression. Having difficulty finding a cure for an illness can even exacerbate feelings of depression. It is important to seek medical advice as well as mental health therapy since there is a correlation between the two.

Depression can lower the likelihood of a person willing to make positive lifestyle changes. This can negatively impact a person’s physical health. People with depression tend to develop poor eating habits and are less likely to engage in physical activity. This makes depression a risk factor for heart health problems. Research states that 1 in 5 people with heart failure or coronary heart disease have depression.

 

How Can We Help?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to get help. With the proper mental health advice, the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and depression can be treated and we can help you get your health on track. We can provide mental health counseling for anxiety and depression right here in our office. Please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule according to your availability and preferred location. 

 

 

 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Nutritional Intervention for Anxiety & Depression

We’ve all likely heard the term “brain food.” Likewise, when we think of mental health we may think of the mind, or certain brain chemicals. Growing research in the field of nutritional psychiatry explores nutritional interventions to relieve mental illness, specifically anxiety and depression. Did you know simply drinking a glass of water can improve brain function??

Adults and children alike are affected by mental illness, with anxiety and depression being the most common. In our ever hurried world, fast food may provide convenience, yet takes its toll on both mental and physical health.

Modifying lifestyle and diet has shown to be a preventative measure in mood disorders. Nutritional interventions encouraging a balanced, nutrient-dense, whole foods diet, helps prevent and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. The Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research brings together practitioners and scientists interested in various nutritional research, linking the effects of nutrition on mental health. Dozens of research on the following nutritional recommendations have shown to have a positive effect on anxiety and depression: nutritional intervention

  • Whole foods (fruits and vegetables): Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with lowered depression and anxiety. A diet high in a variety of raw fruits and vegetables provides vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal physical and emotional well-being.
  • Probiotics: Probitiocs are the beneficial bacteria in the gut, providing better nutrient absorption, and have been connected to mental wellbeing. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods, beverages, or supplements.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: Omega 3’s are essential to brain function and development. Low levels may contribute to brain deficiencies and accelerate aging. Omega 3 fish oil has shown to positively impact mental clarity, memory, and depression. Salmon, sardines, and nuts and seeds like flaxseeds and walnuts are high in Omega 3’s.
  • Water: Water is essential to brain function and mood, as it flushes out toxins, carries nutrients to cells, acts as a lubricant to the body, and prevents constipation. Even if you’re mildly dehydrated, you may feel tired, having impaired concentration.

Holistic nutrition and therapy is an approach that looks at the root cause of illness, offering a natural approach to dis-ease. This includes considering a variety of factors affecting physical and mental health, such as nutrient deficiencies, lack of exercise, stress, and thyroid issues. A holistic approach works to improve immune function, digestion, and brain function, with an understanding that all body systems are interrelated. Makin Wellness is happy in providing nutritional intervention and other holistic treatment options. nutritional intervention

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart Makin Wellness Nutrition Pittsburgh

Laura Stewart, B.A., CHN – Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Mental Health and Nutrition

 

“I haven’t had an anxiety attack in months. I’m completely off my antidepressants, which I 100 percent attribute to diet and lifestyle changes.” – Jane Green

We love hearing stories like these, where behavior changes are made to improve diet and lifestyle and positive results are clearly seen. While everyone is different and there is no one size fits all approach, research has shown the many benefits of diet and lifestyle changes for mental health. mental health

Fueling the body with nutrient dense foods supports enzyme function and serotonin levels (the happy hormone). Reduction of sugar intake improves mood and energy, while an abundance of sugar has been found to decrease a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is connected to anxiety and depression. Consider one study showing the benefits of reducing sugar intake.

In 2017 a study showed those who ate 67 or more grams of sugar (17 teaspoons) had more anxiety and depression. Those who had less than 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons) exhibited less anxiety and depression. Reducing sugar in the diet can be difficult at first with symptoms of headaches, feeling tired, and flu-like symptoms. It’s the body’s way of detoxing.

Nutritional counseling can be a great addition to traditional therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Diet and lifestyle is an important part of self-care and self-love, which is key in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). We are all worthy of self-care and incorporating tasty, nutritious foods is a great self-care habit to form.

Increasing healthy habits and reducing unhealthy ones can seem difficult at first, and does take a bit of discipline and behavior change. If you are interested in professional support in making positive changes to support your mental wellness, contact us today for a free consultation! mental health

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Anxiety & Medical Marijuana

“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Kahlil Gibran

As human beings, it is natural to feel anxious when leaving our comfort zones. Pushing through our anxiety though, is what helps us to grow as individuals. Finding effective tools to manage anxiety, including preventative measures, is key to reaching our full potentials. When worry seems to take over day to day living, this may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Read more about anxiety disorders here. While prescriptions medications are often used to treat anxiety disorders, they do not come without side effects. Holistic therapy and other natural treatment options are a safe alternative to prescription medications. anxiety

Health secretary Rachel Levine approved Turetts and anxiety as qualifying conditions for medical marijuana as of July 20th. Included anxiety conditions are generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), separation anxiety, social anxiety, agoraphobia, and other phobias.

Medical marijuana is not recommended to treat children, adolescents, or pregnant women with anxiety disorders due to brain and fetus development. Long-term overuse of medical marijuana can cause issues with cognition and memory loss, and the risk of psychological dependency. For best results, it is recommended to incorporate traditional or alternative therapies, and lifestyle changes during medical marijuana treatment. anxiety

Research has shown positive results with medical marijuana being used to decrease and manage anxiety, since the body’s endocannabinoid system appears to play an important role in response to stress and anxiety.

A study conducted by Washington State University showed a decrease in stress, anxiety, and depression with the use of medical marijuana. Both men and women reported a decrease in all three symptoms. Women reported higher reduction in anxiety.

According to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis, “appears to decrease anxiety at lower doses an increase anxiety at higher doses.” Individual responses differ and there are a variety of factors to take into consideration when treating anxiety with medical marijuana. THC in combination with CBD oil can enhance benefits and reduce unwanted effects, including psychoactive affects of THC. The best approach is to start at a low dose, and monitor your bodies response. anxiety

Talking with your physician and a trained therapist can provide the needed support when deciding the right treatment for you. Makin Wellness is happy in supporting you through a natural, holistic approach to wellness, including cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional counseling, aromatherapy, and other natural treatment options. Contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

Summer Wellness ~ Walking into Wellness

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche walking

Imagine yourself stepping outside and literally walking into wellness, with a clear mind, less stress, and an overall feeling of well-being. Fresh air and nature provides a calming effect, while daily walking has shown to be a safe, gentle exercise to lose weight, clear the mind, among many other physical and mental benefits.

If the gym is not your thing, don’t despair. Consistent walking in combination with healthy eating has shown to be highly effective for weight loss, and lower risk for things like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Walking 30 minutes per day 5 times a week has shown to lower cardiovascular disease due to improved blood circulation. And the American Diabetes Association noted the benefits of walking to lower blood sugar levels, and lower risk for diabetes. walking

Mental benefits of walking include reduced anxiety and depression. Walking provides increased blood flow to the brain, helping the brains nerve cells to grow and work more efficiently. With improved mood and a calming effect to the nerves, this provides improved functioning of various body systems. A brisk walk produces some amount of sweat, releasing cortisol (the stress hormone). As stress is reduced, mental clarity and creativity is enhanced. Memory and concentration is also improved.

Physical benefits of walking include lower blood pressure, improved digestion, reduced joint pain and inflammation, and improved blood circulation. You can also lose weight by walking farther, faster, and more frequently. Interval walking has shown to be highly effective for weight loss. For example, walking for 15 minutes, and then increasing your speed for 2 m

inutes, helps raise the heartbeat and burn calories.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, try taking a short daily walk. Find a walking partner to help boost your mood and motivation. Learn more about walking for better health here!

Makin Wellness is happy to provide a personalized wellness plan including meal planning, a walking program, aromatherapy, and other natural techniques for overall wellness. Contact us today for your free 15-minute consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

10 Summer Essential Oils to Work into Your Summer Routine

There are a variety of benefits and ways to use essential oils to support summer wellness. Calming the mind, cooling the body, and soothing the skin after long hours in the sun, are just a few ways essential oils can be used to support the mind and body. summer

Therapeutic grade oils provide the best benefit and can be used in the form of diffusing, inhaling, or applying topically. The skin is our biggest organ, therefore applying topically can have a vast range of benefits internally. Citrus oils, like lemon, need to be used sparingly in summer since they are photosensitive – meaning they can lead to sun damage when applied topically.

Inhaling and diffusing essential oils helps to purify the air, providing healing effects to the mind and body. Oils like eucalyptus can be diffused into the air to support lung health.

Here are 10 essential oils you can easily work into your summer routine: summer

Lemon

Lemon citrus oils are loaded with antioxidants, can be used as a antiseptic, antidepressant, and diuretic. Lemon oil can also be used to reduce cellulite when diluted with a carrier oil.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit helps to balance mood, heal wounds, relieve water retention, and support liver function. Adding a few drops of therapeutic grade oil like Young Living Essential Oils, to your water can provide various benefits to the mind and body.

Lavender

Lavender can be used as an anti-anxiety, sleep aid, and antibacterial for wounds and burns. It can be used topically for bee stings, insect bites, dry skin, and eczema.

Patchouli

Patchouli can be used to boost mood and confidence and to support dry or cracked skin. One drop is all that’s needed with this highly concentrated oil.

Peppermint

Applying peppermint oil can provide sinus support, reduce fevers, and provide a cooling effect after a workout or long hours in the heat.

Geranium

This oil helps to release toxins through sweat ducts, helps support the liver, and reduces cellulite. It also helps balance female hormones, and reduces menstrual pain.

Frankincense

Frankincense is known as the king of oils, creating a grounding effect, and providing support for skin and immunity. Using this oil with lavender can support the skin after spending a lot of time in the sun.

Tea tree

Tea tree can be used as a bug repellent. It can also be used as an antiseptic, and to provide relief after a bee sting.

Palmarosa

Palmarosa gives a cooling effect, is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and has cellular regenerative properties. It can be used with peppermint to cool down or patchouli to reduce redness.

Cypress

Cypress is anti-inflammatory, supports digestion, sinus congestion, and provides relief for sore muscles. If you live an active lifestyle, cypress is one oil to keep on hand!

Makin Wellness uses therapeutic grade essential oils to provide support for overall wellness, offering custom made essential oil blends. Contact us today to purchase essential oils to support your wellness and feel your best this summer! summer

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

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