Anxiety Disorder Treatments through the Ages
This article describes a brief history of anxiety didorder treatments and the
various ways people deal with it. Following this, some of the physical manifestations of anxiety are described.
After reading you will have a better understanding of how anxiety disorders have developed over the last few decades.
In the fifties and sixties they had it, but it was less present in the typical nine-to-fiver and it was not
nearly as complicated: I’m talking about anxiety disorder or panic disorder-a malaise characterized by what
are today called anxiety attacks that feature symptoms that simulate those of the sympathomimetic system (the
fight-or-flight state) in overdrive:
- increased heart rate;
- edgy/nervous, 'stinking' thinking;
- intense feelings of dread or impending doom;
- impeding irrational thoughts;
- feelings of light-headedness or vertigo;
- tingling/chills in the extremities;
- tense muscles;
- constricted chest;
- dryness of mouth;
- breathing struggles;
- and/or odd feelings of being detached, or that things are unreal or strange.
In the fifties, sixties, and early seventies (and sometimes probably now), my mother had panic attacks.
She would take her pills and be fine within half an hour. While this is seemingly a now
obsolete anxiety disorder treatment, my mother was actually making use of some of the more effective of anxiety
disorder treatments available at the time.
Yes, the sixties were for homemakers and mothers working two jobs a time for pills. The sixties were the
place also known as the Valley of the Dolls. But maybe pill-popping as an anxiety disorder treatment is not
so antiquated a strategy nor so knee-jerk a solution. The response for some, especially those who are
physically ill and therefore more susceptible to the disorder and the panic instances is the only thing that
Others also use one of the oldest self-help anxiety disorder treatments - the paper bag.
Whilst I was in school during the eighties, a friend would walk into the classroom before math class
began with her backpack, a drink, and a paper bag bunched at where the neck would be. She would breathe
deeply into and out of the bag inhaling and sucking the paper with a crackle and exhaling and returning the brown
lunch bag back to an expanded balloon state. Evidently, her need for this maneuver was brought on by an
anxiety attack (or panic attack) - a sudden surge of dread and fear combined with a variety of the above-described
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THE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES of ANXIETY ATTACKS
The anxiety attack instigates an imbalance of blood gases, for want
of the appropriate amounts of carbon dioxide in the blood (often caused by the unwitting hyperventilating the
anxiety-stricken individual is doing. Inhaling and exhaling steadily through the paper, then, levels out
the carbon dioxide.
Because the anxiety syndrome has become more prevalent in specific cultures and countries, experts in the
medical and therapeutic fields have added to their list of suggestions for self-help anxiety disorder
treatments. Some of these include talking yourself up (or down, but not depressedly or negatively), taking
your point of focus to a place outside of your body and bodily reactions/symptoms, and sitting calmly with a 'this
too shall pass' approach and attitude or mindset.
Sometimes, the anxiety attacks are not psychological, but are instead symptoms accompanying a physical illness
(such as hypertension). Then, the anxiety disorder treatment you seek might be more
involved. Some chronic sufferers consult doctors or therapists or visit clinics dedicated to such
disorders. In addition, people access the options and alternatives for anxiety disorder treatment: they partake of medications prescribed for them,
get therapy (such as biofeedback/Neurofeedback or psychotherapy), or learn new life-management skills. Read
our articles for more anxiety treatments and 9 ways to treat anxiety naturally. As well, some experiencing chronic anxiety
will endeavor to learn new techniques for breathing, stress-management, and better problem-solving.
While time has passed, some symptoms, syndromes, and treatments have not. And some are new and improved,
depending upon severity, need, and response to healing strategies -- whether it is pills for the 'high-strung' or
paper bags for the harangued.