A Jungian Psychology Approach To Anxiety

Anxiety is a very common disorder in today’s world, largely due to the fact that we feel hurried, pressured and pushed to perform, pay the mortgage, deal with kids, and on top of all that, live a full life. No wonder we have anxiety. But what is anxiety trying to tell us? From a Jungian Psychology perspective, anxiety is the psyche’s way of telling us that the way we are living is out of balance. Rather than view anxiety as something to be eliminated, with medication, we need to see that the psyche is giving us a clear message about our one-sided life and is gently asking us to change this. Viewed in this light, anxiety symptoms are there to guide us out of a lifestyle that is no longer working.

Carl Jung argued that anxiety symptoms are purposive, functional and have a goal – the alteration of our lifestyle. When we eliminate the symptoms through medication, we deny the wisdom of the psyche in making normal, natural change. Anxiety often appears in mid-life, when many of us experience a mid-life crisis. The first half of life is aimed at establishing our identity, our relationships, our occupation, and building up the necessary resources to accomplish all of these tasks. But, there comes a time when we need to turn inwards, to encounter the contents of the unconscious (often provided to us in the form of dreams) and search out the essential meaning of life. What is my purpose in life? Why am I here? How could I be living a more balanced, natural life? It is anxiety that often propels us towards answering these questions. When next you feel intense anxiety, ask yourself what the psyche is trying to tell you? What is it that I am doing that creates the anxiety, then begin to address the causes of the symptoms, rather than the cure.

If we answer the question – what is the anxiety trying to tell me – we begin to address the cause. This may mean some change in the way you life your life, but this change does not necessarily mean that you become less competent, or less valued, rather, it means that you begin to value the wisdom of your psyche more than before. By addressing the causes of the anxiety and making lifestyle changes, the anxiety should diminish, having achieved its goal – leading you towards a more full, balanced lifestyle.

Massage Chair Therapy & Anxiety Relief

Do you suffer from anxiety? Anxiety is the internal response of the body to fear, worry and apprehension. Many times one does not even know the reasons why they are feeling their anxiety. There can sometimes be physical responses such as chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath and palpitations. Although there are numerous treatment options for anxiety, one very positive method is massage chair therapy.

In numerous studies, massage was shown to reduce levels of anxiety and decrease stress hormones. This was the case for less serious anxiety, whereas, chronic forms of anxiety may require a more complete treatment. One thing is for sure; anxiety can be very debilitating and varies in intensity and duration in different people.

If you think about it, a soothing massage helps you to relax and unwind. But that is just the beginning. There are many health benefits of massage therapy. Massage can provide much needed relief for sufferers of anxiety. If you have a more chronic, intense or prolonged periods of anxiety, then it is always best to consult you health care professional before deciding on a course of action.

Massage therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissue that includes your muscles, skin and tendons. There are numerous massage therapies available in massage chairs. There are Shiatsu, Swedish, deep tissue, sports massage, reflexology, acupressure and many more. Each type of massage has specific applications and results.

Many people think of massage as a luxury only being offered to the rich and famous in expensive spas and health clubs. The reality is massage chairs provide an affordable and effective alternative. These advanced massage chair recliners are effective in reducing stress, pain, and anxiety.

Massage therapy helps to relieve tension in your muscles and tendons. Some massage chairs come with MP3 players where you can listen to soft music. This helps your mind to relax as the massage chair starts to release the built up tension and stress in your body. Massage also helps to release endorphins or your natural painkillers which help reduce aches and pains.

Massage chairs provide full body massage capabilities. They have roller mechanisms that provide a vast array of massages to the back, shoulders and neck. They also come with air massage systems that can provide compression and reflexology massages to the buttocks, thighs, hips, calves, feet, arms and hands. These massage recliners help your body by relieving muscle tension and tightness.

Some additional capabilities of massage chair recliners include heating elements. Heat therapy has been shown to increase blood circulation and to reduce swelling. You can also find massage chairs with stretching or traction capabilities. They can stretch out the lower body and now some can even stretch the shoulders and arms.

If you are interested in a massage chair, then start with the best brands. The best massage recliner brands are Panasonic, Omega and Sanyo. These companies have excellent massage therapies, well designed chairs and comprehensive warranty coverage. Sticking with a recognized name brand will provide you with years of trouble-free massage therapy.

If you suffer from anxiety, check with your health care provider about possible treatment options. A massage chair can be a very practical investment providing years of convenient massage therapy in the comfort of home. The technology of these chairs has advanced dramatically in the last few years, so check out what features and functions are right for you. Do not let anxiety get the best of you, get a massage chair and release your stress, anxiety and tension.

Online Counseling & Mindfulness Therapy For Anxiety & Depression

Online Psychotherapy, e-counseling and internet-therapy are becoming very popular. It is convenient, affordable and proven effective. The focus is on giving you the tools to better manage your depression, anxiety, stress and other difficult emotions.

Mindfulness Therapy is one of the most promising approaches for helping you learn how to work on making changes at the core level; quite different that just talking about your problems, which is not very efficient for resolving persistent emotional reactions. If you feel stuck, Mindfulness Therapy helps you get unstuck; if you feel overly worried and anxious, Mindfulness Therapy helps you find inner balance; if you feel over-stressed, Mindfulness Therapy helps you neutralize your habitual stress reactions; if you suffer from depression, Mindfulness Therapy helps you neutralize the negative self-talk and thinking. Above all, Mindfulness Therapy produces an inner healing space, the space of mindful awareness that allows emotions to unfold, unwind and become malleable again. Mindfulness allows emotional suffering to change, transform and resolve.

Mindfulness Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses mindful awareness directly on the problematic emotions and effectively creates a therapeutic space around the emotion that has an immensely transformative effect. In effect, you make the emotion the primary object of a session of meditation. This is why it is also called Mindfulness Meditation Therapy (MMT).

We all know how reactivity simply makes things worse and only serves to reinforce our suffering, along with those around us. Well mindfulness is the antidote: It stops the proliferation of reactivity and then creates this inner healing space in which the emotional energy that has become stuck can become fluid again, leading to beneficial change and healing. Some clients have described this healing process as being like shining rays of sunlight onto a block of ice. The ice (frozen emotional energy) simply melts and the water becomes fluid again and becomes available to nourish the earth (your psyche). It is a lovely image, and describes the healing effect of creating inner freedom through mindfulness.

The skill of learning how to work with depression, anxiety, stress and difficult emotions requires that you learn how to establish a mindfulness based relationship with your inner emotions. Avoidance and resistance only makes things worse. For painful emotions like anxiety and trauma to heal we must bring them into the light of mindful awareness. When we do this skillfully, with openness of mind and heart, emotions begin to become malleable again and undergo change, often by themselves. The direct healing effects of mindfulness are well known and are applied to great effect in Mindfulness Therapy.

Managing Anxiety: The Externalizing Technique

When anxiety takes over, it can feel like you’re possessed. You may become paralyzed and unable to make decisions. You may question your every move. You may find yourself playing that tired old song, “What-if…” over and over till you get a headache.

If you suffer from anxiety, there are lots of tools you can use to feel better. Meditation, relaxation techniques, and positive self-talk are some examples. But it can also be helpful to externalize your anxiety – to see it as something separate form your essential self.

Externalization is a process developed by Narrative therapists. The idea is that we often confuse people with problems. For example, we may say, “I’m anxious,” instead of “I’m feeling some anxiety.” Changing your language can make a subtle but powerful difference. Notice how the two statements above can make a difference in how you feel about yourself. You are not anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling that can come and go.

You can take this process a step further by giving your anxiety a separate identity – it’s own personality, if you will. Imagine your anxiety is an actual person. Is it male or female? How tall? What kind of voice does it have? How does it dress? How old is he or she?

When you have a full picture of your anxiety, it may feel good to name it. This removes your anxiety even further from your true self. What would be a good name for your anxiety? One person I know named hers Eunice. She liked this name because to her it was a little bit silly. The name Eunice helped her take her anxiety less seriously. When she felt anxious, she could say to herself, “Oh, that’s just Eunice. She’s a worrier.” This freed her to do many of the things that would have been difficult in the past – from helping her kids choose a college to advocating for herself at work.

Sometimes, when Eunice would get very loud and big, she would imagine Eunice shrinking, becoming tiny as a mouse. Other times, when Eunice got scared, she would imagine soothing her – like one of her own kids. By dis-identifying with her anxiety, she was much better able to take care of it – and ultimately herself.

Overcoming the Powerlizing Power of Worry Anxiety From a Christian Approach

The way to overcome the paralyzing power of human anxiety is to replace it with the powerful promises of God’s peace. When we experience anxiety and worry, we feel unconfident and insecure about our inabilities. In contrast, when we experience peace, we feel confident and secure in God’s abilities. Truly, when we feel anxious and worried, peace cannot be found. When we feel at peace, worry and anxiety disappear. Furthermore, a Christian definition of anxiety is the loss of confident security in God, resulting in fearful feelings of uneasiness that something hurtful or bad will happen to us. When we feel anxious and worried, we fear not having the resources to cope with perceived threats to our sense of wellbeing.

We must remember anxiety and worry are thieves, robbing us of peace, serenity, sense of security, and confidence in God’s promises as revealed in the Bible. Worry and anxiety are symptoms of unbelief. They discount the promises God makes to us about sustaining us daily with His endless grace. Jesus believes so strongly about living our lives without anxiety and worry that He commands us not to do so. Jesus commands, do not be anxious for your life (Matthew 6:25 (NASB) or don’t worry about everyday life (Matthew 6:25 NLT). The reason Jesus commands this is because God is aware of our daily needs and issues. God promises to sustain us each day as He guarantees, saying Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him (Lamentations 3:22-24 HCSB). No doubt, I confess to be the poster child at times for worry and anxiety. But God, in His sustaining grace, provides for our unbelief. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to present God’s tailor-made, powerful promises for overcoming the problem of eight common worry anxieties.

The first problem is worry anxiety about uselessness. Sometimes we feel what we do for God does not matter. We feel like our work and service to Him is useless. God provides a powerful promise for overcoming the anxiety of uselessness where He guarantees, So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT). Confidently, God promises our toil for Him is useful.

The second problem is worry anxiety about feeling weak. We all have weaknesses. They may manifest as physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. God provides a powerful promise for overcoming this anxiety where Jesus promises the apostle Paul, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” [Paul responds] So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Assuringly, Jesus promises to supply His power in our weakness.

The third problem is worry anxiety about difficult decisions. Life is full of daily decisions resulting in healthy or unhealthy consequences. As sinners, we make unhealthy decisions and may fear making a wrong decision. God provides power to assist us in the decision-making process. One promise is in Psalm 32:8 (NASB) where God promises, I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Another promise is in Psalm 25:8-9 (NLT) saying, The LORD is good and does what is right, teaching them his way. He leads the humble in what is right, teaching them his way. Comfortingly, when we are teachable, God instructs us in making healthy decisions.

The fourth problem is worry anxiety about facing opponents. As Christians, we face opposition from the world. These opponents may be worldly people, worldly principles, or worldly powers. But God provides a powerful promise to overcome this anxiety in Romans 8:31-32 (NASB) guaranteeing, If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Convincingly, God provides power for facing opponents to His plan and purpose for our lives.

The fifth problem is worry anxiety about afflictions. We face afflictions and problems daily. But God provides powerful promises for overcoming afflictions. One promise is in Psalm 34:19 (NASB) where God assures that Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the LORD delivers him out of them all. Read also the promises in Romans 5:3-5.

The sixth problem is worry anxiety about aging. We may worry about God’s care for us as we age. But God promises to overcome anxiety about aging in Isaiah 46:3-4 (NLT) saying, I created you and have cared for you since before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime-until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. Confidently, God carries us all the way home.

The seventh problem is anxiety about not persevering to the end in faith or questioning at times whether or not we are Christians. God reassures us in Hebrews 7:25 (NASB) saying, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. What a prescription for peace! God’s faithfulness causes us to persevere to the end! Read also Philippians 1:6 and Jeremiah 32:40.

The eighth problem is anxiety about death. God provides a powerful promise for overcoming this anxiety in Romans 14:7-9 (NASB) guaranteeing, for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. With the confidence of being eternally secure in God’s hands, we need not fear death’s doorway.

In conclusion, God provides powerful promises for overcoming anxiety and worry. We need to practice preaching these tailor-made promises to ourselves. Doing so will not only eliminate current worry anxiety for today but will prevent worrying about God providing for our lives tomorrow. Amen and amen.

3 Ways to Calm Networking Anxiety

One of the best ways to be a great networker is to have confidence. Confidence takes on many forms including professionalism, a strong brand, consistency and a genuine desire to build relationships. But in order to be more confident, it is important to get rid of the anxiety that is sometime accompanied with networking.

Listed below are three helpful tips for reducing anxiety and being more confident at your next event.

Be Prepared

Do not leave your networking to chance. Take the necessary time to prepare for your events. Preparation can involve practicing your elevator pitch, drafting a few conversation questions or staying updated on current or industry events. Anticipate the individuals you hope to meet and plan accordingly.

Be Network Minded

If you feel too intimidated to attend events alone, reach out to people in your networks. Invite your friends, co-workers or colleagues as your guest. Ask to attend events that they are attending. Reach out to the organizer or host of the association through social media and make pre-networking connections. Use this as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and be more social and engaging. Taking the first step and initiating a connection is definitely a sign of confidence.

Be Focused

Before the event, write down a few goals that you hope to achieve by going to the event. How many people do you plan to meet and build relationships? How can you give back or pay it forward? How do you want to promote your brand, product, service or initiative? How can you learn from others and share resources or information?

Use these tips and practical methods to reduce anxiety and focus on productive networking. Being able to be prepared, build your networks and focus on your goal leads to professional and career success.

Anxiety Treatment Options

It is not a piece of cake to go through a day full of anxious thoughts of practically everything one can imagine himself to go through. It is not only difficult but also delimiting.

Anxiety is a chronic condition that is focused on worrying about things with no specific or actual causes at all. This explains why people with anxiety disorders experience constant anxiety without knowing what provokes feelings like restlessness and nervousness to arise. Thus, even when they have realized that they should not be anxious, they still could not control the sensations.

People with anxiety disorders are subjected to feelings of looming gloom. However, help could be found. There are varieties of anxiety treatment options available to help release the person from his fears. You must be reminded though that not all anxiety treatments would work for you. Also, the treatment that helped the other person would not necessarily help you as well.

Medications

Medications are not designed to cure anxiety disorders. These are often taken simultaneously with other forms of treatment options such as psychotherapy so as to relive symptoms.

Psychotherapy or talk therapy

Basically, psychotherapy helps the person deal with his condition through counselling that targets problems related with anxiety. Mental health professionals such as social workers, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists can best deliver services under psychotherapy.

Complimentary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs)

Complimentary and Alternative Medicines is a group of health and medical practices, procedures, methods and products that have diverse roots. The basic reason why methodologies under this group are considered as complimentary and alternative is that they are not yet taken into conventional medicine. However, this does not negate the fact that they work very well for some patients and could induce the healing process. Often, procedures in this group are backed with scientific research. The key matters are still questionable though.

A number of medical doctors are known to practice this kind of medicine combined with conventional medicine.

Acupuncture, for example, is a type of alternative medicine that is largely employed to cure a number of disorders that are often associated with behavioural and psychological difficulties. This method uses needles that are inserted on pressure points that are known to be the seat of life energy or qi. The general idea of this method is to seek the balance of life energies to achieve health.

Since this method encourages relaxation and has calming effects, patients of anxiety disorders are advised to take them.

Another method that induces relaxation is massage therapy. Obviously, this could not penetrate directly into the core of the problem. But this is efficient in delivering the person away from his anxiety provoking thoughts.

Meditation, on the other hand, involves a rhythmic breathing, comfortable sitting position and calming of the mind. Thus, it helps the patient seek rest from his mind-bothering thoughts that could build up towards anxiety.

Anxiety is fear and stress combined. The key element to alleviating the psychological state of the person with anxiety disorder is to remove these two. Breathing and rest is vital in any form of releasing stress. Thus, any treatment that creates condition with the least stress and fear would be helpful in treating anxiety.

Because of the benefits of both practices, the trend in medicine slopes toward integrated medicine. This means that both complimentary and alternative practices can be added to conventional medicine to promote maximized effects.

What Your Anxiety May Be Trying To Tell You – And Why It’s Important To Listen

Is Your Anxiety Trying To Tell You Something Important?

What if anxiety is not always just a symptom to be treated, but a ‘health-seeking signal’ inviting us to reconnect with the truest parts of ourselves that have been neglected or repressed? Below is a recent example from my work as a licensed Psychotherapist illustrating how anxiety at times acts as an important messenger inviting us to heal psycho-emotional wounds sustained in childhood and adolescence, if only we are able and willing to tune in and listen.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is commonly believed to be an automatic, ‘built-in’ response to perceived threats, and is often referred to as our ‘fight-or-flight arousal’, or ‘fight or flight response’ as a species. Therefore, it stands to reason that children who grew up in chaotic, possibly traumatic home environments where their fight or flight (arousal) response was frequently activated are susceptible to developing various kinds of anxiety disorders even prior to the onset of adulthood. Hence, it is a concern that physicians and psychiatrists whose patients report anxiety that is interfering with their daily functioning and quality of life typically prescribe anti-anxiety medication, but do not always recommend that their patient also consider seeing a qualified Mental Health professional so as to explore the possible root cause(s) of the anxiety, such as early childhood trauma that has been unknowingly repressed (the focus of this article), as well as identify possible additional or alternative (i.e., non-prescription) treatments.

Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety

Although anxiety can take on many forms, the below are signs and symptoms commonly associated with this behavioral health disorder:

  • Excessive Worry
  • Irritability
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Poor Concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle Tension
  • Fatigue

Psychotherapy As A Means Of Successfully Treating Chronic Anxiety

What if anxiety was not always something to be avoided and/or medicated away, but was instead something it would benefit us to be curious about? One way that I invite my clients to explore this possibility is to ask them to tune into their thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations the next time they notice they are feeling anxious. What is happening right then in the moment? Was there a possible ‘trigger’ initiating the anxiety? As the following Case Study illustrates, this simple exercise alone can provide invaluable information regarding what anxiety ‘signals’ might be trying to convey.

A Case Study Addressing Anxiety

I once had a client (whom I will call ‘Jeremy – not his actual name) share with me in session that he had recently felt extreme anxiety when he entered a hotel lobby on a business trip. He attributed this to what he thought was the ‘Generalized Anxiety Disorder’ (GAD) he had been diagnosed with by a psychiatrist years before, prior to beginning his psychotherapeutic work with me. I suggested early on in therapy that he begin keeping an ‘Awareness Journal’ and to write in this journal whenever he experienced particularly strong symptoms of anxiety. During one such onset of extreme symptoms that occurred during a business trip, Jeremy realized while writing in his journal that he had begun experiencing anxiety symptoms when he saw a certain type of old-fashioned couch in the hotel lobby he had just walked into. Upon further reflection in his Awareness Journal, Jeremy suddenly realized that the retro-style couch looked nearly identical in style and in color to a couch that was in the living room of the home he had lived in as a child. Needless to say, this gave us much to explore in this and future sessions as he began to remember and share traumatic events from childhood that up until then he had unknowingly repressed.

Over time, the chronic, ‘generalized’ anxiety Jeremy had been suffering from for years receded as he continued to work diligently in psychotherapy to reconnect with the wounded, ‘lost’ parts of himself he had disconnected from during childhood while growing up in a chaotic, unpredictable, alcoholic family system. He eventually chose to stop taking his anti-anxiety medication under the supervision of a physician and is able to self-manage his anxiety symptoms via deep breathing exercises and Mindfulness Meditation practices he learned during therapy, along with Somatic-Psychology techniques (for more information on the use and efficacy of Somatic-Psychology in the treatment and healing of trauma refer toBessel van der Kolk’s book The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma). Jeremy also continues to self-reflect in his Awareness Journal, which has become a critical aspect of his ongoing psycho-emotional healing and growth. (Note: Details of specific client cases have been changed to protect privacy).

Anxiety and Psychotropic Medication

While taking anti-anxiety medication to minimize anxiety symptoms is a personal choice, and in some cases is medically advisable, there are other effective interventions that a person suffering from anxiety can pursue, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; keeping an Awareness Journal as part of ongoing Psychotherapeutic-based Intrapsychic / Family Systems work (as discussed in the above Case Study); engaging in deep breathing exercises; yoga; daily physical exercise; and homeopathic remedies as prescribed by a Naturopathic doctor.

Recent research also confirms that Mindfulness Meditation can be highly effective in addressing anxiety symptoms. Mindfulness is a practice that involves being fully engaged in whatever is going on around you. “It is simply the act of paying attention to whatever you are experiencing, as you experience it”, explains Kate Hanley, author of A Year of Daily Calm: A Guided Journal for Creating Tranquility Every Day. “By choosing to turn your attention away from the everyday chatter of the mind and on to what your body is doing, you give the mind just enough to focus on that it can quiet down.” In 2013 researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center published a study that confirmed that Mindfulness Meditation reduces anxiety at a neural level.

Working Mindfully With Anxiety

As the above brief discussion illustrates, there may be far more to anxiety than meets the eye. While it is understandable why anyone experiencing anxiety would want relief from these extremely uncomfortable symptoms, it may be that the symptoms themselves are pointing to possible solutions to those who are willing to explore their anxiety via mindfully cultivating an attitude of acceptance, curiosity, and patience. Journaling, painting, and other forms of creative expression, as well as psychotherapy and/or sharing in a support group, may offer a means of discovering the wisdom that anxiety has to offer.

A special note of caution: It is recommended that a person experiencing frequent anxiety symptoms get a complete physical to rule out disorders like Graves (Thyroid) Disease, and other medical conditions that can cause extreme and/or chronic anxiety symptoms.

8 Things That Create Public Restroom Anxiety

Did you know that toilet or restroom phobias are more common than we think? Clinicians classify these phobias as anxiety disorders and a form of social phobias.

After taking an unofficial poll from random individuals regarding their thoughts about public restrooms this question was asked, “Can you name one of your biggest pet peeves when using public restrooms?” Interestingly, before they answered the question, simultaneously a strange and sudden snarl of the lip along with a look of disgust appeared.

Germaphobia is one of the conditions that heighten restroom anxiety especially when patrons are dining in a popular eating establishment. The following pet peeves are, but not limited to the overall concern patrons have with public restrooms, whether it’s in a department store, movie theater, sports stadium, office building or interstate rest area.

1. Foul odor

2. Empty toilet paper dispenser

3. Empty soap dispenser

4. Wads of paper on the floor

5. Empty paper towel dispenser

6. Overflowing waste baskets

7. Filthy toilets and urinals

8. Dirty floors and discolored build up on tile grout

If any of these answers sound remotely familiar to you, guess what? You are not alone. One often wonders about the type of hygienic habits many individuals practice at home when they do not respectfully use public bathrooms as we expect them to or have the common courtesy to avoid leaving a repulsive mess afterward. People should not simply assume that someone else is paid to clean up their mess that looks like a crime scene when they are done.

Fear and anxiety resulting in such phobias work on the mind and sends signals where the imagination envisions invisible germ monsters permeating through the air, creeping from the pores, cracks, and crevices in walls, floors, vents, toilets, and door handles. Such anxiety disorders can mimic traits of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or agoraphobia.

Parcopresis is a type of phobia where sufferers fear sitting down on toilets or being confined to the tightly enclosed space of the bathroom stall, with the inability to defecate in public toilets. Paruresis is a disorder affecting individuals who are unable to urinate regardless of how much discomfort they may be in.

Such symptoms can be stressful and crippling, but there are treatments for these disorders such as hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Business establishments have an obligation to provide and maintain clean restroom hygiene which is a direct reflection on their overall customer service ethic.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects Of SSRI Drugs Used For Treatment Of Depression And Anxiety Disorders

The term ‘SSRI’ is abbreviation for ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor’. It is a family of drugs used for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. They are safer than most other anti-depressants because they act selectively on the brain’s ability to use serotonin, which is the principal neurotransmitter affecting a person’s mood. SSRIs do not significantly interfere with other physiological systems nor do they have any serious drug-drug or drug-food interactions except with other anti-depressants / anti-psychotic drugs

In a majority of cases, the side-effects of SSRIs – particularly Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) are mild and manageable if taken and discontinued strictly in accord with the healthcare service provider’s instructions. Nevertheless, some irritating side-effects are quite common (particularly with the older SSRIs such as Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft and others). One common set of side-effects affects the gastrointestinal system as described below:

  • Abdominal cramp/pain
  • Belching / burps
  • Bloating (due to excessive intestinal gas)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia – indigestion
  • Flatulence (more than normal gas the digestive system)
  • Gagging (involuntary choking)
  • Gastritis (irritation of the stomach’s mucus lining)
  • Gastroenteritis (irritation of the stomach and intestines)
  • Acidity
  • Nausea (vomiting sensation)
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)

As seen from the above list, the side-effects are random and even somewhat contradictory, e.g., constipation and diarrhea. This shows that it is not possible to predict which of the side-effects a particular patient will experience. It can be surmised that side-effects are idiosyncratic to individual patients, with many patients not experiencing any side-effect at all.

How you should respond: As stated earlier, SSRIs are safe in most patients despite irritating but non-sinister side-effects. The side-effects are idiosyncratic and do not follow any pattern. The patient should know that all the symptoms listed above are temporary and occur only in the initial stage of treatment or, at worst, last as long as the treatment lasts without leaving any scar. Your healthcare service provider might prescribe additional medication to cope with one of more of the side-effects.

Remember however that you must not abruptly discontinue medication with an SSRI drug but instead follow a tapering strategy that the your healthcare service provider will advise. After all, temporary gastrointestinal side-effects are a very reasonable price to pay for the healing of the bigger psycho-somatic problem of depression or generalized anxiety disorders.