Friday, April 16, 2010

Panic and Anxiety Disorder

O My Soul:

Here are a few questions that helped me to identity my panic disorder:

1. Do you have spontaneous anxiety attacks that come out of the blue? Yes or No.

2. Have you had at least one such attack in the last month? Yes or No.

3. If you had an anxiety attack in the last month, did you worry about having another one? Or did you worry about the implications of your attack for your physical or mental health? Yes or No.

4. In your worst experience with anxiety, did you have more than three of the following symptoms?

a. Shortness of breath or smothering sensation

b. Dizziness or unsteady feeling

c. Heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat

d. Trembling or shaking

e. Sweating

f. Choking

g. Nausea or abdominal distress

h. Feelings of being detached or out of touch with your body

i. Numbness or tingling sensations

j. Flushes or chills

k. Chest pain or discomfort

l. Fear of dying

m. Fear of going crazy or doing something out of control

If you answered yes to questions 1, 2, 3, and 4, stop. You've met the conditions for panic disorder.

I lived with full blown panic disorder while living overseas but have been prone to it for many years. Currently, with less stress in my life, I have a lesser degree of anxiety called General Anxiety Disorder which is still chronic but somewhat managable and leftovers of what is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But I'll save that for another post.

If you are still not sure what a Panic or Anxiety Disorder is, check out this educational video produced by several competent organizations including the National Institute of Mental Health and hosted by Willard Scott.

As a pastor, I have several congregation members who don't come to church or won't get involved in church activities because of various forms of anxiety. But I'll save that for another post as well.

In the meantime,
Hope in Christ &
God bless you.


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