Archive | Stress

2 Herbs That Can Help You Control Anxiety Naturally

Valerian Root

Valerian root is a natural growing plant that has sweet smelling pink and white flowers. It is a native plant to Europe, Asia, and South Africa. It was brought to the United States by a German Chemist. In Germany, Valerian Root is used for many purposes; it was given to unruly children to calm them, it is used as a coffee substitute, and has been used to treat urinary tract infections, depression, and sleeplessness. In the medieval times, it was even used as a condiment on food! Today, we mainly use valerian root for anxiety. Valerian Root has many benefits as well as disadvantages, here are some of them.

In most cases, Valerian Root produces a calming, even sleepy feeling that is often used as a natural or holistic way to treat anxiety. Most people feel the calming effects within a half hour of taking the herbal remedy. It is most commonly taken in a capsule or tea form as that is how it has its strongest effects. It should not be mixed with other drugs and should be taken if you are driving or engaging in any other activity that requires alertness as Valerian Root may cause you to go to sleep.

Although the American Herbal Products Association has classified Valerian Root as being completely safe, some people still experience side effects from it. The most common of these side effects include irritability, nervousness, heart palpitations and anxiousness, the exact opposite of what they are taking it for. When drank in tea form, some people have also reported hallucinogenic dreams. Pregnant women should not take Valerian Root. Some people that have taken Valerian Root have also claimed an addictive quality to it when trying to get off the herb after a long time use.

Passion Flower

Multiple all natural or alternative treatments exist for anxiety disorders, including herbs like Chamomile, Valerian, and St. John’s Wort. One of the better natural treatments is Passion Flower. Passion Flower has been used for hundreds of years by Native Americans for symptoms of pain and insomnia. Today, Passion Flower can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of panic attacks, stress or nervousness.

It also happens to be a very safe alternative to prescribed drugs. The FDA considers Passion Flower to be GRAS, or generally known as safe. Overdose or reactions are rare, however, it is recommended that adults ingest no more than 200 mg per day. Grown in tropical regions and typically found on a woody hard vine and produces a fruit similar to a berry. It is commonly dried, mixed with herbs like Valerian, and drank in a soothing tea. It can also be made into caplets for ingestion.

It is believed that the Flavanoids like Vitexin and Chrysin that are found in the plant actually act as a sedative deep in the nervous system. One of the benefits of taking Passion Flower is that it does not cause drowsiness, so it can be taken during the day or while working. Instead, the Passion Flower helps achieve a natural mood balance.

Because the Passion Flower and other alternative medicines are growing in popularity, it can be purchased in many different places. Local health food stores and larger organic grocers carry it in both tea form and caplets. It can also be found at drug store chains like Walgreens or CVS in the supplement section of the pharmacy. Amazon.com has Passion Flower for sale, as do many other websites. Just be sure you are purchasing from a reputable source so that you are getting pure and natural Passion Flower.

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Depersonalization – How to Cure It

The first onset of depersonalization is perhaps the most terrifying. You are presented with such a shocking perceptual contrast compared to how you were used to observing reality that it can quickly start triggering a cascade of panic attacks. Latent depersonalization may break dormancy as a result of drug consumption, which tends to amplify inner states, or a shocking experience such as being involved in a car accident. Whether you have smoked marijuana or the depersonalization came out of nowhere, perhaps from environmental stress or the natural course of anxiety, the underlying problem is identical in both cases and is known as an anxiety disorder. If anxiety escalates to a certain point it will result in dissociation of your senses in order to protect your brain from information overload by dampening perception. Depersonalization is therefore your brain’s protective mechanism against excessive stress and it achieves this protection by withholding any emotional response. As protective as it may be, chronic depersonalization is by no means a pleasurable experience and frequently conveys a feeling hopelessness and ultimate doom upon the struck individual. Confusion, excessive worries, unsubstantiated feelings of guilt, depression, fatigue, and almost insanity are few words that clearly depict this dissociated, anxious atmosphere.

Depersonalization is also a state of extreme self-reflection and therefore can surface all your negative, dormant problems to your consciousness. As a result dormant anxiety is set free and amplified forcing you to deal with it on an unprecedented scale. Furthermore, anxiety is notorious for skewing judgment and manufacturing negative, exaggerated and even false portrayals of reality adding to overall confusion. You might feel like going insane and never returning back to your old perception – that is how convincing anxiety can be, but remember you are not alone (many experience and experienced it) and you are not going insane. If you were going insane, you wouldn’t be aware of it – the worry about your sanity is a proof of not being/turning psychotic – remember this comforting paradox. Another question that might strike your mind repeatedly is whether this horrid feeling is permanent. The answer is a soothing no, but only if you are willing to bring some changes into your life. Defeating depersonalization means defeating anxiety, as that is the source of the problem here. Overcoming anxiety does not have to be difficult if one knows what he/she is doing, otherwise it can be a struggle and even counterproductive. Fortunately, I have a great recipe for you to bring you out of depersonalization quickly and for good:

Finding the core of anxiety – You are depersonalized because your anxiety got out of hand. If you suppress your anxiety by avoiding everything that aggravates it you are essentially falling under its command. It might be easier at first to just avoid anything that evokes the slightest hint of anxiety such as going to the mall in the fear from all the people there, but this behavior will only reinforce the underlying anxiety as the time passes rendering you frightened, antisocial, and isolated. Therefore in order to really start treating your anxiety, rather than pushing it to the corner of your attention, you must think about its possible sources. Try to notice the triggers, which spike your anxiety, and once you do address them appropriately. If you feel like a cup of coffee worsens your panic attacks, which it usually will, simply exclude it from your diet. If the problem is a lack of self-worth and fear of social interaction, expose yourself to the trigger so you can realize the true reality of the situation – anxiety can be greatly misleading and will do its best to implement negative/paranoid thoughts into your consciousness. Getting rid of the very core of your anxiety is a guarantee of relief. Just like weeds re-grow if the roots are left in the ground, your anxiety will return if the sources are not dealt with. There are plenty of cognitive approaches to addressing anxiety in a rational way so don’t be afraid to give them a try.

Meditation – A cheap and effective anxiety remedy. Sit down, straighten your back, and breathe deeply. Try to do this every day for at least 10 minutes and enjoy the yielded benefits. Meditation is a great tool for learning to be an objective observer of the reality. It allows you to perceive without reacting subjectively and so calms your senses, while sharpening them at the same time. It will help you to analyze your anxiety triggers and give you a new, positive outlook on life.

Exercise – Not only physically healthy, but mentally as well. A major problem with depersonalization is the inability to look at the surrounding reality without questioning its integrity and so you are constantly reminded of the inner anxiety. By engaging in a physical activity such as jogging, biking, skateboarding or simply going for a long walk you will be distracted enough to think about something other, more pleasant, than anxiety. Exercise, just like meditation, is a versatile remedy and even studies speak highly of it – it has been proposed that frequent exercise promotes growth of new neural connections within the brain!

Constantly thinking about anxiety and negative thoughts is what reinforces depersonalization and so does not permit its departure. The above-mentioned techniques serve to break this vicious cycle and prevent you from entering it again. I have found them as a highly efficient catalyst to curing depersonalization. What could be a matter of months or even years can be turned into weeks or less by bringing the required reforms into your life. There are also other anxiety remedies to consider such as supplements, herbs, and life-style changes other than those mentioned here. Because I didn’t want to bore you with too many words I have included only the techniques that I have found most effective and essential to recovery. Nevertheless, if you are interested in other approaches than listed here then please look into it for sure – the more you do for your anxiety the sooner it will be over!

Hold strong and good luck!

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Driving Again Without Fear: Getting Rid of "Highway Driving" Agoraphobia

If you have anxiety, chances are you may be afflicted with agoraphobia as well. If this is the case, you may have the specific fear of driving on the highway, which is quite common amongst agoraphobic individuals.

You may be wondering how you will ever get over this fear, and how you will ever function “normally” by driving to work every day, visiting friends, and going shopping just like you used to! Well, here is the secret that will help you overcome this phobia!!!

The following technique is what I call the incremental detox method, and is based on the renowned psychotherapist Arnold Lazarous, who developed Systematic Desensitization:

1. Upon awakening each morning, relax, take a hot shower, and grab yourself a cup of your favorite (decaf) beverage.

2. Go to your vehicle outside, and sit in it for approximately 10 minutes, having your favorite beverage, and with no distractions…except perhaps quiet music in the background. Do not drive or start the car.

Do this every day for two weeks.

3. Follow up after two weeks by increasing the time you spend in your vehicle. And remember…no noise or distractions. You can try starting the car, but please do not drive anywhere. Just sit, relax, and enjoy looking around at the scenery. Think positive thoughts, and do not worry about anything during this experience.

4. Continue increasing the time spent in your vehicle, so that you become used to the act of sitting in there in a peaceful mode. Then start to drive just down the street and back, and after two more weeks, around the block. Again, please leave your music on low…preferable tranquil music without words. Enjoy your quiet ride, and don’t let anyone interrupt your time (i.e. keep cell phones off, no loud music or conversations, etc…).

5. After a month or two, you will be comfortable enough to begin driving during the day time for about five minutes onto a quiet highway nearby. If you feel more at ease with a friend along, then by all means bring this trusted friend into your car for company. However, please inform this friend that you need a peaceful ride without stress, because you are conducting an experiment to help yourself heal from anxiety about driving.

6. Over time, you’ll feel even more comfortable to drive on the highway, either with or without your friend. And remember that you’ll want to only do this at YOUR pace and no one else’s pace! This means that, if it takes you 5 months to get to the point of driving on the highway, that’s perfectly ok!

Don’t let anyone PUSH you to go faster in the process!

Always know that it is very RARE for agoraphobia to just “go away” in a month, two months, or even three months. It takes a process like the above one to bring you to a level of comfort, and that is ok!

Please be patient with yourself, and ALWAYS do the exercises ONLY when you are calm and relaxed. Eventually, you will be finding yourself driving with ease, whether at night, during the day, or even in rush-hour traffic! You will truly be amazed at the results!

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Can Valerian Root Help Relieve Flight Anxiety?

Every year air travel is used by a higher and higher percentage of Americans to the point where it is now almost completely unavoidable. Air travel is now just another means of transportation that is nothing out of the ordinary.

While most people have heard the statistic that you are more likely to be killed just driving your car every day than you are to be involved in a plane crash, this does nothing to help those who suffer from severe flight anxiety. Flight anxiety is sometimes difficult to define and understand. This is because nearly everyone who flies experiences some form of flight anxiety at some point during the flight. For most people this feeling goes away quickly, and they go throughout the rest of the flight in relative relaxation. However for the unlucky few this feeling comes as soon as the plane starts to taxi, or even before, and lasts until the plane is fully on the ground again.

To deal with this problem everyone has his or her own approach. For some they choose the ostrich approach, that is to stick their head in the ground and simply ignore the problem. For others they rely on alcohol or prescription medicines. Both of these have very undesirable side effects.

Another, much preferable method, is the use of natural supplements. One that works quite well for flight anxiety is Valerian Root. This root has been used for centuries as a natural source of anxiety relief. If the anxiety sufferer takes 150-450 mg of Valerian root shortly before the flight they should experience a much more pleasant flight.

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Job Interview Anxiety? What You Can Do to Calm Down and Impress Your Interviewers’ Socks Off

Job interviews are inherently stressful. Your livelihood depends on it, especially if you’re currently “in between jobs.” But you don’t have to be at the mercy of your anxiety and stress hormones. Read on to discover a few powerful techniques that will help you stay cool.

Of course, you’re not the only one who’s nervous about job interviews. Most people are. It’s “normal.” But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. After all, clammy hands and sweat pouring down your forehead are not designed to help you nab the job you want. So while a few butterflies are okay and can even be helpful, a full-blown panic attack is definitely not in order.

Just be sure not to overdo the calming stuff. If you’re so calm and laid back that the interviewer thinks you don’t really care either way, you’ve overdone the stress management. But that’s probably not a big danger as long as you lay off the Valium or other calming prescription medication. You want to be alert and interested, not medicated and zonked out.

So what can you do? Some of the things that help are just common sense. Get enough sleep. Go for a walk. Wear something that makes you feel confident — and comfortable. And do your homework.

The better you’re prepared, the more confident you’ll be, and the more confident you are, the less nervous you’ll be.

But there are a few bonus things you can do:

Deep breathing. Calming aromatherapy. Maybe a small dose of a “calming” herb, such as valerian. Be careful though. Don’t take valerian for the first time ever right before you go to your job interview. Why? Because you want to make sure you know how you react to it. You also want to make sure it doesn’t relax you to the point where you’re no longer safe to drive.

So try it at another time or a few first, just to get familiar with what it does – and doesn’t – do for you. Most people find that it takes away the jitters and makes you feel a lot calmer without having any other effects. And then, there’s an extremely powerful technique you can use that has no side effects at all. And that’s EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. It’s a mind/body technique and works much like acupuncture, but without the needles. Instead, you tap on the meridian points.

And you can learn it quickly and do it anytime and anyplace. So you could tap for a few minutes right before the interview, and let yourself be surprised at how calm and confident you are.

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The Only Real Cure For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In this article I will talk about irritable bowel syndrome specifically IBS-D which manifests itself in loose bowel movements or alternating diarrhea and constipation. I will not talk about IBS-C which appears to manifest itself in solely bloating and constipation.

If you have landed on this page it will be because you like many millions of others have either been trying to self diagnose your condition or more likely that you are looking for a cure. I must warn you in advance, although I have an academic background I am not a medical health professional and you should always consult a doctor before embarking on any form of treatment however mild.

In this article I will be covering my battle with IBS for approximately 10 years and how I finally found a cure that works. Everybody has a different story when it comes to IBS-D but as I found out, we all have something in common. I will go on to discuss this in the following paragraphs but I just want to start by saying a little bit about me.

About 10 years ago I was a young university graduate and decided to join a job that first seemed exciting with infinite possibilities. I soon learned that this job was very stressful and required a 24 hour commitment. I didn’t have a problem with working hard but I had a problem with my work environment. Many people at work were miserable, anxious, and horrible to one another and constantly testing their bodies to the limit. It seemed the norm to be constantly stressed out, have a poor diet and feel like you had no control over your life. My work was my life and my life was nonexistent.

Within a few months I started to come into work and make my way straight to the toilet. As any sufferer of IBS-D will known this meant constant diarrhea. It didn’t matter what I ate or drank I would always have diarrhea. It was not uncommon for me to visit the toilet three or four times a day having eaten little to nothing and immediately have diarrhea.

Slowly I just got used the feeling and for whatever reason I thought nothing more of it. As soon as I would eat I would not feel at ease until I had gone and empties my bowels after which I immediately felt better. Along with the diarrhea I would lose water from my body which I never had time to replace so I looked like a dried out prune. Over 5 years I continued to do this to my body hoping that I would find a better role in my job and finally this would all stop.

It certainly did not go away in fact into my 6th year of IBS-D suddenly out of nowhere I started getting debilitating cramps followed immediately by diarrhea. I would have these cramps 5-10 times a day and would literally need to run to the toilet or feel like I was about to soil myself. This made it difficult to be effective at my job which then created a vicious cycle causing my IBS-D to completely go out of control.

I suddenly thought that I had developed cancer and stated reading everything on the internet about what disease matched up with my symptoms. I found quite a few which is why self diagnosis is not such a wise idea. I went to my doctor and we stated off with a course of antibiotics as he thought I might have developed in infection after an episode of food poisoning.

This didn’t have any lasting effect and soon I was back to him demanding more in depth tests. This started a with a breath test to rule out food allergies and went onto multiple blood tests to eventually eliminating ulcers, colitis, coeliac disease, Crones disease gut infections, etc. I then went to the next and final step which was endoscopy of both the upper and lower digestive tracts. This all came back negative too. Finally I was diagnosed with severe IBS-D. In one way I was relieved to know that I didn’t have something like colon cancer but at the same time I was depressed thinking IBD apparently has no cure.

The next chapter of my life involved trailing a long list of medicines in the hope that they would resolve this issue. Now I want to tell you that of the drugs that I took, there are many people out there that rave about some of these drugs and what it has done for them. That is great as everyone’s body is different and what works for you may not work for me.

I am addressing the huge numbers of sufferers worldwide who like me have tried everything under the sun and were unable to find a cure. Now the following is a non exhaustive list of drugs which I tried and the results by their side.

Fibre (ineffective) Made things worse

Pre & Probiotics (ineffective) At first seemed promising but quickly stopped working

Exercise (ineffective)

Drinking Lots of water (ineffective) Made things worse

Exclusion diet (ineffective) Some foods like cheese, chocolate, spice made my IBS worse but exclusion of all the culprits did not resolve matters.

Anti Spasmodic (ineffective) Lots of different brands but all useless

Imodium (ineffective) Helped a little with the diarrhea but certainly not the cramps

Tri Cyclic Anti Depressant (ineffective) Has a drying up effective at first but quickly runs out

Hypnotherapy (ineffective) Very insightful and relaxing but not enough by itself

At this point the consultant G.I specialist had run out of ideas and I was left to suffer on my own.

Having done countless hundreds of hours of research I came across the answer. In Islam we believe that for every single disease God has made a cure so go seek it.

These are my opinions on IBS-D;

IBS-D will not kill you, it can easily be treated and there is nothing seriously wrong with you

IBS-D Is a functional disorder which is caused 99% by stress be it conscious or subconscious

IBS-D can only ever be treated by dealing with the cause behind the problem and not the problem itself

IBS-D affects people generally in the Western world where the 24/7 lifestyle and pressures of society cause people to be stressed out beyond limits and this is often brushed off as mild anxiety or depression.

So here is the magic bullet you have all been waiting for that worked for me and if my concept is correct should work 100% without fail for genuine IBS-D sufferers.

First accept that you have IBS-D because you are under pressure consciously or subconsciously and this is your body’s way of warning you that enough is enough.

I spoke to my G.P and asked for Venlafaxine XL which is an SNRI antidepressant. I choose this specifically because it had constipation as one of its side effects; it was a powerful antidepressant and reduced visceral hypersensitivity.

Within 6 months at 150mg a day I had completely 100% recovered from any symptoms of IBS-D.

So how did it work? It is simple; the vicious cycle of stress, followed by cramps followed by diarrhea was broken. I no longer worried every time I went out if I had been food poisoned or where the nearest toilet was. It just let me get on with life without thinking about IBS and soon I was able just stop worrying about IBS and that is it.

Every single person reacts differently to different antidepressants so try them and see which one works best for you. Whilst you are on them you could try using hypnotherapy to make you understand that if you take the stress away then you break the cycle. It’s your thoughts that control your bowels. Controlling your thoughts will help control you’re IBS but as I said before hypnotherapy is ineffective on its own.

The only other drug that I have used when coming off Venlafaxine was a benzodiazepine called Alprazolem, brand name XANAX. In the UK this is not prescribed on the NHS so you will have to get it by private prescription. This drug can be addictive but if you have good self control it is an excellent drug to use on a controlled as needed basis. One tablet of 0.5 mg and I would be saying what IBS? You have to be very very careful not to increase your dose or develop a habit for this drug. You should also know it can develop tolerance and so you will then need to start increasing your does. Use it like it is supposed to be used as a treatment for IBS and not recreationally for you pleasure and you will have no problem.

Finally I’d like to conclude by saying that if I didn’t have God in my life I probably would have given up long ago. Now I have my life back and am free from IBS-D. God always gave me hope so never give up the search for treatment and treatment starts with knowledge of your condition. So don’t make the mistakes I made and loose ten years of your life before realising that we are all human and we all have breaking points. If you have gone past that breaking point your body will tell you one way or another so listen to your body.

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Peer Pressure Teen Stress

Peer pressure teen stress can be defined as the way teenagers try to behave due to pressure coming from their peers. This kind of stress is triggered by issues like the need for approval, acceptance and the need to have a sense of belonging. When teenagers, the pressure that comes with trying to gain approval or acceptance or find a sense of belonging leads to all kinds of circumstances causing stress in the life of teenagers which if not checked may result in health related problems.

Issues that can cause peer pressure teen stress:

The two main settings that teenagers get their peer pressure stress from are the school and the home and there are many issues arising out of these settings which causes stress in teenagers of which some are

1. Issues relating to mixing with others

2. The feelings they have towards themselves relating to how they see themselves and how they think others see them

3. Problems that may arise out of the home with other family members

4. Traumatic or grief related events like divorce between parents, death or illness in the family can also be a likely cause for teen peer pressure

5. Having to adapt to a new school environment

6. Having to move to an environment or place they are not comfortable with

Some ways of dealing with peer pressure stress

1. A positive attitude

One way of tackling this type of stress in teenagers will be for teenagers to encourage themselves to adopt a positive attitude towards life. This will involve them having to adopt a healthy eating habit, avoid using alcohol or drugs as a way of solving their problems, cutting down on the intake of caffeinated drinks among others…

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Five Teen Drug Trends You Shouldn’t Ignore

Experienced parents know that fads come and go. Something that ignites teen fever one day may fizzle into nothing a few weeks later.

But when it comes to teen drug use, trendy designer drugs can be just as dangerous as the substances we’ve been warned about for decades. Even those that quickly lose their appeal among teens do their share of damage along the way.

Here are five of the most dangerous teen drug trends you shouldn’t ignore:

Teen Drug Trend #1: Bath Salts

Bath salts hit the teen drug scene in 2010 and have since become a serious concern among law enforcement, hospitals, drug rehabs and parents. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, calls about bath salts are up from 303 in all of 2010 to 3,470 between January and June of 2011.

Bath salts are stimulants similar to meth and cocaine, but they are being sold legally under the names Vanilla Sky, Aura, Hurricane Charlie, Ivory Wave and many others. To get around the laws that would make bath salts illegal, manufacturers label them “not for human consumption” and sometimes market them as plant food or other seemingly innocuous products.

The active chemicals in bath salts are mephedrone and MDPV, but there is currently no reliable way to test for these drugs. At least 35 states have banned ingredients found in bath salts and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is considering making these drugs controlled Schedule I drugs like heroin and ecstasy, yet teens are still easily accessing these drugs.

Bath salts can make a perfectly “normal” teen psychotic – literally. Physicians throughout the country have been shocked to see their emergency rooms inundated by delusional, violent teens who are high on bath salts. Teens present with dangerously high fevers, high blood pressure, racing heartbeat and muscle agitation so severe it can lead to kidney failure. In addition to being highly addictive, these drugs can cause heart attack, seizures, muscle damage, stroke and even death.

After being treated with heavy sedatives and antipsychotics in some cases, adolescents sometimes end up in the psychiatric hospital because the bath salts made them so violent, paranoid and out of touch with reality. Even after days of being sedated, the psychosis can come back, causing some to fear that the effects of these drugs may be permanent.

Teen Drug Trend #2: Kratom

Kratom is the newest drug gaining popularity among teens in the U.S. Derived from a plant found in southeast Asia, kratom has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes in other countries. Kratom is sold in the form of leaves, powder, extract or capsules, and can be swallowed, drank as a tea or snorted as a powder.

Kratom is not controlled by the DEA and is known by the names Thom, Kakuam, Biak, Thang or Ketum. The effects of kratom vary from alertness, increased energy and weight loss (in small doses) to relaxation, dry mouth, sweating and reduced sensitivity to pain (in large doses). The drug takes effect within minutes of use, producing a mild high that typically lasts two to five hours.

Even though it is legal and readily accessible, kratom is addictive. Once addicted, teens who stop using kratom may experience withdrawal symptoms such as cold-like symptoms, depression, diarrhea and insomnia. In an effort to cope with these withdrawal symptoms or to amplify the high, teens may begin using harder drugs or mixing kratom with alcohol or other drugs.

Teen Drug Trend #3: Spice / K2

Another drug that has likely made its way into your community is Spice, also known as K2, skunk or J-dub. Spice is a blend of herbs sprayed with a potent psychotropic drug that contains synthetic cannabinoids. The drug impacts the same receptors in the brain as marijuana (hence the name “legal marijuana”), but Spice can be up to 10 times stronger than marijuana, producing a high that typically lasts one to two hours after smoking.

Spice has landed many adolescents in the emergency room. It can cause vomiting, agitation, panic attacks, hallucinations, seizures, high blood pressure, paranoia and elevated heart rate.

Despite these dangers, Spice is legally sold as “incense” or “potpourri” in head shops and on the Internet. A few states have banned Spice but teens continue to find ways to skirt the laws by purchasing the drug online. Because Spice does not show up on drug tests, many parents falsely believe that their teens are drug-free.

Teen Drug Trend #4: Salvia

Salvia is a powerful hallucinogenic herb that is being used as often as Ecstasy and even more often than LSD, according to The New York Times. The drug comes in a variety of forms, including seeds, leaves or liquid extract, and takes effect within seconds if smoked.

Salvia affects a different area of the brain than other drugs such as opiates or other hallucinogens. The experience is not a “high” but a sometimes disturbing altered sense of reality. Teens abuse salvia for its intense but short-lived hallucinogenic properties. Other effects include disconnectedness from reality, dizziness, a sense of being in many places at one time, and bizarre sensations of “hearing” colors and “seeing” sounds.

Salvia is not currently regulated by the DEA, though it is considered a drug of concern. A number of states have regulated Salvia, but the process is slow to catch up to the severity of the problem.

Teen Drug Trend #5: Prescription Drugs

Teen prescription drug abuse is not “new,” but is so pervasive, and so dangerous, that it merits a place in the top five teen drug trends. There are as many new abusers of painkillers as there are of marijuana, according to SAMHSA’s 2007 National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH). This means that when your teen is deciding which drug to try, they’re as likely to try prescription drugs as they are marijuana.

The most popular prescription drugs abused by teens are painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, but a significant number of teens abuse stimulants and depressants as well. In the majority of cases, teens get prescription drugs for free from a friend or relative. Because they are legal when prescribed by a physician, teens believe prescription drugs are less dangerous and less likely to get them in trouble with parents or the law.

The consequences of teen prescription drug abuse can be as severe and life-threatening as illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine. Painkiller abuse can cause teens to stop breathing. Abuse of depressants can result in decreased heart rate, depressed breathing and seizures. Stimulant abuse has caused heart failure, high body temperature, irregular heart rate and seizures. These effects are worsened when teens take prescription drugs with alcohol or other drugs.

Every day, 2,500 youth ages 12 to 17 abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time (NSDUH, 2007). Drug use starts young – 13 is the mean age for abuse of stimulants and sedatives, and more than half of teens who have abused prescription pain relievers first tried them before age 15. Studies show that the earlier drug use begins, the more likely teens are to struggle with drug addiction in adulthood.

You Are Not Powerless

What all of these drugs have in common is that they are easy to obtain, difficult to detect and are legal in certain forms. Because there is a strong demand for these drugs, experts believe we will continue to see new variations on designer drugs in the years to come.

Talk with your teen early and often about the dangers of drugs, whether legal or illegal, and be vigilant about safeguarding your medications and setting clear expectations for your child’s behavior and attitudes around drugs. Drug trends come and go, but the one that sweeps up your teen could impact their life forever.

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Anxiety Treatment – A Natural Approach to Curing Worry & Uneasiness

Anxiety Introduction

Anxiety is a natural human feature of behavior and is an inherent part of our species. The word “anxiety” is derived from the word “anxious”, which came from a meaning of being tormented. Anxiety in itself is then known to be a type of self-torment which is brought up as a defensive response to a given situation.

Anxiety is so common that almost everyone experiences it in some form every single day. This anxiety is not a problem, it is only when anxiety begins to creep into places where it actually has no real justification that it becomes a problem and is termed to be a ‘disorder’.

Anxiety Disorders

There are a range of different types of anxiety disorders which may be treated differently. The most common anxiety disorders include:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Social Phobia
  • Panic Attacks
  • Agoraphobia
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)
  • Specific Phobias

Common Anxiety Causes

Causes of anxiety disorders are rarely ever set in stone and can be due to a range of different things such as:

  • Genetic Predisposition – Some types of anxiety disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) have been found to run in families and are thought to perhaps be inherited through a gene which makes people more prone to become anxious.
  • Stress – High levels of stress or seemingly endless stressful situations have been proven as a cause of anxiety disorders. Disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are specifically found to have been caused by stressful and traumatizing events.
  • Sudden life changes – Death of loved ones and other sudden, shocking changes in everyday life can play a large role in the development of an anxiety disorder.

There may also be a range of internal and external factors which are involved in the development of each specific case of anxiety disorders. It is important to talk about the things you think might be causing your anxiety problems with someone who will listen and understand where you are coming from. This can help you to resolve your own feelings and to better understand why you are going through a tough time.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety

Symptoms of anxiety disorders may range vastly depending on the type of anxiety. Some very common anxiety symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Worry & fear
  • Anxiety feelings when riding or driving in a car
  • Pain or tightness in the chest
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Strange muscle aches and pains
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Frequent yawning
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Feeling on edge

Natural Anxiety Treatments

Relaxation techniques

Learning how to relax your body and release pent up tension which contributes to anxiety can be incredibly helpful in treating the root cause of anxiety disorders. Some good relaxation techniques for anxiety include:

* Progressive muscle relaxation

* Meditation

* Relaxing music

* Abdominal breathing

* Relaxation exercises

Cognitive therapy

The use of cognitive therapy is primarily focused on changing patterns of thinking and subconscious beliefs which are triggering or may be associated with the experienced anxiety. For example, a person suffering from social phobia anxiety may benefit from changing beliefs about the way people see him/her. If the person says to themselves, “I am boring” it is dis-empowering and may worsen the condition. If the person can begin to change their beliefs and surrounding thought patterns, it becomes much easier to change for the good.

Cognitive therapy includes rational ‘self-talk’, reality testing, cognitive challenging, attention training and cognitive restructuring. This includes monitoring your self-talk, challenging unhelpful fears and beliefs, and testing out the reality of negative thoughts.

Correct breathing techniques

Something as simple as learning how to change your patterns of breathing can be of great benefit to reducing the effects of your anxiety. Hyperventilation is a key physiological problem which results in the body becoming over-saturated with oxygen and thus panic-stricken. Learning to breathe through the diaphragm instead of the chest is greatly helpful here, simply allowing the stomach to expand with each breath.

You can make sure you are breathing correctly by placing one hand on your lower abdomen and the other on your chest. Correct breathing means your abdomen moves, rather than your chest. It also helps to slow your breathing while feeling anxious. You can also try to hold your breath for a few seconds. This helps to boost carbon dioxide levels in the blood and counteracts the effects of hyperventilation.

Behavior therapy

A major component of behavior therapy is exposure. Exposure here simply means, removing all obstacles which are standing between you and your fear and confronting it at its most basic level. This may help to re-assess and redefine fears which might then cause a breakthrough.

The steps of exposure therapy may include:

* Rank your fears in order, from most to least threatening.

* Decide to start on one of your least threatening fears.

* Perform an imaginary role-play of confronting the fears and analyze what it is exactly that is causing fear.

* Slowly increase your tolerance to confronting your fear by taking small steps towards being more and more afraid or uncomfortable.

* Resist the urge to leave. Use relaxation, breathing techniques and coping statements to manage your anxiety.

* Reflect on your result from the situation and realize that nothing bad happened.

* Repeat the exposure as often as you can to build confidence that you can cope.

* Perform the same cycle of exposure with other fears when you are ready.

Dietary adjustments

Changes made to regular dietary consumption can also make a big difference to the severity of your anxiety problems. Reducing the intake of caffeine is one of the most basic starting points, remembering that caffeine can be found in moderate to high doses in coffee, tea, chocolate, green tea and energy drinks. Taking more health-promoting, calming substitutes for these foods can make a huge difference in itself. Other things you can do are simple things such as eating more fruits and vegetables and eating foods which have not been highly processed. Try to avoid white breads, margarine, deep fried foods and chocolate bars.

Exercise

Exercise helps to promote the production of happy-hormone endorphins which make you feel good. On top of this, exercise will help to destroy stress hormones which are responsible for the “fight-or-flight” reactions our bodies have to stressful situations (also a key cause of anxiety). Aim to do a varied exercise program each week at least 3 days per week and keep it up!

Learn to be more assertive

Letting people know how you feel about certain things may help to avoid loads of unnecessary stress which would otherwise be placed on you! You need to become more assertive in your communication with other people which means communicating your opinions, needs and wants more directly. This will help to build your own self esteem and also just avoids lowering your self esteem by not speaking up!

Building self-esteem

Creating an environment of people and things that make you feel good about yourself will help to build your self-worth and feelings of confidence will arise as a result. With anxiety, many people typically find that low self esteem is inherent. This low self esteem can then create a compounding effect which can enhance feelings such as:

* Isolation

* Shame

* Guilt

* Depressed mood

* Difficulties in functioning at school, work or in social situations.

Structured problem solving

Learning how to actively seek out solutions to your problems really can be half the battle in dealing with your anxiety. Many people who suffer from anxiety remain so passive and un-motivated to solve their problems that they become drowned in worry and do nothing about their problems.

Medication

Drugs have been shown to be effective in treating anxiety while they are being taken. It is vitally important, however, to view medications as a short-term solution to the problem only. It has been clearly proven in medical publications that behavior therapies and regular counseling sessions when coupled with natural anxiety treatments are far more effective in defeating anxiety in a long-term way.

Where to get help

* Your GP

* A psychologist

* Counselors

* Local community centers and telephone lines will almost always have free services available to you should you seek them out.

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The Best Natural Treatments for Hives

Unfortunately what makes treating hives so difficult is the fact that for every sufferer there are different triggers, as a result what helps one hives sufferer might not do anything for another. That’s why if you do a quick search on the internet you can see so many different treatments that some people think of as their “life savers” and responses from other people who have had no reprieve using the exact same methods.

I’m a big believer in natural is best (don’t get me wrong there is definitely a time and a place for Western medicine) – but I believe in giving the body everything it needs to heal itself. Because basically hives is an imbalance in the body, whether it be to stress, an allergy or a build up of toxins, the best way to rid yourself of hives is to work with the bodies natural abilities and discover the imbalance.

So here I’ve collected some of the best NATURAL treatment solutions I’ve found and put them in one place – the best thing is they’re all natural and they won’t cost a fortune. So if you suffer from hives, give them a go and hopefully you’ll find one that works for you.

Some treatments are topical and some are diet related; sometimes it might take a mixture of a few to get results:

1. Coconut and Oregano Body Oil

Mix 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil and 10-15 drops of Oil of Oregano. Completely smooth over effected area.

This treatment aims to heal hives through the amazing natural properties of both oils. Oil of Oregano has anti-inflammatory action and is a natural anaesthetic, it’s also a powerful antioxidant. Both coconut oil and oregano oil are known as Nature’s most powerful and best antiseptics – they’re both anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial.

2. Oatmeal and Cornstarch Paste

Make a paste with 2 cups of oatmeal and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Add a little water to make it into a paste. Apply to affected area for 15-30 minutes. It dries the hives up within a couple of hours. If your hives cover a large portion of your body then try having a cool bath with oatmeal and at least a box of cornstarch.

Cornstarch acts as a soothing agent with antibiotic properties and oatmeal has great healing properties. You may need to do this daily before you start seeing results.

3. Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar –

Make a tea with 1 teaspoon of Aluminum FREE baking soda and 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and drink twice daily. This tea is great detoxifying the body of allergens and histamine that cause inflammation whilst also returning the body to its natural state.

4. Soothing Mint Ice Cubes –

for some quick relief from the symptoms of hives, make some mint ice cubes by steeping 2 teaspoons of freshly crushed organic mint leaves (if you can’t buy organic make sure you wash the leaves very well so there’s no pesticide residue in your ice cubes) in boiling water and allow to cool. Strain the tea into ice cube trays and place in the freezer.

Mint is known for its cooling effects; place the ice cubes directly onto the effected area to instantly relieve inflamed or irritated skin. Once they have frozen you can place these directly on the skin.

5. Healing Vitamins –

Take cayenne pepper in capsule form, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc to help the healing process.

6. Repair the acid/alkaline balance in your body –

The foods we eat and our environment can greatly effect the body’s natural pH state, which can be a leading factor in the development of many diseases. The basic idea is about ensuring the body is in its optimal natural state to give it the ability to heal itself.

There is heaps of information on the internet if you do a quick search about the acid/alkaline balance and what the best foods are to consume and avoid to allow the body to repair itself.

If you would like to test the acidity of your body you can do a quick saliva test with litmus paper – be careful not to touch the litmus paper though because the skin is usually slightly acidic, and will vary the results.

7. Quercetin –

Quercetin is a plant pigment that acts as a natural antihistamine, which can help reduce and even completely cure some people of hives, as it acts as a natural balance to the allergen effect which creates hives. Quercetin is most commonly found in leafy green vegetables, onions and apples. Naturopathic doctors generally recommend taking 500 milligrams of this natural herbal remedy twice a day.

8. OxyHives Homeopathic Remedy –

OxyHives is a natural oral remedy that uses the principals of homeopathy to heal the source of hives and prevent them from reoccurring. There have been many people who have had great success with this treatment and have even reported no reoccurred since taking OxyHives.

9. Sandalwood essential oil

This essential oil is well known for its calming and cooling effects. Consequently, many herbalists refer to Sandalwood as a sedative for the skin. Simply add several drops of this essential oil to a cotton ball and then apply it to the infected area every three hours. You should be careful when apply essential oils directly to the skin – if you notice any irritation simply add a couple of drops of oil to coconut oil.

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