Weighted Blanket for Anxiety
It's perfectly normal to feel anxiety. We all have worries that we can't help but stress over, like when you're about to ride a rollercoaster or if you're late to an important meeting.
But when your heart starts racing on a regular basis and you feel immense pressure all the time, with no provocation at all, that may no longer be normal.
This is a symptom of a string of conditions called Anxiety Disorders, and they are more common than you might think.
What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorder is the blanket term that refers to a group of mental illnesses wherein a person feels extreme levels of distress over trivial things.
Even though we have all felt it, anxiety of this magnitude can be paralyzing. So much so, that people who are afflicted have problems functioning in their day-to-day lives.
What are the different Anxiety Disorders?
1. Social Anxiety Disorder
Also known as social phobia, this refers to the anxiety or fear that one is being judged or negatively evaluated by his peers, or even rejected by a group he wants to belong to.
People who have social anxiety disorder do not feel comfortable in social situations, such as parties, performances, or public speaking events. Most sufferers experience strong physical manifestations of their condition, such as clammy hands, rapid heart rate, nausea and vomiting, extreme sweating, and for some, even full-blown panic attacks.
2. Panic Disorder
This is characterized by frequent and unexpected panic attacks, which is when the sufferer suddenly feels an intense wave fear, coupled by hyperventilation, heart palpitations, trembling, feeling dizzy, hot flashes, sweating, and chest pain.
The attacks can come at any given time or place, with little to no provocation. You can get one while you're out walking your dog, sitting in front of your TV, or inside a closed, cramped space such as an elevator.
Panic disorders have a tendency of running in the family. Other risk factors are smoking, stress, and trauma from abuse.
3. Phobias, Specific phobias
This is when a patient has an excessive fear of a specific object, place, or situation that is otherwise harmless. Although they are fully aware that their fear is unwarranted and irrational, their reaction is something they cannot control.
These fears are a source of distress for them and for their loved ones that it cripples their daily functioning. They try to avoid encountering these fears; so much so that it severely limits their quality of life.
Some examples are fear of enclosed spaces (like elevators and windowless rooms), and fear of flying (i.e., travelling by land or sea only, never by air).
4. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This refers to the persistent ang generalized feeling of worry that one feels most, if not all, of the time. The constant anticipation of disaster affects daily activities and may be accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, difficulty focusing on a task, and insomnia.
Sometimes, just the thought of having to go through an entire day is already enough to push them over the edge, despite them knowing full well that there is no apparent cause for concern.
These terms are very broad and no two people have the exact same reaction to a particular stressor.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?
Drugs like escitalopram (Lexapro) and fluoxetine (Prozac), which are antidepressants, are the typical medicine of choice for people with anxiety disorders. Anticonvulsants for epilepsy and low-dose antipsychotic meds are also sometimes taken to supplement other treatments.
Some drugs that lower anxiety are prescribed for social or generalized anxiety, as well as for panic attacks, like Xanax and Klonopin.
Non-invasive therapy, such as psychotherapy, is also administered. This is a type of counseling that focuses on the emotional aspect of mental illness. Cognitive behavioral therapy falls under this classification, and teaches sufferers how to identify and alter their thought patterns that typically trigger their anxiety.
3. Other Therapies
Deep Pressure Therapy utilizes the concept of "grounding" a person's body to the floor to give them a feeling of calm, thereby soothing their nerves. Observational therapists have long been using this technique to treat patients with autism, attention deficit disorders, and other neurological and behavioral conditions.
It can be extremely helpful to have a therapeutic tool such as Miran Blanket to prevent the onset of a panic attack. The blanket is made up of several 6-inch "pockets" that contain microbeads suspended in polyester, which provide the weight.
Using Miran Blanket will give you a feeling of being hugged, and melt away all your worries. This is science-backed, too: the blanket stimulates the production of serotonin, which gets converted into melatonin, a chemical that is directly responsible for putting us to sleep.
Serotonin is also called a "happy hormone" because it helps improve our mood. A 2015 study revealed that participants who used a weighted blanket woke up feeling more refreshed and ready to start their day.
Anxiety may be a debilitating and paralyzing disease, but once you start listening to your body and practicing self-care, the rewards will be overwhelming.