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Dimensions Of Physical And Mental Health

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Dimensions Of Physical And Mental Health

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Discuss about the Dimensions of Physical and Mental Health.

Anxiety is body’s way to respond to danger, it is an alarm that goes off automatically when we feel threatened or are under pressure. Usually people have anxiety in moderation, which is not a bad thing as it helps us to stay focused and alert but if anxiety starts interfering with daily life, then the person may be suffering from anxiety disorder (Andreasen, & Black, 2006). Depression and anxiety are the two most common health issues in our society. As we can learn from the case study about Georgia who is a 22 year old university student, she is feeling stressed these days. She is unable to concentrate in her studies and gets panic attacks before her assessments. She lives on her own in a small flat and has trouble sleeping. She has stopped going out with her friends and spends her time worrying and being anxious. Feeling anxious and depressed at times are normal reactions to stressors in life. But experiencing these feelings on a regular basis like Georgia is pointing towards an anxiety disorder and depression (Bandelow & Michaelis, 2015). It is normal to feel anxious when you are facing a problem at work, while taking an important decision, and while appearing for tests. But for a person who suffers from anxiety disorder, this anxiety does not go away with the stressor that has caused it. Anxiety disorders are feelings of fear and anxiety. It is the worry and fear about current and future events that interferes with the normal living of the person suffering from it. These feelings also cause physically visible symptoms such as faster heart rate, shakiness and shortness of breath. Georgia is experiencing all of these symptoms. Her anxiety has started interfering with her daily life and with her social life. Another crucial piece of information that we get from the case study is that her mother suffers from anxiety as well and Georgia fears she would end up like her mother “as anxious and confused”. In this essay we would learn about anxiety disorders and how to deal with them. Self strategies and effective treatments help to understand and treat these disorders enabling people affected by them, to lead a normal life.( Lenze ,& Wetherell, 2011)
A mental disorder is a significant psychological or behavioral pattern or syndrome that is associated with disability or distress in an individual. It was referred to disorders that cause dysregulation of thought, mood or behavior (Andreasen,& Black, 2006). Some researchers have also explained it as a significant clinical disturbance in an individual’s emotional regulation, developmental processes, behavior or cognition. These disorders can increase risk of disability, death and loss of freedom. It is important that we are able to distinguish between a mental disorder and a common response to a stressor. ( Alvaro, Roberts, Harris, & Bruni, 2016) Like in situations of loss of a loved one feeling sad and distant is not a mental disorder. Same goes for conflicts and socially deviant behavior in case of religious, sexual and political conflicts unless the conflicts are a result of being caused by a dysfunctional person (Hales, & Yudofsky, 2003). Modern society is a fearful, isolated and unique place. As millions all over the world are suffering from some type of mental illness. ( Lenze & Wetherell, 2011)  The most pervasive among these disorders are the mood disorders that include depression and anxiety. In our case study Georgia is suffering from anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders have become the biggest mental health problems in the world. Many people visit emergency rooms thinking that they are dying from a heart attack when they are experiencing panic attacks and breathing issues due to anxiety. They complain of paranoia, chest pains, unexplained fear, rapid heartbeat, sense of panic and severe headaches.
Anxiety disorders are of three types. These are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is one where the individual worries and fear for events that are occurring at present and may occur in future. This is what Georgia is experiencing. This unrealistic and excessive worry is caused by no apparent reason at all. These individuals anticipate disaster and become concerned about these issues. ( Hales, & Yudofsky, 2003). Georgia gets panicky and worried about her exams and fears that she will fail them. GAD is diagnosed in those individuals that are unable to control their worry and have symptoms like feeling restless, fatigued, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance and irritability (Alvaro, Roberts, Harris, & Bruni, 2016). From the case study we can know that Georgia is facing all these symptoms. She has difficulty in concentrating in her study and becomes overwhelmed by the workload. She worries and panics before her exams. Due to her feelings of anxiousness and tensions she is facing difficulty in sleeping. She is also feeling tired and is unable to go out on her usual walks in the evening (Jackson,& MacLeod ,2016). Individuals suffering from GAD do not know how to stop their worry cycle even when they can feel that they are getting too tensed. The cause of generalized anxiety disorder is still not known but family background, particular stressful life experiences and biological factors are to be blamed. The case study also mentions that Georgia’s mother suffers from anxiety disorder and it has been found that individual’s who have the genes, are at 37% higher risk than other individuals. Therefore Georgia’s fear that she may end up being anxious and fearful like her mother is not invalid (Knoll, Halladay,  Holmes, & Levitt, 2016).
Georgia lives all alone in a small flat. She needs friends and family around her. A person suffering from anxiety disorders needs the care and support of his friends and family (Mather, Blom, Bergström, & Svedberg, 2016). It is important that people around her learn about the disorder and encourages her to seek treatment. They have to motivate the individual and show positive reinforcement. In the case study we come to know that Georgia has distanced herself from everyone but still talks to her mom most days. It is important that her mom recognizes the symptoms that Georgia is going through and encourages her to spend time with her friends and family. Georgia needs people around her and she needs to take part in activities that can help her to create memories that are happy and exciting. In the case of Georgia her mother suffers from anxiety disorder and she is experiencing the same symptoms. Scientists believe that anxiety is a behavior that is learned as when a parent is always anxious the child mirrors that behavior. The link between genes and anxiety has been proved by studies in the field of neurobiology and genetics. It has been proven that cause of anxiety is a combination of environmental and genetic factors. As about a dozen family studies prove that there is a 3-5 fold increased risk to relatives of people suffering from anxiety disorders. While no one can predict or determine that who may have these disorders, councilors and psychiatrists agree that contemporary society does play an important role.
Now let’s concentrate on the environmental part of anxiety causing factors. Environmental factors such as stress at school, work, and trauma all affect a person deeply. In Georgia’s case the stress of her exams gets to her. She is always worried that will fail and is not confident that she has studies well. From the case study it is not quite evident that whether she is facing any kind of trauma or stress at school but she does feels anxious and tense about her assignments. This unwanted and constant worry is giving rise to symptoms such as feeling restless, fatigued, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance and irritability. Georgia is still not realizing that she is facing a troubling condition that will not go on its own. In order to provide a better quality of life she has to accept and understand the symptoms.
Isolation and loneliness set the stage for these disorders (Etkin, Prater, Schatzberg, Menon, & Greicius, 2009). The first step of anxiety recovery is the identification of the symptoms and understanding how to overcome them. Self help and acceptance plays a vital role as a person should accept the fact that he or she is dealing with anxiety and accepts it as the part of recovery.  The second step is to take the help of medical professionals to deal with your anxiety. There are numerous therapies and medications that are given to treat these disorders. Antidepressants, anxiety reducing drugs and low dose antipsychotics are prescribed. Therapies like psychotherapies or talk therapy has been found to be quite helpful (Dunlop, & Davis, 2008). Psychotherapy includes cognitive behavior therapy that teaches an individual to think, behave and react differently to fearful situations and anxiety causing situations. (Barlow, Bullis, Comer, Ametaj, 2013). These therapies help the individual to face their fears by engaging in activities. These therapies have relaxation imagery and exercises to help calm down the person.
A person has to decrease the vulnerability by reaching out and socializing with others. Spending time with others is a tool for commitment and confidence. The person should meet his or her friends, join a support group. Georgia is not helping herself as recently she has even stopped going out with her friends like she used to. Exercise and enough sleep also plays an important part in calming our brains as lack of sleep gives birth to anxious feelings and thoughts. While these self help therapies and strategies can be effective it is important that we seek professional help. There is a fundamental link between physical and mental health. According to researchers in Bangor University of Wales a peaceful and resting mind is helpful in doing stenos physical activity. The social determinants of health impact both mental health and physical conditions (Tamashiro, 2015). Nutritious food, physical activity, adequate income and social support play an important role in ensuring that a person is physically and mentally sound (Nagalski, Kozinski, &Wisniewska, 2016). Whichever way we look the link between mental and physical health is incontrovertible as each one affects the other. Poor physical health can be responsible for poor mental health and the other way around. (Jackson, & MacLeod , 2016)
Implications for Practice as a Health Professional
Healths professional that are dealing with people suffering from anxiety disorders should know how to accurately diagnose an anxiety disorder. The greatest challenge in treating these disorders is finding the right beginning for the treatment. This can be done by learning to recognize the symptoms of these disorders. As a trained professional we should help the person suffering from the disorder to seek out the therapy that will help them recover. We have to discuss the various available treatment options with the patients and explain each of them with their duration and potential results. As anxiety disorders can affect in people of any ages and sex using an integrated approach which incorporates lifestyle changes, integrative therapies, mainstream interventions and healing practices can help us to provide a holistic model to treat these disorders ( Klitzing, White, Otto,  Fuchs, Egger, &  Klein, 2014), (McLean, Asnaani, Litz, & Hofmann, 2011). (Kessler, Aguilar-Gaxiola, Alonso, Chatterji, Lee, Ormel, Ustün, & Wang, 2009).
Despite the huge evidence of research associated with anxiety our ability to predict about this disorder is limited. Although understanding of risk factors such as genetics and environmental factors can point out the vulnerability factors developing in individuals. Anxiety is a condition that does not go away on its own. This condition can be debilitating or mild but these symptoms should never be ignored. It is crucial that individuals suffering from anxiety disorders get themselves evaluated from a doctor. The most important requirement for a person is to recognize the symptoms of anxiety disorder. Through this essay we came to know about anxiety disorders and how people like Georgia are suffering from these disorders. Therefore we must remember that health is a state of complete social, mental, and physical state and not only the absence of disease or illness.
Alvaro, PK., Roberts, RM., Harris, JK., & Bruni, O., 2016, The direction of the relationship between symptoms of insomnia and psychiatric disorders in adolescents, J Affect Disord, 207, 167-174 
Andreasen, NC., & Black, DW., 2006, Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. 
Bandelow B, & Michaelis S, 2015, Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century,  Dialogues Clin Neurosci, 17(3), 327-35 
Barlow, DH., Bullis, JR., Comer, JS., Ametaj, AA., 2013, Evidence-based psychological treatments: an update and a way forward, Annu Rev Clin Psycho, 9, 1-27 
Dunlop, BW., & Davis, PG .,2008, “Combination treatment with benzodiazepines and SSRIs for comorbid anxiety and depression: a review”, Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry,  10 (3): 222–228. 
Lenze E J.,& Wetherell J L., 2011, “A lifespan view of anxiety disorders”, Dialogues Clin Neurosci,  13(4), 381–399 
Etkin, A., Prater, KE., Schatzberg, AF., Menon, V., & Greicius, MD .,2009, “Disrupted amygdalar subregion functional connectivity and evidence of a compensatory network in generalized anxiety disorder”, Arch Gen Psychiatry,66 (12), 1361–1372 
Hales, R.E., & Yudofsky, S.C. , 2003, The American psychiatry publishing textbook of clinical psychiatry. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric. 
Jackson, H., & MacLeod , AK., 2016,  Well-being in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Relationship to Symptoms and Psychological Distress, Clin Psychol Psychother, 1, 187-201 
Johnson, SU., & Hoffart, A., 2016. Metacognitive Therapy for Comorbid Anxiety Disorders: A Case Study.. Front Psychol., 7, 1515
Kessler, RC., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Alonso, J., Chatterji, S., Lee, S., Ormel, J., Ustün, TB., & Wang, PS., 2009, The global burden of mental disorders: an update from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys, Epidemiol Psichiatr Soc ;18(1),23–33 
Klitzing, K von., White, LO., Otto, Y., Fuchs, S., Egger, HL.,&  Klein, AM., 2014, Depressive comorbidity in preschool anxiety disorder, J Child Psychol Psychiatr; 55: 1107–16. 
Knoll, AT , Halladay, LR., Holmes, AJ., & Levitt,  P., 2016, Quantitative Trait Loci and a Novel Genetic Candidate for Fear Learning,  J Neurosci, 36(23), 6258-68 
Mather, L., Blom, V.,Bergström, G., & Svedberg, P., 2016, An Underlying Common Factor, Influenced by Genetics and Unique Environment, Explains the Covariation Between Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Burnout: A Swedish Twin Study, Twin Res Hum Genet., 13, 1-9 
McLean, CP., Asnaani, A., Litz, BT., & Hofmann, SG., 2011, Gender differences in anxiety disorders: Prevalence, course of illness, comorbidity and burden of illness, J Psychiatr Res ; Mar23 
Nagalski, A., Kozinski, K., &Wisniewska, MB., 2016, Metabolic pathways in the periphery and brain: Contribution to mental disorders?, Int J Biochem Cell Bio, 80, 19-30 
Tamashiro, KL., 2015, Developmental and environmental influences on physiology and behavior–2014 Alan N. Epstein Research Award,  Physiol Behav, 152(Pt B), 508-15

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