Do you ever panic for no apparent reason? Do you feel anxious when stressed?
In The Fragrance of Violets, Fiona suffers from mild anxiety attacks when she’s feeling out of control and doesn’t know how to deal with a situation.
Mayo Clinic tells us there are anxiety, anxiety disorders, and panic attacks. The Mayo Clinic website also tells us: Anxiety disorder is because of a medical condition that includes symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are directly caused by a physical health problem. Generalized anxiety disorder includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues.
Panic attacks are sudden, unreasonable feelings of fear and anxiety that cause physical symptoms like a racing heart, fast breathing and sweating. Some people become so fearful of these attacks that they develop panic disorder, a type of anxiety disorder.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million adults in the U.S. (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, approximately 7% of children aged 3-17 experience issues with anxiety each year. Most people develop symptoms before age 21.
Many sufferers need to have therapy and take medication. There are also many other types of strategies to deal with the symptoms, such as proper breathing, focusing on specific objects and tactile experiences, plus exercise and eliminating caffeine. Some also say the use of certain essential oils, such as lavender and peppermint, helps.
Fiona began experiencing anxiety when she was a preteen and had to be the adult in the mother-daughter relationship, so she’s learned how to deal with her episodes. Her best friend and roommate, Lottie, knows just how to help her, too.
Much of society undergoes stress and panic in various forms throughout life, mostly in mild forms. And some dismiss the reality of severe attacks and how it makes the person feel. But Healthline.com gives us eight ways others can help: Stay calm. Ask in advance. Learn the signs. Focus on actions. Accept the confusion. Validate the person. Keep them grounded. Respect their needs.
I would add prayer. For yourself. For them. With them.
Do you or someone you know and love have a history of panic or anxiety attacks? How do you help them? Maybe something on the above list will assist the next time.
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Thanks for hanging out with me this week.
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