Here is an article about WORRYING. Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness. Everyone worries sometimes but how do you differentiate normal or healthy fears from those that are irrational or destructive? Approximately one in five Americans will have an anxiety disorder in his or her lifetime. Anxiety often triggers depression, and it appears to increase the risk of other health problems. It has been linked to onset or worsening of asthma, chronic pain, heart disease, migraines, overactive thyroid, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, premature death, and irritable bowel syndrome. This latter disease can lead to Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis which, in turn, could lead to ostomy surgery. This should give us all something to think about. There are more “milder symptoms” that can be mistaken for physical illness, such as fatigue, headaches, stomaches, and vague pains. Treatment generally involves medication, psychotherapy, or both—plus lifestyle changes to curb the stress that can contribute to anxiety. A number of simple self-help measures can lessen anxiety. These include EXERCISE, STRESS REDUCTION (Tai Chi, yoga, etc.), MEDITATION. It is important for each of us to evaluate what is or is not important in our lives and how we can handle the “stresses” we face all the time. Worrying can often make things worse and, therefore, we need to focus on the “good things” in our lives. By trying to keep a positive attitude on life, we can live both longer and healthier. Don’t avoid seeking help if you are unable to ease the situation by yourself or with your family.
Leon M. Trunk, M.D.