Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Anxiety Support Groups

Have you ever stopped to consider how each person copes with stress in a different way? This is especially interesting in office situations where people come from a variety of backgrounds. There are some people who deal with stress by over eating, others do not eat anything. Some people lose sleep and others become short tempered. These symptoms are usually short lived and disappear when the stress causing situation is taken care of. There are some people however that turn everyday situations into stress producing situations. They ruminate of everything to the point that they are so filled with anxiety that they cannot function, this is when stress becomes an anxiety disorder.
There are many treatment options for people that suffer from anxiety disorders. A treatment modality that is very effect for many people is anxiety support groups. Attending groups is a way for a person to feel empowered because they are helping themselves. The prospect of attending anxiety support groups is stressful for most patients to begin with. Group settings is a very common anxiety producer for many people, however if the person is able to make a good connection with the leader of the anxiety support groups or a member or two, then the stress of attending is reduced.
There are many forms of anxiety. In larger communities the anxiety support groups are able to specialize in different areas of anxiety so that people are able to concentrate on their particular needs. This has benefits as well as detriments. The benefits are that it is helpful for the person to realize that they are not alone in the way they feel. The detriment is that if the members of the group are not motivated to change they may reinforce each other to not dealing with their anxiety in a healthy manner. As with all self help groups it is important to have a monitor that is able to steer the group process forward and not to let members ruminate on their differences.
The work that people do in the anxiety support groups can help them to live fuller lives because they are not too afraid to experience new and different things. There are many good anti-anxiety medications that are available through prescriptions. The medications are often used in conjunction with therapy or attendance at the anxiety support groups. Once the person is more comfortable in dealing with life situations their medications can be reduced and then discontinued. For people with severe anxiety disorders they may need to remain on the medication long term in order to function well in society.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Quick Post on Alzheimers

Alzheimers is a difficult disease for any family to deal with. When I was married over 15 years ago, my Father-In-Law was a joke telling, happy go lucky card playing person. We didn’t understand at first what started happening to him. At first, we thought it was just part of getting older. He would forget what he was doing, or where he put the keys or some other odd thing. We didn’t realize at the time, that all of us were about to start down a long and difficult road.
Alzheimers disease affects the mind in such a way, that the person (at least in our situation) cannot function in normal situations. In our situation, Dad started living more and more in the past, and less and less in the present. One time, when Dad’s wife was sick and in the hospital, he couldn’t remember where she was. “Where is she?”, Dad would ask. She is at the hospital, we would reply. Five minutes later, we would repeat the same discussion. We would do this over and over.
In our case, as Alzheimers progressed, Dad would stop recognizing us. One time, my husband went to visit and Dad hollered and yelled at the strange man who had come over. Dad even threw a punch when the strange man known as his son came into the home.
Alzheimers is a disease that never seems to stop. As Dad’s condition worsened, he would start wandering off – not knowing where he was. We had to get a door alarm that would sound when the door was opened to keep him from leaving. However, even that didn’t work all the time. One time, in winter, Dad wandered off in his P.J.s. We had to call the police to help us find him.
Now Dad has moved to a secure facility that is designed to care for patients with Alzheimers. He seems happy, but it is hard for us, to see his life so drained of what it was and what it could still be if he didn’t have Alzheimers disease. I think Alzheimers is a disease that affects the whole family. If we visit, he doesn’t know who we are. He doesn’t even remember that we were there. He still remembers that he was married, but he doesn’t remember to whom he was married to.
What causes Alzheimers? The doctors don’t know for sure. Doctor’s know that each patient reacts differently to the disease and the disease progresses differently for each person. There is still no treatment for the disease. For our family, we take comfort knowing that Dad is happy and not in pain, even if he doesn’t know us anymore.