Anxiety attacks shake up students

Generalized Anxiety Disorders have caused critical points among young adults that are noticeable through restlessness, trouble with concentration or sleep, fatigue, irritability and muscle tension.

An extreme, uncontrollable worry about everyday things is the fundamental characteristic of GAD.

According to the National Mental Health Association Web site, anxiety disorders affect over 19 million American adults every year, and anxiety levels among college students have been rising since the 1950s.

In 2000, almost 7 percent of college students reported experiencing anxiety disorders within the previous year.

College students are feeling more overwhelmed and stressed than fifteen years ago, according to the NMHA Web site, which conducted a recent UCLA survey of college freshmen.

More than 30 percent of college freshmen report feeling overwhelmed a great deal of the time.

Anxiety is best described as a psychological stress response often caused by prolonged thought processes that perpetuate it, according to the Clarocet Web site.

If ignored, anxiety may eventually cause irrational fears, specific phobias and panic attacks.

“Anxiety is a mind-controlled condition; finding the source that causes the attack and being aware of your daily routine is important,” said Mary Owens, a licensed practical nurse at the FAMU Health Clinic.

Owens, a LPN of 18 years, said from prior experience that once people start to have anxiety attacks they tend to work themselves up more, instead of reversing the process by deep breathing and relaxation techniques.

During an anxiety attack an individual often feels out of control.

“I felt like my whole world was coming to an end,” said Sheri Hart, 21, a senior nursing student from Miami.

An abrupt end from a five-year relationship and applying to the nursing program caused the anxiety attack, Hart said.

“It was a rush,” said Hart, describing the shortness of breath and feeling of hopelessness experienced from the sudden attack.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has become the preferred treatment for most emotional and behavioral problems, according to the Cognitive Behavior Theory Web site.

“Get help in the way of a therapist,” said David Wiley, a 2005 FAMU graduate from Minneapolis.

Wiley said therapy tactics are helpful to cope with anxiety attacks.

“At that time I felt like the world was piling on top of me,” said Wiley.

According to the Helpguide Web site, emotional symptoms of anxiety attacks include a general sense of apprehension, dread, nervousness, jumpiness, irritation, fearfulness, isolation and feeling incredibly self-conscious and insecure.

Hart and Wiley both agree that talking with someone is the first step in recovery from an anxiety attack.

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