Tag Archives: symptoms

Proceed With Confidence! Tips To Overcome Procedural Anxiety

Standard
Proceed With Confidence! Tips To Overcome Procedural Anxiety

For one reason or another, most of us in our lives will have a surgical procedure at some point. Some may be prophylactic, designed to prevent or reduce the chances of a serious medical condition, while others may be to treat an existing condition. Whatever the cause, the prospect of undergoing a surgical procedure can be extremely daunting, particularly if we’re doing it for the first time. Procedural anxiety is a very real psychological condition, which can have incredibly damaging physical effects. In some worst case scenarios, patients have been known to refuse potentially life-saving surgery because they were so crippled by the prospect of going ‘under the knife’.

Fear of the unknown is one of the defining traits of human psychology. It’s the reason why we have learned to hide in our caves and not to tangle with saber toothed tigers. But in today’s world, our anxiety can take many forms that can be damaging to us, especially when our health is concerned. Let’s examine the anxieties that accompany surgical procedures and what you can do to combat them:

Do I Have Procedural Anxiety? Like many forms of anxiety, procedural anxiety can take many forms. While there are recognizable symptoms, they manifest differently in different people. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms when considering surgery, or in a dialogue with your doctor about surgery, then chances are you are affected by procedural anxiety:

  • Breathlessness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or stomach upset
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Shaking/trembling
  • Heart palpitations or accelerating heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to think clearly or speak intelligibly
  • A sensation of detachment from reality
  • Fainting or fear of fainting
  • Fear of losing control.

anx1

Yikes!

These symptoms can be brought on by certain triggers. Most of us don’t even have to be in a hospital to start feeling them. In some cases, just the sight of blood or injury in television or movies is enough to make us feel nauseous. These kinds of anxiety are perfectly natural and more common than we may think. They affect us because of three key factors:

Loss of Control: It’s no small feat to entrust the care of our body to someone else if we are unconscious or otherwise anesthetized. This degree of trust in your surgeon is at odds with our every primal instinct to protect ourselves.

The Stakes: Surgery can lead to a better life that is free of whatever impediment the surgery is designed to treat. Often physical conditions or injuries can throw a wrench in the works of our plans for life, and surgery represents a chance to overcome that hurdle. With that in mind, it’s perfectly understandable that we’d invest our hopes in the procedure and the prospect of something going wrong or the procedure failing, which would be devastating.

Mortality: As we live our lives, we become so caught up in the minutes of our day-to-day lives that we subliminally assume that they’ll go on forever. Surgical procedures can be a stark reminder of our own mortality and make us feel fragile and vulnerable.

There’s no denying that procedural anxiety is a biggie, but that’s no reason to let it get the better of you. Here are some things that you can do to stifle your fears and go into a procedure with confidence:

anx2🙂

First, remember that you are not alone: Whatever happens, you have support every step of the way. Make sure that you make the most if it. Bring your partner, a close friend, or a family member with you whenever you feel you need some extra love. The medical staff will be there to help you and answer any questions that you may have, so voice anything that’s troubling you. If you’re worried about the prospect of something going wrong with the procedure, the surgeon, or the tools then rest assured that it’s relatively easy and risk free to get an attorney to help you.

Get to know your doctor: There can be no better way to squash the fear of the unknown than by familiarizing yourself with your doctor, medical staff, and the attending physician. Get them to describe the procedure to you in as much detail as possible (if you can stomach it). This will remind your subconscious that you are entrusting your body to a skilled, competent, and experienced professional.

Be as open with them as possible about your anxieties. You’d be astonished how understanding they’ll be. In many cases, they will work collaboratively with you, enabling you to make decisions for yourself when possible.

Educate Yourself: Knowing is half the battle, and nowhere is this more relevant than when discussing procedural anxiety. For some, having the procedure explained by a professional isn’t nearly enough and there’s no such thing as too much knowledge. Researching the procedure is one of the surest ways to rid yourself of fear of it. If possible, try and make contact with friends and family who’ve undergone similar procedures. Some people who’ve undergone surgical procedures write blogs to reassure others. Reading these can be a great reminder of what you have to gain and look forward to after the procedure.

However prepared we are, we often find ourselves overcome by fear and anxiety at times so here are some coping strategies that you may find useful:

Distraction: If you feel your mind dwelling, then it can be very counter productive. Listen to music or read a book or article in a magazine or online. Even focusing on the tiny details of a painting on the wall can give your mind a break from itself.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: We have a tendency to jump to the worst case scenario and it’s important to catch these thoughts and nip them in the bud as soon as they crop up. Use your newfound knowledge to assure yourself that the facts and logic outweigh your worst case superstitions.

Visualize: Many find it helpful to create a positive visualization to calm your anxious mind. Take yourself back to a time when you were carefree and happy and try and transpose that feeling to your future, to a time that you can look forward to after the procedure.

Remember that your anxieties are perfectly understandable and natural, but hopefully using these techniques will prevent you from letting it be the boss of you so that you can proceed with confidence!

Advertisements

What Are The Other Symptoms You Should Never Ignore?

Standard
What Are The Other Symptoms You Should Never Ignore?

It’s pretty likely that everyone is aware of the common list of symptoms that you should never ignore. These symptoms are important to know and it’s undeniably a good thing that so many people are made aware of them. However, one of the odd things about that kind of list is that it usually involves symptoms like “sudden blindness”. Now, this might be an assumption, but it seems pretty likely that there aren’t many people out there who would otherwise have ignored suddenly going blind (or maybe they do, to each their own)!

The problem that many people have is not that they’re ignoring huge, sudden symptoms. It’s that they are ignoring some of the smaller symptoms that are much easier to treat as if they’re no big deal. Because of this, people end up putting themselves in danger because they are leaving it be for far too long before getting themselves checked out. To prevent that from happening, here are a few more symptoms that you should never ignore:

Losing Weight (Without Trying): Pretty much everyone would like to shed a couple of pounds here and there so, for many people, the idea of losing weight without having to do anything is a dream come true. However, it could potentially be a sign of a serious problem. Losing five percent of your weight within a six to twelve month period is a sign that you need to see your doctor, because it could be any number of things, including cancer, depression, or thyroid problems.

ignore

Pexels Image

Shortness Of Breath: For those of us who aren’t constant gym bunnies, occasionally getting a little winded when doing any kind of strenuous activity is pretty much par for the course (sad but true!). However, if you find that you’re becoming short of breath even while doing incredibly simple activities that don’t require much effort, that might be a sign of something worse than an inactive lifestyle. Shortness of breath can be a sign of something like asthma or potentially something worse, like mesothelioma. Check out mesotheliomahelp.org to see if you are exhibiting any other symptoms. Sometimes shortness of breath is just a sign that you need to exercise more often, but it’s worth seeing someone about it just in case.

You’re Constantly Thirsty: It’s undeniable that far too many people simply aren’t hydrated enough on a day-to-day basis. However, if you find that it doesn’t matter how much water your drink, you’re still thirsty, then definitely get that checked out. While it could simply be down to your lifestyle, it could also be a result of a problem with your kidneys or potentially high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar makes you urinate more frequently, which is likely to leave you dehydrated.

ignore1

#throwitback

Remember, even if you’re pretty sure that a symptom is nothing, it’s always better to get it checked out early rather than waiting for it to become something more serious. Even if it turns out not to have been that important, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

A Parents And Teacher’s Guide To Teenage Depression

Standard
A Parents And Teacher’s Guide To Teenage Depression

As a parent or teacher, we know that it is normal for teenagers to be moody and sullen. However, it is important to understand when this becomes something more serious. It is a sad fact that the suicide rate in young people is growing, so as a concerned adult you need to recognize the symptoms of depression and understand the pressures your children might be facing.

It may be that you already work in the field of mental health, are considering a career in doing so, or taking one of the masters in clinical mental health counseling programs. Parents, teachers, and counselors are on the front line when it comes to caring for children, and it is vitally important that you know how to help when they are suffering inside. Depression sucks, and here’s a few of the reasons of what might be causing it in your children, students, or friends:

Causes of Depression: Medically speaking, there is still no real evidence as to what causes depression. Genetics may play a part, as is a chemical imbalance in the brain. For the teenager, there are certain factors that can contribute. These include:

Self-Image: Every day, children are bombarded with messages from the media, peers, and social networking on how they should look, feel, and conform. Many young people suffer from body issues when they unrealistically compare themselves to the airbrushed models in magazines and online. If they are not the right weight or don’t have the right clothing, this can be a great source of stress for the teenager, especially when they face bullying because of it.

School: We all know how hard school can be (as if we needed reminding!). It is supposed to be a place of learning and growth, however, for some young people, the only knowledge they are getting is that they are not good enough. Fitting in with peers, broken relationships, dealing with too much homework, studying for tests and exams, and preparing for colleges can add a huge amount of stress into your child’s life.

Bullying is a major issue that can affect children physically and mentally. With the rise of social media, so much bullying is done online, with vile private messages and the posting of personal pictures, which the child has no control over. This can give off the illusion of nowhere being safe for the child.

What can you do? For starters, be there to offer support. They may not tell you how they are feeling, but encourage them to talk when appropriate. Symptoms of depression include moodiness, withdrawal from family and friends, lack of passion in things that they normally enjoyed doing, and mood swings. Some of these are normal for a teenager as their bodies change, but they could also be warning signs.

When you talk to your child or student, be open and listen to what they have to say. Do not judge or say something glib, such as ‘snap out of it’ (smh!!). Share your concerns with a doctor and other mental health professionals to ensure that the child receives the help that they need to get them back on track and smiling again.

Featured Image By: Vimeo