Every human being on earth is affected by stress and anxiety on occasion. It is completely normal to feel anxious about stressors such as an upcoming deadline, or a loved one’s recent illness. But, in addition to the regular stress we all experience, chronic anxiety disorders are also on the rise.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA):
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects 7.7 million adults, or 3.5% of the U.S. population.
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population, every year.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population. And, women are twice as likely to be affected by GAD as men.
- And, when it comes to anxiety, even children aren’t immune. Anxiety disorders affect 25.1% of children between 13 and 18 years old. Research shows that children with untreated anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse.
Side Effects of Medication
Of course, if you’ve ever dealt with anxiety, you know it is a beast; you just want it gone as quickly as possible. Often, doctors will prescribe a psychiatric medication to help treat your symptoms – fast. Xanax comes to mind.
In many cases, medication is a necessary part of an individual’s treatment, and people should certainly listen to the advice from their doctor. But it is important to note that many of these medications can have some serious side effects.
Common side effects from anti-anxiety medications include confusion, sleepiness, upset stomach, sexual dysfunction and muscle weakness. In the case of the anti-anxiety medication family known as benzodiazepines (which include Valium, Ativan, and Xanax), abuse of the medication can result in dependency, injury and even death.
Perhaps you aren’t reliant on anti-anxiety meds to reduce stress. But maybe you come home and drink three glasses of wine, binge Netflix for four hours, or browse Amazon and make an extravagant purchase after an especially hard day. This is known as “self-medicating,” and is also unhealthy if done to excess.
How can we reduce our stress, without worrying about these pesky side effects? TRE provides a solution that “shakes free” from traditional talk therapy.
Once learned, TRE can be done comfortably in the privacy of your own home. It can be used to help you unwind after a long and stressful day. Its benefits have been shown to bring rest and relaxation to participants. It can be a soothing salve to a weary mind, body and soul. Best of all, TRE offers zero harmful side effects.
So, if you are dealing with chronic stress or anxiety, certainly listen to your doctor. But keep in mind the potentially harmful side effects that psychiatric medications, and some forms of self-medicating, can bring.
Consider adding a wholesome, healthy TRE regimen to your life as a healing practice. Viviane Hens of TRE | Atlanta is a TRE provider and she is available to help you begin today.