WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety can be defined as a condition which results in immense fear from predictable or unpredictable situations, which may be real or imaginary. Although anxiety is a terrifying experience it is, unless taken to the extreme, not dangerous at all. It is a common human emotion. Anxiety is part and parcel of our everyday life. Anxiety is about worries, concerns, nervousness and stress.
In fact, to feel anxious occasionally is fine because it prepares us to be ready for actual challenges. But if it interferes with our daily work and normal life, then it is disruptive. Anxiety disorder is very common and it affects millions all over the world. The good news is that anxiety is not a sign of madness or insanity.
Anxiety can attack any person regardless of age, status and social standing. It can become so severe that it can virtually interfere with sleep, appetite, concentration and deprives people of leading normal lives.
TYPES OF ANXIETY
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): This disorder refers to extreme fear and worry about ordinary things in a person’s life. For example, worrying about school, family safety, or something bad may happen. This causes physical symptoms such as chest pain, drowsiness, and stomach pain and vomiting.
2. Panic Disorder: It can happen out of nowhere so that it can be mistaken for a heart attack. Among the physical symptoms of this condition is rapid heart palpitation, dizziness, numbness of hands and feet, shortness of breath and even fear of imminent death. In fact these symptoms are the body’s normal reactions to fear.
3. Social Anxiety Disorder: This condition refers to an intense fear of social situations such as supermarkets and populated places. Among the symptoms of this condition are extreme shyness, fear, self- consciousness about small matters, or worry that people are looking at them or criticizing them.
4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): This is a condition in which a person does certain actions repeatedly. He is compelled to repeat an action many times to make sure it is done, although it has already been done in the first place. For example, it is compulsive behavior to wash hands many times in one hour.
Sometimes, the person may not shake hands with anyone for fear that he may contract a disease from him. Such behavior consumes a person’s time and causes him great stress. Although the fear is unfounded, it is quite frightening to the person afflicted with this disorder.
5. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): It is a condition which relates to a terrifying past incident such as a car accident, rape, physical abuse, shooting or robbery. When the person remembers or is reminded of the incident, it causes constant and intense fear.
6. Phobia: This condition is an unrealistic fear about certain situations or things such as dogs, mountain, snakes, nights or flying in an airplane. So each time a person is in such a situation, he feels grave fear and stress. It is all a state of the mind, and the more the person avoids such a situation, the stronger the fear becomes.
There are no measurable causes of anxiety disorder. There are several factors that trigger anxiety such as genetic factors, biochemical imbalance, over-activity, perfectionism and fight or flight response from the body. Anxiety in the brain is triggered via neurotransmitters which are the brain’s messengers that deliver messages from one neuron to a receptor attached on another neuron. When this process is disrupted, the message is not delivered, thus causing mood disruption in the brain.
MAGNESIUM AND ANXIETY TREATMENT
Anxiety is triggered by the body’s response to exhaustion, mental stress or emotion. The body reacts to the fight or flight response. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean (2007), magnesium is a possible solution to treating anxiety or depression. Shower your depleted body with magnesium chloride and you may immediately feel the relief. It is cheap, easy to use and does not promote suicidal tendencies.
Studies indicate that many of the disorders or health problems such as allergies, chemical sensitivities, anxiety and psychiatric disorders, aorta strength, asthma, Attention Deficit Disorder, calcification of soft tissues including heart valve and diabetes are all related to magnesium deficiencies (Yang, 1998). “Depression and anxiety are much related and I think magnesium helps reduce the same phenomena in the brain. I would always recommend that people use a nutritional approach to depression before actually using antidepressants because mostly they don’t work well,” says Dr. Carolyn Dean.
Dr. Michael B. Schachter M.D., F.A.C.A.M. (1996) has this to say:”Magnesium deficiency can cause anxiety, insomnia, and other mental illness. Magnesium is an extremely important and valuable mineral, whose value for good health is just being recognized by conventional physicians. Virtually all biochemical reactions in the body are mediated through enzyme systems. An enzyme system generally consists of three parts. They are a specific protein molecule, another smaller organic compound, which is often a vitamin, such as pyridoxine or vitamin B6, and finally a charged mineral, such as zinc, copper, manganese or magnesium.
Magnesium is a critical co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body. Each mineral when dissolved in fluids has a characteristic electrical charge, called its valance. Minerals with a charge of plus 1, or univalent cations, include sodium and potassium. Minerals with a charge of plus 2, or divalent cations, include copper, zinc, manganese and magnesium. Potassium and magnesium are the most abundant cations found within the cells of the body with magnesium being the most abundant divalent cation.”
According to Dr. Natasha Turner, N.D, (Naturopathic Doctor) “Magnesium eases anxiety, improves sleep and stabilizes mood. Individuals with anxiety have been found to have lower levels of magnesium. This may be linked to the fact that a magnesium deficiency causes the release of adrenalin. Also, other studies have found that magnesium supplements reduce the release and effect of stress hormones on the heart, which is an indirect measure of the mineral’s effect on the brain.”
In his latest column, “Magnesium: The Stress Reliever”, Dr Leo Galland called magnesium the “anti-stress mineral,” that aids in relaxing nerves, relieving tension, assisting digestion, activating the metabolism of enzymes, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Magnesium also modulates the electrical potential across all cell membranes.
Magnesium is important in the production and transfer of energy, in muscle contraction, relaxation and in nerve functions. It also keeps vertebrae in their proper position, induces restful sleep, purifies and purges body tissues (combats acids, toxins, gases, impurities, and neutralizes poisons), and lowers fever.
Magnesium is nature’s Tranquilizer. It has a calming and wonderful effect on the nervous system. Essentially, the cure for anxiety disorder is simple. Take magnesium, magnesium and magnesium. The wonderful news is that anxiety can be treated fully by consuming sufficient quantities of magnesium to relax all tensed muscles.