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Understanding What Causes Stress
The first stage in preventing
and lowering your own levels of stress is recognizing what stress
is and what the major causes of stress are.

How is Stress Affecting YOU?
How stressed out are YOU?
Let's take a look into what may
be causing your stress levels to
be where they currently are.

Develop a Stress-Relief
Action Plan

Here are some tips for staying
healthy throughout the year on campus and more.

YOUR Stress Relief PLAN : Managing Daily Habits
Knowing how to manage stress
on a day-to-day basis can be just
as tough as dealing with the
stress itself. Here is a guide to
help you along the way.

Stress Relief Products
In addition to a regular stress management program, there
are many tools available to
assist you on your path to a
stress-free lifestyle. Stress Health Network

When Anxiety Hits Home

When there's a threat or a possible one, your body prepares you to react to it. Your heart may pound, you may have butterflies in your stomach or you may tense up. These natural responses are your body's way of helping you cope with whatever is to come. But some people experience overwhelming anxiety to situations most people wouldn't. When anxiety disrupts lives, it may be a disorder. Anxiety disorders are medical problems. For relief, they must be diagnosed and treated as medical conditions.

Experts don't fully understand what causes anxiety, but it's the most common form of mental disorder. It tends to run in families, and some personality types are more prone to it.

Anxiety occurs in several forms. Many people with anxiety disorders can be helped with treatment, so if you suspect a problem, see your doctor.

TREATMENT

Your doctor may prescribe medication. While it won't be a cure, it may relieve your symptoms. Behavior therapy (techniques to change or stop unwanted behavior) and cognitive-behavior therapy (changing thinking patterns that contribute to symptoms) effectively treat several disorders. Also, relaxation techniques and biofeedback (learning to control body functions with your mind) help some people.

ANXIETY DISORDERS
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). With this most common type, there's no identifiable cause for anxiety. It's characterized by six months or more of chronic, exaggerated worry and tension. If you suffer from GAD, you may have insomnia and be unable to relax. Other physical symptoms include trembling, muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, irritability and hot flashes. People with GAD also may suffer from substance abuse, depression or other anxiety disorders.
Panic disorder. Panic attacks are feelings of terror that come on repeatedly with no warning. Sufferers often believe they're having a heart attack or stroke. Attacks usually last 10 minutes or less. Unfortunately, many people worry excessively about when the next episode will strike, increasing their anxiety even more. A panic attack often is accompanied by unexplained medical problems such as chest pain. Treatment is effective in 70% to 90% of sufferers.
Phobias. Phobias are uncontrollable, irrational and persistent fears of something specific. The fear could be of anything: heights, cats or closed-in spaces, for example.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People with obsessive-compulsive disorder suffer from unwanted thoughts they can't control. They perform rituals such as hand washing or counting to prevent the thoughts or make them go away. Experts believe that OCD is a medical problem, not one attributed to family problems or attitudes learned in childhood.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD occurs after a severe emotional or physical trauma. Sufferers experience flashbacks, nightmares and frightening thoughts. They try to avoid any reminders or thoughts associated with the ordeal. Symptoms include emotional numbness, depression, outbursts of anger, guilt feelings, sleep disturbances and irritability lasting longer than one month.

For more information visit www.nimh.nih.gov/anxiety/anxiety/index.htm or call 88-88-ANXIETY (888-826-9438).

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