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Anxiety disorders

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Worry feeds worry. Images sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Feeling anxious makes it harder to stop feeling anxious

Anxious people tend to perceive their world in a more threatening way. That is, the more anxious a person is, the more likely they are to notice threatening things around them. This is called the threat…
The judge in Oscar Pistorius' trial has asked for his mental health to be assessed. EPA/Gianluigi Guercia

Oscar Pistorius faces psychiatric tests – what are anxiety disorders?

Oscar Pistorius' trial took another dramatic turn earlier this week when the judge in the case agreed to a prosecution request to have his mental health assessed. After a psychiatrist called by the defence…
Clinical depression is distinguished severity, duration, persistence, and recurrence. darcyadelaide/flickr

Feeling down: when does a mood become a disorder?

We’ve all felt sad, anxious or down at one time or another, but where does the normal experience of emotion end and the clinical picture of a mood or anxiety disorder begin? Psychiatry has two widely used…
Extreme anxiety is debilitating. Porschelinn

For some people, anxiety and phobias are taken to extremes

Anxiety is a common experience. It is entirely normal to feel anxious in certain circumstances or when imagining possible misfortunes. However, for some people it gets out of hand and severely affects…
Kava, traditionally used in some Pacific island customs, may have a moderate effect in reducing anxiety symptoms, the study found. AAP Image/Peter Williams

Kava may reduce anxiety but experts urge caution

A new study has found that kava, a plant-based relaxant used in the Pacific, is moderately effective at reducing anxiety…
What makes a fear a phobia? jasonbolonski/Flickr.

Explainer: what are phobias?

A life without fear sounds idyllic but it would be no paradise. Fear protects us from present danger, alerts us to future threat, sharpens our minds and blunts our selfishness. Friedrich Nietzsche once…
Excessive anxiety causes serious distress and problems in important areas of life. Thomas/Flickr

Explainer: what is an anxiety disorder?

Most of us are intimately familiar with anxiety. We experience it as we walk towards the room to where our job interview is held, when we stand up to give a speech at our best friend’s wedding, or when…
Long-term meditators have larger sections of the brain responsible for regulating emotion. Tezatrataz/Phra Ajan Jerapunyo Abbot of Watkungtaphao

Beyond spirituality: the role of meditation in mental health

Meditation has traditionally been associated with Eastern mysticism but science is beginning to show that cultivating a “heightened” state of consciousness can have a major impact on our brain, the way…
Emotional disorders are often relegated to second place in considerations of mental health. Lauren Garza

Crying out for a change in mood on emotional disorders and anxiety

A few weeks ago, my children came home from school to announce they were raising money for World Vision’s 40-hour famine. Naturally, I applauded them and we hopped on the internet to learn about the tragedy…

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