Music can help reduce anxiety disorders

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

It is important to continue treatment for this condition even when the symptoms have reduced

New Delhi, 6th June 2018: Only about 20% of youngsters diagnosed with anxiety will stay well over the long term irrespective of the kind of treatment they receive, indicates a recent research.[1] About half the patients relapse at least once, and 30% remain chronically anxious, meeting the diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder at every follow-up. This probability is higher in females.

Anxiety disorders refer to a group of mental illnesses. The distress they cause can prevent a person from leading a normal life. The worry of the future and the fear of the past that accompanies this condition can prove quite overwhelming and become disabling over time.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “There is no specific cause for the onset of anxiety disorders. They can occur due to various reasons including changes in the brain and environmental stress, and even genetics. The disorders can run in families and could be linked to faulty circuits in the brain that control fear and other emotions. It is very common to experience anxiety alongside other mental health problems, such as depression or suicidal feelings. Those with symptoms of both anxiety and depression may be given a diagnosis of mixed anxiety and depressive disorder. Difficult experiences in childhood, adolescence or adulthood are also a common trigger for anxiety problems. Going through stress and trauma is likely to have a particularly big impact if anxiety disorders occur in younger years.”

There are some common symptoms in all anxiety disorders. These include panic, fear, and uneasiness; sleeplessness; being restless; cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet; shortness of breath; palpitations; dry mouth; nausea; tense muscles; and dizziness.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor of IJCP and Dr O P Yadava President IMA New Delhi branch in a joint statement, said, “Music can relieve stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and reduce agitation in an operation theatre in a patient getting induced for anesthesia. It helps lighten the mood and provides a way to connect with loved ones by easing communication. Music is like an anchor, grounding the patient back in reality. This can be used to treat anxiety disorders or make a person suffering from them feel better.”

Some tips from HCFI.

· Cut down on food or drinks rich in caffeine including coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate. Caffeine is a mood-altering drug, and it may make symptoms of anxiety disorders worse.

· Eat right, exercise, and get better sleep. Brisk aerobic exercises can help release brain chemicals which can further cut out stress.

· Sleep problems and anxiety disorder often go hand in hand. It is important to get adequate rest. Follow a relaxing bedtime routine.

· Ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter meds or herbal remedies. Many contain chemicals that can make anxiety symptoms worse.