Nurses can play an essential role in the management and treatment of anxiety disorders once individuals have been diagnosed. While being able to identify the characteristics and physical symptoms of anxiety, the nurse can help the individual and their family cope with the disorder. There are a number of holistic approaches to treating anxiety that have been proven effective. While pharmacological intervention is always an option, counseling techniques, exercise, muscle relaxation and deep breathing, among other alternative, are effective ways of managing anxiety.
Anxiety Disorders and the Holistic Nursing Approach to Treatment
We have all felt the effects of stress at one time or another. Our bodies tell us when we are overloaded and when to slow down. If stress continues unchecked, it can develop into a more serious problem called anxiety. "...more than 20 million Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year and another 30 million will have the problem at least once during their lifetime" (Hunt, 2005, p.4).
Anxiety, essentially, is a normal reaction to stress. Slight anxiety can be motivating; it can motivate us in school or at work to perform better and achieve our goals. However, when anxiety gets out of control it begins to take on a life of its own. Consistent stress and anxiety can greatly affect our spirit, making life seem less meaningful.
According to Hunt (2005), anxiety is thought to be the most common and frequently occurring mental disorder. It is a popular occurrence that everyone will face at one time or another. It can range from an uneasy feeling to immobilizing terror. An anxiety disorder that goes untreated can push a person into a situation that can trigger or worsen symptoms. "When this point is reached, molehills become mountains and there are never any moments of peace,