Anxiety and paranoia
In our last post we were speaking about stress and yoga therapy. Let’s speak about anxiety and paranoia. But first of all we should know what anxiety is and what paranoia is and how to treat them with yoga therapy.
Anxiety is an emotional state that occurs in situations of uncertain danger. There is a point of view according to which fear arises from a “vital” threat (a threat to the integrity of a person as a living being), and anxiety is usually associated with the expectation of failures in social interaction.
Types of anxiety:
Anxiety disorders are classified into types that include separation anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social phobia, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and generalized anxiety disorder.
A. Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance).
B. The individual finds it difficult to control the worry.
C. The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms having been present for more days than not for the past 6 months):
1. Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge.
2. Being easily fatigued.
3. Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.
5. Muscle tension.
Anxiety can cause paranoia. Studies show that it can affect the object of paranoia, its duration and the discomfort it causes. Paranoid thinking can also contribute to anxiety.
What is paranoia?
Paranoia implies strong feelings and emotions, fear and anxiety, often associated with thoughts of harassment, threatening, or conspiracy against a paranoid person. The paranoid is characterized by suspicion, vindictiveness, suspiciousness, intolerance of frustration, dissatisfaction with others. Paranoids take the words and actions of other people at their own expense.
If a person has paranoia and delirium (devoid of bizarreness, unlike schizophrenia), but other symptoms (for example, hallucinations) are not observed, then we can talk about delusional disorder. At the same time, since only delusions are affected in a delusional disorder (persecution delirium, jealousy delirium, hypochondriac delirium, etc.), a person suffering from it is generally able to lead a normal lifestyle, although, as a rule, it is prone to solitude and self-isolation. In the presence of hallucinations and delusions, as well as other more serious symptoms, a paranoid schizophrenia can be diagnosed.
Paranoia is the feeling that people are opposed to you or want to harm you. If paranoia is stable, it can become a firm conviction, i.e. turn into nonsense. There are many types of delirium, for example, erotomaniacal delirium (the belief that someone is in love with a person) or somatic delirium (the belief that a person has a disease, for example, of some kind of internal organ).
Symptoms of paranoia:
Negative emotions towards others (touchiness, hostility, pathological jealousy);
Inability to perceive criticism and adequately evaluate oneself;
Decreased mental ability.
Behaviour of a person with paranoia:
Doesn’t believe anyone, has problems with trust in others.
Not able to understand criticism and respond to it.
Believes that all comments addressed to him or her are made to harm.
Defends, takes a defensive position.
Not able to incur obligations.
Not able to stop trans aggression even after an apology.
Suggests that others dislike him or her, even if there is evidence to the contrary.
Believes others are cheating or opposed to him or her.
Because of problems with trust, he or she has difficulty maintaining relationships.
If something bad happens, he or she feels that he/she is being pursued, no matter how significant or, conversely, insignificantly, what is happening.
Believes in conspiracy theory.
The exact causes of paranoia are unknown. There are many theories that offer various explanations. Most likely, the truth is somewhere in between.
Some common risk factors in which a person may be more prone to paranoia:
Incomprehensible or disturbing experiences that are not easy to explain.
How a person feels: excessive anxiety or low self-esteem (the expectation that others will reject or criticize).
What a person thinks: has a tendency to hasty conclusions, quickly believes everything and hardly changes his point of view.
It is in solitude, isolation.
He survived a traumatic experience in the past.
Other, more specific factors that may contribute to these risk factors are:
Life experience. The likelihood of paranoid thoughts increases when a person is vulnerable, isolated or in a stressful situation, which can lead to the emergence of negative feelings towards himself. If a person has serious problems at work or his apartment is robbed, it is likely that his thoughts and suspicions may turn into paranoia.
The experience in childhood can affect the fact that a person will consider the world around him unsafe and experience distrust and suspicion towards others. It can also affect the self-esteem and thinking of an adult.
External environment. Paranoid thoughts are more common among people living in an urban environment or those who feel isolated from society. Also provoke the emergence of such thoughts can the media reporting crimes or violence.
Mental health Paranoid thoughts are more likely to occur with depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem. This is due to the fact that such a person is more biased, negatively interprets what is happening. In addition, paranoia can be a symptom of certain mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia or a psychotic episode.
Physical diseases. Sometimes paranoia can be a symptom of diseases such as Huntington’s disease (Huntington’s syndrome, Huntington’s or Huntington’s chorea), heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In some people, hearing loss can lead to paranoid thoughts.
Lack of sleep. Insomnia, lack of sleep can cause feelings of insecurity and insecurity, anxiety and even hallucinations. At dawn, fear and anxiety may manifest.
The effect of alcohol and drugs. Drugs like cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, LSD, amphetamines, and alcohol can trigger paranoia. A number of steroids taken by athletes and weightlifters can also lead to paranoia, as well as some insecticides, fuel and paint.
Genetics. There is also a genetic predisposition to paranoia, heredity;
difficulties with socialization;
Will other people think my suspicions are realistic?
What will my friends say?
Is it possible that I exaggerated the threat?
Is there any conclusive evidence of the veracity of my suspicions?
Can I take a different look at the situations that cause me concern?
Is there any evidence refuting my thoughts?
I continue to suspect, even if other people convince me that there is no reason for this?
Our health directly depends on our thoughts, on mood, on love or its absence, on the ability to find or see beauty around us and enjoy it, on the ability to be happy, on our character, on the attitude to success and failure at work, etc.
Prevent stressful situations;
Refuse from bad habits;
Streamline the day;
Spend more time in the fresh air area.
In order to get rid of any personality trait or character, we will need to work out all the episodes of the past, the postulates and beliefs that formed this trait, and there are thousands of them, and this work is colossal, but worth it. If we really understand that the health and rubbish in the head in the form of complexes, fears and insults, are simply not compatible, and we begin to look for ways to solve them.
We use Yoga therapy which deals with the problems of the body and soul in a complex.
When we are nervous, worried, when we are depressed, our mental state is reflected in various manifestations of our physical being. At a late stage, for example, chronic anxiety, our mental state and the corresponding excitement of the sympathetic nervous system can lead to organic changes in the body, which will result in a serious illness.
The first thing you need to teach a beginner is to gain control over his or her body. In turn, control of the body requires such efforts of the controlling mind, when not a single muscle is contracted, not a single nerve is activated, and even blood does not circulate otherwise, without our efforts.
One of the best types of relaxation is Yoga Nidra. It is a special systematic method of complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. Yoga Nidra directly echoes psychosomatics which leads to a state of relaxation due to distraction of consciousness from external impressions and its immersion in the innermost bowels of the psyche. If consciousness is separated from both external perception and sleep, it is filled with strength that can be used to strengthen memory and health, as a tool for use in stressful situations. The technique is beneficial for restoring strength, accumulating knowledge, increasing creative abilities, achieving goals, fulfilling intentions and completely transforming a person. Yoga Nidra has a wide range of effects on improving the vital functions of all organs of the body and the psychophysical state as a whole. Yoga Nidra can help in the treatment of both acute and chronic forms of diseases, especially those associated with depression and stress.
It’s also very important to eat properly. Not following proper nutrition, our body will not be ready to soberly and consciously accept non-traditional methods of treatment, it will be very difficult to stop the flow of thoughts, it will be difficult to concentrate on practices. Our body will be busy digesting heavy and unhealthy foods, instead of healing itself from the depths. And adjusted nutrition should be the first step towards recovery. Only when the nutrition is normalized and correctly selected, does it make sense to move on to deeper cleansing techniques that affect the deeper layers of our existence.
Such powerful practices like Kapalabhati (literally translated as “breath cleansing and the skull shining”, also called “fiery breath”) and Bhastrika (or “bellow breath”) activate the sympathetic nervous system and can overexcite those who are already not so relaxed. Teachers should carefully monitor their students, because you can find the right practice only by trial and error, in addition, the state of each person can change from day to day, which means that suitable exercises also need to be varied.
Don’t do it if you have schizophrenia or if you’re pregnant.
Regular meditation is also a great way to deal with anxiety. Meditation increases the level of activity of the left side of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for calm, happiness, emotional stability.
Do not underestimate the philosophy of yoga, which is also an important part of the treatment of this terrible disease. Yoga teaches us that the more often we do something or think about something, the more likely it is that our actions or thoughts will return to us. Any habit, or samskara in the language of yoga, the more difficult it becomes to eradicate, the more often it is repeated in our lives. Thus, self-flagellation and other internal dialogues of a negative nature can not only be a symptom of anxiety, but also seriously worsen the patient’s condition.
If you are dealing with a person who is suicidal or who has experienced a failed attempt, no doubt advise them to consult doctors and psychotherapists, because yoga is just an addition to treatment that does not replace professional help and medications.
The main goal is to convince that life can be calm, happy, full of meaning, and that the most important source of joy and happiness is deep within ourselves. And the whole variety of yoga practices and exercises exist precisely to help people get to this inexhaustible source.
How applying Yoga Philosophy can help us to overcome anxiety?
A person living with fear dies again and again while still alive. Final freedom from fear comes from the meditation and attaining self realization.Free yourself from all Attachments and Desires. Our attachments and desires keep us tied to our physical existence. To free ourselves from these attachments and desires, we need to cleanse ourselves by constant practice and practicing non attachment. Yoga philosophy teaches that this life is only the beginning. It is a precious gift that should be nurtured and lived in the richness of the moment, celebrating the continuity of this and other souls that will continue long after these bodies have passed.