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Death Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, and More I Psych Central

Death anxiety is thought to be at the root of other types of phobias. For example, a person’s fear of snakes could relate to a concern of being bitten and dying. Or, someone with a fear of heights could be ultimately concerned with falling and dying.

They both are connected to extreme anxiety around death, even though that’s not the surface-level fear.

The same can be said of conditions like separation anxiety or agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is the fear of not being able to escape if an anxiety attack occurs. This often results in someone avoiding particular public areas, modes of transportation, or potentially leaving the house at all.

Separation anxiety, usually seen in children, is the fear of not being near a parent or guardian, and both potentially relate to safety and the avoidance of harm or death.

Similarly, if you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or are a compulsive checker, there’s a good chance that your need to ensure the stove is off or the front door is locked may be connected to avoiding harm or death.

Death anxiety is also connected to hypochondria — aka illness anxiety disorder — and somatic symptom disorder. While these two illnesses are similar, they can vary slightly.

According to the DSM-5, somatic symptom disorder leads to experiencing varied and unexplained levels of pain and complications.

For the condition to fall into this category, it has to include complaints related to sexual function, neurological issues, gastrointestinal issues, and four areas of physical pain.

These complications are usually specific to particular areas, not fake, and cause an extreme amount of distress for the individual.

Illness anxiety can show up with someone refusing to be seen for fear of their health not being taken seriously or consistent doctor’s visits for fear of dying without care. Sometimes, people with illness anxiety mistake typical bodily functions as symptoms of severe conditions.

Both illness anxiety disorder and somatic symptom disorder often lead to frequent visits to a doctor and checkups and revolve around a fear of illness and death.

Can CBD Really Help With Anxiety? — Hometown Station | KHTS FM 98.1 & AM 1220 — Santa Clarita Radio – Santa Clarita News

Do you suffer from anxiety?

That’s a common question asked these days, and for a good reason. Anxiety is one of the most debilitating mental health disorders with no known cause or cure. And it affects millions of people every day, causing stress and worry that can affect our work performance or even relationships at home.

We’re not psychologists and don’t claim to know more than what they do about the science behind CBD oil – but we did find some interesting tidbits in our research, and we wanted to share them with you.

We hope that our findings will help alleviate your anxiety and spare you the possibility of taking a drug like Xanax or Valium for something that is, in fact, natural and can do much more than those drugs ever could.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the anticipation of future events that are highly associated with avoidance behavior and muscular tension.

Feeling anxious can be a common reaction to stressors in the environment which can be very beneficial in some situations and can be very detrimental if not regulated. It helps us pay more attention to things and allows us to prepare and be alert for approaching dangers. However, unregulated anxiousness can become anxiety disorders that are distinctly different from usual feelings of nervousness and agitation, which generally involve fear.

When fear enters the context, It may lead to anxiety disorders that will lead to a person’s avoidance, which triggers specific symptoms and can affect personal relationships and work or school performance.

There are various types of anxiety disorders that are distinctly different in terms of the situation of the objects that cause the attack. Its variations include general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, particular phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

According to the National Comorbidity Study Replication, around 19% of adults in the United States experience a specific anxiety disorder. The prevalence of anxiety disorder in females is about 23%, significantly higher than males in 14%. In estimate, 31% of the total population of US adults will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.

On a similar note, the prevalence of anxiety disorders in adolescents reaches about 32% of their total population, and 8.3% of them experience severe impairment. The majority of anxiety disorders in female adolescents is considerably higher than in males, which is 38% and 26.1%, respectively. These statistics are according to the National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement.

Reliving anxiety with CBD Products -

What is CBD, and How Can It Help With Anxiety?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compound that can be extracted from the Indian hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), an herbaceous plant native in western and central Asia. The plant contains 80 chemical compounds that are considered biologically active, one of which is cannabidiol. This compound is used for the treatment or management of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Briefly, CBDs are one of the two approved products by the Food and Drug Administration. The other ones are synthetic cannabis-related drugs containing dronabinol and nabilone to manage weight loss induced by AIDS and a remedy for nausea caused by chemotherapy, respectively.

Administration of CBDs is usually through oral ingestion, but in some cases, it can be taken via inhalation or oral mucosal administration. Dosing should start with lower doses and gradually titrate until you reach the clinical levels.

Being a psychoactive compound, CBD holds great potential in addressing anxiety disorder and treating the symptoms that accompany it. Through the years, it has drawn interest for neuropsychiatric experts for its potential for being an effective treatment for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders.

Specialists have assessed significant evidence from preclinical, clinical, epidemiological, and human experimental studies and determined CBD’s potency in treating anxiety disorders and their consequent symptoms. It has been found out that CBDs are proven to be an effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder after a controlled and acute administration.

Ultimately, CDBs are clinically proven to have a variety of therapeutic values like analgesic, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, neuroprotective, antioxidant, antiemetic, antiarthritic, antineoplastic, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

What Are The Risks And Side Effects?

Although there is preclinical evidence that supports the CBD’s therapeutic claims when it comes to treating anxiety disorders, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that CBDs may put a person’s health at major risks.

According to the FDA, some products are available in the market that claim to have CBDs and are sold, claiming to have medical use even though they did not approve it.

Drugs that are not regulated by the FDA are not evaluated accordingly whether they are effective, proper dosages were established, and their interaction with other drugs was identified. The case of CBD products that are not regulated by the FDA can pose great risks, especially to consumers.

Usage of CBD products that are not regulated can cause particular side effects, including diarrhea, dry mouth, reduced appetite, fatigue, and drowsiness. Additionally, CDBs are known to interact with specific medications like blood thinners. Some other risks include the unreliability of unregulated CBD products that can put your health at risk. This can cause dose-related damage to a person’s liver.

These facts emphasize the need for further research to be conducted regarding this significant advancement in mental healthcare.

The Bottom Line

CBDs can be one of the least ventured potential cures for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders due to the negative connotation that accompanies this compound. However, as the new wave of neuropsychiatric experts takes over traditional medical healthcare, significant breakthroughs will eventually replace the older ones.

Ultimately, as consumers, it is your responsibility to carefully examine the product you see through the internet and on television.

If you wish to try regulated CBDs in treating your anxiety, it is best that you first consult with your doctor so that you can minimize any health-threatening risks.

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My Life with OCD: When Compulsions Hurt You

In addition to this, there’s a link between OCD and insomnia: A 2020 study found that people with OCD are 7 times more likely to have insomnia.

Because compulsions vary from one person with OCD to the next, the physical effects of the disorder aren’t the same for everyone.

For example, someone who has a handwashing compulsion might find that their hands become red, cracked, and sore from excessive handwashing.

A similar issue can arise if you have compulsions that involve excessive showering or cleaning. These compulsions are common among people who have contamination OCD.

Another example is exhaustion. All compulsions can be pretty exhausting, both mentally and physically. If you have a compulsion around pacing up and down, for example, that can be physically tiring.

Similarly, compulsions that involve “checking” or rearranging items can tire you out.

A compulsion is, by definition, hard to control, persistent, and repetitive. In the moment, it’s not always easy to foresee the physical toll your compulsions will have.

More often than not, you’re so preoccupied with the obsessions that you’re not necessarily thinking about whether you’ll end up with cracked skin or a tired body.

For this reason, it’s not always easy to link the physical effects of OCD to your compulsions. However, noticing the connection can help you take care of your body and address your compulsions better.

New Study Looks At Links Between Parental And Child Depression

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and it is well known that there are strong links between parental and child depression. Understanding this relationship is key to trying to prevent intergenerational transmission. Worldwide, one in five women suffers from postpartum depression.

A new study published in BJPsych looked at maternal and paternal depression and child mental health trajectories.

“Our study is about tracking mood over time in children of parents who were depressed in pregnancy and/or after birth,” study author, Professor Rebecca Pearson of Manchester Metropolitan University/University of Bristol told us. 

Pearson is Senior Lecturer in Psychiatric Epidemiology at the Centre for Academic Mental Health, School of Social Community Medicine at the University of Bristol.

Postpartum depression isn’t the only mental health condition which can affect women, men, or birthing persons during the perinatal period (conception to one year postpartum). Other mental health conditions include prenatal and/or postpartum anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and in rare cases, about 1-2 in 1000, psychosis.

“We were interested in whether there were different patterns in offspring mood over time which might tell us something about how and when parents depression influences that of their children,” Pearson told us.

While some countries and jurisdictions have universal screening for perinatal mental illness, many do not. Many countries and jurisdictions struggle with timely access to treatment. Evidence-based treatment includes therapy and/or medication. Perinatal mental illness can range from mild to severe.

The researchers had several hypotheses, including that antenatal exposure would be associated with a particular pattern of risk to the offspring due to the potential impact of prenatal stress on fetal development. They also hypothesized that because of this fetal pathway of risk, maternal depression would be associated with greater risk than paternal depression.

“We used repeated measures of parental (mother and father) and child depression to model associations between different timings of parental depression with trajectories of child depression as they grow up,” Pearson told us. “We looked at associations both with overall levels of child depressed mood and with the rate at which depression scores increased over time as the child reached adolescence and adulthood.”

Researchers found that (as compared to offspring of non depressed parents), offspring of depressed parents had higher levels of depression themselves across time points. They also found that children of parents depressed at both antenatal and postnatal timings had the highest depression scores. They found that offspring of mothers depressed postnatally had scores that went up by more points each year than offspring of non depressed mothers.

“The results are consistent with a growing evidence base that exposure to chronic or repeated episodes of parental depression carries the greatest risk to children,” Pearson told us. “The different patterns according to whether the parent was depressed in pregnancy or after birth are intriguing and deserve follow up. We think they are consistent with there being different pathways of risk, for example postnatal depression may confer more of a risk via parent child interaction. The results further highlight the need for screening for parental depression to intervene early and prevent risk to the child.” 


Distinguishing OCD from Other Conditions: Is It OCD or Something Else?

There are several other mental health disorders with overlapping symptoms similar to OCD. Here’s a list of some of the most similar disorders.

Anxiety disorders

OCD and anxiety disorders have many similarities. In fact, until recently, OCD was classified as an anxiety disorder in the DSM-5.

Anxiety disorders are common, with an estimated 31.1% of American adults experiencing an anxiety disorder in their lifetimes. Anxiety disorders include:

Anxiety is a major component of OCD. Obsessive thoughts drive anxiety, and it’s common to engage in compulsions in an attempt to relieve feelings of anxiety.

A key feature of OCD that isn’t present in anxiety disorders — is engaging in compulsions that take up a significant amount of time, such as more than 1 hour a day, cause distress, and get in the way of your work or social life.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, an OCD diagnosis requires “obsessions and/or compulsions that are time-consuming (more than 1 hour a day), cause significant distress, and impair work or social functioning.”


OCD is a highly distressing mental health condition. It can have severe impacts on your personal, social, work life, and overall quality of life.

According to the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), because obsessions and compulsions are so difficult to deal with, many people with OCD also meet the diagnostic criteria for depression.

The symptoms of depression can include:

  • feeling down for 2 weeks or more
  • losing pleasure in usual activities
  • experiencing fatigue or tiredness
  • having trouble eating or sleeping
  • experiencing feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness

If you suspect you are living with both depression and OCD, a mental health professional can help you create a treatment plan that helps with both conditions.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)

Despite having similar-sounding names, OCPD is very different from OCD.

Like with OCD, people with OCPD experience obsessions, such as cleanliness and organization, spending hours cleaning one area or reorganizing something until they believe it’s perfect.

The biggest difference is that people with OCD generally acknowledge that their obsessive thoughts and compulsions are unrealistic and excessive but are still unable to settle their anxious thoughts or break out of the cycle of worrying and ruminating.

People with OCPD don’t tend to recognize that their obsessions and compulsions are unrealistic, seeing them as rational.


Schizophrenia is a complex chronic mental health condition that can be confused with OCD.

There are several symptoms that must be present for a schizophrenia diagnosis, but the three primary symptoms are:

  • hallucinations
  • delusions
  • speech patterns that are erratic and disorganized

Delusions in schizophrenia mean that someone perceives and believes a false reality. They believe things about the world around them that aren’t real.

On the other hand, someone with OCD can have unrealistic thoughts, but they’re aware that their thoughts aren’t grounded in reality. While they may feel like something unrealistically bad could happen, they know it’s actually irrational and impossible.

People with schizophrenia, though, believe the delusion is real, no matter how unbelievable it sounds to others.

Types of OCD: Intrusive Thoughts and Behaviors to Know

But while there is an almost unlimited number of themes to which OCD can attach, the ultimate presentation of the disorder tends to be the same. “Someone is worried about specific unwanted or intrusive thoughts, and then they may engage in behaviors, many of which we don’t see, in order to tolerate or neutralize the discomfort or uncertainty,” Joanna Hardis, MSSA, a licensed clinical social worker and OCD specialist in Cleveland, tells SELF.

Despite the similar manner in which all OCD themes function, it can still be helpful to understand what the different subtypes might look like. According to the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), here are some of the common obsessions that can appear in OCD:

Contamination OCD involves the fear of contamination, whether that’s becoming contaminated or contaminating someone else. Generally, contamination OCD is associated with things like dirt, bacteria, or viruses, but any substance can become the focus of contamination fears—including bodily fluids, chemicals, or other environmental contaminants. Some people also experience obsessions involving mental contamination from thoughts, feelings, words, images, or even superstitious beliefs. For example, if certain words trigger an obsession, such as the word accident, then the person might avoid saying or writing these words, and eventually stop reading the newspaper for fear that it could contain that word.

Practically, this is where those hand-washing stereotypes come into play. Yes, some people with OCD do wash their hands repeatedly, but again, it’s not a preference for being clean. They feel compelled to do it to allay the underlying anxiety they are feeling.

As the name suggests, this type of OCD surrounds the fear of losing control, usually in the context of doing things that a person doesn’t, or shouldn’t, want to do. Sometimes these obsessions can involve the fear of feeling (or acting) on a thought or impulse about hurting themselves or others. But loss-of-control obsessions can also involve other behaviors, such as worrying about saying something rude, doing something illegal, or simply losing control of one’s mind or body in some way.

To understand this obsession, it’s important to recognize that this fear is about losing your sense of identity and doing something on impulse that changes you from “good” to “bad,” or causes you to lose the comforts of your life. For example, if you lose control and yell obscenities at your boss, you might get fired and lose your paycheck. Therefore, people with loss-of-control OCD obsess over this idea and often look for constant reassurance that they will not act out in violence or lose control.

Harm OCD involves the fear of harming oneself or others, whether purposely or inadvertently. If you have harm OCD, you might experience violent thoughts, images, or impulses—things like hitting, stabbing, or otherwise injuring a loved one, a stranger, or even yourself, according to the IOCDF. Or you may fear doing something that can inadvertently hurt another person, such as something neglectful that could result in an accident, like leaving your flatiron on and causing your house to burn down.

Do obsessive compulsives make the most successful entrepreneurs?

There is perhaps an argument that entrepreneurs are more likely to be compulsive obsessives than general members of the public. A review of some famous entrepreneurs may lend support to this claim.

“No two successful entrepreneurs are the same,” famed Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson once wrote.

“In fact, it’s their individuality and different ways of thinking that make them successful.”

Branson has spoken openly about his experience with dyslexia. Yet numerous other renowned entrepreneurs and business leaders, including Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs, Estée Lauder, and Charles Lindbergh, reportedly lived with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

“To be super successful like Jobs, you also need that X-factor, that maniacal overdrive – which often comes from being a tad mad,” wrote US publication Slate under the heading ‘Madness Made Them Great’.

Entrepreneurship and mental health

Like so many things in life, successful entrepreneurs are celebrated; emerging entrepreneurs still seeking success have personal characteristics scrutinised to such an extent that some would doubt their mental stability.

Being labelled obsessive compulsive while highlighting a recent business failure is the fate of many startup entrepreneurs, who wait for the fickle finger of fate to point them towards success.

The above leads some to ponder out loud the exact title of a Harvard Business Review article: ‘Is There a Connection Between Entrepreneurship and Mental Health Conditions?

“There are many researchers looking into narcissism in business … It makes sense that people who are risk-takers, who have high self-confidence and a sense of superiority may be better equipped to rise above competitors. Other kinds of mental health conditions can be more immobilising,” it quotes science journalist and author Claudia Kalb as saying.

“It’s much more difficult to think about an anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder helping a person excel in business. Howard Hughes, who I wrote about in my book, was a successful entrepreneur, but in the latter part of his life, as his OCD characteristics became worse, he became totally isolated. He couldn’t interact with people in business or in society.”

Obsessive compulsive behaviours in business

People living with OCD are a distinct minority. Official estimates suggest lifetime prevalence of OCD in the US affects 2.3 per cent of the adult population. In Australia, the number is estimated at more than 500,000 people.

With some 12.2 per cent of the Australian adult population (18–64 years old) actively engaged in starting and running a new business in 2017, chances are there is a significant number who are obsessive compulsive.

And in some ways, the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs align with the symptoms of OCD: persistence; hoarding information; hyper focus; continually scanning for risks (and, in the case of entrepreneurs, opportunities).

Differing realities

It’s important to remember that mental illness exists on a spectrum. At one end are people who, like the previous example of Hughes, are unable to function.

Then there’s a whole area of research into so-called “depressive realism”. Abraham Lincoln is often cited as a leader who suffered from depression, and there are lots of theories about how his melancholy and depressive character fuelled his ability to understand the realities of the Civil War.

For others, like Jobs, obsessive compulsion may be a source of strength and focus. They are ruthless in their pursuit of success and no amount of failures, setbacks or pivots can dissuade them from realising their ultimate goal.

So, do obsessive compulsives make good entrepreneurs? Perhaps. There are some very successful examples. But entrepreneurs by their nature may be less likely to perceive OCD as a barrier but rather another tool with which to look at the world in a different way.

Alan Manly OAM is the CEO of Universal Business School Sydney and author of The Unlikely Entrepreneur.

Read next: Why age isn’t a barrier when it comes to entrepreneurial success

ADHD: 3 Kids Per Classroom

Frank Lopez, MD, talks important topics to remember when treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Dr Lopez is a neurodevelopmental pediatrician currently practicing in at Pediatric Neurology, PA and Epilepsy Research Center Winter Park, Florida. He recently transitioned to a new practice, before that time, Lopez was the director of the Children’s Developmental Center. He specializes in ADHD and neurodevelopmental disorders and has participated in research on ADHD in children and adolescents, as well as the efficacy and safety of medications for generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder.

Animal hoarding linked to disorders, social worker says

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – A woman faces animal cruelty charges after a house fire killed several animals Thursday.

A licensed clinical social worker says she may be dealing with mental health issues like anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder that could trigger her hoarding so many animals.

“Certain particular items that could start out as a collection, and then it develops so rapidly that they have nowhere to walk in their house,” Brooke Weaver said.

Weaver added the hoarder believes they are the only ones that can save an animal, saying, “It’s a savior complex.”

Northeast Arkansas Humane Society Executive Director Hillary Starnes said that’s not the case, especially when they have too many animals.

“They start with one and then get two and then before you know it they’re up to 15 animals in their home,” Starnes said.

Starnes added the problem is the hoarders believe they’re providing a loving home, but there is little to no quality of care.

“They’re either being overfed or underfed, and they just can’t financially take care of these animals,” she said.

The NEA Humane Society rescued six dogs and four cats from the fire, and all the dogs are being taken care of.

Copyright 2021 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Common Mental and Physical Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

The physical symptoms of anxiety can range from mild to severe, depending on the anxiety disorder you’re dealing with. On the severe end, you could experience a panic attack with symptoms like a racing heart, intense fear and distress, sensations that mimic a heart attack, and feelings of impending doom. Moderate symptoms could also be present, says Dr. Gold. “Someone might feel a lesser version of a full-blown panic attack—racing heart, sweaty, shaky, uncomfortable, but not like they’re going to die,” she explains.

One of the most common symptoms is “feeling restless or on edge, sort of like you can’t calm down,” Dr. Gold adds. Other milder physical symptoms may include:

  • Muscle tension and soreness
  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping

While most anxiety disorders cause a handful of similar symptoms—such as intense worry and stress—there are still some key differences to be aware of, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms of the most common types:

People with GAD often experience daily anxiety and worry that is excessive and persistent, per the Mayo Clinic. You may notice an underlying feeling of restlessness or like you’re always on edge. Any worry or distress you do feel might seem disproportionate to how you would normally feel otherwise.

You might also experience symptoms such as fatigue, which can be the result of poor sleep or even insomnia. It can become more difficult to concentrate, and you may notice that you feel more irritable and angry. It’s also common for your body to feel sore or achy due to increased muscle tension, commonly in the jaw, neck, and shoulders.

People who have phobias typically experience intense and excessive fear and anxiety that is directed toward a specific object or situation—think along the lines of flying, heights, or spiders, just to name a few. When you have a phobia, you know that your fear is irrational, but the anxiety you feel toward the object or situation is often uncontrollable, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Phobias often cause you to avoid having any contact with the object or situation that you fear, which can make it difficult to live your life. If you do encounter your trigger, you are likely to experience severe anxiety, including physical symptoms such as shaking, sweating, or nausea. In some cases, you might even have a panic attack.

People with social anxiety disorder (previously known as social phobia) have severe anxiety that is specifically related to social situations. According to the Mayo Clinic, this fear often revolves around things such as feeling embarrassed or that people are judging you for your actions. You might also think you are being perceived negatively or that everyone is criticizing you.

Like other anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder can cause you to experience significant anxiety symptoms whenever you are in a social situation—whether that’s speaking up in class, chatting with coworkers at a happy hour, or even going to a friend’s birthday bash. If you are forced to engage in a social situation, it can become distressing enough to trigger a panic attack.

Roughly 2.7% of American adults have panic disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, which causes you to have frequent panic attacks, or periods of intense panic and anxiety. With panic disorder, you tend to experience these panic attacks randomly or after exposure to a trigger, such as a certain thought or situation.

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