Anxiety and Hugs

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Depression vector created by pch.vector - www.freepik.com and Inkscape.org

In my last post, we talked about Anxiety and crying, we wanted to see if @…post about anxiety was true or specific to the person posting about it. I went through some of the information on the calm clinic. In their post about crying for no reason, they explained that there is always a reason for crying. This was explained further literature by NCBI in a literature review about the self-soothing nature of crying. The functions of crying are classified based on those that are related to the person who is crying and those that are related to others who hear a person cry. These are the Interpersonal and Intrapersonal relationship functions of crying.

According to the tweet, crying was described as a difficult thing to do when having an anxiety attack. There is more proof that crying may be normal during such an experience. We also talked a little about post-cry mood deterioration, a phenomenon that makes it difficult for people to cry. Part of the reason for this was social disapproval of crying.

In this post, I am going to see if our friends @facts on Twitter have real facts in this post above or if there are research papers that can disprove their claims. The post says a lot about cuddling, killing not only depression but anxiety while also strengthening the immune system. The post says “literarily kills” so whatever information about it has to be a cure or near cure. And right off the bat, I can tell you I already feel like the information here is not true. But I will call it a win even if there is some data that it helps with depression or anxiety.

In my personal opinion without searching, I feel that humans are social creatures and most information I have read agrees with that. Proof of this is the fact that we get lonely whenever we get to spend less time with people.

If this is your first time reading this blog, The Name of the account is medic Vibes, here we talk about what is true about mental health. My name is Dr Ebingo Kigigha, I am a medical doctor and creative. I write here for Medic Vibes and I hope to be knowledgeable enough to write 1000 words on anxiety after 4 weeks of writing about it. Just last month I wrote about depression and I was able to achieve this feat. I hope to be able to do the same for this topic.

What is Anxiety, Anxiety is one of the many mental health disorders that affect people of any age, however, it is more common in younger people. Anxiety affects up to 3% of people worldwide and in Nigeria close to 1% of people are affected in a population of 200 million people.

If a person feels worried before a test or match, it is usually normal and expected. Here are feelings of worry that start affecting a person's daily function. The triggers are everyday activities and can appear on most days through 6 months.

Those who deal with anxiety disorders present with:

Physical features such as jitteriness, feeling tense, tachycardia, fast pace breathing, sweating and fatigue.

Psychological symptoms such as a hard time focusing, difficulty sleeping, and nightmares.

Abnormal reactions like worrying too much.

According to the diagnostic and statistical manual for mental health diseases, Anxiety has to be about a variety of things and is present most days in 6 months, The worry is uneasy to control, and can move from one thing to the other. The worries are in addition to jitteriness, fatigue, difficulty paying attention, muscle pain, and insomnia, one of which is important for a diagnosis of anxiety in children.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for mental health diseases, Anxiety experienced has to be about a variety of things and it has to be present on most days within 6 months. The worry caused by the anxiety is hard to control and the topic does not stay fixed. The worries are accompanied by jitteriness, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, muscle aches, and difficulty sleeping. These features accompany anxiety at least one is present in children.

Anxiety can also lead to depression. It is important o watch for these changes in ode to taking prompt action. To know more about the features of depression, check out my posts from last month.

Anxiety and Hugs

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Love illustrations by Storyset

I decided to go first with Hugs and mental health in my search, and I came across a website called SCL Health... The title of the post was

The Power of Hugs and How They Affect Our Daily Health

This post is backed up by another article written by a researcher in the Laboratory of Stress, Immunity, ad Disease in the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. The article talked about how there is a relase of oxytocin after a hug, according to the research, the areas of the brain that respond to fear are deactivated as a response to touch, in addition, they made mention of the above hormone release after a hug.

Besides these features, that are released there is also the fact that hugs are an immune system booster.

But the question on my mind is still, How much stress relief can it cause?

In this post by Medicine Net, they explain how the oxytocin released after a hug can reduce anxiety. The post where this was written was reviewed by a medical doctor, however…she was not a psychiatrist.

In Healthline however, a study was written about where men in a heterosexual couple were given doses of electrical shocks while holding the arm of their partner. What they found was that those who watched the stimulation did not have the ventral striatum of their brain light up when compared to those who held hands with their partners.

Tips

Consider, giving and receiving more hugs. Don’t turn it down, the person might need it, and you might need it. Even though it might not be a cure for anxiety, it helps.

Hive stories

In @mama-mimosa's post, she identifies some thoughts that can be harmful and lead to anxiety. Cognitive behavioural therapy usually involves changes in thought patterns.

Read more about that here to help identify negative thought patterns.

Questions

  • What did you learn about hugs?
  • What did you learn about anxiety?
  • How are hugs related to anxiety?
  • What function do hugs serve other than in anxiety?

Conclusion

You may not be able to treat anxiety with a hug, but there is enough proof that it lowers it.

I hope that you learned a lot from this post.

References

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797614559284

https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2019/07/the-power-of-hugs-and-how-they-affect-our-daily-health/#:~:text=Hugging%20helps%20lower%20our%20stress%20throughout%20the%20day.&text=Like%20so%20many%20other%20unseen,affect%20our%20endogenous%20opioid%20system.

Love illustrations by Storyset

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