Psychological Disorders

There are many different psychological disorders and emotional disorders with many different presenting signs and symptoms. Psychological and emotional disorders are usually characterized by: abnormal thoughts and emotions that may affect behavior and relationships with others. These conditions are some of the toughest to treat by conventional medicine, as they are not yet fully understood scientifically. While the cause of psychological and emotional disorders are unknown, Western medicine says that some contributing factors may be: hormonal imbalance, social or environmental experiences, stress, and illness. Symptoms of psychological disorders and emotional disorders vary per diagnosis, but they may manifest as physical symptoms in addition to psychological symptoms. They also may affect one’s ability to interact socially. While there are many different types of psychological and emotional disorders, the ones that most commonly seen in the United States are anxiety and depressive disorders.


Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States and affect nearly 40 million Americans over the age of 18, 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders also affect the younger population, in fact, anxiety disorders affect 25.1% of children between the ages of 13 and 18. Most people are affected by anxiety at some point in their lives, and it is even considered a physiological and normal response to stress. However, when the symptoms of anxiety become debilitating and affect everyday life, it could be the symptom of a clinical anxiety disorder. While anxiety may manifest differently in different people, some symptoms of anxiety may be excessive worrying, agitation, restlessness or insomnia, fatigue, trouble with concentration and focus, irritability, muscle tension, irrational fears, and fear of social situations.

Panic attacks are also commonly seen in anxiety disorders. They are characterized as an intense surge of anxiety, fear, or panic. Panic attacks may present differently, but often manifest as: shortness of breath, increased perspiration, tingling or numbness in the extremities, and palpitations. Some even experience chest pain, which people sometimes mistake for a heart attack. Treatment of anxiety and panic attacks in conventional medicine includes psychotherapy and medication, or a combination of both. There are other tools and treatments that have proved successful in treating these conditions including meditation and acupuncture.


It is very common for anxiety and depression to overlap. Many people who are diagnosed with anxiety, also suffer from depression or vice versa. About half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety. Depression is a disorder that affects your mood. It often causes feelings of intense sadness, worry, and disengagement of everyday activities. Depression can affect many different aspects of health and symptoms can be seen on the emotional, psychological, and even physical levels. Depression can occur just once in a lifetime or it may be an ongoing condition that someone may suffer with. Some symptoms of depression include sadness, hopelessness, irritability, loss of interest in activities, reduced appetite, weight loss, fatigue, insomnia or excessive sleep, physical aches and pains, and even suicidal thoughts. Depression can affect young children and adults alike. Although the cause of depression is not exactly known, it is thought that there may be factors involved such as biological differences, hormonal or chemical imbalances, and genetics. Conventional treatment for depression includes talk therapy and medication.

Acupuncture for Anxiety and Depression

There are other tools and treatments that have proved successful in treating anxiety and depression, including acupuncture. Acupuncture helps to address the root cause of psychological and emotional imbalance, working to ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Chinese medicine sees no difference between the physical, mental, and emotional body, and for this reason, treats illness with a holistic approach to healing. Acupuncture brings the body into homeostasis, pulling the body out of the sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system and into the more restful parasympathetic nervous system of “rest and digest”. Research suggests that acupuncture triggers a release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals, which may also help combat feelings of anxiety and depression.

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