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APA Offers Tips on Managing Anxiety About Swine Flu

WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about swine flu can cause anyone to feel anxious and worried. These reactions are understandable because circumstances are rapidly evolving and knowledge of the illness is limited. Even during this period of uncertainty, you can take several steps to manage your anxiety and have a positive outlook. The American Psychological Association has useful information and tips for coping.

Among the tips are:

"Get the facts" - gather information that will help you accurately determine your risk so that you can take reasonable precautions;

"Keep things in perspective" - government officials need to prepare for worst-case scenarios in order to protect the public. The public, however, does not need to expect the worst. To date, the cases that have been identified in the United States are not severe. There has been one hospitalization and no deaths. Also, twelve previous cases of swine flu in the United States between 2005 and 2009 were treated and the illness did not spread;

"Maintain a hopeful outlook" - public health agencies around the globe are working on identifying outbreaks of the illness and to ensure the availability of the best medical care to those who are sick. Limit worry and agitation by lessening the time you and your family spend watching or listening to upsetting media coverage.

"Build resilience" - resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, threats or significant sources of stress. Draw on skills you have used in the past that have helped you to manage life's adversities to help you manage your emotions during this challenging time.

Visit for additional information on resilience and managing anxiety about swine flu.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 148,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.

SOURCE American Psychological Association
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