Advertisement

Qué Nervios: tener ansiedad siendo Latina

Qué Nervios: tener ansiedad siendo Latina

Karen G. Martínez, MD, MSc

headshot

Member Since 2012

Karen G. Martinez, MD, MSc is a child and adolescent psychiatrist in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  She is an assistant professor at the University of Puerto Rico where she directs the Center for the Study and Treatment of Fear and Anxiety. As the director of this Center, she leads an interdisciplinary team in the development of research and treatment protocols aimed at improving the assessment and treatment of anxiety in Puerto Ricans.  This Center consists of an interdisciplinary group of psychiatrists, neuroscientists, psychologists and occupational therapists studying the role of physiological fear on anxiety disorders and cultural adaptation of treatments for anxiety disorders.  She is also the principal investigator and director of the NIH funded Hispanic Clinical and Translational Research Education and Career Development Program at the University of Puerto Rico. She completed a Post-doctoral Master’s in Clinical Research in 2006 and has then continued to receive institutional, NIH and Susan G. Komen Foundation support for her research.  Her multiple awards recognize her research work including the Career Development Award from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and a Minority Faculty Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP).  She is an active member of several professional organizations, such as the ADAA where she has spearheaded multiple projects in order to increase outreach to diverse population including being the chair of the Women's Mental Health Special Interest Group.  

Qué Nervios: tener ansiedad siendo Latina

Share
No

La ansiedad es una emoción natural que nos ayuda a dirigir nuestra atención hacia posibles amenazas. Aunque necesitamos la ansiedad para sobrevivir, en ocasiones se puede convertir en un problema. En particular, si la ansiedad ocurre sin ninguna razón, es una reacción exagerada al estresor o nos crea disfunción en nuestras vidas podría ser señal de un trastorno de ansiedad. Los trastornos de ansiedad son un diagnóstico clínico que incluye condiciones como el Trastorno de Ansiedad Generalizada, Trastorno de Ansiedad Social, Trastorno de Pánico, Fobia Específica y Trastorno de Estrés Post-Traumático.

Aunque las Latinas tienen el mismo riesgo de desarrollar trastornos de ansiedad que otros grupos étnicos, no sabemos si los instrumentos que usamos para identificar y diagnosticar son apropiados culturalmente. Por ejemplo, algunos estudios apuntan a que las preocupaciones y las ruminaciones son menos prevalentes en Latinos. Pero, esto puede ser porque los Latinos tienden a reportar más los síntomas físicos de la ansiedad como las palpitaciones del corazón, dificultad para respirar y temblores. Al darle tanta atención a los síntomas físicos, otros estudios han encontrado mayor presencia de ataques de pánico y por lo tanto mayor prevalencia de Trastorno de Pánico. Aunque aún no sabemos cómo manejar adecuadamente estas diferencias en Latinas, si es evidente que la etnicidad y la cultura tienen un role en cómo se expresa la ansiedad.

Una manifestación particular de la ansiedad que ha sido descrita principalmente en Latinos del Caribe es “ataque de nervios”. El “ataque de nervios” es un episodio intenso emocional como reacción a un estrés interpersonal. El episodio incluye la sensación de ansiedad, pero también puede incluir tristeza, coraje y frustración. Los episodios de “ataque de nervios” son más común en las mujeres y nos pueden ayudar a entender las particularidades del estrés y la ansiedad en Latinas. Estos “ataque de nervios” ocurren frecuentemente en conjunto con diagnósticos de ansiedad como el Trastorno de Pánico y el Trastorno de Estrés Post-Traumático. Al momento, no tenemos suficientes estudios para saber si “ataque de nervios” es un trastorno aparte o si es un factor que pone a riesgo de trastornos de ansiedad en Latinos. En nuestros estudios en la Universidad de Puerto Rico, hemos encontrados que la presencia de “ataque de nervios” no empeoran la severidad de la ansiedad, pero si se relaciona con un aumento en las puntuaciones en neuroticismo, un factor de personalidad que aumenta el riesgo a trastornos de ansiedad. También se ha descrito que estos episodios están asociados a discapacidad y a intentos suicidas, así que es importante identificar estos síntomas en Latinas y hacer un referido a un profesional de la salud mental aún cuando no se identifique otro trastorno psiquiátrico.

El tratamiento para la ansiedad también tiene que tomar en consideración la etnicidad y la cultura. En Latinos, al igual que en muchos grupos de minoría, hablar acerca de las emociones no es común culturalmente. Por lo tanto, los tratamientos basados en evidencia para la ansiedad que están enfocados en conceptos de la

terapia cognoscitiva conductual pueden ser casi un idioma extranjero para una Latina. La conexión entre pensamientos, emociones y conductas no se puede ver claramente y, por lo tanto, los tratamientos tienen que incluir un componente de educación significativo. Para que estos tratamientos sean culturalmente adaptados para Latinos no pueden comenzar directamente con técnicas cognoscitivas o exposiciones.

Dada toda esta información, es importante pensar en cuáles son las necesidades específicas de las Latinas que piensen pueden tener un trastorno de ansiedad. Primero, hay que tener en cuenta que la etnicidad y la cultura afectan las evaluaciones y tratamientos para la ansiedad. También hay que tomar en consideración las diferencias entre mujeres y hombres en cómo expresan su ansiedad y responden a los tratamientos. Finalmente, hay una disparidad marcada en el acceso a servicios de salud mental de calidad en Latinos y necesitamos asegurarnos que estos servicios estén adaptados culturalmente.

 

Karen G. Martínez, MD, MSc

headshot

Member Since 2012

Karen G. Martinez, MD, MSc is a child and adolescent psychiatrist in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  She is an assistant professor at the University of Puerto Rico where she directs the Center for the Study and Treatment of Fear and Anxiety. As the director of this Center, she leads an interdisciplinary team in the development of research and treatment protocols aimed at improving the assessment and treatment of anxiety in Puerto Ricans.  This Center consists of an interdisciplinary group of psychiatrists, neuroscientists, psychologists and occupational therapists studying the role of physiological fear on anxiety disorders and cultural adaptation of treatments for anxiety disorders.  She is also the principal investigator and director of the NIH funded Hispanic Clinical and Translational Research Education and Career Development Program at the University of Puerto Rico. She completed a Post-doctoral Master’s in Clinical Research in 2006 and has then continued to receive institutional, NIH and Susan G. Komen Foundation support for her research.  Her multiple awards recognize her research work including the Career Development Award from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and a Minority Faculty Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP).  She is an active member of several professional organizations, such as the ADAA where she has spearheaded multiple projects in order to increase outreach to diverse population including being the chair of the Women's Mental Health Special Interest Group.  

Use of Website Blog Commenting

Use of Website Blog Commenting

ADAA provides this Website blogs for the benefit of its members and the public. The content, view and opinions published in Blogs written by our personnel or contributors – or from links or posts on the Website from other sources - belong solely to their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ADAA, its members, management or employees. Any comments or opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors only. Please remember that the open and real-time nature of the comments posted to these venues makes it is impossible for ADAA to confirm the validity of any content posted, and though we reserve the right to review and edit or delete any such comment, we do not guarantee that we will monitor or review it. As such, we are not responsible for any messages posted or the consequences of following any advice offered within such posts. If you find any posts in these posts/comments to be offensive, inaccurate or objectionable, please contact us via email at [email protected] and reference the relevant content. If we determine that removal of a post or posts is necessary, we will make reasonable efforts to do so in a timely manner.

ADAA expressly disclaims responsibility for and liabilities resulting from, any information or communications from and between users of ADAA’s blog post commenting features. Users acknowledge and agree that they may be individually liable for anything they communicate using ADAA’s blogs, including but not limited to defamatory, discriminatory, false or unauthorized information. Users are cautioned that they are responsible for complying with the requirements of applicable copyright and trademark laws and regulations. By submitting a response, comment or content, you agree that such submission is non-confidential for all purposes. Any submission to this Website will be deemed and remain the property of ADAA.

The ADAA blogs are forums for individuals to share their opinions, experiences and thoughts related to mental illness. ADAA wants to ensure the integrity of this service and therefore, use of this service is limited to participants who agree to adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Refrain from transmitting any message, information, data, or text that is unlawful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, that may be invasive of another 's privacy, hateful, or bashing communications - especially those aimed at gender, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, religious views or disability.

Please note that there is a review process whereby all comments posted to blog posts and webinars are reviewed by ADAA staff to determine appropriateness before comments are posted. ADAA reserves the right to remove or edit a post containing offensive material as defined by ADAA.

ADAA reserves the right to remove or edit posts that contain explicit, obscene, offensive, or vulgar language. Similarly, posts that contain any graphic files will be removed immediately upon notice.

2. Refrain from posting or transmitting any unsolicited, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain mail," "pyramid schemes" or any other form of solicitation. ADAA reserves the right to delete these posts immediately upon notice.

3. ADAA invites and encourages a healthy exchange of opinions. If you disagree with a participant 's post or opinion and wish to challenge it, do so with respect. The real objective of the ADAA blog post commenting function is to promote discussion and understanding, not to convince others that your opinion is "right." Name calling, insults, and personal attacks are not appropriate and will not be tolerated. ADAA will remove these posts immediately upon notice.

4. ADAA promotes privacy and encourages participants to keep personal information such as address and telephone number from being posted. Similarly, do not ask for personal information from other participants. Any comments that ask for telephone, address, e-mail, surveys and research studies will not be approved for posting.

5. Participants should be aware that the opinions, beliefs and statements on blog posts do not necessarily represent the opinions and beliefs of ADAA. Participants also agree that ADAA is not to be held liable for any loss or injury caused, in whole or in part, by sponsorship of blog post commenting. Participants also agree that ADAA reserves the right to report any suspicions of harm to self or others as evidenced by participant posts.

RESOURCES AND NEWS
Evidence-based Tips & Strategies from our Member Experts
RELATED ARTICLES
Block reference
TAKING ACTION
After viewing my art and story, I want others to understand that we are not alone in this and…

Advertisement