top of page

Anxiety





To feel anxious at times throughout life is normal. But sometimes anxiety becomes problematic if it is frequent or affects daily life. If you find yourself frequently plagued by anxious feelings and low moods you may be suffering from anxiety, depression, or perhaps a combination of the two. Anxiety disorders affect one in 20 people, and is more common in women than men. One third of adolescents reportedly live with anxiety problems (1). Anxiety can take many forms, from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), to social anxiety. 

SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY

  • feelings of irritability

  • dizziness 

  • nervousness

  • tension

  • feelings of restlessness

  • difficulty concentrating

  • feelings of dread

  • impatience

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY INCLUDE:

  • heart palpitations

  • sweating

  • shaking

  • tightness in the chest

  • difficulty breathing

  • dizziness

The characteristic of most of these symptoms is an overproduction of adrenalin. The symptoms when experienced unfortunately promote further production of adrenalin, thus creating a vicious cycle. Anxiety can therefore become a long-term issue which significantly affects our lifestyle and relationships.

People with overwhelming feelings of anxiety may withdraw from social and work situations, their anxiety working hard to convince them that they are incapable and inadequate. Relationships can become difficult to maintain as partners feel pushed out by what they perceive as the anxious person's rejection and often their chronic lack of self-confidence. 

There is a cyclical nature to most anxiety disorders and therefore in many ways, it feeds on fear and self-doubt. For many sufferers even imagining the situational trigger can inspire anxious feelings, let alone coming into contact with it. 

For these reasons, counselling is considered to be a good form of treatment for anxious feelings as a good counsellor can equip you with the tools to build constructive thought patterns. Several approaches are used to treat anxiety, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness.

Stress

Situational anxiety is often an acute reaction to stress. Symptoms may appear before or after a stressful situation. This can occur at times of severe life stress, such as a bereavement or following an accident, but also in more common situations such as an upcoming exam, presentation or interview. In these cases the symptoms of anxiety tend to calm down within a few hours of the event, but for some people the symptoms and the accompanying feelings may linger for longer.

Anxiety can also be brought on in times of adjustment, such as the breakdown of relationships, being made redundant or starting a new job. In these situations, the symptoms are similar to the case of acute situations mentioned above, but the anxiety may occur much later than the event, as you adjust to a new way of life. (See Stress for more on this subject)


Social Anxiety Disorder

Phobias are often labelled as irrational, as from an outsider's perspective the fear is disproportionate to the situation. This is irrelevant however as a phobia is something which inspires genuine fear. A phobia can often lead to feelings of anxiety, if you fear you may have to come into contact with the situation, but even just imagining the situation could bring about feelings of anxiety.

One of the most common phobias is a social anxiety disorder or social phobia. This is characterised by a conviction that people are judging you and observing you, whilst also being convinced that you are worthless and not of much interest to others. This can cause sufferers to become isolated and withdrawn, in a bid to avoid social situations in which they fear they will come across as embarrassing or inadequate.

Other phobias which are commonly linked to anxiety: agoraphobia, claustrophobia, fear of being alone, fear of choking, fear of driving, fear of public speaking, fear of animals and fear of needles. (See Phobias for more on this subject)


What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is a sudden and intense experience of fear and anxiety which usually lasts between five and 10 minutes but can seem much longer for the sufferer. It can be triggered by something specific, but sometimes it seems to have no real reason behind it. After a panic attack a person might feel physically weak, emotionally drained and vulnerable.

The physical symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • shortness of breath

  • heart palpitations

  • trembling

  • feeling faint

  • feeling either hot or cold

  • chest pains

  • numbness, feeling disconnected

Therapy

Using a variety of therapeutic techniques, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) with the integration of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, has proven to be a successful way to identify and understand anxiety and behavioral traits associated with panic attacks. Cognitive Hypnotherapy aims to get to the root cause of the condition and change perception patterns, helping to empower the client to feel calm, in control, and manage negative emotions.

Teaching tools to regain control over anxiety can greatly increase self-esteem and quality of life. CBT is considered to be an empirically supported treatment for generalized anxiety disorder. Cognitive-behavioural therapy provides tools for reframing problems more helpfully, while longer-term psychotherapy is valuable for rooting out the cause of anxiety.






Comments


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page