ANXIETY Anxiety can affect us all in different ways and at different times in our lives. The difference between anxiety and stress is that stress can be relieved by solving the problem causing it – such as financial problems, relationship difficulties and work pressures. Anxiety persists even when we aren’t clear as to what the cause is.
Anxiety can be debilitating and lead to anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Some anxiety sufferers have a very clear idea as to what has triggered their anxiety:
• Trauma / traumatic event – either to the sufferer or a close friend or family. • Life changing events such as divorce, moving home, surgery, financial disaster. It is not uncommon for anxiety sufferers to be completely unaware of what is causing their feelings and it can have no specific trigger.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY • Increased heart rate / palpitations • Feeling weak or faint – ‘jelly legs’ • Hyperventilation • Nausea • Dizziness • Struggling to swallow or breathe normally • Chest pains – feelings of chest tightness • Dry mouth • Feeling flushed and perspiration When suffering with anxiety it’s not unusual to have ‘warped thoughts’ or an altered way of thinking: • Feeling that you are ‘going mad’ • Fear of dying • Feeling self-conscious, that others are aware of your thoughts and feelings • Feeling detached from your situation • Wanting to run away – fight or flight • Constantly feeling on edge – body and mind on high alert
Anxiety, as with other mental illnesses can be helped by: • Breathing exercises – deep breaths • Exercise – increasing your good mood hormones • Rest and plenty of sleep • Eating a healthy, well balanced diet • Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine • Acceptance – you can’t control people, places and things • Distraction techniques (i.e. counting to 100) • Learn your triggers – if you have them – and write down your feelings when you are having an attack
• Talk to someone about how you feel. A counsellor, close friend or family member. Types of anxiety disorders are: • Agoraphobia • Body Dysmorphia • Claustrophobia • Compulsive skin picking, hair pulling • Fear of flying • Injection Phobias • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) • SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) • Separation Anxiety • Social Anxiety
HOW TO GET HELP Therapy There are a range of various therapies to help combat anxiety, such as: • Counselling • CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) • Hypnotherapy • Acupuncture
If you, or someone you know is suffering with anxiety, please get in touch, I can help.