Learn about Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety refers to thoughts, feelings and physical sensations of worry or feeling under threat. You might notice thoughts about things that might happen and physical sensations like being out of breath or rapid heart rate. There are many kinds of anxiety such as generalised anxiety (worrying about things that might happen), social anxiety (worrying about what others may think of you or do to you) and health anxiety (worried that you or a loved one are or will get gravely ill).

It is important to remember that anxiety is a natural thing. It is useful to be able to be vigilant about a potential threat to keep yourself safe. We are biologically hardwired to respond to stressors or potential threats through our fight or flight response. Anxiety is how we experience this response. It only becomes an issue if it becomes unmanageable. If you find yourself worrying about things that are very unlikely to happen, your worry is out of proportion to the problem, you can’t stop thinking about the worry, you have panic attacks (where you feel like you are struggling to breathe) or your anxiety makes it hard to live your day-to-day life you might benefit from therapy.

What causes Disordered Anxiety?

It is important to remember that some anxiety is normal but disordered anxiety has been connected to several biological states, social issues and life events. Having more anxious tendencies may be partly inherited but even in this case people can be supported to manage their anxiety. Certain medications or recreational drugs may make people more anxious as well. If you have become more anxious after starting a new medication, you should take advice from your pharmacist or G.P.

Anxiety can also be caused by life events. Workplace stress, money worries, health scares or an accident may make a person feel anxious. People may also learn anxiety through life events. A classic example is people who were severely bullied at school being much more likely to be socially anxious than those who weren’t. They have learned that they may be mistreated or rejected by peers. This may not happen in another situation but the person might worry that it will. This places them in a position where they anticipate mistreatment and become anxious, even if there is no mistreatment coming. Anxiety is an attempt by the flight/flight system to keep us safe. When this system becomes disordered it may be hard for us to control our anxiety and it will impact our lives.

How do we work with Anxiety?

There are a lot of ways we can help you regain control of your anxiety. We can use talking therapies to challenge the underlying thoughts or assumptions that may worsen anxiety. We can use exposure techniques to try and help you unlearn certain fears. Some people benefit from work on building confidence and Relaxation techniques or mindfulness exercises can help you send safe signals to your body. These can be breathing exercises, meditations, muscle relaxation or whatever works for you. We work with you to make the change you want to see.

Trusted & Private Therapy

Our therapy and counselling services extend to both adults and children. We can work on an individual one to one basis, with couples, families and also groups. We provide a safe space in which you can share your problems as you gain a greater understanding of them. We help you to find ways in which you can either resolve or manage these issues better.

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Glossary of Conditions

Anxiety

Anxiety refers to thoughts, feelings and physical sensations of worry or feeling under threat. Feeling like you are struggling to breathe or living your day-to-day life you may benefit from therapy.

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Binge Eating Disorder

Binge-eating disorder is a disorder where a person eats a large amount of food in a short space of time. They may not be hungry when doing this, often resulting in physical discomfort.

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Depression

Depression is a disorder involving a prolonged period of low mood and it affects people differently. Depression is more than just feeling sad it is a prolonged change in mood.

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OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterised by recurrent persistent thoughts that cause distress until the person performs ritualised behaviour.

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Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is an anxiety disorder and it occurs when you have a surge of intense fear that strikes suddenly and repeatedly without warning.

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PTSD

Post traumatic stress disorder develops after having or witnessing a traumatic experience. This could be an accident, an assault or some forms of abuse.

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