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What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as an emotion that is characterised by intense feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes such as sweating, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Behaviourally, Anxiety can dictate where you go and when, depending on the level of anxiety one experiences and the triggers for this. Anxiety is reportedly the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Those suffering from an anxiety disorder increase their risk of being hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder. Anxiety disorders develop as a result of brain chemistry, personality, life experiences, and genetics.
In 2013, there were a reported 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK and in England women were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than men.
When to seek help for Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal emotion to experience and determining when to seek treatment can be difficult. Typically, when your anxiety is preventing you from fulfilling your activities of daily living at work, school, or home, it is time to seek some help. Signs of anxiety evolving into a disorder include, constant tension or worry, having constant fears and worries that are irrational and consuming, experiencing unexpected and sudden attacks of panic, and nervousness of a danger or threat frequently.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Seeking help to manage anxiety is critical when the symptoms cause you extreme distress and or disrupt your daily routine. Anxiety can present in several ways:
- Anxiety in association with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can manifest as physical symptoms such as insomnia, stomach aches and pains, fatigue, and restlessness.
- Phobia is defined as an irrational and exaggerated fear that presents no real danger, just perceived danger of situations, activities, or specific objects.
- Panic Disorder is characterised by unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are abrupt onsets of fear that manifest as intense physical symptoms such as racing heart, sweaty, sensation of choking or difficulty breathing, and chest pain. This disorder is sometimes accompanied by a fear of not being able to get help if an attack occurs - known as Agoraphobia.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is having unwanted thoughts or behaviors that you feel you have little-to-no control over. The thoughts and behaviors are intrusive by nature and may be accompanied by compulsions.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an extreme anxiety disorder that is developed after an individual experiences a traumatic or life-threatening event. PTSD can have symptoms such as intense and vivid nightmares or flashbacks and hyper-vigilance.
Treatment for Anxiety
It is possible to treat and manage anxiety and therapy can be very successful in resolving anxiety disorders. Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you to identify and challenge negative thinking and irrational beliefs that trigger anxiety. Mindfulness is a skill to directing your attention to the present moment and your responses to it physically, mentally, and emotionally. Tips for managing anxiety pertain to being mindful of yourself physically. Manage caffeine intake, eat balanced meals, and give yourself a physical outlet for energy such as exercise. With your therapist, you can work to identify triggers, responses, and a plan to cope with the triggers.
For more information about talking therapies and treatment programmes available at our Clinics in London, Milan and Rome please visit our Treatment page.
All our Therapists offer Psychological Therapies for Anxiety to Adults, Children and Teenagers. Click here to meet the Team.
You can find out more about our fees on our Fees Page. Contact us for a quote on peak and off-peak appointment times and fees. We offer 20% discounts to students and those on low income during off-peak times.
Further Reading about Anxiety
Anxiety can happen to anyone at anytime, which makes learning to manage anxiety a necessity. Please click here to view a comprehensive list of blogs about managing anxiety and shared techniques for tools such as mindfulness. Additionally, with the rise of technology, you now have access to applications you can use on your phone. Please click here to view the comprehensive list of applications that will help to manage anxiety. It is important to note that the aforementioned self-help tools are best used in addition to working with your therapist.
Recent Blog Posts on Anxiety
Social anxiety feels quite similar to stage fright. Many people experience the fear of public performance and it can be overwhelming. Situations such as public speaking, especially in front of a big audience, meeting a very important person, being the centre of attention or attending different social encounters, could be very difficult to handle effectively. …
Do you constantly worry about your health? Are you afraid that something terrible will happen to you or that you are currently experiencing a physical illness? Do you seek reassurance from people around you? If this description reminds you of yourself, you might facing Health Anxiety. In the United Kingdom, Health Anxiety is often considered …
We all experience symptoms of anxiety from time to time. Some people would even say it is a normal and productive emotion. But what if your stress level is interfering with your everyday life and your decision making? Anxiety is the fear of the unknown. Anxiety is the sense of uncertainty and the body is …
Don’t panic… It’s just a disorder It’s treatable! Yes. I said it. Some people are afraid it isn’t treatable. If you are one of these people, I recommend you have a read through a panic disorder blog or forum, a couple of which can be found at the bottom of this blog. The forums …
Separation anxiety is a common part of development for babies and toddlers. They often experience separation anxiety as they develop an understanding about their dependence on their caregivers. Typically, separation anxiety dissipates as the child learns that they are well looked after by other adults whom the caregiver trusts and therefore that they can cope …
It is in our human nature to occasionally worry about things, e.g. whether the next bus will come on time so that we arrive punctually for our appointment, whether we will be able to write our piece of coursework by a given deadline or whether our guests will enjoy the Christmas drink get-together that we …
It can be hard to leave your child with family or friends to have an evening for yourself or drop them off for their first day at nursery. But this can be made a lot harder when your child starts crying or clinging to you as you prepare to leave. You might feel guilty, stressed, …
We all experience anxiety from time to time. Some of us more than others. Here are some ideas on what might help.
When anxiety starts dictating our lives, we might need a little help to get feel back in control.