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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.


We offer Psychological Therapies for Anxiety to Adults, Children and Teenagers at our clinics in City of London, London Bridge, London Kensington, London IslingtonLondon Marylebone, London Oxford Circus, Milan City LifeRome San GiovanniRome Piazza Bologna, Rome Garbatella and Online worldwide.


All our Therapists offer Psychological Therapies for Anxiety to Adults, Children and Teenagers. Click here to meet the Team.


Sessions with our Psychologists are by prepaid appointments only. You can find out more about our fees on our Fees Page.

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.

Back to Issues A-Z

Recent Blog Posts on Anxiety

5 Tips to Manage Social Anxiety

By Daphne Catsamba | 13 August 2018

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 …

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6 Tips on How to Handle your Health Anxiety

By Daphne Catsamba | 24 July 2018

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5 Tips to Manage Anxiety

By Daphne Catsamba | 26 June 2018

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What are the Treatments for Panic Attacks?

By Jason Chalangary | 8 March 2018

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 …

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When Separation Anxiety Starts Interfering with Everyday Life

By Louisa Morrison | 18 January 2018

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Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and some tips on how to cope

By Louisa Morrison | 14 December 2017

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 …

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Helping your Toddler with Separation Anxiety

By Louisa Morrison | 9 December 2017

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 …

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5 Tips on… Managing Anxiety

By Louisa Morrison | 18 October 2017

We all experience anxiety from time to time. Some of us more than others. Here are some ideas on what might help.

When Anxiety Takes Over

By Louisa Morrison | 10 October 2017

When anxiety starts dictating our lives, we might need a little help to get feel back in control.

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