Anxiety

WHAT IS ANXIETY?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, especially in times of stress – like taking an exam or trying something very different from our normal. It is a perfectly normal response and is designed to keep us safe. But if anxiety is severe or persistent, it may be classed an anxiety disorder and be a chronic problem that interferes with daily life.

Some of the more common causes of anxiety are;

  • Life experiences: Traumatic or stressful life experiences, such as abuse, neglect, or the death of a loved one, can increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder.
  • Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as thyroid problems, heart disease, and diabetes, can cause anxiety symptoms.
  • Medications: Some medications, such as steroids and stimulants, can cause anxiety as a side effect.
  • Substance abuse: Alcohol and drug abuse can also trigger anxiety symptoms.
  • Brain chemistry: People with anxiety disorders may have imbalances in certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine.
anxiety infographic

ANXIETY DISORDERS

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions that cause excessive fear, worry, nervousness, and physical symptoms. These disorders alter how a person processes emotions and behave and cause physical symptoms. They can range from mild to severe, and they can be short-term or long-term.

The more common ways anxiety disorders show up;

GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD)

GAD is longer term condition that causes excessive worry and tension about a wide range of things. People with GAD may feel restless, have trouble concentrating, have trouble sleeping and feel like they can never switch their mind off and are constantly anxious.

stress meter

CONTINUED HIGH STRESS LEVELS/BURNOUT

Normally after we experience a stressful situation, after the Fight, Flight, Freeze response has been activated, our energetic system will calm down and reset back to its normal homeostasis You often see animals do this in the wild – shaking. However, in modern society we very often don’t reset properly and all the stress chemicals – Epinephrine (adrenaline), Norepinephrine, Cortisol such as stay in our system, and automatically then makes us more anxious and stress at our base level. If this keeps happening, eventually our system becomes unable to rest and reset itself, and this can lead to break downs and burnout.

PANIC ATTACKS

survive

This is a condition that causes sudden, intense episodes of fear and anxiety. Panic attacks can come on without warning and can be very frightening, and then are heightened by the cycle of ‘feeling anxious about feeling anxious. It is because the brain perceives that physical survival is threatened as a result of a previously encountered situation, but which may now be out of date, perhaps a past experience or cumulative. The anxiety then tends to keep increasing in intensity as the cycle continues.

PTSD/TRAUMA

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. While it is normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of experience, if these symptoms last more than a few weeks, it may be PTSD.

The symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person, but often include:

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the event
  • Reliving the event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the event
  • Avoiding reminders of the event
  • Negative changes in mood, including anxiety, depression, and anger
  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble controlling thoughts and emotions
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, or helplessness
  • Social isolation
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviours

OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that is characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviours (compulsions). People with OCD may feel the need to perform certain rituals or routines in order to feel relief from the anxiety caused by the obsessions. These rituals can be time-consuming and interfere with daily life.

If anxiety is causing you a problem in your life, please get in touch and book your free Discovery call to see how I can help you. The modern therapy techniques I use can effect powerful change in just one session, though more complex may require more.

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