Feeling fearful, uneasy or apprehensive? Finding that your feelings of worry persist, moving from one issue to the next? You may have anxiety or an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, fear or apprehension about what’s to come. Often our bodies respond to stress with anxiety and most people will feel anxious at some point in their life, such as before sitting an exam or going to a job interview. However, while stress may pass when the issue causing it is overcome (for example meeting a deadline), anxiety is something that can persist whether or not its cause is clear.
If your feelings of anxiety are extreme, it is difficult to control your worries or your symptoms are interfering with your daily life over a long period, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including phobias, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder.
In the same way that it is better to seek help quickly for your physical health, waiting until you can no longer cope with your anxiety is not a good tactic for your mental health. The sooner you seek help, the more likely it is that you can manage your symptoms before they damage your quality of life, relationships, career or emotional wellbeing. To find a qualified therapist for anxiety, click here.
Anxiety can feel different for different people and can include physical and psychological symptoms. You might feel that you have a racing heart and experience feelings of panic, fear and worry. Some of the common symptoms include:
Ordinary anxiety, whilst unpleasant, is a feeling that comes and goes, but does not interfere with your everyday life. When suffering with an anxiety disorder, the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety may be with you all of the time.
An anxiety disorder may result in you stopping doing things that you enjoy. For example, it may prevent you from getting on a plane, crossing the road, or even leaving your home. If left untreated, your anxiety is likely to keep getting worse.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorders and can affect anyone at any age. Statistically, women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about many situations and issues and leaves you feeling unable to relax. People with GAD often feel anxious most days and may find that as soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another appears.
Treatment for anxiety generally falls into two categories: psychotherapy for anxiety and medication. Meeting with a therapist or psychologist for anxiety can help you learn tools to use and strategies to cope with anxiety when it occurs and gain a better understanding of its causes.
Medications, including antidepressants and sedatives, are commonly used to treat anxiety. They work to balance brain chemistry and prevent episodes of anxiety.
Research has found that psychotherapy, counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are effective for treating anxiety issues. For example, a cognitive behaviour therapist can help you to understand the link between your thought patterns and your anxiety, to find useful strategies to reduce your anxiety levels and to manage your symptoms more effectively.
To book a session with an experienced anxiety therapist, a psychotherapist who specialises in anxiety or a cognitive behaviour therapist for anxiety, just click here. Alternatively, you can filter for anxiety therapists by your location and the time and day you can attend a session here to find the best anxiety therapist for you.
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