Anxiety and Panic

Worrying is common to most people, but Anxiety occurs when that worrying becomes excessive and last more days than not for a minimum of six months. A person with Anxiety will find the worry difficult to control and should report at least three of the following symptoms:

  • Restlessness and feeling ‘on edge’
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance

Anxiety is also one of the main symptoms of several other psychological difficulties, including, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder (social phobia).

We can offer treatment for Anxiety online and in our clinics in Godalming, Surrey and Haywards Heath, West Sussex, Petersfield and Portsmouth. Please contact us to find out more.

What causes Anxiety Disorder?

The exact cause of Anxiety disorder is not fully understood, although it’s likely that a combination of several factors plays a role. Research has suggested these may include:

  • overactivity in areas of the brain involved in emotions
    the genes you inherit from your parents – you’re estimated to be five times more likely to develop anxiety and experience anxiety attacks or panic attacks if you have a close relative with the condition
  • having a history of stressful or traumatic experiences, such as witnessing domestic violence, child abuse or bullying

Worrying is a normal phenomenon, however people with anxiety often have less ability to control their worry and it is less successfully reduced by corrective attempts initiated by themselves. It can also be supported by other thought patterns – for example worrying may have been seen as a problem solving activity but has now spiraled out of control. It is these thought interactions and the route causes of anxiety that we would discuss at initial assessment and work on throughout psychological treatment.

Physical manifestations

There are a number of physical symptoms, including:

  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • a noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
  • muscle aches and tension
  • trembling or shaking
  • excessive sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • stomach ache
  • feeling sick
  • headache
  • pins and needles
  • difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)

Psychological symptoms of Anxiety

Symptoms include:

  • restlessness
  • a sense of dread
  • feeling constantly “on edge”
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability

These feelings may cause withdrawal from social contact to avoid feelings of worry and dread. You may also find going to work difficult and stressful and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more and for some people can impact on their self esteem.

Anxiety triggers

If you are anxious as a result of a specific phobia or because of panic disorder, you will usually know what the trigger is. For example, if you have claustrophobia, you know that being confined in a small space will trigger your anxiety. However, if you have more generalized anxiety, it may not always be clear what you are feeling anxious about.

Not knowing what triggers your anxiety can intensify it and you may start to worry that there will be no solution. We will look at the triggers of anxiety in initial assessment and work on them throughout treatment.

Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety can have a significant effect on your daily life but several different treatments are available that can help ease your symptoms. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Schema Therapy. Medication such as a type of antidepressant called “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors” is also sometimes prescribed. This would be prescribed by a GP and Psychiatrist.

Assessment & Treatment

We offer assessment and treatment for Anxiety and Panic. If you would like to arrange an initial confidential telephone conversation for you or someone you know, please get in touch.

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