Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
Zayn Malic stated that he finds being ‘straight up’ with people about his anxiety the best way to cope:
“Just being honest about everything, explaining what it is that makes you feel uncomfortable, what it is that you’re cool with. And making sure that all of that is in order and everyone’s got a clear understanding of what that is.”
Zayn Malic, Singer
These feelings of anxiety and panic can interfere with daily activities, be difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. You may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood.
“I’m always terrified that something’s going to happen. And I’m not going to be able to do this anymore and it’s all going to end one day. Part of the fear comes from loving this so much and not wanting to lose it.”
Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder. You can have more than one anxiety disorder. Sometimes anxiety results from a medical condition that needs treatment.
“I have anxiety attacks, constant panicking on stage. My heart feels like it’s going to explode because I never feel like I’m going to deliver, ever.”
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Several types of anxiety disorders exist:
Specific phobias are characterised by major anxiety when you’re exposed to a specific object or situation and a desire to avoid it. Phobias provoke panic attacks in some people.
Substance-induced anxiety disorder is characterized by symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are a direct result of misusing drugs, taking medications, being exposed to a toxic substance or withdrawal from drugs.
Other unspecified anxiety disorders are terms for anxiety or phobias that don’t meet the exact criteria for any other anxiety disorders but are significant enough to be distressing and disruptive.
Whatever form of anxiety you have, counselling can help.
“What time do I have to leave work to get to where I’m going? What is the traffic going to look like? Will parking be hard?” Unknown
“I am in constant fear of what’s going to happen if and when something happens to my husband! I fear I will end up homeless. I have no friends or family to turn to.” Unknown
- Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
- Anxiety disorder due to a medical condition includes symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are directly caused by a physical health problem.
- Generalized anxiety disorder includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues. The worry is out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and affects how you feel physically. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.
- Panic disorder involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a rapid, fluttering or pounding heart (heart palpitations). These panic attacks may lead to worrying about them happening again or avoiding situations in which they’ve occurred.
- Selective mutism is a consistent failure of children to speak in certain situations, such as school, even when they can speak in other situations, such as at home with close family members. This can interfere with school, work and social functioning.
- Separation anxiety disorder is a childhood disorder characterized by anxiety that’s excessive for the child’s developmental level and related to separation from parents or others who have parental roles.
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) involves high levels of anxiety, fear and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness and concern about being judged or viewed negatively by others.
Our work together
When mindfulness, body relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques are introduced when working with anxiety and stress, clients express feeling a calmer approach therapeutically by observing their physical sensations and emotions. These act as a barometer for our health and well-being, learning the triggers and early warning signals of stress long before it’s allowed to escalate into full-blown anxiety. Counselling can help you find the time to sit quietly and alone with yourself reflecting on your life more compassionately and without judgement. Paying attention to your feelings and sensations in the present moment, rather than getting caught up in excessive preoccupations with the past or imagined future catastrophe.
As a Humanistic therapist my approach to psychotherapy focuses on people’s individual nature rather than categorising groups of people with similar characteristics as having the same problems. Humanistic therapy looks at the whole person, not only from the therapist’s view but from the viewpoint of individuals observing their own behavior. The emphasis is on a person’s positive traits and behaviors, and the ability to use their personal instincts to find wisdom, growth, healing, and fulfillment within themselves.
Additional Areas of counselling I work with:
- Affairs and betrayal
- Anger management
- Pre-Bereavement, Bereavement
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic boredom
- Domestic violence
- Drug and alcohol abuse (Substance misuse)
- Eating disorders
- Elderly issues
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Financial concerns/ debt
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Historical abuse
- Intrusive thoughts
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
- Pregnancy and birth
- Separation and divorce
- Sex problem
- Suicidal thoughts
- Wedding nerves
- Work-related stress