Anxiety

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What does this mean exactly?

Anxiety is a mood disorder, that can affect us physically, (e.g. heart racing) emotionally (e.g. fear), mentally (e.g. our thoughts) and behaviourally (e.g. avoiding situations).

Anxiety is a condition that affects around 14% of all adult Australians. Anxiety can affect men or women and can also affect young children and teenagers, particularly if there are problems in the home or at school. There are countless reasons why someone would experience anxiety. It would be safe to say that most people have experienced it at some point in their lives, whether it be pre-exam anxiety, feeling sick because of a job interview, or the more debilitating type of anxiety that can prevent people from going to a shopping centre or even leave their home.

 

Are there different types of anxiety?

There are many diagnosed forms of anxiety. Some of these are listed below. For more details you may like to look at the Beyond Blue website.

  • Panic Attacks – periods of intense fear or apprehension that are of sudden onset (heart races, difficulty in breathing, sometimes mistaken for a heart attack)
  • Panic Disorder – recurring severe panic attacks
  • Agoraphobia – characterized by anxiety in situations where the sufferer perceives the environment as being difficult to escape or get help.
  • General Anxiety (GAD) – is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry about everyday things that is disproportionate to the actual source of worry
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – occurs after an intense fearful incident, such as an assault or accident. Characterised by things such as nightmares, avoidance of the scene, panic, recurrent thoughts of the incident , anxiety or depressed mood
  • Fear of Flying, insects, heights, just to name a just a few….

At Reconnect Psychology we believe that there is no one cause of anxiety. Rather, there are a number of factors that may contribute to the development of anxious thoughts and behaviour. Some causes of anxiety are listed below.

 

Hereditary factors

If you have a family history of anxiety, research has shown that some people are more likely (though not always) to also experience anxiety.

Biochemical factors

Some people who experience a high level of anxiety may have an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that regulate feelings and physical reactions. Medication and/or changes in diet can help to correct this imbalance can relieve some symptoms of anxiety in some people.

 

Life experiences

Certain life experiences can make people more susceptible to anxiety. Events such as a family break-up, abuse, ongoing bullying at school, and workplace conflict can be stress factors that challenge a person’s coping resources and leave them vulnerable to experiencing anxiety.

 

Personality style

Certain personality types are more at risk of high anxiety than others. People who have a tendency to be shy, have low self-esteem, and a poor capacity to cope are more likely to experience high levels of anxiety.

 

Thinking styles

Certain thinking styles make people more at risk of high anxiety than others. For instance, people who are perfectionistic or expect to be in constant control of their emotions are more at risk of worrying when they feel stress.

 

Behavioural styles

Certain ways of behaving also place people at risk of maintaining high anxiety. For instance, people who are avoidant are not likely to learn ways of handling stressful situations, fears and high anxiety.

 

 

How do I know if I am anxious?

 

 

Who does anxiety affect

Everyone occasionally experiences some anxiety. It is a normal response to a stressful event or perceived threat. Anxiety can range from feeling uneasy and worried to severe panic.

Next steps……

Can anxiety be treated/managed??

At reconnect psychology we work with you in a wholistic way to uncover the causes(s) of your anxiety and to work with you to give you some strategies to help manage your anxiety when it becomes a problem.

 

Do I have anxiety?

After reading the above information you may feel that some of this applies to you. If so you could be experiencing anxiety. Please contact our friendly staff to discuss your options, or see your GP for further information or to obtain a referral.