Anxiety Therapy Cumbria

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal, sometimes unpleasant part of life, and can affect us all in different ways and at different times. Whereas stress is something that will come and go as the external factor responsible (be it a work, relationship or money problems, etc.) anxiety is something which can persist. The cause may not be apparent to the sufferer. 

Anxiety can literally paralyse you with fear. This extreme fear can leave you feeling out of control, and exhausted. Anxiety and panic trigger the body to react with feelings of fear, and if experienced regularly this fear can make you physically ill.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines anxiety as: "A feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome”

Anxiety can make an individual imagine that things in their life are worse than they really are, and prevent them from confronting their fears. What can be helpful is the understanding that anxiety is normal, and exists due to a set of bodily functions that have existed in us from our cave-man days.

Back then, we were equipped with an internal alarm system designed to protect us from dangers surrounding us in the wild.

However, making an appointment to see a therapist is the best first step to take in understanding and beginning to take control of that anxiety.

Symptoms of anxiety

People often experience physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms when anxious/stressed.

Some of the most common physical symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased muscle tension
  • “Jelly legs”
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Hyperventilation (over breathing)
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wanting to use the toilet more often
  • Feeling sick
  • Tight band across the chest area
  • Tension headaches
  • Hot flushes
  • Increased perspiration
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking
  • Choking sensations
  • Palpitations

Some of the most common psychological symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Thinking that you may lose control and/or go “mad”
  • Thinking that you might die
  • Thinking that you may have a heart attack/be sick/faint/have a brain tumour
  • Feeling that people are looking at you and observing your anxiety
  • Feeling as though things are speeding up/slowing down
  • Feeling detached from your environment and the people in it
  • Feeling like wanting to run away/escape from the situation
  • Feeling on edge and alert to everything around you

The most common behavioural symptom is avoidance.

Although 'avoiding an anxiety provoking situation' produces immediate relief from the anxiety, it is only a short term solution. This means that whilst it may seem like avoiding is the best thing to do at the time, the anxiety often returns the next time that you face the situation and avoiding it will only psychologically reinforce the message that there is danger. The problem with avoidance is that you never get to find out whether your fear about the situation and what would happen is actually true.

As well as anxiety as a feeling or experience, there are five main different types of anxiety disorders. The most common types are phobias, panic attacks and general anxiety disorder (GAD). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Social Anxiety Disorder are other well known anxiety disorders. Most anxiety disorders are primarily psychological.

I help clients address both the symptoms and the management of the condition. We work together in enabling a solution which works for you.