Anxiety and Stress
Increasingly, I see clients who describe feeling anxious, stressed and even suffering from panic attacks. Anyone can be affected by these issues.
Some researchers believe that anxiety may be overtaking depression as the number one reason why people seek the help of a therapist in the UK.
Anxiety is often described as a feeling of uneasiness, fear, worry and dread.
I believe that being able to recognise symptoms of anxiety is a good first step towards an improvement in how you feel. Symptoms can present as physical and/or psychological, including some of the following*:
inability to concentrate
fearful anticipation of future events
difficulty feeling calm
fatigue and sleep disturbances
tightness in the chest or chest pains
rapid, shallow breathing
Symptoms of anxiety may be moderate or severe. There is evidence that people who live under constant stress are more likely to develop anxiety problems. There are different forms of anxiety, including phobias, health anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, to name a few.
Stress is a common fact of our lives. It can arise from bereavement, difficulties at work or with family members, relationship problems, moving houses or even the prospect of change, among many other events.
We experience stress differently, so a life event which can cause severe stress to one person, may not affect someone else at all. We respond to events based on our perception and ability to cope with them. We can learn to recognise how we respond to stress and develop skills to deal with it.
How can therapy help?
In therapy you will be able to talk about your feelings and your thoughts - together we will explore how you can develop a new, positive way of thinking - gaining awareness and mindfulness - and discuss strategies to help you cope with your experience.
Although anxiety can be effectively treated through counselling and psychotherapy, medication prescribed by your doctor may also be used in some cases, complementing therapy.
* These are some of the symptoms experienced in anxiety and stress - this list is non-exhaustive