What is Anxiety?

‘Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe‘. – NHS

Everyone can feel anxious from time to time but those who have anxiety experience these feelings more than average which can affect their day to day lives. It is too often that people self-diagnose themselves with anxiety without fully understanding what it means. There are various types of anxieties including Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Phobias and Panic Disorder.

Anxiety disorders can have psychological as well as physical symptoms. For a list of symptoms please see the NHS website or visit the follow link to Mind charity: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/anxiety-symptoms/#.XZuyNEZKjIU.
Here is a brief summary of some of the common symptoms:
– Restlessness
– Irritability
– Difficulty concentrating
– Feeling of unease and being unable to relax
– Wanting a lot of reassurance from the people around you
– Feeling that you can not stop worrying or that something bad will happen if you stop worrying
– Dizziness
– Panic attacks
– Sweating/hot flushes
– Fast/irregular heartbeat

However, ‘Sometimes it might be difficult to work out whether your symptoms are totally related to anxiety, or might be related to a different illness. If you’re experiencing any physical symptoms it’s best to talk to your GP, so they can check out what may be causing them’; taken from Mind.

Living with Anxiety can make daily life difficult because situations that seem small to most people can feel like a huge deal. Something as small as getting on a bus and buying a ticket or paying for something at a till can trigger the anxiety symptoms. It can affect applying for jobs, forming relationships, trying new things and so much more. Anxiety is a serious condition that should be taken seriously and shouldn’t be used in the wrong context to express the odd anxious feeling.

With this is mind, there is help for those who suffer with anxiety. One method is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which can be provided by the NHS (sometimes through self-referral or GP) and by private healthcare practices. This therapy helps to identify and challenge the thoughts that may be contributing or causing the anxiety. There are also many free online CBT worksheets online (https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/freedownloads2.htm#Worksheets_) and you can also find useful self-help books in the library.

However, sometimes it can be difficult to face your anxiety head on in which case you can see your GP to discuss possible medication. It is worth noting that not everyone finds CBT helpful and may just want to try medication alone which is also okay but, I would recommend trying CBT as it can help you learn long term coping techniques. It is also useful for those who may also be experiencing depression which often accompanies anxiety.

There is so much that can be said about Anxiety so I encourage you to read as much as you can about it; please make sure that the information you read is from a legitimate site such as the NHS website.

If you have been affected by anything discussed in this blog post please reach out for help. Below are some useful mental health contact numbers:
Anxiety UK: 03444 775 774
MIND: 0300 123 3393
Rethink Mental Illness: 0300 5000 927
Samaritans: 116 123

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. Please help spread the awareness. I am hoping to focus my next post on panic attacks.

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