Anxiety can be debilitating. It can dramatically impact upon quality of life. Findings suggest anxiety is on the rise, with sources suggesting one in four people are affected by it, and most not even recognising it.
What is anxiety?
It is healthy to experience some amount of anxiety. Anxiety can motivate us to achieve, as well as assess and escape potential danger. It can help us to multitask and evaluate situations quickly. However, anxiety can reach problematic levels, and adversely affect one's enjoyment of life. There are various disorders that fall under the umbrella of 'anxiety disorders'. These can be triggered by a traumatic event (for example, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; PTSD). However, there are anxiety disorders for which you may not be able to identify a cause. These include Generalised Anxiety Disorder (wherein there is no particular trigger for the onset of your anxiety), Phobias (whereby you avoid a particular 'trigger' that leads you to experience anxiety), Social Anxiety (whereby social situations cause you to experience anxiety), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; OCD (whereby you engage in ritualised behaviour in specific situations, to avoid the feeling of anxiety).
Symptoms of anxiety
There are many symptoms associated with the experience of anxiety. It is often associated with feeling nervous, worried and/or fearful. It can lead to sweaty palms, physical body tension, racing heart, hastened breathing, racing thoughts can shaking. Anxiety can impact on our sleep, tiredness, ability to concentrate and carry out everyday tasks, ability to function socially, in relationships, and at work. Furthermore, it can lead to panic attacks.
Beyond Blue, have released a short film about anxiety (featuring Ben Mendelsohn)
What can be done about anxiety?
Various things can be done to manage/ alleviate anxiety. Psychologists can assist clients with these in counselling, and provide techniques they can use in their daily life. If you experience anxiety at uncomfortable levels, you may benefit from seeing a psychologist to alleviate this. Your GP may also be able to prescribe you anti-anxiety medication. Should you choose to take anti-anxiety medication, it is recommended that you talk to your GP about the potential risks/ side-effects.
Several of the psychologists at Dennison Psychology have a particular interest in working with anxiety.