Roughly 14% of Australian adults suffer from some form of anxiety that has become an anxiety disorder.
Does everyone have anxiety?
Anxiety is a necessary biological response to perceived or real threats from the environment. Having anxiety, to a degree, is both a necessary and healthy aspect of living. Everyone has anxiety to a degree.
When does anxiety become a problem?
Anxiety becomes a problem for people when the experience of anxiety continues well past the perceived threat or problem that caused it; when the anxiety you feel about a problem is disproportionately larger than the problem actually is; when the anxiety one experiences inhibits them from moving forward; where fears prevent people from doing what they need to do;
What is an Anxiety Disorders?
An anxiety disorder is a medical condition.
Anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias. Common to all of these is a level of anxiety that can, and does, interfere with a person’s ability to cope and function and this can completely interrupt their lives.
How do I know if anxiety has become a problem for me?
A person with an anxiety disorder will feel distressed and anxious a lot of the time, and often for no apparent reason. Some anxious episodes can be so severe they become immobilising.
Regardless of the type of disorder, the typical symptoms include….
- Excessive, exaggerated or unrealistic worries (generalised anxiety disorder).
- Compulsions and obsessions which they can’t control (obsessive compulsive disorder).
- Intense excessive worry about being judged by others (social anxiety disorder).
- Periods of intense apprehension, fear, terror or impending doom. These periods can occur suddenly (panic disorder).
- An intense, irrational fear of everyday objects and situations (phobia).
What other symptoms can come from Anxiety?
- Dizzy spells leading to panic.
- Feeling overly jumpy and on edge.
- Inability to relax or increased irritability.
- Tightness in throat and chest- shortness of breath.
- Feeling faint or shaky.
- Racing heart with tingle sensations.
- Fear of losing control or being rejected.
- Hot flushes followed by waves of anxiety.
- Tiring easily.
- Obsessive worries and unwanted thoughts.
- Not feeling connected to what is going on around you.
- Stomach problems, nausea, diarrhoea.
- Overwhelming fear that the anxiety can push you over the edge.
What causes anxiety disorders?
Physiological researchers suggest that an anxiety disorders is due to an in-balance within the chemistry of the brain. Behaviorists believe that anxiety disorders are a learnt response to stimuli. Branches of psychotherapy believe anxiety disorders stem from unresolved needs and issues, or repressed feelings or aspects of ones self. Attachment theories suggest that anxiety often results from poor bonding with the primary care giver as a child (attachment anxiety). It is also likely that psychological traits and genetic factors and environmental influences all play a part in anxiety.
Regardless of which theory one subscribes to, its important to note when persistent anxiety symptoms are not acknowledged and managed, then an anxiety disorder is more likely to occur.
Having strategies and techniques to help manage your anxiety is an important factor in whether the anxiety becomes a disorder or not. These strategies can include education, medication, exercise, yoga, meditation and psychotherapy.
How I treat Anxiety issues?
In the treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders, I use a multi modality approach and attend to:
- Beliefs: the beliefs people hold can cause anxiety in themselves , i.e. “I cant trust anyone”, or “ I must get that promotion or I’ll never be happy”. Understanding how our beliefs influence our behavior and our well being, and how they may be increasing pressure on oneself, can be an important aspect of anxiety management.
- Family constellations; Anxiety is often passed down through the family. Often the anxiety within a family is transmitted from one generation to the next generation, and so on. Understanding what types of patterns one has unconsciously taken on from an anxious family can provide powerful insights into resolving and regulating anxiety. Through the process if the counseling relationship, such patterns begin to reach awareness and can then be changed.
- Containment and regulation: the ways in which a person contains their own emotion and energy can be an important factor in anxiety. Often when one has not been adequately emotionally contained in their upbringing, they continue through life without an ability to contain themselves, which can be a painful cause of anxiety. It is useful for such a person to learn how to regulate and contain themselves more effectively through the course of counseling.
- Blocking: people who have faced a difficult upbringing have often disowned aspects of themselves and certain feelings. Repressed and blocked feelings can create an enormous psychological pressure within a person, resulting in anxiety. Through the process of counseling, such aspects of one’s self are finally renowned, and become integrated back into the person, reducing ones inner conflict and anxiety.
How long is treatment?
As anxiety is unique in every instance, treatment types and durations will vary with every individual. For more information on your particular situation, please call Robbie on 9904 1333.