Anxiety disorders and symptoms

Anxiety disorders and symptoms

In order to gain a better understanding of anxiety disorders and symptoms, you must first understand what anxiety is and what causes it. Then you can learn how it is treated, and begin the journey to overcome it.

What is anxiety?

The definition of anxiety, according to dictionary.com is “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.” Almost everyone experiences anxiety throughout their life, such as on the first day at school/work, or giving a public speech, or trying adventure sports like skydiving or bungee jumping.

Anxiety disorders occur when someone experiences anxiety that is┬ápersistent outside of these situations, often without a direct cause. Those feelings don’t go away, and can make everyday life difficult to cope with.

Symptoms of anxiety

Signs of anxiety often develop over time, and may not seem obvious. Common symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • restlessness
  • tiredness
  • constant worry or stress
  • hot or cold flushes
  • difficulty concentrating
  • rapid heartbeat
  • shaking or trembling
  • feeling nausea

It is important to note that not all symptoms will be present for everyone.

Types of anxiety

There are several types of anxiety disorders, which occur when the symptoms persist over a period of time. Some of these anxiety disorders include:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Social anxiety disorder

What is an anxiety attack?

An anxiety attack (also known as a panic attack) occurs when there is a sudden increase in the feeling of fear or stress, along with other symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, tightened chest, dizziness or a disconnection from thoughts or behaviours. They may last only a few minutes, but repeated episodes may occur.

Anxiety treatment

Dealing with anxiety alone can be difficult, and may seem impossible. Red Hill Psychology can provide treatments for anxiety with registered psychologist, Elizabeth Borland. Elizabeth uses a variety of techniques to assist the individual to cope with anxiety, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT helps the individual to change negative or unhelpful thought patterns, behaviours, and feelings.

Mindfulness techniques involve diverting attention from negative thoughts, enabling the individual to focus on the present and avoid worrying thoughts or judgements about one’s feelings.

Meditation and relaxation techniques may also be helpful in anxiety management if practiced on a regular basis.

Book an appointment

If anxiety is preventing you from coping with everyday life, and you feel it is affecting work, school or relationships, contact Elizabeth at Red Hill Psychology to book an appointment. Appointments are available in person in the inner city Brisbane suburb of Red Hill. Telephone and online counselling sessions are also available.

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