Anxiety can affect any person at any stage of their life and is a normal human experience. Anxiety is characterised by excessive fear and worry, generally impacting on an individual’s functioning.
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
inability to relax
problems with sleep
avoidance of feared situations
social isolation and problems with relationships
difficulty concentrating and making decisions
fear of social embarrassment
problems with work, social, or family life
physical symptoms, such as stomach- aches, headaches, muscle soreness, sweating, nausea and diarrhoea
Common Anxiety Disorders
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is characterised by increased anxious symptoms in social situations including an excessive fear of negative evaluation by other individuals, fear of humiliation, followed by behaviour change, such as avoidance, that impacts an individual’s life.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Generalised anxiety disorder is a broader term where anxious symptoms may be present in many aspects of life including school, work, family life, and so on.
Panic disorder is characterised by frequent and intense panic symptoms including heart palpitations, sweats, shaking, trouble breathing, chest pain, nausea, chills or feeling hot, feeling numb or detached, feeling dizzy or faint. Most individuals who experience panic disorder experience physical symptoms, along with excessive fear of losing control, feeling as though they may be experiencing a heart attack or may die as a consequence, as well as worry about a panic attack occurring again. Like generalised anxiety disorder, an individual will often experience behaviour change, such as avoidance, in an attempt to alleviate their symptoms.
When the impact on functioning and/or the distressed caused by the experienced symptoms of anxiety becomes apparent, that’s when an individual may seek help. The Mind Body Practice utilises evidenced-based practice when treating any person with any kind of symptoms/presentation. For anxiety, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps an individual start to explore the function of their symptoms by looking a little deeper into the thoughts associated with the symptoms and starting to challenge those thoughts. At times, behavioural experiments (also known as exposure) may be needed to help find evidence on the contrary to the worry thoughts identified and to normalise the feared stimuli.