Anxiety & Panic
Anxiety is a normal response to many everyday situations and is a helpful emotion that we need. However anxiety can become a problem if it’s there in excessive amounts or when it doesn’t need to be there. Anxiety disorders are more intense and the anxiety feelings last longer than normal, they also interfere with everyday life. They are characterised by the anticipation of and preparation for negative outcomes of future events. We may experience anxiety in relation to particular situations or areas of life:
Social situations such as being in groups, performance situations like having to make a speech or deliver a presentation.
Health - we may worry that we are going to become seriously ill in some way which affects our day to day life.
Phobias - intense anxiety about specific situations or objects may cause us to avoid such situations. We can develop a phobia of anything however common phobias that tend to interfere with life are fear of heights, small spaces, driving, flying and insects.
On the other hand, we can also experience anxiety that isn’t specific to particular situations, instead, we just feel anxious about a range of everyday things. It may feel like when one worry leaves our mind it is replaced by another. In this way the anxiety is more ‘generalised’ rather than related to a specific situation and the worry may spiral in to a feeling of looming catastrophe.
At times we can experience short but very intense periods of anxiety or panic attacks. We may experience panic attacks because of any of the above anxiety problems e.g. if we have difficulties with social situations, being in a social situation may lead us to have a panic attack. But, sometimes, panic attacks can hit us out of the blue without any warning or clear reason as to why. Panic attacks are frightening so it’s not surprising that we worry about when the next panic attack will occur and may start to avoid certain situations in case we have a panic attack.
CBT can help us develop alternative, less threatening explanations of the problem, anxiety and panic thoughts and behaviours can be unlearned. Sometimes past experiences can be part of what makes us feel anxious and EMDR can help us process and move through those past experiences so that they don't disturb us so much. Yoga Therapy can help by more directly reducing the physical feelings of stress which in turn can positively influence our worry. If you need help managing anxiety, get in touch and let’s talk about how therapy can help you
You can read more about the anxiety problems above by clicking on the bold text.