Anxiety - an epidemic

Anxiety has been on a steady rise in the UK, and it now officially rivals depression.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is often noted as stress, worry and panic. It is linked and related to other diagnosis such as asthma, eczema, heart issues and OCD, plus many more.

The problem with anxiety is that it can be extremely debilitating for the person dealing with it and can cause major disruption to the lives of everyone involved. Anxiety is taking precedence within doctors' waiting rooms and at times even A&E. Is this enough to warrant it as an epidemic?

It's a growing problem which has such a rigid stigma attached to it that many who are anxious and possibly in need of support don’t embark on seeking help because of the stigma. Does this make it a epidemic? In my opinion it does.

Anxiety can leave a person in total fear about the future as the future is never certain, and this is where anxiety breeds within uncertainty. Life is very uncertain and the one thing we can say will happen is death. This is enough for an anxious person to not want to leave the house. Often anxiety attacks happen when a significant stressor (a trigger) is present and imminent. Life can be a stressor and so triggers mild, moderate and high levels of anxiety attacks which do often appear serious and life threatening.

It is common that anxiety attacks are mistaken for panic attacks, or vice versa. A panic attack does not necessarily mean that the person experiencing the attack is anxious. Panic attacks occur with no stressor present, they appear to be isolated and without reason. Anxiety attacks do have a stressor and are triggered by that stressor.

Anxiety and panic attacks are showing up more often in the workplace, in schools, communities and homes. The most unfortunate thing is that many people do not seek help at the onset of anxiety and so the problem can grow and worsen.

We are dealing with a rise in anxiety; by 2013 there were 8.2 million anxiety cases in the UK with a further finding that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders than men. This does not mean that men have less issues with anxiety but merely demonstrates that women are going to the doctor and seeking out support. The theory that men visit the doctor less than women may be the possible reason for this stat.

CBT has proven to be very effective with anxiety, as it can work in conjunction with anti-anxiety medication and can support the individual to manage and take control. There is hope for anxiety suffers but the solution is not a quick fix. CBT can provide a wealth of understanding and behavioural exercises that move the individual towards thinking, being and living better. Anxiety can be helped - nobody has to suffer in silence.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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London EC3M & W5

Written by Disree Shaw

London EC3M & W5

I have worked with children, young adults and adults for the past 16 years as a counsellor, hypnotherapist and CBT Therapist. My background is in counselling and CBT behavioural therapies that support and move towards healthy change. My expertise lies within my skill, experience and education to practice within multi model of therapy discipline.

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