Making sense of anxiety

What is anxiety?

Anxiety can take many forms. Anxiety can be acute and experienced in short bursts. It can also be experienced as the result of ongoing symptoms that affect the quality of daily life. Other physical symptoms can be linked to anxiety too, such as irritable bowel syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. Anxiety can be felt so intensely that it steps in the way of day to day life and prevents you from being in those moments. It can restrict your functionality and your work, too. Suffering from extreme anxiety is debilitating. Anxiety can be short-term or it can be a long-term condition or trait.  

Symptoms of acute anxiety can include:

  • tightening in your chest
  • palpitations
  • panic attacks.

Symptoms of chronic anxiety can include:

  • fear of going out 
  • fear of illness
  • fear of dying
  • relentless worries
  • obsessive compulsive behaviour 
  • changes in sleeping patterns
  • nervous habits, such as tapping
  • feeling anxious in social situations
  • issues around eating.

Can anxiety be treated?

Anxiety can be treated. Therapy forms an integral part of successful treatment. Treatment may also include medication and changes to your lifestyle. Weekly therapy can help you start to really make sense of your experiences. Learning to talk about your thoughts and feelings can be healing; short term therapy can help you to soothe and calm some of the symptoms of anxiety you have been feeling.  
Longer term therapy treats much more than the symptoms of the anxiety itself. It can can help you understand the underlying causes and help gain insight into the origins of your anxiety. It can help you develop your reflective capacity and help you to see situations and events in different ways. Therapy can be provided to suit your individual needs and the severity of the anxiety that you experience.  

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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South Walsham, Norfolk, NR13
Written by Mandy Atkinson, UKCP accredited Psychotherapist, Supervisor & Trainer
South Walsham, Norfolk, NR13

Mandy Atkinson, MBACP, MA, RGN, Cert. Ed. is an experienced counsellor running a practice in Hadlow, near Tonbridge, Kent. She provides short and longer term counselling for individuals of all ages and for couples and groups.

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